AleWerks Brewing Company

AleWerks Brewing CompanyAleWerks Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Bar

189-B Ewell Road
Williamsburg, Virginia, 23188
United States

(757) 220-3670 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2006

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 102
Photo of Newbeergeek1
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Been there 3 times now and am finally thinking I can review now. Very decent brewery. For my tastes I have generally only found one, maybe two, that I would want a growler of. I've been lucky enuff to be there and get some seasonals and I really like some of those. Worth going to. Nice atmosphere, knowledgable staff and fun talking to fellow travelers.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.17/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Tap room has a medium sized bar with a few tables surrounding it. There's an outside patio as well where they set up music at times. The service is always friendly in the few times I've been here, and people will come from the back to help if it gets a little busy.

The brewery has a nice core lineup selection, more on the pale than dark side. These offerings fall into the solid, mostly to style, easily accessible type. Their rotating and special beers generally shine well on their own. The tap room usually has 4-5 special beers to compliment their core lineup of about 8 beers.

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Photo of rdmiller89
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Nice little taproom with outdoor seating. Bartenders are very attentive and knowledgeable about the different beers. 10 beers on tap of various kinds. It is small and gets crowded on a Friday afternoon.

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Photo of drink_like_a_wahoo
4.59/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Just visited the brewery for the third time. The space is very nice since they refinished the tasting room. There is also a nice outdoor area on nicer days. The selection is always fantastic. I love a handful of their staple beers like Washington's Porter and the Tavern Ale, but the specialties are what really keep me coming back to Alewerks.

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Photo of gopens44
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Fairly quiet and unassuming little place with about a no nonsense layout as you could ask for. Friendly, prompt straightforward service as well. Nice tap lineup, good to go selection. Two items of note - get a pretzel, you have no choice in this, just do it. They are fantastic. Second, this place is within spitting distance of the Williamsburg outlet mall. Seriously consider dropping off the shopping party (or have them drop you off) so everyone can enjoy the day.

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Photo of cdhaines
4.73/5  rDev +19.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

My favorite brewery! Small brewery feel, with very helpful, though busy, employees. My only knock is that they did not have a large selection of their beers available for tasting. Still, they make some of the best beers around, so i will forgive them :)

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Photo of oldn00b
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Love this place. It's fantastic in that everything on tap is at the very least decent but most are really good, especially for a relatively young brewery.

Small batch offerings are consistently great - the most recent (as of now) #8 DIPA was fantastic.

The people in the taproom are friendly and welcoming. They're fast with a pint, growler fill, or even a full metal jacket (which I think is generally 12).

They've just started serving food which far surpassed my expectations. The special I had was a brisket sandwich and it was much better than I expected and above the quality you'd get in a lot of local restaurants.

The taproom can definitely get crowded, especially on release days when it's barely standing room only but It's worth it to get Bitter Valentine bottled that morning.

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Photo of uvachief
4.29/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Great brewery that makes some exceptional world class beers. They also make a wide variety and excel at all of them. Feel sorry for those that don't get to enjoy Alewerks Pumpkin, Cafe Royal or Bitter Valentine. Really outstanding beers. Would like to see more barrel aged limited releases from them though.

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Photo of sierratwohearted
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

pretty neat little brewery. smaller than i expected, due to a pretty wide disto and some well known ales(pumpkin). tour was more of a history lesson than anything, though I did learn that what I thought was the most authentically 'pumpkin'-tasting pumpkin ale is brewed with squash - haha!. 3-sided bar was nice, however I wish they had more on tap...regular lineup, no lagers, no porters/stouts. meh...they brew some solid beer though, left with a bottle rappadou porter.

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Photo of hophugger
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

I have watched this brewery grow from a tiny operation many years ago to the bigger brewery and higher quality beers that it offers today. Finally took the tour this week. What an informative tour it was, really outstanding, with the knowledge of beer that was given and the tasting of 6 beers at the end. Amount of people that were on the tour was a little more than I expected, but the tour operator handled it well. The beers are extra nice and cover a large spectrum of styles, abvs and such. Even got to try a couple exclusive beers that are only brewed for a small number of restaurants. Great job !!!

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Photo of xseanprimex
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

The tasting room is right next door to the brewery in its own temperature controlled shop. They said the new bar is newly renovated. The bar is split into two sides with the tours and everyday brews on one side, and the limited stuff, bottles, and cask pump I'm the other. I'm pretty sure they'll serve you what ever you want on either side though. A flight of the 6 regular brews and the current seasonal will run you $5, and you keep the glass. Full pours and fights of the limited stuff varies in price, but is reasonable. Service has been excellent both times I've been there. You can also buy the bottles they have on hand as well as shirts and glasses at the shop.

