Williamsburg AleWerks Sampler
These beers have been sitting in my fridge for far too long. They have intrigued me for a while though, because I did not know there was a brewery in the colonial Williamsburg Virginia area and, as always, I’m interested in trying new beers. As part of a gift, I received four different beers from Williamsburg AleWerks: Wheat Ale, Redmarker Ale, Drake Tail and Chesapeake Pale Ale.
I started with the Wheat Ale which pours with a golden yellow color – slightly cloudy, but not as cloudy as many wheats. The aroma is a pleasant citrus with undertones of wheat. The taste follows suit with a light wheat and slightly bitter citrus start that flows into a refreshing smooth sweeter finish. While I’m enjoying this in the middle of winter it takes my mind to the warm summer and enjoying this perfectly summer beer.
Next I went with the Redmarker Ale. It poured a dark mostly opaque amber red – unsurprising by the name. The aroma was quite interesting and unique for a red ale: an almost sour cherry aroma with a slight hint of malt. The flavor is malt and more malt, but not the sweet malt that I’m used to, this one was more roasted flavor and slightly bitter. There was also a little hint of the sour cherry I could smell. This turned out to be a very complex beer with a medium body and crisp finish, but unfortunately the beer is lacking a bit of carbonation to help with the mouthfeel. I had no idea what to expect from a red ale like this but I was pleasantly surprised with this beer’s complexity, but there was this overall feeling that this beer slightly missed and could have been topnotch. Still a solid beer.
Now moving onto the pale ales: the Drake Tail is an India Pale Ale. Light amber color – classic IPA. The aroma is pleasantly fruity-sweet with a bit of malt. Fruity hop flavor with a slight bit of malt up front, but I was hoping the taste would be more like the aroma – sweet and hoppy. It is a solid solid beer but when the aroma is fruity and sweet I hope the taste will be as well, but this is more hop-bitter and malty than sweet. Although the further down I go in this beer the more fruitiness comes out. The rating on this one puzzles me a bit as I didn’t care much for it to start but it is getting better as I drink it…but there is some sediment in my glass…that’s odd. This is an all right IPA, but there are many more better ones out there.
Last but not least the Chesapeake Ale. Pours with a wonderful light amber to yellow color, but that is followed by a very lacking aroma. There is almost nothing there, at most there is a very very slight hint of malt, but that is reaching for it. The taste follows up this disappointment with much less disappointment. Slight hop bitterness and a little bit of malt followed by the bitterness mellowing through to a solid sweet hop flavor. The body and mouthfeel are very solid and right what you’d expect from a pale ale, but like the Redmarker it could use just a bit more.
Overall the beers from Williamsburg AleWerks are decent, but they don’t have the wow factor. While they might be slightly underwhelming, they are solid and not off by much. A couple minor tweaks could make this a great brewery. I would definitely recommend trying the Williamsburg AleWerks brews.