Rose Alley Ale House

If you’re a beer nerd, live on the South Coast of MA (or anywhere reasonably close) and haven’t been to the Rose Alley Ale House, you’re a dbag. Seriously. Why didn’t you people tell me about this place?? There’s some craft beer craziness going on there.

Save me, Jeebus.

Following our visit to the Pour Farm Tavern, Yelp pointed my Lady Friend and I towards this place down on Front Street, across from the docks. Next door in a cool old stone building is Cork Wine & Tapas Bar, which is supposedly pretty good. I wouldn’t know. I was on a mission. There’s another stone building that doesn’t appear quite as old or cool, as if it was built to mimic the look of the first. That’s the one you want. Rose Alley Ale House. Go up the stairs, and be warned: it’ll look like a typical sports bar. Stay on target. Have a seat and get the ever-changing beer list. Like the Pour Farm, this place blows through kegs, so there’s a constant changeover of drinkables.

Go local sports team. Defeat the opponents, soundly.

Also, like the Pour Farm, I had trouble deciding what to get. Lady Friend and I knew we were both going for the flight of five beers, but which five? I wanted to try to stay in a flavor neighborhood, so mine mostly went hoppy. She went towards fruity sweetness, and found it hard to stay with. It’ll eat your stomach, unless you have the countenance of Wifey, who can take down a sixer of Smirnoff Ice and still want cake frosting.

My new friends. They like me for who I am. Beers don’t judge.

Left to right:

Firestone Walker Double Jack
Double/Imperial IPA
This was supposed to be the Great Divide Chocolate Yeti Russian Imperial Stout, but they were out of it. I’ve had this beer before, and it’s INCREDIBLE. Unbelievably good. Will sneak up and hit you on the head at 9.3%.
Nose: Strong hop and malt. Sweet, floral.
Taste: Heaven. Hop balanced with malt.

Rogue Imperial YSB
Special Bitter
I hadn’t heard of this one before. Apparently “YSB” is Younger’s Special Bitter.
Nose: Mild. Slightly fruity/malty.
Taste: Watery. Malty. Not much flavor.

Great Divide “Rumble”
Oak-aged IPA
Irish Lad and I had recently been discussing oak-aged ales, so I snagged this one.
Nose: Mild hop, sweetness, fruit.
Taste: MALT. Caramel. Slight hop. Toffee and vanilla. Excellent.

Lagunitas Gnarleywine
Barleywine (10.12%)
Hoo boy. I knew this was going to be a big one. Irish Lad and I got into trouble one night tasting a Smuttynose barleywine, and required an emergency pizza delivery.
Nose: Sweet/syrup. Fruited malt. Plum.
Taste: Wine. Toffee syrup. Nectar. Slight bitter. Delicious.

Pretty Things Baby Tree
Belgian Quad with Plum Juice
I ordered this feeling inspired after seeing earlier that day where Pretty Things is brewed.
Nose: Belgian wheat/yeast. Banana.
Taste: Syrupy, fruity/banana. Belgians are not my fav.

To be clear: I didn’t drink these in order. I did a taste of each, weakest to strongest, while I had a reasonably fresh palate (before the dIPA and barleywine mushroom clouds) and then sipped on them individually. I started with the Rogue Bitter to be fair, since I knew flavor-wise it’d be blown away by the hop-pocalypse I had waiting. These were big samples, somewhere in the range of 5oz if I had to guess. I was driving, and didn’t finish mine, and Lady Friend left a few wounded soldiers as she was going into insulin shock after so much sugary fruit beer.

Her flight consisted of:

Fruli Strawberry White Fruit Ale (Very good, but sweeeeet. “Like strawberry soda!”)

Southern Tier Jah’va Imperial Coffee Stout (Just like coffee. Too roasted/bitter for me.)

Kasteel Rouge Brown Cherry Ale Fruit Ale (Very tasty. Real cherry tang, not like sugary imitation “cherry” or “red” flavor.)

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy Lemonade/lager mix (Light and lemony. A good palate cleanser. I told Lady Friend to save that for the end to help get the sugar out of her mouth but she took that to mean “drink it all now.” Le sigh.)

Southern Tier Unearthly Imperial IPA (She had several other selections, but they were out, so I suggested this one. I’ve enjoyed it several times. Delish)

So. Rose Alley was awesome. There was an older crowd, mostly late 30s and up, so it didn’t have a wild party vibe. It was a more grown-up place where people can enjoy their meal with a great craft beer. Pretty casual dress, and some younger folks did start to filter in later on, as a live band was setting up. As usual, we took this as our cue to leave, snagged a slice of pizza from nearby Pizan’s, and headed back to home base. Smell ya later, New Beige.

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