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Tavern Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Tavern AleTavern Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

154 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 154
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 10.81%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
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: 154 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%

Thanks to guinnessfan for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The brown ale is aptly named, a dark brown wonder that has a cola color and is opaque. Atop the ale, a 3 finger head has left dried patches all around the glass.

S: The nose is mostly malts, caramel and nuts primarily. Decent hops midway through.

T: The ale delivers a nice pop from the first sip, lots of caramel malt mixed with nutty dryness. The result is a dry yet sweet malt body. The ale seems to be under-carbonated, removing some of the crispness from it, but also allowing each sip to linger. Caramel and chocolate, spiced up with some coffee, drive the finish.

M: The ale is a heavy hitter in the malt department, full of chocolate, coffee and caramel. A very filling ale that is a nice dessert.

D: Much better than I was expecting, a warming ale that doesn't skimp on the flavor.

akorsak, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of rugerj
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Beer pours a deep brown color with a half finger head that dissipates quickly, little lacing left in glass. Smell is of caramel, chocolate and brown sugar with a subtle hop aroma. Taste, malt dominates here, caramel, chocolate and brown sugar with faint toasty highlights that blend together well, beer finishes malt with some earthy hop bit in the background. Carbonation is good and not overdone.

I nice brown ale overall, well made but nothing outstanding.

rugerj, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%

a: pours a thick, deep khaki head, the beer a deep brown in color, nice retention

s: herbal hop aromas drift about a bed of chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts, chocolate coated caramel is the centerpiece aroma here, good start

m: smooth, medium carbonation and a medium-full body

t: begins with chocolate coated caramel candies and a soft roast undertone, on the sweeter side, after swallowing the roast creeps a bit, introducing some astringent char notes, mild bitterness, tasty and well-rounded

d: easy, a nice brown

single from the brewery store

blackie, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of yidbeer
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%

A nice dark brown color. I like a beer you can't see through. Took a sniff and really didn't smell anything. First taste was bitter with a lot of chocolate notes. Smoothed out with caramel and coffee. The bitterness mellowed out and became just a sharp note to remind me it wasn't a soda pop i was drinking. A nice session beer for me. Didn't want to switch up for any other taop.

yidbeer, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of wingman14
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%

Pours dark brown with a light tan head that stays for awhile. The smell is sweet up front, not much going on, some faint malty smells. Starts very sweet, some sour notes in the middle, then finishes with some strong roasted notes. The aftertaste is of the roasted malt and gets pretty strong. The mouthfeel is ok, the different flavors don't work well together, lots of carbonation, not great balance. This one is an decent drinker, ok flavor, nothing amazing, but still worth a try.

wingman14, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of TheMistler
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured the color of brownie batter, and just as opaque. Thankfully, however, it isn't sludge. Soda-like, off-white head displays decent retention, settling to a thin but creamy cap and fairly thick ring. Good lacing.

Smell isn't unlike brownies either. Chocolate, maple sweetness, with slight nuts and grains. Roasted notes.

Nutty, grainy flavor. Roasted coffee grains. Malty, but not the sweet concoction I was expecting. A strong amount of bittering at the end, and definitely some drying to go with the roasted qualities. It's almost like the hops just jump out of concentration with the malt, they don't quite fit in.

A bit thin. A good amount of carbonation, some creaminess. A solid effort, but not one of Williamsburg's best.

TheMistler, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of soupermirl
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%

Darker than expected, nice color. This beer was malty in taste with some what of a smokie taste in there somewhere. Very rich flavor and a bit of hops near the end to finish it off. It smells malty, almost chocolaty. Tavern Ale is good, it is much like the dark nut brown ales of many microbrews and very rich. Not a beer you want to drink one after the other, it more of a sipper's beer.

soupermirl, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of 7ways
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%

A Dark, rich, earthy color, 1 inch malted milk head. Nice lacing that inexplicably disappeared when I wasn't looking.

S Sweet toffee, rich hop character. Kinda smells German. Some kind of vegetable/plant thing going on. Smells sweeter as it warms.

T A little better than the smell suggested. Sweet malt, moderate spices, and I still want to say German or Bohemian hoppiness. Some aluminum on the finish.

M Smooth, nice tingle. The body reminds me of a bock/doppel bock more than an ale. Dry.

D A fine session beer, at least until the dryness becomes too much.

7ways, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Gavage
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

Appearance: cloudy brown in color with a 1" head that slowly falls. No lacing develops during the session.

Smell: very mild aroma as only a hint of caramel is detectable.

