Brewer's Alley India Pale Ale | Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery

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Brewer's Alley India Pale AleBrewer's Alley India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A British style, the I.P.A. originates from the aggressively hopped and high-alcohol beers which were shipped to the British troops in colonial India. Pale to medium amber in color.

Added by Todd on 02-17-2003

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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 97
Photo of Beejay
3.32/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Apricot in color with a light tan head.

S: Light grapefruit peel, some caramel bread aromas and a touch of toffee.

T: Grapefruit, and citrus flavors. Light toffee, and something a little cloying in the finish.

M: Medium light in body, moderate to high carbonation.

O: Overall a bit of a miss for me, I feel like if I were served this at a brewpub it would pass my "yeah.. I guess it's an IPA" test, but I wouldn't order another pint.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Brewer's Alley in Frederick, MD.

This one pours a light amber, with a small head, and just a lot of lacing.

Smells like piney hops, a bit of citrus, and caramel and bready malt.

Kind of surprisingly, this is one of the more bitter IPA's I've ever had, which I'd hardly expect from this brewery. It's got a searing burnt pine like bitterness that kind of blanks everything else out. There is some sharp bready malt, and maaaaybe a little bit of citrusy sweetness, but it's hardly noticeable. Hard to finish.

This is medium bodied, with a very boring mouthfeel.

Not all that great.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The absolute, unrelenting eradication of my back inventory continues. I just want to return to The CANQuest (TM), but the bottles glare at me for ignoring them. This one came from The Friendly Greek's Bottle Shop.

From the bottle: "Brewer's Alley IPA A very popular pale ale that is patterned after the British beer exported to India during the 18th and 19th centuries. It has a copper color, as well as an assertive hop bitterness. Dry hopping in the fermenter gives this beer its unique hop aroma. To preserve its unmatched quality, always keep beer refrigerated after purchase."

It is nicely refrigerated, believe me! That is part of my problem - it is taking up valuable CAN space and getting in my way.

It was certainly well-carbonated as even a relatively gentle pour resulted in a pseudo-cascade and created two fingers of rocky, tawny head with great retention. Color was a deep-gold (SRM = > 5, < 7) with NE-quality clarity. Nose left no doubt that it was an EIPA - sweet with a flowery, perfumey quality, like whole flower hops. Mouthfeel was medium, nice carbonation fizzing away in the mouth. The taste was pleasant, but muted and tea-like. It made for a very mellow beer, but one without the Ooomph that I really dig in its American counterparts. Finish left a dry bitterness in my mouth, but it still was somewhere south of really being a satisfying drink.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light copper color with decent clarity, along with a head that's barely off-white and about two fingers high. There's a nice creaminess to the texture, which helps it leave plenty of lacing down the glass. The head also fades to about a half finger after a reasonably short time.

S: The hops here are weak - some light floral qualities, a bit of pine, and even some earth. Nothing impressive on this front. On the other hand, I do enjoy the English bend to the malt backbone, providing caramel, toffee, stone fruit esters, and biscuit.

T: A very biscuity brew in terms of its flavor profile. Hoppiness clusters around the opening, providing a well-balanced floral note. Near the finish is where the maltiness comes into play. Aside from the aforementioned biscuity qualities, I also notice light fruity esters, caramel, toffee, and black pepper. It actually has decent complexity to it missing from so many American IPAs, with proper balance (read: no annoyingly overdone crystal malt or generic hop bitterness) to boot.

M: I'd reckon it (barely) errs to the side of sweet over dry, with a nice crisp cleanliness to provide it with good drinkability. Not much carbonation here, as expected.

O: I knew this wasn't going to be a west coast-style monster with fantastic hops and no balance. However, I must say I'm impressed with its subtlety, balance, and refinement. And when I say balance, I mean it actually strikes a great middle ground between earthy/floral/piny hops and a relatively deep malt backbone, not proclaim "oh look we used a lot of crystal malt, BALANCE!1" and be done with it. My preference for hops, hops, and more hops over balance prevents this from getting top marks, but this would be a great option for ESB fans or someone looking to get weaned onto hoppy brews.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Another bottle from one of my favorite traders-- 2dogbrew. Thanks for the new tick Russ!
Served in a tulip pint, my go-to glassware for ipas an pale ales.

