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Tavern Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Tavern AleTavern Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

128 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.51%

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bleedingshrimp on 11-06-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 75 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Roser


3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- good looking, dark brown, opaque. Thin (weak) root beer colored head, disappeared fairly quick.

S- malt, spice, chocolate.

T- a little hop, bitter, gingerbread cookie.

M- light to medium. Thin. Warm bourbon barrel kind of feel.

O- a very solid, good beer. Recommendable. I've always been a fan of Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale, and I think this is better.

Cheers all!

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2014 23:13:03 | More by Roser
Photo of TheMirrorOwl


3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark, faint ruby tint. Thin off-white head, thick lacing. Carbonation visible.

Smell: Licorice malt, some chocolate.

Taste: Molasses owns the flavor. Licorice, bread, chocolate, caramel, faint raisin and cherry fruitiness. Some peaty smoke in the malt profile.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied feel with fuzz from the carbonation. Could do with more body and less carbonation.

Overall: Very tasty ale that I've come back to many times. Definitely darker,sweeter flavor than most brown ales, but it's tasty and unique, and will remain an erstwhile go-to for this Virginian.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 05:09:18 | More by TheMirrorOwl
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gives you a little under a finger’s worth of mostly larger bubbles so there’s not much of a tight weave to the head and it dissolves off quickly, light tan in color, the lacing shows some initial stickiness but then slides downward without much fight or gumption. The liquid is fairly filmy and opaque, brown color base but with a great deal of orange tint, you don’t see many bubbles floating inside. Heavy malted and sweet nose, bursting with milk chocolate, butterscotch, root beer, vanilla and even coconut notes, challah bread and honey covered nuts, when warmer delivers more plum and cherry fruit scents, really nothing there for counter weight but it’s agreeable enough to not matter. Medium-bodied, has a bit more zip and punch than expected, decent prickle from the carbonation. More dough, bread notes here which suck up some of the sweetness. Not to say it lacks from chocolate, caramel, toffee and vanilla goodness. Still, tastes as much like soda as it does beer. Which is not necessarily a bad thing but you kind of have to be prepared for it. Cherry, golden raisin, fig fruit flavors. Nutty finish. Pleasurable.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 01:32:05 | More by farrago
Photo of smakawhat


4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Dark chestnut out of the bottle and hitting the glass with a deep mahogany brown color. Creamy forming small head of two fingers tall, tan in color with a creamy top. Settles to a simple well sized bubbles puck and collar.

Good nose. Hints of roasty nuts and toasty bread. Light hints of chocolate as well and some milky creamy sensations.

Creamy slightly light palate hits the mouth with lots of coating sensations. Good hints of chocolate and a grainy crunch malt density. Steely like finish and moderately carbonated to make for some playful flavor profile. Nutty slightly tannic in the mid palate as well.

Overall an interesting melding of flavors for a brown and well put together, quite solid.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 19:36:21 | More by smakawhat
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch code = 7/11/13:

Into a pint glass:

A: dark brown colored body with a two finger white foamy head that dies into the body about after a good two minutes (good pace for dissipation), fair amount of slightly thick foamy lacing that stuck in rings around the glass, it really took a while until the lacing finally slid

S: roasted nuts in front, with a slightly dark breadiness, malts are there with some light chocolate

T: roasted sweet nuttiness, nutty aftertaste, dry finish

M: light to medium, fairly sessionable, but here's the kicker, well, the carbonation seemed a bit harsher than most American Browns, so uh... yeah, probably needs a bit of tweaking

O: other than that, I'd say this is a pretty good American Brown Ale that I would have again

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 16:55:01 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Jeffreysan


4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color, that lightens a little at the bottom of the glass with a quarter of a finger of off-white colored head that quickly disappeared into a thin wispy lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of strong dark bread and roasted malts. There’s hints of dark chocolate and caramel as well. Very pleasant.

Taste: Very malty and bready with some nice, slight hoppy bitterness at the end. Roasted nuts and fresh bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium and a little chewy, with some really good carbonation to tickle the taste buds and coat the palate.

