We were up in the Frederick, MD area on Sunday to drop off our son and three of his friends at a camp they are attending this week. After three hours on the car with four active teenage boys I was ready for a beer. Last year when we made this same trip, we visited Brewer's Alley and we decided to repeat this year. Since we had more time to spend this visit, we were able to try a few more beers. Colleen ordered a pint of the Hefeweizen, while I opted for a sampler tray of six beers. The hardest part was deciding which six!
I was pleased that the beers, both the cask and "standard" servings, were served up at a nice temperature. Carbonation was low across the board as well, which made for proper tasting. First up was the Kölsch. The flavor was mild, with a grainy aspect, and little bitterness. The next beer was the India Pale Ale, served from cask. It was well balanced, with a sweet caramel base with bitter and piney hops. I enjoyed this English IPA very much, and for a moment, regretted not having a full glass to drink.
Next up, the Oatmeal Stout. This one has a nice roasted grain flavor with a lingering sweetness at the end. A smooth mouthfeel capped it off. 1634 Ale is a Rye Ale, and was next up in the rotation. Described as a "celebration ale" by the brewery, the beer had a sweet molasses base, with mild spices in the background.
New Moon Ale was another cask selection. This was a very flavorful American Strong Ale. The rich caramel sweetness at the start, was followed fruity and pine hops. There's a hint of alcohol at the end, but it didn't overwhelm the other flavors. I really could have enjoyed more of this one too.
Our final selection was Bad Old Man Gose. This beer was released to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Ransom of Frederick. The beer started off with a fruit tartness that gave way to a distinct saltiness. It was an interesting beer, that we both enjoyed, but found hard to describe.
Along with the beers, of course there was food. Colleen ordered the plate of Fish Tacos. They looked quite tasty, and the accompanying Roasted Jalapeño Salsa made a zesty dip for my fries as well. Since we were in Maryland, I went with the Roasted Jumbo Lump Crabcake Sandwich. The thick patty of lumpy crab meat, seasoned with OLD BAY® naturally, could barely hold itself together - there was little in the way of filler! Quite tasty indeed.
We lingered for a while to let the dinner and beer settle, before setting off on the three hour drive ahead of us. The drive home was pleasant, and with just the two of us in the car, the conversation was very enjoyable.