May 30, 2008
This is an open invitation to anyone out there to design a logo (gratis) for Baltimore Beer Guy. Specifically, for the banner atop this site.
It looks like my banner is about 710 pixels wide, although it runs a little to the right of its area and I'm not sure why that is. I have nothing specific in mind, so feel free to keep it simple or go crazy, make a collage of represntative baltimore beer images, use standard or funky fonts for the title, etc.
If I'm submitted something that works, obviously the design will be featured on here and I'll be happy to cite your name/website/company if you're an artist, or just give you an artwork on the fridge moment and mention your name if you aren't.
Thanks, and have at it.
Right now they brew two beers (plus two seasonals) and their website beckons guests to visit them. That's about all I know, hopefully we'll get taste something of theirs at some point.
Cool logo, for what its worth.
A familiar brand might be Fuller's ESB or the American Left Hand Brewery's Sawtooth Ale.
Anyway. Here's the article. They go on to review several other basic bitters. They're something to consider beyond your standard hef or witbier (or hop bomb!) in the warm summer months.
May 29, 2008
Also tonight, Clipper City is participating in a beer dinner at Kooper's Tavern in Fells Point.
On Friday and Saturday there will be beer tastings at The Perfect Pour, per usual. Friday they are pouring Abita (from Louisiana) featuring Abita Light, Turbo Dog, Purple Haze & Strawberry Wheat. On Saturday, Brooklyn Brewery is featured. The Summer Ale, Weiss and East India Pale Ale will be available.
If you are on their email list, they have a coupon for 10% off any Dogfish Head 750ml when you buy three or more. New arrivals: Gruut Amber, Gruut Wit, Lindeman's Cuvee Rene
As noted in this space, the Maryland Brewer's Springfest is being held this Saturday in Frederick (the Frederick Keys' minor league ballpark, in fact). It is being held from noon to 8 p.m. with three bands performing, door admission at $20 and most of Maryland's major brewers in attendance.
Also on Saturday, Appalachian Brewing Company (Harrisburg, PA) is holding its 11th Anniversary Party. Pig roast, outhouse races, beer deals, music, etc.
And also on Saturday, Brooklyn Brewery is holding its annual Pigfest. BBQ & beer, what's not to love?
Monday is "Beer Club" night at Victoria Gastro Pub. Inquire within.
Maryland transplant (via Colorado) Flying Dog Brewery has announced the release of its "Woody Creek White", a Belgian-style witbier. Just in time for the warmth of summer.
If you would like your event posted on here please send me an email or add me to your email list. Thank you.
May 27, 2008
It's a meeting of many (most?) of Maryland's brewers and breweries, held at the Frederick Keys' Ballpark in ... Frederick.
Brewers slated to attend and dispense of their liquid gold include Brewer's Art, Clipper City, Flying Dog, Brewer's Alley, DuClaw, Growlers, Franklins, Oliver's (Wharf Rat), Red Brick Station, The Raven, Barley & Hops and the Dog Brewing Company.
The hours are noon to 8 p.m., three bands will play throughout the course of the day and admission is $17 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 for "youth", $10 for designated drivers, and free for the under-12 crowd.
This gallery I found online of of last year's Springfest should give an idea how it all goes down. Be like this guy. Don't be like this guy. Better yet, just crowd around the beer made by these guys.
Any of my loyal readers planning on being in attendance?
Japanese brewery Sapporo Holdings said it would make beer using the third generation of barley grains that had spent five months on the International Space Station in 2006.
"We want to finish the beer by November. It will be the first space beer," Sapporo executive Junichi Ichikawa told reporters.
The company will have enough space grain to produce about 100 bottles of beer but has no immediate plan to make it a commercial venture, Sapporo officials said.
Maybe we're onto something.
Cheap filler, I know. By Sapporo's logic, we could send gorgeous women into space, then bring them back to Earth and market them for dates, right? Call them space dates, and ask ridiculous auction prices for, well, girls who had been in space. Novelty, bitches!
