March 31, 2008

Update: Camden Yards Beer

The Baltimore Sun's Rob Kasper comes to the rescue.

Kasper went to the ballgame today, and provided several details as to the beer scene at Camden Yards. As reported earlier, the Orioles converted an Irish pub named Bambino's (Babe "The Bambino" Ruth was born not more than a few yards from the Orioles' present-day location) into a "Bud Light Warehouse".


Double ack: $7.50 Stella Artrois. That's a fairly standard draft beer at a special beer price. Said Kasper:
It reminded me of Heineken, not especially exciting or flawed.

Other finds at the Warehouse included Busch's Shock Top Belgian White. Back on Eutaw Street, Kasper ordered Frederick's Wild Goose Pale Ale (Or did he mean IPA? $6.50 at the microbrew stand).

Things turned dark as the weather soured and the Orioles' 2-0 lead evaporated.
I craved a dark beer, a Guinness. So apparently did many other fans. By the sixth inning, the taps of the Guinness stand on the first level behind home plate had gone dry. No Guinness meant gloom and an Orioles defeat.

Opening Day left me with three questions.

Has anybody else tasted the Stella?

How about the Shock Top?

Finally, is it anti-American to drink beer in the comfort of a stadium pub, rather than sitting outside and sipping brews in the cold weather.

Dispiriting to say the least. Sorry, Rob.

To answer the questions:

1)Yes, several times. It's a respectable import distributed nationwide. A college friend of mine from Northern California took a liking to Stella but I always felt it was a fairly undistinguished beer. It's good in an emergency when there's nothing else on tap except bud/miller generics, less acceptable when more inventive options are available.

2)No on the Shock Top, but the liquor store nearby carries it. I didn't realize it was a Busch product. This must be their toes-in-the-water attempt to compete with Coors' Blue Moon. Best of luck to them, I suppose.

3)Absolutely not, at least when the weather turns. It's anti-American for baseball to be played in such gloomy weather if you ask me. My experiences at Petco Park and Wrigley Field attest to the value of some mid-game liquid refreshments.

Don't spent an entire game at the stadium pub, but an inning's pit-stop (or two) is a fun part of the experience. Wrigley doesn't have its own pub, but fill-ups before and after the game at the bars literally just steps away from the entrance are a rite for any of-age Wrigley visitor.

Unlike other games, baseball is just as much about the crowds and atmosphere as the timeless game on the field. Or maybe that's the Cub fan in me talking (hey, any team can have a bad century).

Brew Review: Victory Hop Wallop

Cool name, cool label art, intense taste.

I tried a 12oz bottle of the Downington PA's "Very Hoppy Ale" tonight, poured into a standard pint glass. The aroma reminded me of Bridgeport's IPA, as it poured a cloudy, pale-yellow/gold color with a clumpy but otherwise standard head.

Ok that's getting into too much inside baseball when it comes to description and that's something we'll discuss down the road.

My impression? It tasted like a watered-down Oggi's Hop Juice which isn't a bad thing. The southern California natives in the readership should have an idea what I'm talking about. This is a strong, hopped-up ale, although the flavor still came across a bit faded/light. The bottle had been sitting in my fridge for ~6 weeks so that might have had something to do with it. The taste improved after a few sips, which is ideal and sort of wine-like in its ability to improve with some oxygen and warm air.

The alternative is an increasingly bad-tasting beer the more sips you have, which is never good so we're headed in the right direction here. This isn't exactly something you want to have on an empty stomach (guilty), so throw some food in the gullet before having a taste. Overall I enjoyed this beer, and was swept in by some of the bottle art and well-chosen name. However, it wasn't a great beer experience either.

Verdict: can't complain, an above-average extra-hopped beer from a well-respected, Mid-Atlantic label. By comparison, here's a review from BBG's good friend, Summer of Beer Steve.

For my handful of readers out there, what do you have to say about Victory's Hop Wallop? Beer Advocate readers have given it a 4.08, which rates an A-/excellent. In other words it is not all that far from classification as a world-class beer.

Orioles' Opening Day

I'm a college football man at heart, but it's impossible to ignore baseball's opening day no matter what sport you follow or what city you live in (Cubs/Padre fan personally). Fortunately, this city loves its Orioles -- we are called "Birdland" after all. Right now the Orioles lead the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 in what is an openly admitted rebuilding year. Update: The Orioles lost 6-2. It's going to be a long year.

