AleWerks’ current home was a site of another brewery. They purchased the equipment and location 2006 with an initial investment of $200,000 dollars. Their first product was the Chesapeake Ale. AleWerks’ has won multiple awards including the best Virginia beer and titles at the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships.
They are the only microbrewery in Williamsburg producing 4,000 barrels and are hoping to expand to around the 5,000 barrel mark for 2016. The hardships faced by AleWerks comes from potential loss in product. If they had to dump a tank, they could potentially loss a month of product. An interesting fact in the brewing process done at AleWerks is the reuse of their yeast. Plus, efforts put forth by Alewerks involves giving local farmers feed for their cows with the grain by-products.
The highest percentage of sales comes from their on-site taproom. Their distribution network reaches Virginia, West Virginia, D.C., Maryland and is expanding with Philadelphia. You can also buy Alewerks in bottle in the Williamsburg area and can be found on draft in the local bars. Alewerks has now become an investor corporation.
During our visit, we tried six beers. The Wheat Ale was definitely a crowd-pleaser among the group with it’s citrus flavor. The Pumpkin Ale gave hints of cinnamon; one secret we were privy to was the use of Butternut Squash in their Pumpkin Ale. It is also considered one of the better ones to taste. The Coffee Stout was surprising drinkable and gave the drinker a kick given a half a cup of coffee. Their flagship beer, The Chesapeake Ale, was again all it lived up to be; smooth, refreshing and mildly hoppy. The Tavern Ale deep brown in color gave fruity notes with chocolate hints at the back end. Drake Tail citrus flavor is one to behold with the fruit finish was a great try. In the end, AleWerks is an up and coming and we can’t wait to see what they do next. They offer Year-round, Brewmaster, and Seasonal Offering.