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Photo of Mantooth
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

Alewerks new tasting room is really cool, and inexpensive. For $4 I sampled 6 of their beers and got to keep the tasting glass. The beers are all true to style and solid examples. They sell Growlers and merch as well. The girl behind the bar was knowledgeable and a lot of fun to hang out with (good luck with your turtles). Check this place out if your in the area.

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Photo of ahbaggins
4.81/5  rDev +21.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

This was the best part of my visit to Williamsburg! The staff was fantastic and very knowledgeable. They took their time and explained every beer. I liked EVERYTHING, even the varieties I don't normally care for such as Wheat beers. They even had a game set up outside to hang out and drink by or in our case have the kids occupied.

They are expanding to the building next door so the experience will probably only get better. I wish they were in NJ and not VA so I could go more often!

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Photo of JandJMD
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

This is based on two separate trips into the shop for tastings and shopping, but no tour. Haven't had a chance for the tour yet.

It was reasonable for a tasting of maybe 6 beers for $4, plus you keep the small glass. They will do growlers or howlers. And pints of what they have on tap.

They sell the year-round offering, but I've had better luck finding the seasonal stuff at stores around town.

Staff has been nice both times and they seem to be having a good time.

Definitely worth stopping in if you are in Williamsburg, but not a must see location.

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Photo of ZenPanda69
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Went in for a tour and tasting. Unfortunately I missed the last tour. I did get a very warm and welcome greeting and beer education from the tapper. I learned about this site and many things I was unaware of. I highly recommend a tour and tasting here.

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Photo of PaulD
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

We went to Williamsburg, Va. for a week's vacation and as always I find the local breweries to visit, I chose Alewerks because it was close to the resort we stayed at

.The brewery is located in a corporate district, they lease three seperate warehouses, storage, brewery and tasting room , we took the tour for 6 dollars and we got more than you usually get at other tours that I have been on, the two guides were very informative and friendly, the atmosphere was very informal and we got to meet some people from all over the country!, we tasted 6 or 7 of their offerings on tap and a couple of their bottled brews, they offer excellent deals on their growlers and you also keep your glass, the brews themselves were very tasty!

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Photo of Smeth
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

I took the tour/tasting and was impressed. The owner conducted the tour and was very knowledgeable and informative. It was a little difficult to hear him during the beginning of the tour since we were standing next to the a/c units for the cooler. I would love to return to try the pumpkin beer they were working on that day. My wife and I both enjoyed the Caledonia, a very refreshing Scottish style ale. The Bitter Valentine was in very limited supply and very delicious. It seemed to be the favorite of the staff as well. They are expanding the store area to include a bar which will be nice since the current store gets pretty crowded when the tour group does the tasting. My in-laws will be in Williamsburg in October, so I'll have to ask them to pick up a couple growlers for me. They had a great selection of beer and souvenirs. I like that they are encouraging the microbrew tourists instead of being snobby about it like some breweries I've visited.

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Photo of teromous
4/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3

Atmosphere: The place is very laid back and very small. When I visited they had a storage facility, a building for the brewery, and a building where they sell beer, merchandise, have beer on tap, and start their tours. This room is very very crowded, but they were expanding the building to a neighboring space. They have one restroom that you have to go into their office room to get to. Right now it's not really built for the number of visitors they have. I went during a weekday and it was packed. Outside they have a couple of benches with umbrellas, a cornhole game, and a grill.

Quality: They will charge you for tastings, but you get a small taster glass. For a few bucks more you can take the tour which includes the glass and tasting. The tour is given by very knowledgeable staff and they are more than willing to answer questions. The brewery is very small, and no matter where you stand you seem to be in somebody's way when they are trying to work. That part is a bit unfortunate because the last thing I wanted was to be a burden to people who are making awesome beer. The fortunate part is that they were very patient with us. The quality of the beer on tap is much better than the bottles. I was very impressed at how much better the beer was. I recommend having a pint or filling a growler while there. I wish there was a place to sit inside to enjoy the beer though. I wanted to stay and have some more beer but it was too crowded inside and too hot outside to stay too long.

Service: I had no problem with their service. They were always courteous. They offered to wash out glasses during the tasting and afterwards. They ask you if you want a bag, all the basic courtesies. They serve women first, which I thought was very considerate.

Selection: They had a good selection of beers on tap. Unfortunately my local bottle shop had a better selection of their bottled beers. They have various growlers for sale, t-shirts, glasses, hats, and various etc things to buy.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

First time visit and had a great experience. Booked a tour a few online so it would all be set up. The tour was only my girlfriend and I with the tour guide. It was very one on one which added to the flair of the brewery. He showed us their set up and explained how they brew and their specific set up.

The shop is small but to be expected. They do growler fills that seemed very affordable ($7-10 I think?) They also had some of their seasonal releases available in bombers, as well as singles of all the other beers.

The employees were extremely friendly and made for an all around good experience.

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Photo of Chaney
2.75/5  rDev -30.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5

I've been here many times. As a matter of fact, the pic here on BA is one that I contributed. Cheers!