Very slight haziness in this orangey colored body. Small head, poor retention, and virtually no lace.

Nose is pretty mild: some light grainy malt notes with a touch of sweetness. Little citrusy notes come through too.
The flavor is pretty weak too... Little sweet malt up front and a touch of hops at the back presenting mainly a clean citrus note.

Thin watery feel. A bit overcarbonated too.

Overall, despite not particularly being impressed by any individual aspects, I found this beer VERY easy to drink. This goes down very quickly-- I can see a small brewery attracting lots of BMC converts with a beer like this. I will add a few points here to compensate for this.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.36/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A nice solid and foamy off white to caramel head, slowly slowly settles with a decent retention. Body is a perfect amber orange but a little opaque just slightly. A simple puck and collar continue to be left on the glass while drinking with next to nothing for lacing.

Nose is primarily toasted brown bread, like great crust. Faint orange sense but very toasty for an ipa. It is real nice smelling but there is little to no hop sense here.

Taste is a malty rush of brown bread and some sweet malt. Finish contains barely a touch of hop at all. Texture and body is actually very good and filling all the palate and space.

Overall if this was just a regular English Pale Ale (I am sensing English here I could be wrong) would score it quite well but this is listed as an ipa and it has next to no hop angle at all. Its the second beer i've had from these guys and this is actually a really good beer in taste for a regular ale, but as an ipa it misses the mark.

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Photo of Guden
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy pretty copper color with a one finger off white head which fades slowly.

S- A moderate nose of pine and fruit with some definite bready character coming through. Nothing too strong but what is here is entertaining.

T- Medium levels of American hops ride the full wave of the tongue with the light bread and fruit of the nose lost underneath. The hops are not overtly powerful but nothing else shines through and are just a tad piney for my tastes.

M- This beer seems lacking in this category somewhat. There's a bit of a creamlike character that seems to come from the hops but overall it feels a bit watery and doesn't quite pop.

D- This is a decent beer. While I probably wouldn't pick it over many other IPA's (Modus Hoperandi and DFH 90 Minute come to mind) it is enjoyable enough to have a couple.

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Photo of thain709
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured with a hazy, orange-copper body...a white, small head formed but showed some retention in the form of a wispy cap...the lacing was spotty

S - Smells more like an English IPA...piney hops are present, but the caramel malt plays a bigger role in the aroma

T - The flavors work against what I expected from the nose...the piney hops are present all around...the caramel malt is there to take the edge presents a slightly sweet flavor as well...the finish is a light bitterness

M - Medium bodied...again the bitterness is light but it's adequate...comes up thin and watery sometimes

O - My first guess would have tagged this as an English IPA, but the flavor profile proved me wrong...the hops stood out more than expected and the malt played it's part taking away the bitterness

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Photo of Rschis16
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper color with a small white head that dissapated pretty quickly. Not much lacing. Smell was nothing spectacular featuring a light citrusy hop nose and a little maltiness.

Taste was marked by a decent hop bitterness on the front that was nicely balanced out by a caramel maltiness right in the middle of a hop bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. The hops were citrusy. The carbonation was medium to high. It wasn't quite creamy, but not ultra crisp either, finishing off dry.

Pretty regular IPA by most standards but it wasn't bad at all. Best part about it was the mouthfeel. It was refreshing but full bodied.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
2.82/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date: 7 March 2011
Glass: 5oz pilsner
Type: On-tap

Drank on tap at Brewer's Alley in Frederick, MD. Taken from notes:

Appearance: Clear gold, no head, average lacing.

Smell: There is something absolutely not right with the aroma. This smells like urinal cakes in a public restroom. The taste IS fine though. However, this smells like urinal cake with a hint of pineapple.

Taste: Very little hops flavor. Mostly pilsner flavor, like Sam Adams Noble Pils, but less in flavor. Definitely a good balance in flavor between the hops and malt profile. Hints of apple are present.

Mouthfeel: Merrrr... Light pils flavor on the palate...that's about it.

Drinkability: Drinks smoothly. Decent session beer for a burger.