Overall: This is a very tasty, very satisfying brown ale. I’ll certainly get it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 21:28:04 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of obywan59


3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear deep amber with a 2 1/2 finger head. Decent lacing.

The aroma is really nutty with sweet malt.

Sweet with the flavor of light chocolate and caramel. Nutty here as well with some nice hoppy bitterness.

Moderate to moderately light in body. slight carbonation. Creamy and slightly stidky.

Decent offering for my first W. Alewerks sampling. Tasty, creamy and an easy drinker. It makes for a nice spring beer. Not too thick, not too thin.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2013 01:35:50 | More by obywan59
Photo of rorjets


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this six pack at a local Food Lion in Newport News, VA while staying with my cousin for a visit. I wish I had picked up a couple more, as we plowed right thru the six, and they were delicious! One of the better Ales I have had recently. I will definitely search it out the next time I am in the area, as I don't think it gets wide distribution.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2013 14:18:28 | More by rorjets
Photo of ckollias


3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with a thin, 2-finger, white head that quickly dissipates leaving a wispy lace.

S: Malty aroma with a mild hop background.

T: Smooth malty flavor with hints of caramel and finishes slightly hoppy.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Decent brown ale – not my favorite offering from Aleworks.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 02:05:37 | More by ckollias
Photo of hdf561


2.95/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had in a bottle on St. Pattys Day 2012

Wanted to try it since it is brewed in Va and I am from here.

Immedietly smell some chocolate, and carmel with some hops

Taste wow this is a ton of carmel and choclate...it was super surprising. No bad but a little strong for my tatse only more chocolate I have tasted ina beer was Chcolate Bock by Sam Adams

Overall it is ok but kinda nutty and chocolatty but not a warming Choclate like Bock. it is a little heavy as well and rally fille me up just half way through drinking it. A good beer just not the best.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 01:07:10 | More by hdf561
Photo of Crazyale


3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a murky dark brown with orangeish-red highlights. A one finger head quickly dissipates. A medium amount of lacing appears on the glass.

S: Quite a strong coffee smell, along with strong roasted malts, and a bit of caramel.

T: This is a very smooth drinking brown ale, with toasted breadiness, rich sweet maltiness, some coffee and just enough biterness to keep it balanced.

M: Perhaps a bit on the thin side, but about right for the style.

Although not my favorite style, this is one of my favorite brown ales. It's well balanced, highly drinkable and affordable.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 04:26:57 | More by Crazyale
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from mdaschaf, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a deep reddish brown color with a moderate sized off white head. Smells of caramel and chocolate with a hint of mineral and ash. Taste follows the smell really well. A bit of mineral watered caramel, raisin, and chocolate with a hint of earthy mineral in the finish. Medium to thin body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet chalky mouthfeel. Middle of the road brown ale with hints of flavor. :) I would have loved a bit more body on this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 01:00:11 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with two fingers of light tan head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Nutty aromas dominate the nose along with some bitter roasted malt and cocoa notes. Some sweet vanilla with a slight floral quality bring up the finish.

T: Similar to the aroma, nutty flavors strike first followed by some roasted malt notes of bitter chocolate and coffee. Slight vanilla flavors also peek through.

M: Medium body with mid-high carbonation, this beer is pretty highly carbonated for the style. I'd like it to have a creamier body, but the carbonation prevents it from being watery.

O: A good brown ale, overall. It has a nice mixture of roasted and nutty characters and is very flavorful for the style. Quite drinkable as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 03:07:44 | More by n2185
Photo of paulginva


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured into a pint glass from the bottle, produced a moderate carbonation, a 1/2" fizzy tan head with thin lacing which dissipated quickly, and a murky dark brown body.

AROMA: Dark roasted malts predominate here, with nutty caramel fading to toffee, and a lighter note of bitter chocolate, as a support for a medium citrus and pine hops fragrance. Neither malt nor hops is so dominant as to overpower the other. All in all, an inviting scent.

