March 31, 2009
All *known* Maryland craft beer friendly establishments with a reliable, updated online beer list with rotating taps can be found on the menu at right. We're happy to provide the service. Feel free to email us any other locations that fit the bill.
Update: Add the Bel Air Sean Bolan's.
March 30, 2009
March 29, 2009
Just so you know if there aren't any comments BBG is shedding some serious emo tears come Monday night.
Its several months out but I have a certain giddiness in that I think there will be something very innocent about it. Other major cities have quite professionally done beer weeks and have years of training in it. This is just my impression but Baltimore/Maryland is much more decentralized so things are going to happen more organically and through the energies of the organizers at least the first go-round.
In other words there's plenty of room for creativity and making of mistakes.
I haven't taken a look at how other cities have done things, but most probably go by a calendar week of seven days so our not-so-seven-day event is already unique and bold in its oddness. We're already the city of 'Hon, so we might as well play off that oddness as the less-noticed major city/metropolitan area of the Eastern seaboard --- darn you Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.
Something that came to mind, and this is just playing off my own interests, a Belgian beer event. Pull together the expertise at Max's, plus the distributorship that's here, plus some excellent bottle shops and I think there's one Belgian restaurant down in southern Maryland near D.C. (Le Mannequin Pis or something like that?), sprinkle in the writings and knowhow of our own Chuck Cook, and maybe we're onto something. Lectures? An "Intro to Belgian Beer" event discussing styles and background (the masters event is at Max's every February, natch), invite travel companies to offer packages, something along those lines.
I'd love to see a Howard County event too. A beer crawl is next to impossible beyond the increasingly good downtown Ellicott City area, but maybe each day there can be a theme and two or three featured Howard County establishments to direct beer drinkers towards.
Or in the early days feature a different area of the state for each day. Give some love to Frederick and the western reaches of the state, and the next day highlight parts north and east of downtown (Grand Cru is a hidden gem!), then point to southern Maryland, then Annapolis and the Chesapeake/shore areas and points beyond, then Howard County.
Finally, wrap things up with some big party at participating locations either around the state or downtown (Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill). The unintended goodness might just be a new level of awareness of just how much there is out there for great beer, and cooperation between unlikely areas to share promotion. What I mean by that is, for example whenever I travel to San Diego I always pick up a few copies of this bright green pamphlet by the San Diego Brewers Guild.
In theory the Guild is in the business of promoting and linking the breweries (of which there are many) but in reality the pamphlet serves a different function. It lists breweries, but also some other places around town that simply do great beer (think the equivalent of Max's or Frisco Grille), and places them on a large county map, all in a simple pamphlet.
Its simple and well-executed and easy to share and lets readers divine their own plans based on where they are or where they want to be. Meanwhile, the bulk of the craft beer community there gets linked so while someone may be looking for say, the massive Stone Brewing Company on there, their eyes will wander and see Green Flash or Oggi's Pizza or O'Brien's pub. Rising tide lifts all. That can be done here and send a message to those in the state and parts beyond, we mean business as a beer community.
Those are what crosses my mind at the moment, and I'm guessing with the collective wisdom of many of the organizers they've already crossed theirs so this is probably redundant to them but I thought I'd offer some public input and invite yours as well.
March 28, 2009
--- Also added (The) Thirsty Brewer's website. Is The Brew Pot in Bowie, MD still open? How about Danny's Home Brew in Leonardtown?
--- Howard County Beer Map update coming in just a few minutes, thanks Dick for the helpful comment.
--- Columbia's Second Chance Saloon has added a tap list (and bottle list) to its website. For that, I'll merrily add it to the prestigious "Online Beer Lists" section on the menu at right. Hopefully they dutifully keep it up, and hopefully that Milwaukee's Best tap won't scare the beer geeks.
--- Also, we're tentatively adding the online beer list at Taps, although its still mostly the regular stuff we spot Stone, Dogfish Head, Magic Hat, Clipper City and Flying Dog. And, with a little navigating (Home -> Menu -> Draught Beers) you can find the same at John Steven Ltd. And yes, they carry PBR to go with their much-coveted Brewer's Art Resurrection account. Oh, how we love Baltimore.
--- Oh, and we're also adding The Abbey Burger Bistro (.pdf). EVERY establishment that cares about beer should have 1)an online beer list that 2)is updated within the hour. It doesn't hurt to add style, location, ABV, information like that if possible. If you build it, the beer geeks will come.
