Feb 9, 2018

Alewerks Chesapeake Pale Ale

When my wife brought home this bottle of Alewerks Chesapeake Pale Ale, I could have sworn that I had already had it or it carried the same name of a beer I first encountered back in 1995-96ish. That first thought ultimately proved to be correct — I originally had this 5.6% ABV pale ale during Session #4 eleven years ago. It was the second thought, however, that captured my curiosity and ultimately lead me to the name of a former Virginia brewery, Potomac River Brewing (1993 – 1998), and their Potowmack Pale Ale.

While the memory of the now defunct pale ale is only but a whispery echo, it did remind that without the likes of Potowmack Pale Ale forging the path, there wouldn’t be the Virginia beer we drink today. Such as this capable pale ale out of Williamsburg. Cheasapeake Pale Ale presented itself much in the same manner that it had 11 years ago. I’m sure the recipe has shifted since then, but it still carries a well-balanced interaction between the bready malt backbone and the moderate hop flavors of grapefruit, pine and a smooth bitterness.

It’s funny what memories a beer may jog. I’d had this particular beer in the past, but it was thoughts of the much older Potowmack that kept ringing in my skull as I enjoyed the lingering hop bite and light dryness of the Chesapeake with each sip. I’m sure these two beers differ greatly in taste as the micro/craft segment has evolved since those nascent times. A couple bottles of Alewerks Brewing’s pale ale would make for a perfect excuse to sit on the back deck and reminisce of beers and breweries gone by.