On vacation, in Colonial Williamsburg trying out some of that colonial style beer made by @alewerks. Very cool how Alewerks, a local brewery in Williamsburg, VA, sought to make beer in that colonial style. Overall, I was very impressed with their interpretation of colonial style beer. I have to think in real life, they were more subtle in flavor but Alewerks definitely amped up the flavor for these brews for the modern audience.
I researched a little on these beers and I was surprised how good these are since I thought beer from the old days are more muted. As I learned, colonials considered themselves British citizens until King George III pissed them off. So they still loved their tea, crumpets, and pub ales. I recall my trip to London trying their bitters and ales at the local pubs. Those beers basically tasted like water with some barley and if you were lucky, some faded hop bitters infused in there. You see, beer was an “everyday beverage” and was as common as tea back in the day.
Contrary to this perception, these beers at Chowning’s Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg had great flavor. According to the Daily Press, “All of the beers are made with a base of East Kent Golding hops, first introduced in 1790 and still grown in the Kent region of England.” EKG hops aren’t the most aromatic or super bitter in flavor, but offers a nice subtle balance to more malty beers.
The Old Stitch Brown Ale is the most popular: tons of chocolate, toffee malt. not super sweet but well balanced and still light. really good.
The Wetherburn’s Bristol Ale is a nice IPA but in a traditional style. No tropical juice flavors here – more straight bitter as a preservative type of flavor. Piney and grassy but not in your face like an american IPA. My favorite of the bunch.
Dear Old Mum Spiced Ale had some funky tart stuff going on. Made with cardamom, coriander and grains of paradise, it was brought to England by George III that bastard that pissed off a bunch of colonials and resulted in the American Revolution. F this beer!
You can find these beers in the stores. I’d recommend getting the Wetherburns Bristol Ale if you’re a hophead or the Old Stitch Brown Ale if you like malty beers. Pass on the Dear Old Mum because it’s unpatriotic.
Finally, I present to you, Benjamin Franklin and his eternal words of wisdom!