Since my last visit, they added six taps. From the old tap list, Fisherman's Brew was nixed, but the new faces are:
Fuller's London Pride
Rogue Dead Guy Ale
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA
Houblon Chouffe (10 oz only)
Maredsous 8 (10 oz only)
Also, several new bottles have been added to the bottle list:
Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Ale
Sierra Nevada Big Foot Ale
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA
Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout
This is also a reminder to consider joining their "Beer Club". Last night they had 20% draught discounts for members, which was a nice treat. Inquire inside for details on all of that.
May 23, 2008
I had one in Las Vegas, I forget at which casino's brewpub. It's a conversation starter, and apparently they're available at Brewer's Alley in Frederick.
Brewer's Alley also has fine crafted beers or so I've been told, so be sure to make your way there for that express purpose instead of, well, you know. But please do report back to us if you do, well, you know.
May 22, 2008
At The Perfect Pour there will be several beer tastings. On Friday from 430 to 730 p.m., representatives from Unibroue (Canada) and Harpoon will offer selections of their quality brews. On Saturday from 3-7 p.m., Adam Cowan, a brewer at Maryland's own Flying Dog will do the same.
New arrivals this week at TPP: Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortal Stout and Rosse D'Hibiscus along with Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast.
The Maryland Zoo on Saturday May 24 will be hosting the "Brew at the Zoo" with proceeds obviously benefiting the Zoo and animals. I was told by a representative from one of the breweries that they won't be rationing tickets like in recent years so everyone will be free to taste as much as they want once inside. Do so responsibly if you attend, of course. Hours are from 2 to 6 p.m.
In Virginia on Saturday, there will be the Shenandoah Valley Beer & Wine Fest.
And in Pennsylvania on both Saturday and Sunday, there will be the Great Pennsylvania Flavor Fest.
If you would like your events listed on here, be sure to send me an email or add me to your email list of events.
May 17, 2008
You . Are . Awesome
Seriously. Watch the replay folks, that overhead shot of Big Brown dominating on the final stretch is awe-inspiring. Best of luck winning the Triple Crown in three weeks up at Belmont. Nice to see all the Maryland connections, too.
As an aside: I was at Corridor Liquors in Laurel today, and what to my wandering eye should appear but a case of "Preakness Infield" beer from Dos Equis at the entrance. No, I didn't buy it, but that's an interesting local marketing gimmick, huh?
May 15, 2008
All sorts of items to relay from The Perfect Pour.
Warsteiner tasting: Thursday (today!) from 430 to 7 p.m.
Woodchuck Cider tasting: Friday May 16 from 4 to 7 p.m.
They will also participate in a wine dinner at my favorite, Victoria Gastro Pub next Saturday May 24. Wine from the Spann Vineyards in California.
TPP's "Grand Opening Extravaganza" will be June 6th from 5-8 p.m. "Bring a friend - free beer & wine tasting stations - special discounts and more"
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest 24 oz
Geary's Summer Ale
Spanish Peaks Crystal Weiss
Also, if you get their email newsletter, there's a coupon for Duvel 750ml at $9.99 each when you buy 3 or more (regularly $11.99 each) and a Duvel gift set for $16.99 (regularly $18.99).
Flying Dog is celebrating the 72nd birthday of company friend and artist for all those crazy labels, Ralph Steadman.
They will also be part of a beer dinner at "Duffy's on Potomac" in Hagerstown on May 27. The menu looks good (smoked duck martini, exploding crabcake, thai beef skewers and tempura friend bananas), as do the beer pairings.
And at Victoria they're calling this upcoming Monday (May 19) "Victoria Day". They will be extending the free passed hors d' oeuvres hours in the pub from 5-7 p.m. (I can't vouch for most of them other than the mini chicken pizza which was good).
Monday is also Beer Club night (of which I'm a charter member), and they'll be offering a 20% reduction on all 65 of their bottled beers. They will also give you a free Victoria pilsner glass with any such purchase.
Pretend that watering hole is offering 25% off the listed price of three of its bottled beers on a particular day.