--- UPDATE! Add Lures in Crownsville/Annapolis to the mix!
--- "Free Beer". At the 31st Annual Clyde's American 10K. I haven't been at Clyde's in a loooong time, I know they had a couple Stone taps on when I was there though, hopefully they're keeping things up and being craft friendly with the 10 or so taps they have. Feel free to rat them out on here if not, heh.
--- Not that I advise abusing yourself too often in the name of great beer, but here are some hangover cures from around the world as seen in a recent National Geographic (my Mom tore the page out and thought of you, dear BBG readers):
Coffee in Italy, pickled plums in Japan, tomato juice and eggs in the good ol' US of A, tripe soup in Romania (pass), salt in Denmark, sour pickle juice in Poland, strong green tea in China, beer in the Netherlands, shrimp in Mexico (for when you're crudo) and leafy birch branches, while whipping the hung over subject, in a sauna, in Russia.
--- Ruddy Duck, a rare brewery out in the more Chesapeak-y areas of Maryland (for lack of a better term) in Solomons Island, is holding a job fair for all positions at the Hilton Garden Inn right next door to their facility - 13100 Dowell Rd., Dowell Md, 20629 on April 8th from 10 AM to 2 PM and April 9th from 10 AM to 2 PM and 6 PM to 8 PM.
One day, we promise, they will open. In the meantime you can go to the website and have a slightly agitated duck randomly quack at you while looking at construction photos.
--- As first reported at Rob Kasper's site but finally arriving in my inbox, there will be a one night only screening on April 16th of a documentary film about the craft beer industry called "Beer Wars". Several suburban theatres will present the film so be sure to check that out and report back what you thought of it. That or make an event of it although my weak bladder and sitting at a theatre for more than an hour after having a beer or two beforehand is not the best of ideas.
The participating theatres are:
Regal's Bel Air 14, Bowie Crossing 14, Snowden Square 14, Germantown 14 and AMC's Columbia Mall 14 and Owings Mills 17. Tickets can be purchased online. Any of those theatres stand out as most comfortable? I know the Columbia pair are the closest to where I live.
--- DuClaw writes to correct that although Colossus will be released on 4/1, it will not come numbered and signed by brewmaster Jim Wagner, apologies for the inconvenience.
--- There will be a Brewer's Alley beer dinner at Victoria Gastro Pub (.pdf link) on April 14th starting at 6:30 PM for $85 (10% discount for beer club members).
--- Be sure to check out and bookmark the brand new "Beer in Baltimore".com website. Welcome to the Maryland/Baltimore beer blogging community!
--- The Baltimore Snacker reviews The Wine Source and finds them carrying Southern Tier and Brewer's Art. Nice.
--- Join the fight. Seriously, this state is ridiculous in prohibiting the private shipment of beer and wine in and out of its borders. Backwards, even.
--- Self-service beer taps, as seen at Beer in Baltimore. This has potential, but I don't see it ever fully taking off. This kind of idea is exactly why alcohol is regulated as it is, and its right at the edge of being overcomplicated and user-unfriendly. A few years ago a hotel bar in San Diego had planned to add a few of these but the state stepped in at the last minute and put the kibosh on the whole thing.
--- SPBW membership gets you deep, deep discounts at Red Brick Station. Nice. Pub Dog may open a third location in Fells Point near Max's, where the former Admiral's Cup was (great location, potentially!). Its too bad Mr. Mitchell's limited in his beer access of late due to health, I want to say his site's really gotten good the last few months, the man definitely finds his way around town and uncovers the (beer) goods.
--- Via the great HowChow, Greg from Food and Wine Blog reviewed Ellicott Mills Brewing Co. and came away less than impressed. That's too bad, I don't go there as often as I should, but its not terrible for beer. For a beer geek, those oddly shaped taster glasses really don't do their beers justice nor does a flight. Sometimes you have to sit down and take in a few pints over a few visits and single out the one or two or three that you find suitable, it helps put them in perspective. Regardless, Greg also does excellent work in his own way, hits up some interesting spots and posts notes on his own home brewing activities.
--- What are your perfect 5.0 beers?
March 26, 2009
Its not comprehensive, but it covers most of the main stops. How many of those mentioned locally (in the Baltimore, Maryland and Annapolis sections) have you visited?