Regardless I'm excited to make a few trips down to Camden Yards this year. My question dear reader is this: what is the beer situation down there? As it is a ballpark, I hold no illusions about the beer prices, but what brands are offered/in what areas of the ballpark?

I read in the paper the other day that an Irish pub in one area of the ballpark was replaced with either a Bud Lite or Miller Lite station, which is disappointing.

Here's some thoughts in the comments section I found at the Baltimore Sun's Beer Blog, Kasper on Tap:
Pickles Pub [Outside the stadium, I've seen this place before but have yet to set foot inside - Ed.] has the Sam Seasonal on Draft for like 3 bucks on game days. Once inside the park I go to the microbrew stand on Eutaw Street.
We start and/or end at the Wharf Rat. Once in the stadium, their is a microbrew stand between home and third on the first level that has DuClaw Porter and a few regional IPAs. Many of the "restaurants" have Clipper City on tap. If we are in the bleachers, there is a bottle vendor run by some Marines that usually has a micro or two for a warm summer day.
I don't know what you all are complaining about. I go to Boog's and visit my buddy and get free beer. That's way better than what you all are getting. Free beer is the way to go. [Again, another place I've heard of but haven't hit up yet, Boog's BBQ inside the stadium which is supposed to be very good - Ed.]
Oriole Park does have a good variety of brews to choose from. There are a number of Maryland microbrew carts that sell the likes of Wild Goose, Backfin & Clipper City. I have also seen Guiness and Harp on tap in some of the eateries.

They also have some other bottle & can carts with a variety of brews - including Natty Boh. Nice to see Mr. Boh at an Orioles game - it gives the outing a nice touch of history.

Overall, from what I've seen in the many ballparks I have visited, Oriole Park has one of the top beer selections.
Any further comments that need to be added? Sounds like the Wharf Rat is the place to be pre/postgame.

Non-Beer Orioles Notes

Today's starting pitcher is Mark Guthrie, who was a hell of a player in college. At Stanford, he fought USC ace Mark Prior to a draw in two 2001 battles. Prior was incredibly dominant that season, having one of the best seasons in collegiate baseball history, yet Guthrie very nearly bested him twice with great outings of his own.

Today's weather is dreary and cloudy, with some light rain/drizzle. Definitely not baseball weather.
Other Orioles Blogs

Camden Chat (links to other Orioles Blogs inside)
Baseball Savant (sort of adopted the Orioles last year)

March 30, 2008

Can't Get Enough Victoria

It's pricey, but Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia (on Snowden River Parkway) is easily my favorite haunt. Victoria is part authentic upscale pub, part newfangled pub grub restaurant. I'll have more to say on their menu and the overall look and feel of the place later, but for now: beer.

The beer and food menu changes fairly regularly, but I swiped a paper copy of their menu this weekend so this should be up to date. In total they usually carry about 18 draft beers and another 40 or so bottled beers. Some of the draft and bottled selections (Miller Lite, Coors Light, Bud, Sol) take up space where a better beer could go, but at the same time not every customer wants craft beer. I've made my peace with that.

What they do offer is a real selection. I went with the family for a casual lunch on Saturday and we traded tastes of the Brewer's Alley Kolsch (eh), Ommegang Witte (bottled) Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball (just arrived on tap), Clipper City Baltomarzhon (drink locally!), Stone Arrogant Bastard (representing my old home San Diego) and Fisherman's Brew (Cape Ann Brewing Co./Mass).

Good times.

We paired those with servings of their fantastic poutine and also their rosemary duck fat fries.

What's interesting about Victoria is that many of their draft pours come in either 10 or 20 oz servings. This takes some getting used to, but they also supply sturdy goblets and nonics to sip from.

In time we'll discuss Victoria further, including their fun happy hour beer list and late night experience.

Map It

Two Brews at Bare Bones

Bare Bones is located in Ellicott City in the 'Burbs of Baltimore. It's a BBQ/ribs joint with a full dining area and a sizable bar. They also offer a handful of in-house beers.

Since "light" and "gold" beers don't excite my taste buds, I had a pint of the McClune's Irish Stout and later a pint of the Tiber River Red. Both were solid if unspectacular efforts.

Before we go any further, I should explain a particular bias. I'm really into flavorful brews. I like it when beer "pops" in my mouth. Usually, that favors hoppy beers like IPA's, but I can just as easily enjoy flavorful beers in other styles. Not every beer is designed to "pop" nor should every beer be that way. The subtleties and nuance of flavors can easily be hidden behind hop flavor and other elements to certain beers.