Pretend these three beers are Grimbergen Blond, Westmalle Trappist Dubel Ale and Rochefort Trappist 8.
Pretend you only had enough time to drink one.
Which would you choose?
No. 6 is interesting:
6. Distilled wisdom: In Scripps Ranch, Ballast Point's brewer Yuseff Cherney worked until 3 a.m. the morning before the conference distilling his first batch of whiskey. The Point joins Anchor, Rogue and a handful of other craft brewers dabbling in spirits. More will follow, Cherney said: “This is the next step in brewing.”
May 14, 2008
Suuuuuuuuuuper far. The Brewery will be located in Solomons, Maryland which is almost a two hour drive from Baltimore city and is at the far southern tip of the state's fingerlike dip into the Atlantic/Chesapeake corridor.
Anyway, welcome aboard Ruddy Duck (slated to open sometime this fall).
Bonus: register at their website before July 1 and receive credit for a free beer.
May 13, 2008
Sierra Nevada 2008 Summerfest (Czech Pilsener)
Flying Dog Garde Dog (Biere de Garde)
Smuttynose Hanami Ale (fruit beer)
Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat Ale (Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale)
Fraoch Heather Ale (Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale)
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (American Strong Ale)
Einbecker Mai-Ur-Bock (Maibock/Helles Bock)
Clipper City Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night (Saison/Farmhouse Ale)
The Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale got my highest grade, an A-/4.15. I'm still getting used to the "ancient ale" style, so the Fraoch and Grozet were difficult to grade.
Maryland Natives Clipper City and Flying Dog both fared well.
Also, be sure to enjoy Flying Dog's brewer video about what went into making the Garde Dog.
Flying Dog Brewery Garde Dog Biere De Garde from Flying Dog Brewery on Vimeo.
You can keep tabs of their tap list here. Tuesday's theme is Maryland Craft Beers, which should be fun for those who go. If I go again this week I think I'll target Friday for the West Coast beers. Anyone know what Thursday's TBD theme is yet?
It's challenging to review beers on samples so I'll save you the mess of that. What I did try was the Southern Tier Choklat, Southern Tier Gemeni, Smuttynose Brett & I, Allagash Four, Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru and Victory's Scarlet Fire. Hard to beat the overall variety and quality being offered at Max's this week.
May 11, 2008
American Craft Beer Week (May 12-18), which is celebrated annually, highlights
the industry and culture of craft beer. This year, breweries and beer makers
will also recognize their collective charitable contributions. For the first
time ever, the Brewers Association announced U.S. craft breweries' charitable
contributions, and for 2007 they are estimated to be more than $20 million.
Changed to a weeklong event in 2006, the inaugural American Craft Beer Week
was recognized by the U.S. Congress with House Resolution 753 (PDF file). The week has continued to grow with interest and support from beer enthusiasts and the media. In 2007, more than 150 brewers registered their community celebrations at http://www.americancraftbeerweek.org/.
Saturday 5/17: Pints for Pets Brewfest in Hollidaysburg, PA. All proceeds benefit the Central PA Humane Society. Tickets are $25 to $30, and they expect upwards of 50 brewers and distributors to attend.
Saturday 5/17: Brandywine Valley (PA) Craft Brewer's Festival. Tickets are $30, hosted by Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.
Saturday 5/17: 7th Annual Virginia Beer Festival in Norfolk. Tickets are $25-$30.
Saturday 5/17: 1st Annual Yardley (PA) Beer Fest supporting the Yardley Flood Relief Mitigation Fund. Tickets are limited.
May 9, 2008
May 7, 2008
Scurry down to D.C. pronto to enjoy "The Italian Beer Renaissance" Thursday May 8th. It will be held by the National Geographic Society, hosted by Brooklyn Brewery's Garrett Oliver ($70 to $75).
Also Thursday, the cask-heads otherwise known as the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood (SPBW - Chesapeak Bay Branch) will gather at Mahaffey's Pub in Canton at 7 pm.