Taste: caramel, bits of chocolate, ripe fruits, some hints of brown sugar, mild bitterness, and an overall earthy tone.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Smooth throughout. Very brief aftertaste.

Drinkability: the flavor is all over the board, so this becomes tough to finish the pint glass. Try some other styles from this brewery first.

Gavage, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Pours dark brown with a fizzy, bubbly tan head that pops down (in a rather unpleasant way) to a thin, slowly vanishing, cover.

The smell is nutty with a bit of caramel/toffee. There is a floral/leafy something going on that detracts from malt aromas.

The taste is of toffee - towards chocolate - sweet with a leafy bitterness that is slightly metallic. There's something I can't quite pinpoint, but is unpleasant (sourish?). It throws it off, but, thankfully, is in the background. Finishes sweetish.

It is on the lighter side of medium-bodied, with carbonation that borders aggressive.

A "forgettable" brown. The maltiness almost shows itself nicely, but there are detractors (metallic and that "something else") that get in the way. Maybe it was to create balance, understandably, but done in the wrong way. In the end, I neither "like" nor "dislike" this one. Ho-hum feelings about it, mainly from the little irritants about it that add up.

jwc215, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of asabreed
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark brown with red highlights, billowing head slowly going down, and wild lacing left in smaller clumps, all amidst the tons of tiny carbonation bubbles surging toward the top.

Smell: Brown sugar along with nice mildly roasted malts, some graininess, and mid chocolate and coffee sweetness.

Taste: Roasred malt, brown sugar, mild chocolate with some hop sourness and citrus. An interesting balance and take on a brown ale.

Mouthfeel: More medium bodied, thought slightly slick, even with its mildly effervescent burst of carbonation at the end.

Drinkability: Flavorful where I could session it, though the sourness may end up being a bit too much after one or two. Still a solid choice and an enjoyable one.

asabreed, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Saunapoika
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%

A: A nice looking pour with a one finger head quickly receding to a lingering ring around my pint glass. Dark brown pour that invites a taste.

S: Malty with a slight hoppiness in the whiff. Certainly some hoppiness but it was entwined with some musty, chocolaty, woodiness that was very enticing.

T: Wow! I really like the woodiness in this brew. A definate recommendation.

M: Very good.

D: I could quaff a couple of these. Very good brown ale. I think George Washington would like this one.

Saunapoika, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%

Williamsburg Tavern Ale

A- Cola brown with a good size foamy head. Good lacing.
S- Sweet molasses malt with a touch of cocoa powder.
T- Sweet malt hints of molasses and dried fruits. Good dry cocoa powder body.
M- Sweet and malty. Decent dry body and finish.

Overall- A bit weak for a nut brown but easy to drink and enjoyable. After finishing my 6er I'd move on though.

NJpadreFan, Jul 04, 2008
Photo of atsprings
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%

Pours a nice light brown with a great frothy head that was lasting and left great lacing. Aroma was a decent blend of sweet malts and subtle hops. The taste was WAY too sweet for my tastes, almost wort-like or even characteristic of an unaged Barley Wine with low alcohol content. The beer is light bodied with decent carbonation, but the sweetness is too overbearing. This one was a drain pour.

atsprings, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of JayQue
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%

I was really pleasantly surprised with this one. Pours a slightly cloudy brown color with plenty of light getting through and reddish highlights. Medium size light tan head, decent retention and light lacing on the glass. Very pronounced and pleasant smell of malt and dark fruit (plums etc.)

Tasted good. Malty but not overly sweet, rich taste of fruit and a little bitterness in the finish. Not a boring, non-descript Brown Ale

Mouthfeel was best of all. Very rich and smooth, reminiscent of a good stout after a few sips. No annoying sweetness or chalkiness with the malts. The hint of bitterness at the end is just right.

This is a very drinkable beer. Ideal for savoring or for mass quantities.

JayQue, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of claytri
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%

The beer pours a wonderful cloudy brown with a nice tan head. The aroma was of malt with some light hops in the background. The beer has a nice malty taste with hints of caramel and sweet berries with a bit of hoppy bitterness in the finish. The feel is medium and dry with a high degree of carbonation. This is a very pleasant beer that I could find myself drinking regularly.

claytri, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%

Muddy brown that looks like melted Tootsie Roll, with a thin dirty white head.

Aroma is toasted grain and chocolate malts. A lighter milk/cream sweetness sneaks in with warming. Not quite as nutty as I'd expect from a brown ale. As with so many brown ales, the aroma is merely pretty good and incredibly faint all the way around.

Mild chocolate turns into an almost metallic bitterness, with husky nut flavors riding their way through the finish. Faint burnt toffee in the background. Very much helped out by the creamy yet light body, probably the best aspect of this brown ale.

