October has been an insane month for me. This is the fifth weekend in a row I’ve been traveling out of town, and I think I’ve been home 10 days the entire month. I honestly can’t wait to just sit on my couch all day next Sunday, drinking beer and watching NFL RedZone.
I’m in Arizona this weekend for a wedding, but before I left town, I cracked open two brews from Williamsburg Aleworks that I’ve had in my fridge for a few weeks. Aleworks is a Virginia brewery, located in Colonial Williamsburg, brew American Revolutionary-themed beers, and they’ve been in business since 2005. I picked up the Tavern Ale and Washington’s Porter, pretty much out of curiosity about the labels, because Williamsburg doesn’t really describe their brews. Always helpful, in my opinion.
The Tavern Ale poured out like root beer, with a decent foam head that evaporates quickly. Turns out it’s a classic brown ale, and smelled like roasted malts with some nutty and chocolate notes, that carried through to the flavor. The taste started out sweet, a little fruity, and reminded me of birch beer through the middle. The aftertaste was a little watery, and left me with a real “meh” feeling.
I was pretty psyched for the Washington’s Porter, since I loved the Yards’ General Washington’s Tavern Porter, and expected the same kind of flavor. However, it was a little let down, starting from the pour.
Even though I was a little aggressive while pouring, there was little foam and no carbonation. It had a dark, sweet smell, somewhere between molasses and coffee – hints of both but not dominated by either. Tastewise, it gets another solid “meh.” I detected lots of roasted malts on the front, coffee notes across the middle, and a watered-down finish. This beer had lots of good fundamentals, but couldn’t pull it all together.
Overall, Williamsburg Aleworks makes a good attempt at the whole Revolutionary-era beer recipe movement, but falls pretty short of the high bar set by the Yards Revolutionary Ales series.