DuClaw Brewing Company will debut its Snake Oil Imperial Pilsner Wednesday May 14th and Thursday May 15th at all four locations. Pint Club members will have access to a special sneak-preview on Monday May 12th.
Also: catch it while it lasts, DuClaw's own "El Guapo" Mexican styled golden lager made just for Cinco De Mayo.
New arrivals at The Perfect Pour (Columbia): Dogfish Head 120 Minute and Immort Ale, Fordham Summer Forecast Ale (w/raspberries), Oxford Organic Raspberry Wheat, Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy and Lagunitas Lucky 13.
On Friday (430-730) the Perfect Pour will host a tasting of Duval, Chouffe and Maredsous beers. On Saturday (4-7 pm) they'll be tasting beers from Virginia's Old Dominion Brewery.
Looking ahead, there will be a Grand Opening Gala Tasting event at the Columbia location on Friday June 6th. More info when it arrives.
Now is a good time to purchase tickets for the SAVOR event in D.C. next Friday and Saturday.
Hops and Vines will host a Troegs tasting this Friday May 9th (4-7 pm). The Wine Source will host a Troegs tasting on Friday May 16th (4-7 pm) manned by one of their area representatives.
More updates coming as I arrive at other event details ...
The first was at a place called Millrose in Barrington. It's a huge restaurant and brewery, with outdoor dining and this woodsy, barn look. Their applewood smoked ribs were fantastic. However, the beer was more sedate. Among their five available selections, I tried the Country Inn (Pale) Ale, which was nothing to write home about. The old man went with their Maibock which was solid.
The other stop was at RAM, a chain brewery/restaurant. Its bar area was loud, with television screens everywhere showing sports obviously. I went with their Porter, the old man went with the IPA and mom went with a Hef. All were solid, and came in oversized pint glasses. Off in the corner I spotted several empty growler bottles ready for take-home if the mood had struck.
Anyway, much beer was consumed over the ~3 days, and unfortunately I didn't do the best job of keeping a collective record of the incredible variety of beers we had. What follows is a 'from memory', partial naming of brews consumed.
From the personal collection (bottles):
Clay Pipe Backfin Pale Ale
Victory Whirlwind Witbier
Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale
Russian River/Avery Collaboration Not Litigation Ale
St. Sebastiaan Golden Ale
Hacker Pschorr Weisse
Rodenbach Grand Cru Flemish Sour Ale
Ellicott Mills Brewing Company
Magic Hat #9 (bottle)
Bertha's Best Bitter (cask)
Stella Artois (bottle)
Our server was vague as hell, they had two German beers on tap, something dark she called a K-Beer, and some kind of amber.
Clipper City Oxford Organic Rasberry Wheat (bottle)
Clipper City Heavy Seas Hop 3 Ale
Some kind of beer shandy
Some kind of Irish cream ale in a can with nitro cartridge
Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier (bottle)
Max's (for the Kentucky Derby)
Some kind of farmhouse ale
Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour
Smuttynose something or other
Great Divide Yeti Stout
Cherry Kriek beer from I forget who
Anyway, I've forgotten some of what we all drank, but it was a great time and a fantastic opportunity to enjoy various parts of Baltimore and a great variety of beers. I finally made my way to Annapolis and it was a beautiful day despite warnings of bad weather. We watched some soccer at Slainte and saw Big Brown put together one of the most impressive Kentucky Derby victories ever at Max's. Not bad.
As for personal favorites, I've really gotten into sour beers and that Rodenbach bottle was fantastic. Monk's Cafe's version wasn't bad. The Irish Cream Ale at Slainte was interesting, sort of mild and creamy (thanks for letting me have a taste Bob!). The Franziskaner Hef was fantastic. I was sort of neutral on Bertha's Best Bitter, but my curiosity is running wild when it comes to cask beers and I'd definitely try it again. The Marzen is a classic standby at Ellicott Mills and tends to be slightly superior to their other offerings.
May 5, 2008
Monday is being billed as "Beer Club" night at the Pub.