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Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, but not outstanding either. Pours a clear golden with a decent head. The aroma is slight and a little sour. The flavor is a bit sour, with a thin, pinched grain and an overripe floral hop character, with a little pine in there. The finish is a little soapy, though the mouthfeel is pleasantly prickly. Eventually, a slight vanilla character creeps out of the beer, but it has to warm and open in the glass for a while.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery poured into pint glass. From random notes: Pours clear amber with an average, creamy ivory head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel, toasted), heavy hops (floral, citrus, pine), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of peach and pineapple. Flavor is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel, toasted), heavy hops (floral, citrus, pine), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of peach. Medium body, warmth, and carbonation, low creaminess with a dry finish.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: inert, but strangey nice head; copper colo; no beads, no lacing
S: sweet, malty smell
T: very interesting flavor for an IPA; modest spicing with a vodka-like quality; hoppy bt ot very bitter for an IPA; hint of oat
M: foamy, lovely

A very nice choice if you happen to be in tis very nice town

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Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mahaffey's today.

The beer pours a light copper amber color with good head retention and lacing. Don't get a lot on the nose, but what I detect is attractive. There's hoppy citrus, some pepper and some underlying earthiness that gives you an idea what to expect on the palate. Actually, the flavor profile has a bit more hoppy citrus then I was expecting on the nose, and this beer is well balanced. The beer has some light sweet malt, but there's enough hoppy bitterness to counter the malt, leading to a fairly light, dry, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the beer is not the least bit heavy or tiring on the palate.

Nothing exceptional here, but this is still a solid, easy to enjoy IPA that I could easily see ordering again. Not bad at all...

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Photo of bum732
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Floral and earthy hops, daisies, fruit ester like malt, apples and rasberries mostly, touch of sulfur, some spiciness perhaps, pink peppercorns.

L: Clear golden, head dissipates leaving a ring of foam

T: Earthy hop laden backbone, semi-sweet fruity bisquity malt. Cracker-like finish with slight spent grain. Fairly neutral finish with some more raw hoppiness.

M: Moderate Carbonation, medium body.

A solid IPA, more of an English IPA judging by the fruity esters put off by the English yeast. Quite unique, i really enjoyed this and would try again.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. beer is amber and clear. Forms a thin off white head of small bubbles that doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. carbonation is moderate to low.

Beer smells initially of hops, piny, but its short lived and fades quickly. What's left is this nutty maltiness.

Beer is medium to light in body, easy drinking, mildly bitter, some malt flavors overall underwhelming. I don't dislike it but I make a better IPA.

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Photo of portia99
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours a pale coppery orange color with good clarity and just a thin collar of white bubbles and some islands left on the surface.

S - Some nice floral and grassy hops up front, a bit perfumey. Some light metallic aromas to go along with some bready and mildy caramelly malt. Overall, smells pretty good, but hops are a little light in impact here.

T - Solid bitterness, but not to the level I'd expect from an IPA. Hops are grassy in flavor. Bready malt in the background, light sugary sweetness sits behind it all. Good sessionable IPA, nothing to get excited about, but well made and definitely enjoyable. A good IPA with a meal.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation that has a bit of creaminess to it. A metallic flavor is left behind after the swallow which is a bit distracting. Otherwise, good for an IPA.

D - Overall, an enjoyable session IPA. This one isn't going to blow you away with hops or alcohol. Just a good, flavorful, hop-balanced beer that works well for having a couple of pints with friends, accompanying a meal, or watching a game.

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Photo of therica
3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= deep golden yellow, a little hazy; rather modesst head and pooling when it arrived at the table.

S= nice grassy malts, fresh hops florals, hints of some mild citrus notes.

T= a bit watery and lacking some depth but still very nice; somewhat low on the IPA hops bitterness ranks although the hops were very fresh and somewhat green, and a nice belch brought more evidence of dry green hops than the gulps revealed.

M= fairly clean, some hops bitters.

D= rather drinkable with most anything on the table, my salad, potato leek soup, Meditteranean seafood pasta and it even finished well as I tried my creme' broulet. Nice for a standard IPA but not enough to keep me going on more than one at this sitting.