I've hit up the Old Stein Inn in Annapolis, but have yet to make my way to Galway Bay or Heroes Pub.
Yes for Victoria Gastro Pub, Judge's Bench, Bertha's, Frisco Grille, Grand Cru, Ale Mary's, Max's, Mahaffey's Pub, Wharf Rat (Fells Point), John Steven Ltd., The Owl Bar. If you want my thoughts on any of these and they have yet to be mentioned here, let me know, I'm happy to oblige.
No for The Parkside, Hamilton Tavern, Elliot's Pour House, Muggsy's Mug House, Metropolitan Coffeehouse, No Idea Tavern, Phoenix Emporium, Ropewalk Tavern, Baltimore Taphouse, Racers Cafe, Duda's Tavern, Dog Pub (Federal Hill), Royal Mile Pub.
So yeah, there's a lot more places to see still. And review.
Ellicott Mills Brewing Company is holding a home brewers competition. Best brown ale gets a tap handle at EMBC. The contestants submit their beer for a blind taste test. The winner gets to brew a brown ale, with brewer Ray Andreassen, name it, and help design the tap handle. Rules are simple bring 3 bottles of good beer and the best wins. Competition is March 28th. The unveiling of your named Brown Ale will be May 2nd. To participate you must register at EMBC for one of 15 available spots. Competition starts at 2pm on March 28th. Call at 410 313 8141 and ask for Dwayne, Ray or Tim for details.
March 25, 2009
Thursday April 9, 5-8 PM
An evening of over a dozen Bourbons and American Whiskeys paired with a special Barbeque menu, and a Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout created by our Brewmaster Tom Flores!
Smoked and Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Sesame Sauce
Barbeque Duck Confit
Braised Pulled Pork on Brioche Toast
Grilled Chicken Breast with Carolina Style Barbeque Sauce
Sweet and Spicy Thai Chili Barbeque Shrimp
Honey-Bourbon Grilled Atlantic Salmon
Raisin Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel’s Sauce
Featured Bourbons and American Whiskeys:
Woodford Reserve, Evan William's Single Barrel Vintage, Elijah Craig 12 Year Old, Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single Barrel, Sam Houston Very Small Batch, Jefferson's Very Small Batch, Jefferson's Very Small Batch Reserve, Henry McKenna Single Barrel, Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Whiskey, Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whiskey, Old Forester, and, Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, Gentlemen Jack, Jack Daniels Single Barrel
Frederick Reads has very quickly become a beloved event in Frederick, as the community joins together to enjoy the work of a selected author. This year's selected author, Clyde Edgerton, features the sights, sounds and tastes of the South, and we are thrilled by the tremendous response from our partners in the community. Brewer's Alley has supported Frederick Reads from its earliest days, and this "Taste of the South" event is one that will get everyone into the spirit of this wonderful novelist.
Members of the Frederick Reads Committee will be on-hand to share details about Edgerton's visit to Frederick and his free appearances around town. They will also have several of Edgerton's books available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these books will benefit Frederick Reads.
It's going to be a bar/restaurant called The Reserve, and will feature upscale pub food, outdoor seating and occasionally some low-key live music, according to co-owner Andrew Dunlap.
He wants The Reserve to have a good wine list and a great selection of beers on tap.
--- Oliver's/The Wharf Rat on Pratt Street is now the Pratt Street Ale House, having finally re-opened. New website, logo, apparently tons of TV's inside now, but still serving the classic English-style ales (via three handpumps). I tried going in there once before the renovation, but couldn't get through the doors. Didn't help it was a few hours before a Ravens game.
The original Oliver's is still in operation over in Fell's Point.
--- Not sure I've mentioned this before on here and if so, thats pure negligence, but Baltimore Beer Week will debut this year, from October 8th through the 18th, marked by the Brewers Association of Maryland Oktoberfest (1oth) and the Society for Preservation of Beer in Wood (SPBW) Chesapeake Real Ale Festival (17th).
There's a website with not much else up right now where you can email them to get on the mailing list. I tried that when I first saw the website but got a bounceback email. Tried again today, hopefully that's resolved now.
Hopefully establishments in the entire state can get involved, I'd love to be witness to the great wealth of beer resources here putting a great event together. Be sure to notify your favorite beer bars and establishments about this event and nudge them to get involved.
