Many independent shops dot the streets of Bel Air, a festive small town 20 miles north of Baltimore now housing two successful breweries. Celebrating their fifth anniversary in 2022, ALECRAFT BREWERY crafts a well-rounded assortment of stylishly diversified small batch beers down the rear corridor of its snazzy art deco taproom.
An L-shaped 14-seat bar with planked pine surface and embossed bronze kick-plated frontage offers quaint antiquity for the pristine cement floored main space. Several wood tables and a cozy two couch side space bedeck the cozy interior. A red brick-enclosed black metal-furnished outdoor deck adds further seating. There are twelve draughts listed on the electronic board.
Alecraft will expand capacity when they open a second larger location 45-minutes North in York, Pennsylvania during 2023.
My wife and I sank ten fine brews (reviewed below) during our December ’22 sojourn – missing out on the lemonade/black tea mixed fermentation Sliced! Sour Ale and Reviction Double IPA.
Pallid barley roasted hop crisping gained light floral spicing for Alecraft Oktoberfest, leaving wispy orange-apple-pear illusions on the earthy bottom.
Mild pale malt spicing and light herbal hops coalesced for Bel Ale Pale Ale, a crisply dry moderation less involving thirsts will enjoy.
Placid Citra-hopped Imperial IPA, RecalCitrant, rushed sugared citrus tanginess by mild wood tones and pale malt breading.
Easygoing floral-perfumed orange and grapefruit tanginess retained a soft-toned twang absorbed by the dry wood lacquering of Le Renard, a standard all-grain West Coast IPA.
Meanwhile, offbeat New England-styled IPA, Seven Wonders #3 Olympia, utilized Kveik yeast for its fruit-forward lemony limed grapefruit zesting and mandarin orange tartness pushed aside for enigmatic cologne-daubed cilantro herbage and grassy hop astringency.
Spruce-tipped evergreen minting picked up tart lemonade sugaring for effervescent Spruce Tip Scottish Ale, riding atop lightly caramelized peat smoke.
Interestingly devised 5th anniversary ale, Cranberry Golden Spike Belgian Wit, let its orange-peeled coriander ‘holiday spicing’ seep into lemony cranberry tartness as well as sugary dried cherry, tangerine and clementine fruiting contrasting salty pink peppercorn souring.
There were also two delightful winter warmer nightcaps. Sweet vanilla-creamed brown chocolate richness and honeyed cherry guided nutmeg-spiced Sledding Around, pasting dried fruited date, green raisin and plum to its brown-sugared caramelization.
Nearly as engaging, Winter’s Run Winter Warmer let spiced-up orange peel sweetness recede as sugarplum, date and fig serenaded its hazelnut-glazed caramel center.
Another sugarplum-derived strong ale, Sugar Plum Fairy Dubbel, allowed its dark Belgian candi-sugaring to saturate the funky cellared herbal mustiness.