"Try new beers, reach new heights - we will issue you a beer diary to track the different beers you've tasted. At various plateaus, from 25 beers all the way to 500 beers, you will earn prizes that increase in value"
"Monday is your night - each and every Monday, beginning at 5:00, we will have something special for members. One night it may be a special Belgian only available to members. The next it may be free glassware from a brewery, or a visit from a brewmaster."
"The chance of the year - Each year, through a random drawing, we will give away a trip for two to one lucky Beer Club Member. This year it will be a vacation to Germany that includes the tour of a local brewery. Members only!"
Membership is $50/annually.
UPDATE: So despite the initial stages of being under the weather and this being Cinco De Mayo (stay off the roads!), I trekked down to Victoria tonight. Alex and Ryan were behind the bar and helped explain the whole Beer Club deal.
Best I can understand it - and Victoria management/employees, feel free to email and clarify - you give them $50 and the following happens:
Your first 20 oz draft pour is free (great!)
They take your name, phone number, address etc. to establish a database on your purchases
Tiers are established for number of different beers bought. After 50 beers, you earn a $10 credit, after I think 100 a $20 credit, etc. all the way up to 500 beers. At the 500 beer level, you automatically get a gratis "beer dinner" for four at the restaurant. One interesting snag is that for draft beers, you must purchase a 20 oz brew to qualify. Exceptions are made for 10 oz pours during happy hour for their "World Beer Tour" selection of beers.
As much time as I spend at Victoria, this club probably won't pay for itself but I like the joint so I put my cash in, good faith effort if you will. I arrived around nine and I don't know when Brian and Alex began their shifts but they said nobody else had signed up for the club yet although some had flirted with the idea. It's the first night and I wouldn't have known about the club if not for self-selecting myself to be on their email list so obviously their ability to increase the Club rolls will take some time.
Anyway, I wasn't feeling all that well and it's a bad night to be and its Monday and ... lots of excuses here. Things were kept low key as the free 20 oz pour went towards something new on the tap list: Chambly Noire. Brian called it a darker beer, but tasting something like a Hoegaarden. He had it half right, as it was more like a Delireum Tremens, but it was superb nonetheless. That's a great addition to the beer list.
I added a 10 oz of the Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball for good measure and called it a night.
Hopefully Victoria doesn't mind, but Baltimore Beer Guy retained a copy of their updated beer list (feel free to email me if you have questions about what's on it) which is a tremendous improvement over what they were offering as recent as two weeks ago. Several beers have been added to the draft list and the bottled beer list appears to have doubled in size with some interesting offerings. Also, they promise to, over time, offer many new beer offerings so as to make that elusive "500 new beers" option possible. In other words, stop by often to see what's new and build towards that free beer dinner for four.
My one complaint is that Victoria's bottle prices are sort of following the model set by wine in restaurants: approximately double the retail price for a bottle. I can find most of their offerings elsewhere in state for far less for individual bottles or six packs, but at the same time it's also nice to see an establishment not named Max's provide this much bottled variety.
Anyway, I'll close by saying Alex behind the bar told me that they've finally expanded the beer options as a member of the management team is a beer guy and they've recently addressed something like this as Victoria moves along in its development (opened Dec. of last year, approximately). This is a good step.
May 1, 2008
This didn't fit the West Coast massively hopped IPA taste profile despite the ominous name. It kind of flies solo as far as IPA's go, not West Coast, not East Coast, not British IPA (flavor-wise), which I sort of appreciate. I actually liked this beer, but it's just quite watery and mild for an IPA but the flavor, while challenging to describe, was suitable.
Folks new to IPA's might like this beer, as it doesn't kill you with the sort of tart, potent hop bitterness of most IPA's, particularly the more popular versions. My notes from last night said "highly drinkable". The flavor was more pine than citrus as far as the classic IPA "pine and citrus" definition goes.
Worth a try, feel free to let me know in comments what you think of this Maryland native! It earned a B- (3.49 average) at Beer Advocate.