I appreciate those beers as well, and when I've got the time and energy to work through what's going on with more subtle beers, they often prove remarkable. But I also don't like having to strenuously dig for a beer's taste combinations either.

That was sort of the experience I had at Bare Bones. The two beers weren't bad, I truly did enjoy them, but they didn't excite me or make me all that excited to order up another pint. The Stout capably met its style, and the more roasty elements started to get coaxed out of the pour after a few bites of food seemed to change the tastes in my mouth. The red proved a bit more frustrating and perhaps I needed a second pour to reasonably assess it.

Lack of excitement aside, I'll be back as I live nearby. If you can get out of work early enough and beat the freebie loving crowd that settles in around 5, there's a free buffet of various food items in Bare Bones' bar area from 4-7 nightly. They've got a decent variety of beers on tap (including a hefeweizen, a brown ale and an IPA) and the pulled pork sandwich off the menu is above average.

Map It

March 27, 2008

Snake Vodka

Slightly off-topic and oh-so-not America. Except this time it's in America.
A Texas man is facing charges for selling liquor without a license after he was found peddling bottles of vodka containing dead baby rattlesnakes.

Bob Popplewell, who runs "Bayou Bob's Brazos River Rattlesnake Ranch" tourist attraction west of Forth Worth, was believed to be selling the vodka in the Asian community, where snakes are seen having aphrodisiac properties, state authorities said.

Popplewell faces misdemeanor charges for not having a liquor license but will not be charged over the 10-inch (25-cm) baby snakes in the bottles.

"I've been with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for 20 years," Sergeant Charlie Cloud said. "This is the most bizarre thing I've been involved in."

Three Sheets once sampled viper rum somewhere in Latin America. Maybe Texas can be their next "exotic" stop?

(Image: Dan Tombs/

Hop, Beer Prices Rising

Every beer nut knows this already.

Consider this an excuse to unload a video on the topic as I learn the ropes with this RedLasso video grabber program. The story is from a San Diego news station and they go to the authorities in the region: Stone Brewing. Good call.

I grabbed a few other beer-related videos tonight and will post them in the future as discretion merits.

March 25, 2008

Russian River at SAVOR

Summer of Beer Steve loves Russian River. Can't blame him.

Anyway, he passes along this bit of information from their newsletter:
We are participating in Savor, a food and beer pairing event, in D.C. May 16th & 17th.

More information and tickets available at Vinnie and/or I will be there pouring Pliny the Elder and Supplication.
Those are two great beers, I suggest you go if you can.

Flying Dog's Maryland Connection

It's deep.

Flying Dog is a Denver, Colorado brewer (one of our nation's beer capitals, more on that later) brewing in the spirit of Gonzo --- Hunter S. Thompson.

Long time friend, neighbor and co-conspirator of Flying Dog owner George Stranahan, Hunter was a large influence on George's life and subsequently on the creation of the Flying Dog brand; whether it was riding motorcycles, blowing shit up, or just getting a good, old-fashioned drunk on at the Woody Creek Tavern. These two were fast friends long before Flying Dog Brewery was even a thought. When George opened up shop in Aspen, Hunter would have been one of his best customers; if he had ever paid his tab.

Hunter's greatest contribution to Flying Dog is, of course, introducing George Stranahan to another long-time friend of his, Ralph Steadman. The Gonzo artist creates all of Flying Dog's signature labels.
Putting Thompson aside for a moment, Flying Dog is one of the bigger names in craft brewing with a national distribution. What I didn't realize until tonight was that they produce their full line of beers out of Wild Goose Brewing's Frederick facility. That's good news for Maryland beer consumers everywhere.

I must confess I haven't tried much of Flying Dog's lineup (yet). They were actually one of the rare national craft brewers of reliable distribution while I was living in the Florida panhandle. However, what I usually saw on the shelves was their Pale and Golden ales. Ho hum. I love Stone Brewing but it's hard to get excited about their Pale Ale, even though it's a good one. Same goes for those two, although Flying Dog clearly has enough self-respect to produce a dizzying line of other beers.

In other words, add them to the list of beers on my mental shopping list. Talking to Summer of Beer's Steve tonight he mentioned several quality brews they produce so now I'll be on the lookout for them in store shelves. Plus the Frederick facility isn't tooooooo far, maybe I can pair a stop over there with a stop at Brewer's Alley and Wild Goose (also in Frederick).

Many thanks to Flying Dog's own Creative Manager Josh for alerting me to this news. Josh also sends along this video of MojoHD's "Beer Nutz" visiting Flying Dog. Synergy, folks.

