Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Brewer's Alley and Monocacy Brewing in Frederick MD.

Brewer's Alley.

As is our custom, we chose a place to stay for two nights in Frederick, Maryland predominantly on the basis of location. We try to be as near the center of downtown as possible, because walking is good -- especially when you drink.

Eastern USA Road Trip 2016, Day 8: Civil War history in Frederick, Maryland and environs.

Happily, the Brewer's Alley brewpub (established 1996) lay within walking distance of our B & B, as did a couple dozen other eateries and bars. The back story of Brewer's Alley is worth repeating.

The original 217 gallon brewhouse at Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery introduced craft beer enthusiasts to many varieties of local, independent beer. Since 1996, guests visiting the brewpub in Downtown Frederick took in the sights and smells of our copper-clad brewhouse producing award-winning beer. Due to the ever increasing demand for Brewer’s Alley brands, the original brewhouse was removed from its location at the brewpub in January, 2012.

Today, we produce and package Brewer’s Alley beer at an off-site manufacturing brewery called Monocacy Brewing Company, in Frederick, MD. At this location, the brewing staff from Brewer’s Alley brew each batch of our year-round and seasonal beers. In late 2012, our new, custom-built 93 gallon brewhouse was delivered for testing at Monocacy Brewing Company. This system will be installed at Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery in the near future and will serve as the launchpad for small batch seasonal varieties and new creations.

During our second visit, the server explained more clearly the "shared ownership" connection between Brewer's Alley and Monocacy Brewing, and I was able to sample a few beers from each.

Welcome to Monocacy Brewing Company where our focus is on crafting quality beer. We are proudly brewing our award winning beers in the old Ebert’s Ice Cream plant located in historic Downtown Frederick. At MBC we strive to be a great neighbor and representative of Frederick’s local allure.

Opened in November of 2011, Monocacy Brewing Company crafts unique, full-flavored ales and lagers. Our staff of talented and experienced brewers are committed to promoting the use of fresh, local ingredients and releasing a portfolio of beer styles that appeals to all beer drinkers’ tastes The brewery also functions as a contract bottling facility for Frederick County’s original brewpub, Brewer’s Alley. 

Broadly generalizing, the Brewer's Alley staples are classic food-friendly styles like Nut Brown and K├Âlsch. 1634 Ale was especially enjoyable; it's one of those fascinating historical throwback recipes with barley, wheat, rye, caraway and molasses.

All of them are accomplished, but special praise to the Hefeweizen. While my judgment is unscientific, I haven't tasted a better Hefeweizen from an American "craft" brewery. It is balanced between fruit and clove, and delicious on a hot, humid day.

Conversely, Monocacy Brewing seems designed to travel the more esoteric end of the spectrum; I liked Riot Rye and Gose of Althea. Before you life an eyebrow, remember that I had two nightly sessions to enjoy all these beers.

After the second of our two visits to Brewer's Alley, I was looking for a nightcap to take home. There's a bottle shop down the street, and there I spotted a tasty regional selection in a 750 ml bottle: Victory Sour Monkey, a "Sour Brett Tripel."

A perfect ending.


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