Happy New Beer! (Part 2 of 2)

By on January 20, 2016

If your New Year’s resolution was to find and try some new beers, I’m hoping I can help you out. Trying new beers has never been a real effort for me; I’ll give any beverage a shot, even if the brew comes from a mass conglomerate like AB InBev or if the product is a result of Herculean efforts from the tiniest nano-brewery. I do understand some people don’t like to go out of their comfort zone, so let me do that for you.

This time, I headed across the Mason-Dixon Line to find some new suds. Like many beer fans, I like to sample as many local brews as I can when I’m in a new place. Here are a few I found not too far from home.

Located in Parsonsburg, Md., just off Route 50 between Salisbury and Ocean City, Tall Tales Brewing Company can boast itself as the first beach brewery in this area of the state. Head Brewer Jimmy Sharp has been brewing on a rampant pace, making the year-round, seven-days-a-week establishment more than a destination brewery. I picked up a bottle of their Excalibur, a mellow India Pale Ale, which clocks in at a scant (for an IPA) 50 IBU and 6.8 percent ABV. It is a wonderful, easy drinking beer, dominated by a floral and pine aroma stemming from the use of Falconers Flight, Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial hops.

 

Our intrepid beer tester traveled across the Mason-Dixon Line to try some new offerings at Tall Tales and AleWerks this week.

Our intrepid beer tester traveled across the Mason-Dixon Line to try some new offerings at Tall Tales and AleWerks this week.

 

Tall Tales is known for their Red Headed Step Child, a roasty-toasty Irish red. This is the first beer I ever tried from Tall Tales, and it is their most popular seller. The rich, dark color of this beer tricks the drinker who soon finds this sweet brew a bit more palatable than most other Irish reds. For the hop heads, Tall Tales offer the Bonnie & Clyde double IPA (80 IBU, 9.2 ABV), a full bodied beer created with Australian Galaxy hops. It’s a fun beer to try.

Further south, and across the Chesapeake Bay in Williamsburg, Va., sits AleWerks Brewing Company. Brewmaster Geoff Logan creates six year-round brews, one of which is the Drake Tail IPA (7.3 percent ABV). This American IPA features Columbus, Cascade, Amarillo, Simcoe, and Chinook hops, giving it a seriously citrus aroma. Like many small brewers, Logan has been experimenting with barrel aging beer. Their Jubilee series features ales aged in rum casks and their Bourbon Barrel Porter is aged in, well, bourbon barrels.

While in Williamsburg, coming soon to the area, is Virginia Beer Company. This startup will offer a “small, high quality core lineup” starting this spring. Recently, brewmaster Jonathan Newman from SweetWater Brewing (Atlanta, Ga.) joined the group of owners and promises to deliver a “new world-style” saison series and a few experimental beers. Having been a fan of SweetWater for some time, I’m excited to see what Newman has in store for this new venture. Looks like I’ll need to plan another trip down south this summer. Cheers!

Michael C. Upton works as a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure, covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He invites your comments and suggestions at facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

One Comment

  1. Steve

    January 22, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Tall Tales a beach brewery? It’s close to 30 miles from the beach! Evolution in Salisbury/Delmar was there before them. Even Burley Oak in Berlin-which is maybe 15 minutes from the beach, predates TT…

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