|Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery
124 North Market Street | Frederick, MD 21701
Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery is Frederick, Maryland’s first brewpub. Located at 124 North Market Street in historic Frederick, the building was completed in 1769, originally housing a town hall, opera house and theater, and market house.
The Market House witnessed the Civil War, including the ransoming of the city by Confederate General Jubal Early. The building also hosted a Memorial Service for President McKinley in 1901, the Frederick debut of D.W. Griffith’s film “The Birth of a Nation”, and the Manhattan Opera Company’s production of “Madame Butterfly”, in 1926. The popular American Legion fundraisers immediately after World War I also took place here.
Brewer’s Alley opened in July 1996. They have worked to preserve the elegance of the old opera house. The original ceiling panels were decorated to mimic the old Italian Sienna marble. There is also glass etching work and stained glass throughout the building, including hop vines on the brewery glass.
The beers at Brewer’s Alley were originally brewed in the copper-clad 217 brewhouse on site. Due to increasing demands, the production and packaging of Brewer’s Alley beers is now done off-site at Monocacy Brewing Company, located just down the street. Here, the Brewer’s Alley brewing staff brews on a new, custom-built 93 gallon brewhouse. They look to install the system at Brewer’s Alley Restaurant and Brewery in the future for small batch and seasonal releases.
The beer menu at Brewer’s Alley offered something for everyone. The year-round selections brewed by Brewmaster Tom Flores include:
- Kölsch – Their best selling brew is a traditional German style ale with light body, delicate hop aroma and clean refreshing finish; won the 1998 GABF bronze medal. 5.1% ABV
- India Pale Ale – An English style ale displaying a medium amber color, floral hop aroma and balanced finish; won the 2009 GABF bronze medal and 2010 World Beer Cup silver medal. 5.8% ABV
- Dunkelweizen – A darker-colored Bavarian style unfiltered wheat ale with medium body and distinct aromas of banana and clove. 5.3% ABV
- 1634 Ale – An aromatic celebration ale, caraway and rye are obvious with a rich molasses character. 5.1% ABV
- Nut Brown Ale – An English style brown ale with a dark red to brown color, roasted nut aroma and balanced finish. 5.5% ABV
- Oatmeal Stout – An English style unfiltered stout with a full body, rich aroma of roasted malt and slightly sweet finish. 6.7% ABV
- Hefeweizen – A light colored Bavarian-style unfiltered wheat ale with medium body and aromas of banana and clove. 5.0% ABV
The seasonal beer selections included:
- Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout – The Oatmeal Stout aged in Jack Daniels whiskey barrels imparting wood and vanilla aromatics; slightly earthy and caramel finish. 6.7% ABV
- Bad Old Man – A Gose-style ale named after General Jubal Early. This interpretation of a German Gose-style ale is slightly tart with subtle salinity of Bolivian rose salt from Frederick’s own Salt Pig. 4.7% ABV
- Blueberry Wheat – A traditional American unfiltered wheat ale fermented with blueberry puree offering a milt tartness with a light, refreshing body. 4.4% ABV
- Belgian Wit – An unfiltered wheat fermented wtih a Belgian yeast offering aromatic notes of spice. 4.2% ABV
The guest beer selections from Monocacy Brewing Company included:
- Humulus Lupulus Rex – Session pale ale. 3.8% ABV
- Brewtus – Coffee imperial stout. 8.6% ABV
Each beer was quite tasty and delicious, but 1634 Ale was my favorite of the year-round offerings. I found the beer interesting and unique. I especially enjoyed the use of rye and caraway.
My favorite beers overall were Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout and Bad Old Man. I was impressed by the complexity of the stout and pleasantly surprised by the lower ABV for a barrel aged beer. The Gose was super tasty and extremely refreshing.
The beers are sold in 5 ounce or 16 ounce pours in house (some 9 ounce pours depending on the style) and 64 ounce growlers to go. Bad Old Man was available to go in 12 ounce bottles as well. A sampler of 6 beers can be purchased for $8.
The menu at Brewer’s Alley presents a diverse selection of offerings. Start off with a housemade soup like the Bahamian Conch Chowder Soup, Bistro-Style French Onion Soup, or the vegan-friendly Maryland Vegetable Soup.
For something lighter, try a sandwich like the Spicy Black Bean Burger or Court Street Reuben Sandwich, or enjoy a salad like the Shrimp, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad or the Opera House Chopped Salad.
Entrees include Wood-Fired Smokehouse Macaroni and Cheese, Olde Style Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Cake, Bacon Wrapped Bistro Filet, Alaskan Salmon Florentine, Barbeque Lamb Steak, Creole Catfish, and Kölsch Battered Fish and Chips.
A popular choice in the dining room was the wood-fired pizza with creative pies like the Apple Goat Cheese Pizza, Smokehouse Pizza, Meat Monster, Nuevo Mexican Chorizo Pizza, and Forrest Chicken Pizza. Feeling adventurous? Try the California Dreamin’ made with roasted garlic hummus, jalapeños, roasted peppers, basil, feta and mozzarella cheese.
Historic Frederick, Maryland is a beautiful place. Spend a day or weekend exploring the area and experiencing the history. Just be sure to enjoy a meal and a few beers at Brewer’s Alley!