TASTE: The initial taste of roasted malts, caramel, and bitter chocolate together with a touch of hop bitterness gives way to a slightly stronger taste of citrus, pine and a slight tinge of herbs. Quite a pleasant taste, actually.

MOUTHFEEL: The beer had a medium body with a smooth texture. Carbonation was moderate and there was a fair amount of body lacing that dissipated slowly. The initial flavor was moderately sweet with a slight bit of sourness while the moderately long finish was a slightly sour dryness with hints of bitterness. There was a slight but not unpleasant bitter aftertaste. All in all, quite true to the style.

DRINKABILITY: This is a tasty brew that I could drink multiples of on any given day though the fullness would probably cause me to stop before I'd otherwise like to. While memorable, it is not by any means a top tier brown ale. It's value (i.e., quality vs. cost) was excellent. I'll probably buy this beer again and again. It's the kind of brew that you could serve your friends without worry, particularly those who aren't "beer snobs".

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 23:41:08 | More by paulginva
Photo of AgentMunky


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Batch code 08 24 11.

A: A finger of creamy, off-white head. Only the narrow bottom of the glass allows for translucency and sediment can be dimly seen. Otherwise, the beer is unusually dark and opaque for an American Brown. REally nice lacing. Promising.

S: Very typical. Nutty, dry malts. Not much else.

T/M: A nice beer, but of all of AleWerks efforts, this may be the most disappointing, not because it's poor, but because it's unspectactular. Round and creamy, with a smooth and delicious mouthfeel, the flavours are light, if pleasant. A touch of roasted malt, a dry nuttiness spiced with delicate carbonation, and a clean, ever-so-slightly bitter finish.

O: I'm going to go ahead and give this one a 4 for sticking to the style. Even if it's not the best beer AleWerks makes, it's a solid brown ale. I'd recommend it if one were in the mood for a brown ale, but otherwise I'd grab something else.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 00:19:07 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of engagechad


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single from Tom Leonards I think.. Tulip pour

In a word. Solid.

Pours a very nice mahogany color with great clarity, clean head and lacing. Smells wonderfully spicy in a mild mannered way with sweet backbone. Hop balance is great but not as hop heavy as a lot of other am browns these days, still a very good ale.

Tastes smooth and prickly, as I said, great balance. This is a quaffable, easy drinking brown.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 13:40:12 | More by engagechad
Photo of GeoJ


4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is an opaque looking, dark brown. Almost stout/porter-like compared to other brown ales. No real head, minimal lacing. Aroma of bready malts - quite inviting.

Taste is simply wonderful. More hoppy than most brown ales. A quick hop jolt followed by malt sweetness in perfect balance. Nutty, almost chewy, mouthfeel is superb - just the right amount of carbonation, goes down so smooth that I can easily see quaffing a bunch of these. This just might be the most perfect balance of hops/malts I've ever tasted.

The hops sneak back in for a palate cleansing finish, nice and dry with an aftertaste that makes you excited to reach for the glass for the next sip. And it gets even better as the brew warms a bit.

I LOVE brown ales and porters/stouts. This is very close to a perfect cross between the styles. Not as heavy as a porter, a little less sweet than most brown ales, totally refreshing in any case.

I regret having only one bottle as part of a "make-your-own" six-pack. Can't wait to pick up a six-pack, at the very least.

Outstanding! Gives the venerable Sam Smith Nut Brown a serious run for the money, and I'm proud that's it's brewed right here in Virginia. Kudos, Williamsburg Ale Works!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 23:48:01 | More by GeoJ
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: very cloudy, dark orange; virtually no head; good lacing though
S: sweet, slightly malty smell
T: nutty, toasted malts; the malt is a strong element; hopping is medium, a nice balance for the style; very flavorful
M: watery

Really solid, very flavorful brown ale; cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 01:52:40 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of Eriktheipaman


3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can see if this is rated to being a Brown Ale it getting the "B" it has on here but I think it is a kind of hybrid beer so I wont pigeon hole it.