Mapping Maryland's Breweries

On the menu screen right, under "Maryland Beer" I've listed and linked to the Breweries and Brewery/Restaurants that I am personally aware of in Maryland. Feel free to pass along an email (contact form also on the right) if you know of others and I'll be more than happy to add them to the list.

Consider those links a resource in crafting your own beer adventures.

In addition, I've created a Google Map of those listed Breweries. Hopefully that comes in handy. If nothing else it's cool to look at, or maybe that's me as I'm one of those people who enjoys looking at maps. Regardless, be sure to check that out and feel free to email it around. The red markers represent breweries outside the city proper, blue dots represent breweries within the city.

Summer of Beer

That's the title of my good friend Steve's beer blog. At his site Steve threw some love Baltimore Beer Guy's way today (much appreciated).
Maryland doesn't just do football and crab cakes. They do beer too. So if you have some spare time (and you obviously do if you've found your way to this blog) and you like beer (again...), hop on over to a new blog from The Baltimore Beer Guy
His blog is the inspiration for Baltimore Beer Guy, so if you like it here, a tip of the hat is in order for Summer of Beer Steve. SOB (ha!) is based in sunny Upland, California where it's about 80 degrees today while us Charm City folks battle through a sunny but 45 degree day. Bastard.

So yeh, Steve's a good friend of mine and a full-time pharmacy student. That consumes much of his time but his passion for beer occupies many of those spare minutes when not buried in study materials.

Do yourself a favor and bookmark Summer of Beer. He capably covers an amazing range of beers in perhaps the most fertile craft beer area of the country. Maybe one day he'll even post his pictures from meeting Logan the Beer Thief at Lost Abbey/Port Brewing.

Meet The Brewery Night

Finally! A local item for Baltimore Beer Guy.

Clipper City Brewing's website is pointing to an event called Meet The Brewery Night this Wednesday (March 26) to be held at Muggsy's in Federal Hill.
03/26/2008 - 5:00pm
03/26/2008 - 8:00pm

Meet the Brewery Night at Muggsy's in Federal Hill

1236 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

Meet some of the folks behind the beers and snatch an eyepatch and maybe a pint glass!!

I doubt I'll make this event, but it sounds interesting. I have yet to set foot in Federal Hill, but I'm aware of several bars/restaurants/pubs/breweries in the area. A Federal Hill stop is obviously on the to-do list for Baltimore Beer Guy.

Muggsy's website doesn't really have much going on right now (no beer menu, no food menu, no photos) other than this brief snippet:
Here at Muggsy's, we pride ourselves in our beer knowledge, and the quality of local Micro-brew beers. With 11 drafts that we rotate on and off, and our selection of over 50 different kinds of bottled beer, you're always guarenteed to find a great beer to enjoy.
Here's a little more insight from Baltimore Metromix, written after attending Muggsy's opening night.
The location Muggsy's has commandeered has always featured a lot of drafts. The current owners fill these taps with interesting, but not uncommon, brews. Those who know beer will be pleased but not surprised, while those looking for a domestic light on tap will be disappointed.
Sounds good to me.

March 24, 2008

The Washington Post's Beer Madness

Drawing inspiration from college basketball's "March Madness" tournament, the Washington Post recently held its second annual Beer Madness. The Post selected 32 brews from a variety of styles, and held blind taste battles between them.

Nine dedicated beer-drinking readers and the post's beer columnist Greg Kitsock were the judges. They already held the tasting, but the winners are being revealed with the winner announced April 6. Kudos to the Post for holding this competition, which connects the paper to its readers and shows it is paying attention to niche communities like beer nuts.

Unfortunately they're advertising that this may be their last Beer Madness as the Post is reluctant to pony up the approximately $600 needed to purchase the brews.

Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager was last year's winner, but the panel bumped it in the round of 16, losing out to Colorado's Old Scratch Flying Lager. Baltimore native National Bohemian lost to Brooklyn Lager in the opening round.

The Stone Pale Ale from my old stomping grounds in San Diego has made it into the round of 8, facing off against Pennsylvania brewer Troegs' Hopback to be crowned king of the Ales. That winner advances to the final 4 against the winner in the Lager category.

Mojo Is Beer Friendly

If Comcast happens to be your cable TV provider.

If you have their HD package.

If you have an HD television.

You've got Mojo. More specifically, you've got InHD Channel, which is another name for Mojo. Mojo is an all-HD cable network with some fairly interesting programming. Notable within their lineup: Three Sheets and Beer Nutz.