--- DuClaw's "Colossus" will be available in stores and their four locations on April 1st. It is a 21.92% ABV brewed in 2006, aged and allowed to mature, best stored at cool temperatures. They'll put the beasts in 1L swing-top bottles, signed by DuClaw's brewmaster Jim Wagner.
Just tinkered around a bit with the Howard County Beer Map, updated it a bit, moved the markers around a bit, just made it more usable. My question to you is, is it up to date? Are there any places that ought be removed (I took several down today) or that should be added -- be it beer/wine/liquor stores, or bars?
Is Carpe Vinum in Ellicott City still open? Whats the name of the wine place just across from The Judges Bench, relatively new? Do they have decent beer selection?
What about places like TGI Friday's and Michael's Pub in Columbia, are they worthy or are their beers fairly standard? How about the Columbia Ale House?
And what do people think of Buffalo Wild Wings? I've heard they carry a decent tap beer selection but obviously haven't been to any in the area, not that there's any in Howard County but speaking generally here.
Are you ready for it?
I know I am ...
Boom! I absolutely cannot wait for that Charm City Sour Cherry, currently in first place in the Brewer's Art poll way down at the bottom of the menu on the right.
Currently, we have our blond
and smooth longtime favorite
Green Peppercorn Tripel on,
and the Charm City Sour Cherry
is on the horizon!
The Pine Orchard Wine liquor store is offering an unusual sale today and tomorrow, March 24 and 25. All wine, beer and liquor in the shop will be sold at $1.00 over cost. It's a great excuse to stock up. Cash, checks, or debit cards only for this sale...no credit cards. Pine Orchard Wine is located on Rt. 40 just west of Centennial and Bethany Lane.And via email, Mahaffey's Wednesday bomber this week is Abita's Andygator, a "helles doublebock". Interesting.
And they just put a Heavy Seas (Clipper City) Peg Leg Stout w/coffee on cask, one time deal type thing so hop on down to Canton if that sounds interesting.
March 24, 2009
March 21, 2009
We're just now over a year into existence. Hooray (!) (?) (!).
So much more to do ... thank you, with great sincerity, for visiting.
Rogue Frog In The Rye (Rye IPA)
Rogue Anniversary Glen
Troegs Nugget Nectar
The Anniversary Glen ended up tasting, oddly, like Orval. It shouldn't, and I have no clue as to why that came to be.
Condolences to the Maryland Terrapin fans, that beatdown at the hands of Memphis was brutal to put it mildly.
So today's freeze frame:
The Judges Bench -- Unibroue Trois Pistoles and Troegs Nugget Nectar
Hard to go wrong with those Belgian darks which I think is a small portion of why Unibroue is so successful. And most of us are aware of the cult-like appeal of Nugget Nectar which for the most part lives up to the hype.
March 20, 2009
Just an FYI. Haven't seen a whole lot of movement from them the last few months and they produce a ton of good beers so I have a feeling a ton of good stuff is coming, and soon. Charm City Sour Cherry, anyone?
They're just coming off this Wednesday's excellent Rogue pint night with eight Rogue beers (I also escaped with a pretty cool Rogue t-shirt courtesy of the great Frisco folks).
Be sure to congratulate owner Mike on transforming the place into an excellent stop for craft beer nuts.
Its an Irish bar/restaurant, with its most famous location in Canton. Sounds like there were some opening week issues to work out but you gotta love what appears to be 24 taps (but are there any good beers on tap?).
Regardless, we'll have to add it to the growing list of beer places in Howard County if it passes the test, feel free to comment below about the beer selection and how much rotation is expected or if they've got a set group of beers they'll remain loyal to.
"Our annual tribute to Belgian style saison aka country farm house ale. Brewed with a special yeast and rocky candy sugar, this 7.5% ABC saison is spicy upfront with a dry hop tang in the finish. Available while supplies last."So, be on the lookout!
Clipper City will be there on March 25th for a "Meet the Brewer" event from 5-8 PM.
Judges is a tiny place, but it has 17 taps and flies through them because it doesn't use a normal keg system but something smaller so things go on and off with great frequency providing great variety.
April 4th -- Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Fest in Timonium
April 25th -- City Paper Beer Fest in Fells Point/Baltimore
May 30th -- SAVOR
May 30th -- Maryland Brewer's Springfest in Frederick
"Try all you can taste from seven different cask conditioned "real ales" poured directly from the firkin, along with BBQ chicken, ribs and pulled pork w/all the fixins. Beer by Clipper City, BBQ by Andy Nelson (killer!)"