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Photo of ledzepp817
3.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this 12oz at the beltway wine stop and poured into a tall glass.

Color is a reddish, copper color with a vanilla colored head. The taste starts off with a strong hoppy flavor, typical of a good IPA. Very bitter and earthy with a citrus undertone. However, it kind of dies there. There isn't much of an aftertaste. I like IPAs to have a strong, lingering bitterness flavor that lasts for a few seconds after the sip is finished.

The good news is you could drink many of these because its very smooth and easy on the palate. The beer doesn't destroy your taste buds (altho thats what I love about good, strong IPAs).

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear copper (you can see a good bit of suspended oils which adds a slight haziness to the color), with 2 fingers of off-white foamy head. Good looking frothy retention and lacing to this. The aroma is full of floral hops and spice, with a tangy backing of green citrus and bready caramel malts. This is quite sweet and spicy in the nose.

The taste pretty much matches the aroma to a tee, with a moderately biting spicy bitterness that is well balanced by a bold backbone of citrus and malts. The finish is pithy and spicy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied in the mouth, with a softer feel at first that then gets progressively sharper towards the back of the swallow. No sign of any alcohol.

This was good. More of an English style IPA me thinks, with the well done balance and lower ABV helping keep this nicely drinkible.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Clear copper/amber color with a creamy, off white head with nice retention and minimal lacing. Resiny, pungent citrus rind aroma with strong malt and earthy grain presence. Medium thick body, very creamy, with sharp carbonation and hop bite in the finish. Flavor is very nicely balanced and rich, but never overly hopped or sweet, leaning more toward a bready, malty body. More of an English style IPA, very nicely balanced with strong malt presence, so not your first choice if you want a hop bomb, but overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of blackie
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: deep golden in color with low retention

s: crisp citrus hop nose on a pale and light caramel body, a little tealike and grassy, subtle background aromas of peach and tropical fruit, a bare-bones ipa nose but with a nice hop presence

m: medium carbonation and a lighter body

t: grainy pale malts with a mild dose of caramel, papery citrus hops give a pleasant counter to the light sweetness, moderately bitter, a lighter ipa - but one with hop and malt in proper proportion to earn the name

d: easily drinkable, but it doesn't leave me craving another anytime soon

single from State Line, MD

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewer's Alley IPA is a refreshing, lightly sweet deep-amber ale with a firm hop presence. It's certainly more English in style than American as it's overall bitterness and hop flavors are balanced to leave it a little bit malty. Additionally, the hops appear floral and grassy, and not at all citrusy like most American IPA's. Finally, it's strength is fairly average at 5.4%. Most American version go well over that, yet in England 5.4% is a bit higher than many standard bitters.

The head retention is fairly good, and it maintains a thin creamy cap once the off-white head has fallen. The lacing could be better, but it does leave some nice, long splashes and streaks about the glass as you go.

The aroma balances caramelish and gently biscuity malt with mildly floral and gently grassy and leafy hops.

The flavor offers sweetish malt at the outset. It's bready, a hint toasty, and just slightly biscuity. That widens at it warms across the middle, but at the same time the hop flavors appear and the bitterness rises. It's very well rounded and polished, and it finishes drying as the malt steadily fades and the hops come out to twinkle in a moderately bitter finish.

It's quite nice actually, and I'd love to taste this beer cask-conditioned, as-is, without any additional hops added. A great session ale!

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Photo of yankiac
4.57/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. It is loaded with hops and has a nice full bodied character to it. It is a little heavy so not a beer that you could drink all night but definitely a good brew to start the night off with. If you find yourself in downtown Frederick try this beer.

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Photo of deereless
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep clear copper, finger thickness of foam on a rigorous pour, some patches of sticky foam on the edges of the glass - 4.50, S: Lots of pine sap and citric zest, not an overwhelming aroma but a pleasant one - 4.00, T: Lots of bitter on the tail of this beer, elements of unripe grapefruit, nice malt backing, quite balanced though mild for an IPA - 3.75, M: Quite silky mouthfeel - 4.25, D: A quite quaffable IPA, nothing out of this world but a solid beer - 4.00

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Brewer's Alley India Pale Ale from Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
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