Tavern Ale | AleWerks Brewing Company

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Tavern AleTavern Ale

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bleedingshrimp on 11-06-2006

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 225
Photo of GeoJ
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
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!

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Photo of rorjets
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

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Photo of Ryan4120
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L - deep brown with a medium tan head that doesn't really stick around
S - caramel and malt. Roasty. sweet and very pleasant.
T - Rich malt and caramel with a roasted/toasted butty flavor throughout. A little earthiness throughout as well.
F - Medium body with a medium amount of carbonation. Smooth but somewhat thin.
O - A very nice brown ale - hits all the notes you'd expect from a brown ale - caramel, with roasted malt and a nutty taste throughout.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of Saunapoika
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of ordybill
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Aroma- A very nice malt aroma with maybe an earthy undertone.
Appearance- A dark brown ale with an off-white head.
Taste-Has a strong malt flavor with a light bitterness at the end.
Palate- Medium bodied with a well balanced mild carbonation.
Overall- This is a really good beer. Doesn't appear to have a wide distribution. if you can find it I would give it a try.

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Photo of BierManVA
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not normaly a Brown Ale kinda guy but I find this to be very drinkable and nicely complex for the style.

Smooth and sweet with a nice bready mouthfeel. Very dark in color. A nice wood and earth smell.

This bier takes you to a cool, dimly lit pub with stone walls and a roaring fire.

An excellent brew from this new local.


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Photo of argock
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.60.

A: Murky brown with solid 1-finger beige big-bubbled head with decent retention and a few specks of lace.

S: Surprisingly hoppy aroma with citrus and pine blended nicely with caramel and toasted malts

T: This brown ale gives DFH Indian Brown a run for its money and then some. A very substantial malt backbone of caramel and roasted dark malt to given a slightly toastier sweet malt flavor plays very well off of the PNW type of hoppiness with citrus, pine, and lighter herbal flavors. I would even say that, flavorwise, this is an ale in the mold of St Rogue's Red but in the brown ale style. Really big flavor and well-done.

M: Medium body is right on with medium carbonation and a slightly sour but most sweet and lightly bitter aftertaste.

D: A very nice surprise from Williamsburg Alewerks. I will be buying a fair amount of this in the months to come -- it surpasses even the big craft brewers' brown ales with its exceptional flavor aroma and very good feel.

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Photo of JayQue
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great brew from Dr. of Psychology friend.

This brown ale pours a dark mahogany color with a decent head of off white foam that dissipates to a thin ting and light lacing. Nose of nuts, roasted malts, sweet dark chocolate, and mild hops. Flavors follow the nose with sweet toasted malts and light chocolate notes blending with a light raisin flavor on the back somewhat akin to a bock flavor. Light hop bitterness comes in on the aftertaste rounding this FINE brown ale out between roasted chocolate malt flavors and subtle hop notes. Smooth mouth feel and moderate carbonation. Excellent.

I just finished mowing the lawn and THIS is Just what the doctor ordered!


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Photo of velkyal
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sight - deep crimson, slightly cloudy from being bottle conditioned (hurrah, more of this please!). Thin off white head.

Smell - mostly cocoa, but edged with a nice hoppiness - not in some psycho hop whore delighting way but actually an appealing hoppiness.

Taste - sweet up front, a gentle chocolate and nutty toffee blend. Mild and balanced, like cocoa edged with lemon peel.

Sweet - 3.5/5

Bitter - 2.5/5

Originally had this on draught in a local pub, had to try the bottle to get a proper impression. Very smooth and tasty, easy, all night drinking. My kind of beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of dball
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of yidbeer
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of alcstradamus
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Glowing brown pour with a finger of head. Lightly toasted malt nose, very clean and pleasant smelling. Hints of caramel and cocoa present as well.

Taste is mostly roasted malts. Nice flavor profile for a brown ale, which is a style I often find to be too bland for my palate. This one is pretty solid though. Background notes of caramel, ash, bakers chocolate, and tree bark.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation levels. Nicely crafted beer here, I'm impressed at how much solid flavor is packed into this 5.6% frame

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Photo of engagechad
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of n2185
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date anywhere on bottle) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Vigorous pour yielded a dark and translucent cola-brown beer with some orange notes when held up to the light. Light tan head about 1/8" upon pouring died down to a very thin skin across the top and a ring around the edge. Some islands and strands of lacing here and there, but not a lot. I noted that this beer has yeast sediment in the bottom - some of which came along with the pour and some that did not, so obviously aspects of the appearance are due to the sediment.

Smell: With a good swirl I get some mild citrus hops mixed in with roasted malt. Without a swirl the hops are not as noticeable. Good combination of smells though.

Taste: Everything runs together very quickly on sips and deep drinks - hard to tease it apart. Definitely roasted malts with some coffee-like flavors up front that merge quickly with citrus-like bitterness from the hops and just enough malt sweetness to balance it all out. The end of the sip though is more clear - hop bitter finish, not overpowering, and a nice finish to the whole blended flavor. Pretty tasty combination here.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation on the tongue - almost British in style. Otherwise a little chewy with some lingering oils on the teeth. The low carbonation and mouthfeel actually work well here - it doesn't get in the way of the flavor.

Overall / Drinkability: This one really grew on me and I wish I had bought a six pack rather than a single bottle. Quite drinkable, versatile with a meal (fish and veggies in this case), and good all by itself. Good appealing flavor and I could see myself having another one in an evening. And for the name...well, I think it's well done. I could see myself having several of these in a pewter tankard in Colonial Williamsburg and getting transported back in time. I have no idea if this is historical or not (probably not) but it works quite well. An all around good beer.

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Photo of Crazyale
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of bs870621345
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in my fridge since December and finally popping it open. Bottled October 10.

Pours a cloudy brown with a little head, little bit of lacing.

Smells like cola, nuts, caramel, and biscuits. No real hop aroma to speak of.

Taste is rather nuts and caramel, little pine shows through, long sweet and juicy finish. Very nice beer with my NY 1 year cheddar.

Mouthfeel is moderate with good carbonation for cleansing.

Overall its good. I personally tend to not like brown ales, especially american versions, but this is nice. If it was available to me I would buy it over and over.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Tavern Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 225 ratings.
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