Throw in some live music and a souvenir take home glass. Noon-5 PM, $49/person, limit 250. Booking info at the website or call (800)830-3976
March 19, 2009
1. Deconstructed haricot verts and château potatoes, hard cooked egg and Niçoise olives, drizzled with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette.made from baby spinach greens, grilled Ahi Tuna, steamed
Served with Brewer's Alley Kolsch
2. Pan roasted quail stuffed with a toasted hazelnut and corn bread stuffing, presented in a nest of spaghetti squash with Parisian potatoes napped with pan jus.
Served with DuClaw Brewing Company Old Flame
3. Grilled ginger lemongrass marinated shrimp served over sesame mai fun and dressed with a spicy mango salsa.
Served with Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale Ale
4. Grill wild boar tenderloin resting on shaved. Accompanied by a demi-glacé made from forest mushrooms and shaved black truffles.
Served with Sam Adams Honey Porter
5. A crunchy, gooey brownie pudding topped with a raspberry crème anglaise and .
Served with DuClaw Brewing Company Naked Fish
6. Neufchâtel cheese and dried fruit pâté served with shortbread cookies.
Served with DuClaw Brewing Company Misery
Tuesday March 24th -- George St. Maple Porter
The starting point in the design of this beer is a style category known as Robust Porter, which is a strong version of Porter. The color is between Nut Brown Ale and Oatmeal Stout. Our rendition of this style uses real maple syrup from Virginia, which comes through in the delicate maple aroma and the beginning of each sip. The maple flavor is then followed by the roasted maltiness typical of Porters. The bitterness you perceive in this beer comes more from the highly roasted malts used and less from the hops, though there are some hops added for balance. The residual sweetness comes from the caramel malts used and not from the maple syrup. This is because the syrup is so fermentable, all the sugars in it are used up by the yeast. However, a lot of the maple aromatics are retained, even after fermentation. Additionally, the full mouthfeel helps balance the overall flavor, as well as the heat from the alcohol. The intensity and alcohol strength of this beer makes it good for sipping at a leisurely pace. We are serving our Maple Porter in a brandy snifter to encourage a slower pace of consumption and to allow the beer to heat up a little as you cup it in your hand. This leads to an experience of flavor that unfolds over time and presents layers of complexity which emerge, as long as you are patient enough to wait!Thursday March 26th -- New Moon Ale (Cask)
Tuesday March 31st -- 21 Cherries
Our Head Brewer, Maggie Lenz, wanted to brew this beer for her little brother, Nick, who turns 21 years old . This amber colored beer has a slight red tint which comes from tart red cherries added directly to the aging beer. It was brewed as a lager, so the aroma is a mild and wonderful blend of slightly toasted malt and fresh fruit. The first taste you get is a general tart fruitiness that then more fully develops into red pie cherries, giving you a tart and refreshing finish that gets you ready for the next sip. Additionally, cinnamon and vanilla were sparingly added to the kettle as back up for the cherries, helping to bring out the flavor.
SAVOR is one of the beer community's biggest events and is returning to Washington D.C. It brings together some of the best breweries in one giant room at the National Building Museum as they offer samples of their brews along with gourmet food. It is held around the same time as American craft beer week (I've mangled the title but we'll get it right soon enough) so there will be other events going on at the same time here in Maryland as well as the entire Mid-Atlantic/Chesapeake region.
They also hold various salons but literally everything is sold out but one hosted by Maryland's own Hugh Sisson, head man at Clipper City.
Here's the link to purchase the ticket$$$
March 17, 2009
I'm not a huge fan of the Irish beers (Guinness, Smithwick's, Harp, etc.) but they should be on tap almost anywhere today. I will say Baltimore quietly has a ton of Irish bars and establishments, you can basically throw a dart at a list full of names and probably be quite satisfied wherever you land.
Let us know where you went if you went out.
March 12, 2009
Anyway, good stuff, an excellent winter/spring brew that seems to have improved from last year.
I actually attended the Garde Dog release at Flying Dog's tasting room a few weeks back, really good time and one of their finest brews.
March 11, 2009
They also have Flying Dog's excellent Garde Dog in the Bier De Garde style on tap right now. Yum.