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The Beer Circle » Imperial IPA, Styles » Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Brewery

Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Brewery

Prior to last weekend’s tour of Flying Dog brewery in Frederick, Marlyand, the group congregated at Brewer’s Alley Restaurant & Brewery for lunch and beer. Brewer’s Alley opened their doors in 1996 but their building and the nearby alley are steeped in local history. The building itself was built in 1873 and served as the city’s seat of government for at least 50 years. The alley located under the archway was the site for beer brewing in the city from the mid-1700s. Beer production ceased in 1901 when a fire consumed the last remaining brewery.

I was feeling a bit thirsty waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. After weighing all the other alternatives I decided to drink a beer. Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to the cask tap. Brewer’s Alley had their Double IPA, Resinator, on cask. It was a very well-balanced dIPA. The complete review is below.

The menu had a number of options depending on your taste: conch soup, fish tacos, and crab cakes, for example. The restaurant is in Maryland so it’s pretty much a given that crab cakes would be on the menu. Also on the menu was classic pub fare: burgers, sandwiches, and wings. The Asian burger–a basic burger with a wasabi aioli and bean sprouts–piqued my interest. The burger was cooked to order, medium-rare. However, the  kaiser roll pretty much disintegrated so I ended up eating it like an open-faced sandwich. Also, I was hoping that the aioli would’ve been a bit more spicy.  With lunch I went with the 16 Kerzen. Kerzen, German for “candles,” is Brewer’s Alley’s 16th Anniversary beer, brewed with locally malted barley, and with rye. We were running short on time so I wasn’t able to take notes. The beer had the rye bite to it and there was a little fruit taste in there as well. The fruit and the rye didn’t really go well together. It wasn’t a bad beer but I wouldn’t go out of my way to drink it.

Brewer’s Alley contributes well to the shopping and restaurant atmosphere in “old” Frederick. If you live close I would definitely recommend checking them out on their own but it’s not special enough to come from even as far as DC (about an hour) by itself. That being said, if you’re coming for another reason: Flying Dog tour, Antietam Civil War battlefield tour, etc., then I definitely would stop by.

Brewer’s Alley Resinator (cask)
Cloudy orange-plum color with two or three fingers of white head. There was some lacing down the glass but I was hoping for more from a cask ale.
Strong citrus aroma with grapefruit undertones. Some noticed a hint of pine but the citrus overpowered everything else for me.
The taste was much more balanced than the aroma. Both pine and citrus mixed well together. One flavor didn't overwhelm the other. Present throughout was a good malt backbone.
Mouthfeel is where cask ales really succeed. The creaminess of the beer coated my mouth and really stretched out the taste. Without the extra carbonation I would've been able to drink this beer all day which, at 7.8% ABV, would not have been a good idea,
I can't remember exactly what the beer cost but it was around $5 for the pint, which was the price for all of their pints. I've been to a number of places that charged much more per pint outside of happy hour.
I really enjoyed this cask ale but I'm afraid that if I had it from the regular tap it would have been ordinary. However, I did not have it on the regular taps so I was impressed and would drink it again. Not something to seek out, but definitely one to try if you're in the Frederick area.


Beer Stats
Style: Double/Imperial IPA
Serving: Draft
Size: 16oz
ABV: 7.80%
BA Score: N/A (7 reviews)
RB Score: 89

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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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