Butchertown Black Ale
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Butchertown Black AleButchertown Black Ale
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Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States
Black IPA
3.83 | pDev: 11.49%
May 13, 2020
Sep 04, 2009
Very Good
Butchertown Black AleButchertown Black Ale
Notes: Butchertown Black Ale celebrates the long forgotten neighborhood of San Francisco, Butchertown, where our brewery stands today. The nearby creek was once the home to over 16 slaughterhouses and was a thriving neighborhood till shipbuilding took over the waterfront in the 1930s run up to WWII.

This beer is a play on the senses: black as night, but with a deceivingly light body and a bold dry-hopping regiment more akin to an IPA. Butchertown pours black/brown with a thick, lasting toasted marshmallow head. It has aromas of pine, orange, tangerine, pink grapefruit, & light coffee. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, currants, and red wine come through before overturning to a malt depth intricacy of dark toasted bread, pumpernickel, subtle notes of dark fruits and hints of dark chocolate, tobacco and leather.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Ah the black ale/ipa, relatively gone but not forgotten, but I'd be ok if it was.

Pours black. Not much viscosity difference between this and their stout. This was a thicker black ale. Big tan head 1" deep.
Solid looking appearance. Aroma was more roasted malts than hoppiness. Some coffee note from the roast. Dude are you sure you aren't a porter? The hops I smell are bitterness hops.

Taste does better than the aroma in terms of being within style guidelines, if there even is such a thing for this category. Plenty of pine like bitterness on a diner black coffee roasted malt body. Bitterness pushed to greater heights (or depths) by a punch of alcohol. Hide the alcohol, this is not one of its qualities. There is a currant red wine dark fruit bitterness to it as well alongside a hit of smoke.

I didn't think there was enough hop flavor, this one went harder on the malty taste notes, which are more akin to a porter/stout.
May 13, 2020
Rated: 4.5 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 03, 2018
Rated: 3.97 by staticmaneuver from New Jersey

May 14, 2016
Rated: 4.12 by Patlee3324 from Massachusetts

May 08, 2016
Rated: 3.96 by Wizzle32 from Pennsylvania

Apr 28, 2016
Rated: 3.9 by hozersr from Pennsylvania

Apr 28, 2016
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Rated by CraftBeerRunner from California

3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Confused. Wholefoods, Ben And Nick's, Oakland, CA, April 2016
Apr 07, 2016
Rated: 3.89 by Rockjocknroll from California

Mar 12, 2016
Photo of hoping4hopps
Reviewed by hoping4hopps from California

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Went to a local corner market to get a lagunitas cappuccino stout but ironically this beer was placed in front of the beer I had my sights set on. After a brief contimplation I purchased this 22 oz bomber and proceeded to open it. It was as the label said a black ale. Toasted and roasted the malt bill was present but lightly. Followed by a palate full of hop flavor. I over all like this beer and glad that after reading the "limited series" label I'm happy I was able to try something different.
Feb 20, 2016
Rated: 4.7 by StoverB from California

Feb 06, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by SpAiReArGsEonNE from New Jersey

Jan 29, 2016
Rated: 3.54 by 2beerdogs from California

Jan 18, 2016
Rated: 3.94 by manfromanotherplace from New York

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
22oz bottle, @8.2% ABV, with an ambiguously creepy American gangster backstory for this one's name depicted on the label text. How very Christmasy!

This beer pours a clear, dark brown colour, with prominent orange cola highlights, and three fat-ass fingers of puffy, rocky, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves some splotchy and chunky streaked lace around the glass as it very slowly sinks away.

It smells of musty roasted caramel malt, acrid coffee (the sort with stale cigarettes sitting in it), inexpensive bittersweet chocolate, untethered phenolic yeast, some muddled citrus and pome fruitiness, a further free-range campfire ashiness, and more leafy, weedy, and faintly piney hop bitters. The taste is gritty, rather grainy and toasted caramel malt, dusty dime-store chocolate wafers, a bit of edgy umami, generic coffee, and more hard to really get a gauge on leafy, piney, and herbal green hoppiness.

The bubbles are adequate in their supportive and tacitly engaging frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and more or less smooth (ok, emphasis on the latter), with an oh so subtle airy creaminess arising from someone's latent Yuletide wishes. It finishes off-dry, the coffee and cocoa-flecked roasted malt still duly offset by the well lingering, if still indistinct leafy, piney, and dry citrusy bitterness.

