Death on Tap

Sloan Krause Series, Book #1

By Ellie Alexander

ISBN: 9781250108630)   

Author’s Website: elliealexander(.)co

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   


When Sloan Krause walks in on her husband, Mac, screwing the barmaid, she gives him the boot. Sloan has spent her life in Leavenworth, Washington becoming an expert in brewing craft beer, and she doesn’t have time to be held back by her soon-to-be ex-husband. She decides to strike out on her own, breaking away from the Krause family brewery, and goes to work for Nitro, the hip new nano-brewery in the Bavarian-themed town. Nitro’s owner, brewmaster Garrett Strong, has the brew-world abuzz with his newest recipe, “Pucker-Up IPA.” This place is the new cool place in town, and Mac can’t help but be green with envy at their success.

But just as Sloan is settling in to her new gig, she finds one of Nitro’s competitors dead in the fermenting tub, clutching the secret recipe for the IPA. When Mac is arrested, Sloan knows that her ex might be a cheater, but a murderer? No way. Danger is brewing in Beervaria and suddenly Sloan is on the case. (Goodreads)


Death on Tap by Ellie Alexander is the first in her new cozy mystery Sloan Krause series. It was a really fun first book that drew me into the characters, their lives and livelihood and the mystery. A cozy with the brewing of beer as the main theme – love it. Location (the Pacific Northwest’s Bavaria) – love it because Leavenworth, Washington is one town that is on my to be visited list – beer and Christmas all in one town all year-round. Sweet!!!

It all begins when Sloan Krause, brew master at Der Keller, walks in to the following:

It wasn’t so much the sight of my husband’s bare ass that would become permanently etched in my memory, but rather the rhythmic sounds of the German brass band oompah-ing in the background, coupled with the strong, but delicious smell of steeping in the mash tun.

Who needs to see this? What is a gal to do? Of course Mac Sloan insists that it isn’t what it looks like… sure! And with the 23-year-old barmaid (forever known as the beer-wench) in Sloan’s office to boot!!!

In an effort to cope with this indiscretion, Sloan takes a job at a new nano-brewery in town called Nitro. Garrett Strong is the owner of Nitro and as it turns out, it will be the site of the murder – in a vat no less.

I must say that I really liked the cover art. The depth and breadth of knowledge with respect to the brewing of beer really impressed me.  Enjoyed meeting some of the other characters in the book – Otto and Ursula, to name a couple. They are the quintessential parents (and in-laws) and I was glad to see that even though Sloan and Mac were hitting a rough patch that they still wanted to maintain their close relationship with Sloan. 

There are numerous possible suspects, who Sloan must wade through as a result of the fact that early on, Mac is named as a suspect. Even though she is furious with him over his philandering ways, she knows deep down that he is no killer.  I enjoyed the journey Sloan led us on while trying to discover the true killer.

With not quite half the book read, I was pretty dog gone sure I knew whodunit. Not an ideal situation for a mystery BUT and this is a big but…the slow build of character development with a potential for romance in the future (?) once Sloan decides on the fate of her married life, and the great location and storytelling made up for me figuring out whodunit so early on. 

As a matter of fact, I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, The Pint of No Return.  And once I go through this series, I will have to pick up her other series – A Bakeshop Mystery series.