It pours a brown with little white head.

The smell at first is hoppy but as it warms some nutty malt along with cherries comes through.

The taste is a slight bitterness to balance but mostly malt taking the stage. Caramel, toasted nuts, and a dark cherry slight plum on the back.

I really dug this beer and to me is almost a Belgian Dubbel/Brown Ale mix.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 03:05:31 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of KomodoDragon


2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Hazy tan brew with deep orange hints and sediment. Tan head with some lacing.

S - Slight woodsy smell, dark fruits.

T - Mild toasted malt flavors, some spice and nut, mostly dull. Some hop evidance in the aftertaste. Some bread overtones.

M - The modest carbonation is nice, but the not much here


Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 02:05:46 | More by KomodoDragon
Photo of dball


4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe this is the flagship brew for AleWerks, a brewery I look forward to digging into a bit more. The smell is the strength of this tasty brown ale. It pours a dark late autumn oak leaf color and carries brilliant aroma of caramel richness. The flavor keeps the rich theme going and might be a little heavy for some. Personally I think it is a very solid brown beer. Give it a try, particularly at the $8 to $9 6pack price.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 19:23:03 | More by dball
Photo of dragonWhale

New York

3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle located in the fridge at my folks place. Offered up since my pops refuses to drink anything "dark" so his loss becomes my gain.
The burgundy liquid touches down into the glass, stirring up a minimal head and revealing a brilliant clarity.
A bit nutty, a little melanoidin, some caramel, but overall a pretty subdued malty nose. Flavor is very similar, malty and just a little bit sticky sweet.
That little stick knocks it just a hair down on the mouthfeel. If a brown ale is going to linger longer in there, there needs to be something a little sexier going down. I've had quite a few very good brown ales in the last year, and, while this isn't bad by any stretch, it seems to mostly lack vibrant character. I know, easier said than done in a brown, but I want to remember it for being delicious.
Cheers, Alewerks crew, I look forward to trying your Bourbon Porter and Grand Illumination..

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 03:34:07 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of drizzam


3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - The body is an opaque brown in color. A swirl in the bottle and finishing pour into the glass produced a nice two finger khaki head. Nice dimpling in the head and decent head retention. A smattering of lace was left on the inside of my glass.

S - Sweet caramel malt mostly, a tad bit nutty. Not overly aromatic.

T & M - That caramel malt body carries a sweet chocolate flavor with a bit of a nutty finish on the swallow. On the lighter side of medium bodied with a bit of an abrasive mouthfeel from the carbonation.

D - To me, this is a brew that I could stock a sixer of for daily sessioning. It's easy to drink and tasty. Maybe not the perfect brown, but one that tows the line. I wouldn't be ashamed to serve this at a party.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 01:09:28 | More by drizzam
Photo of micromaniac129


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter ruby brown color.
I too, did an agressive pours and produced a large tan head dense and long lasting with good lacing down the glass.

Aroma has a nice rich malty smell. Also in there are nutty, bread crust and toasted malts. A sutle hint of floral hops.

Taste finds a nice richly malted brew.
Slightly roasted malts hazelnuts and chocolate.
Sweet, caramel malts. Hops? just enough to balance and lend some bitterness.

A medium mouthfeel brew. Litely carbonated giving the beer a smooth soft feel, like a bitter.

I liked this beer, it' a pretty good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 11:23:25 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Suds


3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a six pack of this variety during a visit to the AlewWerks (a diversion during a family vacation to Williamsburg). The beer is a dark, murky brown color with a firm off-white head. A little haze. The appearance is appropriate, but not remarkable. Nice, nutty, malty, medium-roast brown malt aroma. Bread-crust and toast character with a little biscuit and cracker flavor. The beer is low in both esters and hop aroma. The mouthfeel is medium in heft, but a little slick on the tongue as you work through the beer. Semi-sweet and quite drinkable. This is a pleasant, unoffensive brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 01:21:24 | More by Suds
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Tavern Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.