Three Sheets is a personal favorite of mine and has a bit of a cult following. It's a show hosted by Zane Lamprey, who travels the world and participates in its various booze cultures. Lamprey is equal parts comedian, host and guinea pig. Despite the title, there isn't too much embarrassing drunkenness. Instead, the viewer gets a snappy, well-edited local profile of his various stops and their beverage cultures.

Beer isn't so much the focus of this show. If the show stops in France, the obvious focus is on Champagne and wine. In Kentucky: bourbon. In Ireland: Guinness. You get the picture. Watch the New Year's Even NYC Pub Crawl Episode or the full Croatia episodes here for a taste of the magic of Three Sheets. The show's fans have even developed a fun drinking game that meshes well with the content of the episodes.

The lesser of the two booze-related programs is Beer Nutz. Its two hosts travel around the U.S. sampling and rating beers, breweries and brewers. Beer Nutz provides a decent look into the beer culture of the featured cities. The hosts are nice guys but seem a bit aloof to the intricacies of beer which could make the show more informative.

As for a local connection ... there isn't one. Neither show has spent any time in Charm City. However, several local establishments feature beers from Magic Hat (I've seen #9 on draft at Greene Turtle and bottles of Circus Boy at Victoria), a strange but well-regarded brewery in Vermont that was featured in an episode of Beer Nutz.

March 23, 2008

What's In Your Fridge?

Since Baltimore Beer Guy is new and has maybe one reader, it's doubtful anyone will reply to this query. We press on, however, since content is king.

What's in your fridge?

It's an ever-changing situation in my fridge as the supply is occasionally drained and the assets liquefied. At present are 1-3 bottles of the following:

La Fin Du Monde (Unibroue/Quebec)
Hop Wallop (Victory Brewing Co./PA)
Hoegaarden (Belgium)
Blue Moon (Coors/CO)
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA (Dogfish Head/DE)
Troegs Nugget Nectar Ale (Troegs/PA)
Green Flash West Coast IPA (Green Flash/CA)
Stone Ruination IPA (Stone Brewing Co./CA)
Guinness Extra Stout (Guinness/Ireland)

There's nothing particularly special about this group of beers other than they are all quality brews. What I do find interesting is the variety within the group. In a single sitting we can go from Belgian Wit styled beers to massively hopped West Coast IPA's and a fantastic East Coast IPA to the classic Irish stout and then a finely crafted golden ale. These beers span the states and the world.

Thanks to the creativity and craftsmanship of brewers through history and into today our society has developed a taste for quality beers and an amazing variety of them. In turn, this demand has created a fairly efficient market and marketplace that makes their collective nationwide and worldwide availability possible. But a market will always live and die with the consumer, so my message in closing is to consume!

Buy locally, but also buy globally. Try new beers (do your research so the names at the store aren't overwhelming) and keep that market alive so everyone can continue to enjoy this unique time in the history of beer consumption.

(Image: Stuart Whitmore/

Some Basics

At present, this blog will have a fairly open format. What that means is that the focus will be on beer, but I may wander from time-to-time (see snowballs entry below).

Personally, I conduct most of my business west of the city. As much as I like downtown, it's a bit of a hike. Most of what is known to me is in the Ellicott/Columbia area. We can still discuss establishments around town and around the state (and even D.C., Pennsylvania, etc.), but I won't always hit them up immediately if at all. And, I have a bias towards avoiding crowds (except at sporting events). Don't ask. The more relaxed the place, the more positively I tend to respond to it.

In that same spirit, I tend to respond more positively to variety when it comes to beer. I have my favorite styles, but nothing is more damning to a beer nut than a row of taps with 90% Bud/Miller/Coors. Throw us a bone. A Sam Adams or Yuengling or Blue Moon is nice, but go crazy and throw in 2-3 unique pours if you can afford it. Same with your bottles.

Finally, it's a given that anything involving food/beer/wine will have an air of snobbery. I am not immune to this. Not everyone is in the same place when it comes to beer. I'll do my best to moderate such tones and make this place as accessible as possible to any and all people who enjoy beer and are willing to look beyond the stuff marketed to us on football Sundays.

Snowballs In Spring

I was doing some Sunday driving today, and noticed the following message on the long-shuttered local snowball stand:

Open March 28

This snowball thing is foreign, seeing as I'm not a Maryland native. Are they like shaved ice snow cones? After doing some googling we have an identity of this snowball stand: The Snowball Stand. Original, huh? It is in charming old Woodstock, on Rt. 99.