For the style, this is generally all right, the juxtaposition between the two conflicting beer endpoints providing a so-called balance that lovers of such things use to justify its otherwise ill-conceived existence. So, bully for them, I'm done here, and so looking forward to that order of best of local breed Chinese food waiting for me upstairs. Happy Holidays, all!
Dec 25, 2015
Rated: 4.39 by AlvinLin from New York

Dec 23, 2015
Rated: 3.77 by Didier from New Hampshire

Dec 13, 2015
Rated: 3.69 by cherche from Washington

Nov 14, 2015
Rated: 3.99 by brbrocc from New York

Oct 07, 2015
Rated: 3.98 by SteamSka

Aug 08, 2015
Rated: 4.21 by Dsimenson from California

Jul 22, 2015
Photo of arizcards
Reviewed by arizcards from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Picked up a bomber from TW Arrowhead the first of May for $5.99. Bottle received at TW on 1/17/15. Availability per the Speakeasy web site is October thru December.

Beer poured black with a beautiful tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is a nice citrus hop.

Taste is a heavily roasted malt backbone that melds well with the citrus hops. Malts are a tad bit over-roasted.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth.

Overall this is a pretty decent brew. I can handle a highly roasted highly hopped beer but this one uses too much of a roasted malt that detracts and creates a slightly ashy flavor. Definitely not for everyone.
Jun 27, 2015
Rated: 3.89 by Boone757 from Virginia

Jun 19, 2015
Rated: 4 by Eziel from Ohio

Jun 13, 2015
Rated: 3.85 by scuttlebutt21 from California

Jun 06, 2015
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

May 14, 2015
Rated: 4 by MickeyHops from California

May 02, 2015
Rated: 4 by GordieF from New York

May 02, 2015
Photo of BrewMaven
Reviewed by BrewMaven from New York

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
I'm fairly new to this style, but if this beer is a representative example, I'm hooked! Great head, smells and tastes like MORE and only $6 for a bomber? Sign me up!
Apr 20, 2015
Rated: 4.34 by Drew_V_dt from California

Apr 06, 2015
Rated: 3.69 by sbanacho from California

Mar 06, 2015
Rated: 3.72 by socon67 from New York

Mar 01, 2015
Photo of Totalpackage411
Reviewed by Totalpackage411 from California

5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
My favorite brewery right now, glad I finally got to try this one. This is a very smooth beer with a nice hoppy after taste. One of the better beers from Speakeasy but I still have not had one I don't like from here. This is a limited release so if you see this one you better take advantage. Chill it on ice before opening and enjoy a nice refreshing cold craft brew.
Jan 28, 2015
Rated: 4.45 by CJNAPS from California

Jan 22, 2015
Photo of DoubleJ
Reviewed by DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
22 ounces are in my hand, thanks to my co-worker Tina! Let's go on to the beer:

The head forms two finger's thick on top above a body that is obsidian colored. As the beer's level drops, creamy and spotty lace sticks around the glass. The straightforward aroma of sharp bittering hops make their mark from the start. Subtle notes of cocoa and vague fruits offer a second dimension to this hoppy dark ale.

Sticking to the theme of the India Black Ale, Butchertown is strong, roasty, and bitter. The hops bring a side of grapefruit and strong piney and bittering flavors. A little dark cocoa and roasted malt brings this beer together. Despite its listed 8% ABV, I can't find the alcohol. The beer is nearly full bodied with a smooth body and a lingering mix of biiterness and chocolate in the aftertaste.

Don't mess with Butchertown. This is not only flavorful, but strong enough to knock you down. Aficionados of the style should seek this out.
Jan 16, 2015
Photo of RyanK252
Reviewed by RyanK252 from California

4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottle poured into a Speakeasy Ales and Lagers glass

A: Pours deep brown with a ruby hue and a creamy mocha brown head that settles and laces very well.

S: Roasted malt, some coffee, light chocolate, and a touch of pine.

T: Pine bitterness up front, followed with roasted malt, sweet chocolate, faint coffee, a bit earthy, with some light citrus on the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, creamy smooth.

O: Very tasty brew.
Jan 11, 2015
Rated: 3.54 by sheenisgod from California

Jan 10, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by Paccamacca from California

Jan 08, 2015
Rated: 4.02 by johlac66 from California

Nov 19, 2014
Rated: 3.25 by bnelson997 from California

Oct 28, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by Hopheadjeffery from Illinois

Oct 13, 2014
Butchertown Black Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 197 ratings