My wife and I came here this past weekend in conjunction with Busch Gardens Howl O Scream.

Located in an industrial park.... which isn't surprising.

Atmosphere: Typical small brewery atmosphere: Taps to the back, with many brews on tap for that day. The room is small, yet serviceable, with all of the stuff in the Alewerks arsenal on tap here.

Quality: Some of their beers are great, especially the pumpkin (one of the best!), coffee stout, Cafe Royale, and Bourbon Barrel Porter.

Service: This is where the place really sucked. I called early in the day and asked about the availability of the pumpkin ale. The phone proctor told me that there was a case left and she was very confident in her assertion. However, once we got there, it was different story. She told me earlier that the forklift was broken, they had more pumpkin ale in the back, and that they would make sure that they took care of us. Once we got there though, it was a different story. The woman who took my call was there, waited on us, and seemed to have contempt for both me and my wife and played it off like we should have known better. After ignoring us around every corner, she asserted herself again by saying in a very sassy tone, "The forklift is broken and there is nothing we can do." She passed us off to another employee who was equally as crass and unhelpful. It would have been cool to get something along the lines of "I'm sorry.... we made a mistake and the Pumpkin ale is out our reach."

Selection: Nice! I dig their beers overall. When my wife and I were there, they had all the fall stuff on tap and available for purchase... except the pumpkin ale.

Value. The Service sucked... and we both can't get over that. However, we bought a case of pumpkin here last year and we were both happy with the price of stuff here. Additionally, I think it's a bit odd that they charge was cardboard drink coasters.

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Photo of Suds
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5

During a recent family vacation to the Williamsburg area, we dropped by this little micro-brewery for a short afternoon diversion before an early dinner. The place is located in a small industrial park, and definitely has the 'grown from homebrew' feel about it. The Alewerks is not a brewpub; it is a storefront and a micro-brewery. Still, on a weekday afternoon, the place was hopping with visitors. A colorfully candid guy gave the tour, introducing us to the brewer along the way. The tour cost a few dollars, which was reasonable for a 1.5 hour tour and tasting. They provided coloring books for our kids, while the parents got to tour the brewery. It was interesting to see the small direct-fired infusion system (seemed unusual to see this system, as opposed to steam). The brewery is certainly small, and a manual operation. It's a true craft brewery. The staff was knowledgeable, and the beer was clean and well-made. However, the selection seems to be geared to local taverns and everyday distribution. There was not much that was edgy or interesting...there were about six beers, all of which were English-style mid-range ales. Still, they were all flavorful and well-crafted. This is a nice place, worth an hour or two for a short, beery respite while visiting the local historic and amusement sites.

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Photo of bgildea
3.86/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Williamsburg AleWerks is a fairly small brewery located in Williamsburg, VA. The brewery offers tours, tastings, and growler fills, but does not serve food. AleWerks makes for an ejoyable short detour if you are in the Williamsburg area.

Atmosphere: The atmoshpere of the brewery was pretty light and cheery. The staff serving the tasters were realatively young and the guys giving the tours were more of the grizzled old vet types. The tasting room is pretty small and is strictly beer, no food.

Quality: The quality of the beer was great. There were no issues with taste or freshness. I noticed that two tours that occured during my visit managed to kick a couple of the kegs, so the beer was being changed rather quickly.

Service: The service in the tasting room was polite and friendly. The bartender who was doing the tastings had a decent knowledge of the beer he was pouring and offered some insight into the beers. The one downside is that he didn't really pour us too much into our tasting glasses. The brewery tour was a little long-winded but overall enjoyable. The tour guide could have perked up a little, but I'll let it slide because he was an older gentleman.

Selection: The brewery had 6 beers on tap during the tasting. 5 of the beers were also available by 6 pack. The other beer was not, and was only available at local bars, which was VERY dissapointing considering that I found it to be the best beer by far (Brown Ale name was Olde Something... cant remember exactly). The brewery also has 2 beers that they sell by the 22 oz which they recommend cellaring for 3 years. I picked up a couple of these, and will let you know how they are in 2013.

Food: No food is served here.

Value: The value is pretty inexpensive. The tasting was $3 for 6 beers, albeit that the pours were on the lighter side. The brew tour was $6 which also included a tasting. Mix and match 6 packs sold for $9. Overall, the prices were pretty cheap to reasonable.

Overall: Overall I had a good time at AleWerks. It's a small place, and the tasting won't take long, so I'd recommend popping in for a quick taste if you're in the WIlliamsburg area. My only regret was not getting a chance to taste their bourbon porter, which I'm sure I would have loved.

Beer Favorites: Brown Ale, and Washington Porter (which happens to be available at the local amusement park Busch Gardens... kind of ironic, but also a pleasant surprise.)

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AleWerks Brewing Company in Williamsburg, VA
3.84 out of 5 based on 5,584 ratings.
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