It's okay...I've certainly had many more boring brown ales. This one asserts itself with some enjoyable flavors. Goes down enjoyably enough, but I'm not enough of a brown ale nut to be flipping out over this or anything.

Metalmonk, May 27, 2008
Photo of Redwood21
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%

A: The beer has a decent look to it. Brown ale is a rather all encompassing style so its hard to knock anything for not to style, so this is all personal opinion the color is a bit darker than i would like and the head starts out well but dies away.

S: nothing too strong but with an almost wheat backbone covered with a roasted toasty smell.

T: it has almost a roasted nut type taste with a very slight coffee taste it is a little stronger than i would like for this style but is by no means bad. I t is more reminiscent of some sort of mild porter or stout

Redwood21, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%

12oz. bottle thanks to Dad and Linda

Pours a medium chestnut brown with a creamy tan head that maintains. Decent lacing on the glass.

Herbal hops dominate the smell with a bit of toasted malt sneaking through.

Herbal hops upfront followed by a light toasted malt backbone. Rather bitter, which lingers after the dry finish.

Medium body, medium carbonation.

An overhopped brown, and not in an overly positive way.

MaltyGoodness, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

Had this on tap at a local bar and received a nice, thin head w/ a light brownish red color. Maybe the tap did something and I will admit it was served colder than I prefer, but there was not much smell (I will have to have another). But the taste delivered a moderate dryness from the malt (roasted maybe, but not burnt), but not overpowered by them. Also hints of fruit were picked up, and it went down very smooth w/ a touch of sweetness (caramel?). I will try this again, but is not at the top of my list as there are other brown ales that are better. I am hoping the temperature I received my beer (not ice cold, mind you) neutralized some of the malt and hop charateristics and it is better.

clayrock81, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of tgbljb
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%

Poured deep reddish-brown color with moderate tannish head. Good retention and lacing.
Smell is lightly caramel with some dark fruitiness mixed in.
Smell is way too sweet. Almost like drinking strate maple syrup or molassses.
Left a not-too-pleasant taste in the mouth.
This beer needs some tweaking.

tgbljb, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%

My first sampling from this brewery, I'm skeptical. Label looks a bit cheesy... and why would you spell it like that? Needs some class. Poured into an Allagash glass, with the yeast swirled and added. reading the BJCP guidelines for American Brown as I review.

A- Very dark brown, so dark that I can't really tell if it's clear or not... when held up to the light, I can see some mahogany highlights around the edges. Poured with a finger and a half of creamy light tan head, and retains it quite well.

S- Mmmm. Big, malty, nutty aroma with notes of roasted grain and molasses.

T- Malty and sweet up front, with a bit of caramel and a lot of cane sugar. Gives way to a deep, roasted grain character with just a light hint of hops in the back. Finish is malty with roastiness and some faint hops balancing nicely.

M- Medium-full body, medium-low carbonation, and a bit dry in the finish. Spot on.

D- I love it. I just presented it to my roommates, however, and they didn't like it... but then again, my roommate doesn't like brown ales, period, so... I'll have it again, and it makes me wish I was closer to VA. I highly suggest trying it. It's closer to the porter side of brown ales, but well within style. If you like roasted grain, this one's for you.

khiasmus, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of HugoGrim
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Quite a good look to this beer. Deep chocolate brown body with a thick lingering foamy head. The head is so good it reminds me of a Guinness from the tap. Decent lace.

Aromas of toasted malts and caramel.

The flavor is a nice balance of rich bitter hops and a smooth caramel maltyness.

HugoGrim, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of dedrinker
3.7/5  rDev 0%

I had two versions of this beer - one was their inaugural first batch release, which I am lead to believe was a stronger version. The regular version is dark brown, sweet caramel, but with a nutty, smokey character that was most pleasing as it differed from most browns. The finish was a little roasty and sweet with minimal earthy hops to barely balance this away from too sweet. Nice and full bodied. The inaugural version had more roast, but in a clumsy homebrew way that didn't have as good an impact. The body was a little thinner, and the finish was not as smooth, but in a little harsher scorched grain fashion.

dedrinker, May 06, 2007
Photo of Braudog
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%

The first bottle I tried from this new, very good local brewery. It presented itself very dark red, almost chocolate-colored, with a firm tan head. The aroma was not different than a bit of a bitter chocolate. Nutty to the max, this is like drinking a liquified bowl of warm mixed nuts ... it even gives you an illusion of saltiness. Robust and stout in body. Not for the faint of pallet.

Braudog, Feb 04, 2007
Tavern Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.