ALEWERKS in your INBOX
Do you need more emails? Probably not.
But you need ours because it’s about beer.
Craft beer existed, but there wasn’t a lot available, especially in Virginia. Beer was watery, golden and mostly made by large corporations. So after looking for more interesting, more complex and more diverse options and coming up empty-handed, we decided to roll up our sleeves and make it ourselves. Turns out, it’s not that easy.
It’s a saying for a reason. And we are living proof. Our first few years, we had some hits, but also some misses. But we kept at it and learned some things along the way. One of our very first hires was a young Geoff Logan. He had the passion and interest, and he was a sponge for all things brewing. His knowledge, plus our lessons learned, would soon result in some remarkable beer.
It’s true, and it left quite the impression on him. So much so, that when the idea for a pumpkin beer came up, he knew just how it should taste: like pumpkin pie in a glass. And thus Alewerks Pumpkin Ale was born. A smashing success from its very first release, Pumpkin continues to be a seasonal phenomenon. It’s one of the first beers that we can proudly say put us on the map.
Pumpkin made people take notice of Alewerks, and soon we were expanding our lineup, releasing recipes that were so well-received that they’re still part of our offering. Café Royale and Bourbon Barrel Porter were our first forays into barrel aging, followed soon by Bitter Valentine, our first Double IPA and one that received great acclaim throughout Virginia and beyond.
In 2012, we saw the landmark passing of Senate Bill 604 allowing breweries to operate taprooms at their facility. Now you could sit, have a pint or two, and spend your afternoon with us. The resulting boom of craft beer in Virginia saw the number of breweries grow to over 300 across the Commonwealth. More competition and options meant we had to stay on our game.
After the craft beer scene exploded, brewers needed to figure out how to stand out in a sea of sameness. Alewerks remained all about the beer, with a delicious core line-up, but the brand needed to catch up. With Geoff Logan adding Managing Director to his Brewmaster title and Michael Claar joining as Operations Director, we launched a rebrand in 2017 with stark, raw packaging that reinforced the ‘all about the beer’ vibe. You just needed to know it was Alewerks.
With a reinvigorated brand, Tavern Brown Ale and Chesapeake Pale Ale reached new sales heights while newcomers Superb IPA and Weekend Lager became the best-selling year-round releases. Booming production meant less tank space for innovation. And innovation matters in craft beer. Enter the L.A.B. (Little Auxiliary Brewery), which we proudly opened at Williamsburg’s Premium Outlets in 2017 as a test kitchen that lets us experiment and lets the next crop of young brewers learn the ropes.
The first major expansion of our production floor completed… you guessed it, just in time for COVID-19. While we had to close our doors at the peak of the pandemic, online store sales and curbside delivery kept our customers coming back and production remained strong. We relaunched in 2021 with a brand refresh to mark the more polished and poised era of craft beer production. It reminds us how we started making beer before it was cool. And we’re really glad that it’s cool today. What a time to be a part of the craft beer industry. Thanks for making it an Alewerks!