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: 93 | Ratings: 228
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 ckollias
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of hdf561
2.95/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

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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 johnnnniee
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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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 paulginva
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
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".

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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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 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 Arithmeticus
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
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!

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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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Photo of KomodoDragon
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
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


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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 dragonWhale
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
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..

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Photo of drizzam
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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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 Suds
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of PhageLab
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Dark murky brew with a soda-like bubbly froth which quickly sizzled away. Double checking bottle - yes, it is beer.

S - Caramel malt sweetness on the nose, not much else.

T - Brown sugar dominates most of the profile, good malty body with just enough bitterness on the back end to round it out. Simple, yet quite enjoyable.

M - Medium body with a dry finish, yet an odd carbonation that again reminds me of soda.

D - I'm on the fence here. Tasty, yet there are some glaring flaws which kept me too distracted to really enjoy it.

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Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a medium brown color with ruby tints and a cloudy consistency. There was a huge, foamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A good aroma of malt, sugar, and that nuttiness you get with most brown ales.

T: Tasted of malt, brown sugar, and a bit of the nutty quality. The taste wasn't quite as sharp as the other components in this beer, but it was still pretty decent.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Despite a few bumps in the road, this is a solid and drinkable beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to breweryaprntc13 for sending this my way.

a - opened the bottle and filled my Founders sniftery tulip. Poured a rich brown with a thin white head that hung out for a bit. Lacing was slippery and didn't hang long.

s - molasses, brown sugar, nutmeg...classic brown ale. nicely balanced.

t - bit of a spicy kick to the taste. leads with molasses. pretty good brown ale. nothing too crazy.

m - medium bodied, good carbonation. maybe a bit on the fizzy side. somewhat bready.

o - overally pretty good brown ale.

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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 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 fastpass17
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Thank you Russ.

A: Auburn in color, one finger quick fading head, good carbonation.

S: Rich caramel, burnt sugar, cocoa, with a strong malt backbone. The aroma is very appealing.

T: Caramel, raisins, biscuits all meld together. There is a light bite of pine near the end of the drink.

M,O: This is a good American brown ale. It is a very drinkable brew, I would go back to this one again.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks again to my local trading partner, tone77, who always helps me with some bottles to keep my numbers up.

I used my best aggro pour style to generate two fingers' worth of dense, light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep, dark brown with cola highlights. Nose was simply chocolate or cocoa. I felt like I was sniffing cocoa powder or a chocolate bar! Wow! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a roasty chocolaty taste in the mouth. It had a charcoal smokiness to it, along with the chocolate that I felt kind of unbalanced its flavor. Finish was likewise more roasty than chocolate. The style is pretty broad, but I am going to score it as middle-of-the-road.

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Tavern Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 228 ratings.
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