The following website lists several snowball stands around the Baltimore area, and has this to say about Woodstock's version:
Best known for their deluxe "candy bar" snowballs (Snickers, Butterfingers, Mounds) consisting of not just ice and flavor syrups, but also caramel sauce, peanut butter sauce, chocolate syrup, butterscotch and peanut butter chips. Of course, the standard options of chocolate, marshmallow and ice cream in the bottom are available too.
Sounds weird. The website has this to say about snowball stands in general:
The icy and sweet treats they offer, often times topped with gooey marshmallow, are a great way to keep cool during the hot summer days in Charm City.
Marshmallow? Hmm ... might have to try a plain version and then evaluate before diving into marshmallow.

Update: After doing some more digging, it appears snowball is a regional term. Yay regional terms!
SNOWBALL - and all its variant spellings (i.e. Snow-Ball, Snoball, Sno-Ball, etc.) is a regional generic term that’s been used in the South for generations. Here in New Orleans, a “Snowball” has the great reputation of being a soft, fluffy and delicious tasting summertime treat.
It's shaved ice/snow cones, people! You're confusing this poor visitor. I've had those everywhere, but the whole toppings/marshmallow thing is probably still something more local than national. Hopefully once that stand opens later this week my confusion can be put to rest. Hallelujah.

$1 Beer

If you're a beer person that headline is never a good start. That's usually Miller/Bud territory at some densely pack joint. I don't mind paying a fair price for a decent beer and some actual oxygen so these kinds of deals are generally avoided.

So it comes as a decent and welcome surprise to find the Turf Valley Golf Resort offering $1 beer (and half-priced burgers) on Tuesday nights after 4 p.m. at their Terrace on the Green Clubhouse Grill. Turf Valley is in Ellicott City, accessible from the 70 or the 40. There's four beers on tap, notably Sam Adams Boston Lager and Blue Moon.

Sammy is old hat for me at this point, but it was one of those introductory beers everyone finds that moves them from the Bud/Miller world into craft beers. It's a good beer, especially at a dollar. Blue Moon is produced by Coors (boooo!), but it has a decent taste and is refreshing and also hard to beat for a buck.

Sometimes the Terrace's bar can get a little crowded on Tuesday nights because of this special, but for the most part you can grab a seat or two and watch some ESPN behind the bar. The clientele is distinctly older, more of the golf crowd for obvious reasons.

Some warning concerning those burgers: twice now out of my several recent trips my medium-rare burgers have come out a little rare even by my tastes and I've had to send them back to get a little more cooked.

Map It

March 20, 2008


First entries are always difficult in blogs.

Where to begin?

Let's just call this a beer adventure. I don't pretend to know a whole lot about beer, I simply enjoy the taste and the variety of flavors and, yes, the effect. In another life, I spent time in Illinois, Southern California and Florida's Gulf Coast. Now in my mid-20's, I currently call Baltimore, Maryland my home. To be more precise, I live in the Baltimore suburbs, in Howard County.

In my brief time in Maryland, I've quickly realized this is a place that loves beer!

Please don't laugh at the simplicity and innocence of that statement. I loved the Florida Gulf Coast, but when it comes to beers that's a Bud and Miller place. No thanks. Until convinced otherwise, I consider Southern California beer capital, USA. It's where I was first introduced to microbrews, and where I first developed a healthy appetite for actual flavor and variety in beer. Everything else has since been held to that standard.

Fear not people of Baltimore, you're doing great when it comes to beer. In fact, I'm itching to try more and more of what you have to offer.

My Baltimore beer experience is limited to date, but I've tried some of what Clipper City has to offer. I've been to Max's in Fell's Point (for the Belgian Beer Fest!). I've heard of Natty Bo, but have yet to try it (heresy?). I've been to some other places as well, and we'll address all of that in time. Point being: this is a good beer place, I'm happy to be here, and this blog is my (limited) record of that experience. Thank you.

So, where do we go from here?

Off the top of my head, this should be a documentation of my beer experience. Where I'm grabbing a pint. What I'm drinking. What's good. What's bad. What I'm doing right. What I'm doing wrong. And where I should be going.

If I'm fortunate to have a bright reader (or two, or ten), you can help me make this experience more diverse and worthwhile. I would love that. This entry is bordering on narcissism with so many "I"'s, so let us conclude with this:

Thank you for stopping by. Please please please contribute either in comments or email. Baltimore Beer Guy doesn't bite. Promise.