October 16, 2009

Woodberry Kitchen Sausage (and beer) Fest Cancelled

The outdoor sausage (and beer) fest planned for Sunday at Woodberry Kitchen has been cancelled due to concerns about this cold, wet weather we've been having. Bummer.

October 14, 2009

MOBBIE's Voting Closed

Thank you to everyone who voted for Baltimore Beer Guy for the MOBBIE's awards. I didn't do so hot but maybe next year, your efforts were appreciated regardless of outcome. It was nice to be nominated and also get a look at a bunch of other food/beverage blogs in the area.

Frisco Grille Items

-- Tonight (Wednesday) at Frisco Grille is a 'show us your (Beer) T's event with Flying Dog, show up in your best (preferably vintage) beer t-shirt, there's some sort of competition, 7-10 PM.

-- Tomorrow is their second Firkin Thursday, with special casks of Troegs' awesome Nugget Nectar and also their Javahead Stout. Those will go fast-fast-fast so be sure to get there in time, probably around 7 PM.

Ruddy Duck Items

Can't forget about the guys and gals with Ruddy Duck down in Solomons Island.

Last week they entered six beers into the Maryland Governor's Cup beer competition ... and all six merited awards. Congrats to them and brewer Jonathan Reeves.

The Oktoberfest took gold in just its initial run, silvers were given to the IPA (nobody earned gold this year) and Belgium Trippel. Bronzes arrived for the Helles, Imperial Stout and Belgium Dubbel.

DC Update

From the great email listserv thingamajig at DCBeer.com

Briefly, it looks like there will be ANOTHER DC Beer Week (someone ought to harmonize these various events) at the end of October.

It'll include a Smuttynose beer dinner at Birreria/Pizzeria Paradiso October 26th, Brooklyn Brewing's Garrett Oliver stops by Brasserie Beck October 27th, the Brickskellar has a 'why is there beer' discussion with some great guests October 27th and DC Beer is hosting its own event, 'The Great Pumpkin Beer and Food Tasting' October 28th at The Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan.

Check out his great website for all the details, sign up for the email list to see whats on tap at various DC bars, and other nice resources.

Clipper City Update

Their full list of events is available at the Baltimore Beer Week website, but a couple stand out:

-- "Back to our Roots" (Thursday October 16th 6-8 PM at Ryleigh's in Federal Hill) Clipper City returns to its roots, at Ryleigh's which was originally Sissons. Enjoy oysters while learning the history of brew pubs in Maryland.

-- Pyrates Plan Raid of The Judges Bench (downtown Ellicott City Friday October 16th 5-8 PM). They'll have 10 Clipper City beers on tap along with special cheese pairings. The highlight will be a rare 2008 Below Decks on draft plus its a keep the pint glass event.

Mahaffey's Update

Via email:

Today is Sierra Nevada during the day (Chico Estate bombers) and then Stone and Paulaner/Hacker Pschorr tonight (Stone 090909 and smoked porter bombers). Wings at $0.30 as well.

Tomorrow is Brooklyn then Troegs (Nugget Nectar!) and for Friday something called 'Boulders, Bombers and Bingo'. They've actually rented a bingo cage. Ahhh, Mahaffey's.

They're also planning a beer breakfast 'very soon' and expect a return of the Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA on draught soon.

Woodberry Kitchen Sausage Festival Update

As noted earlier on here, Woodberry Kitchen is hosting a (don't laugh) sausage festival this Sunday (October 18) from 3-5 PM on its patio. They'll have local and housemade grilled sausages available for $5 (meatless options as well) to go with live music and importantly, regional beers, also for $5.

As a Baltimore Beer Guy reader you're the first to know of the beer selections. Besides their standing taplist they'll also have pours of Troegs Troegenator (Doppelbock 8% ABV), Evolution Brewing ESB (6%) and Victory's Festbier (Oktoberfest 6%).

So head on down, admission is free and Woodberry's the place everyone raves about.

October 13, 2009

Updates A-Comin'

Baltimore Beer Week is insane, heh.

Notes from where I've gone, plus a massive backlog of links for the next round of Beer Notes.

October 8, 2009

Baltimore Beer Week Friday Thoughts

Just looking ahead to tomorrow as well ... These events are what I'm most considering for Friday:

Evolution tasting at The Parkside 8-10 PM
Global Distributors (Allagash etc. beers) at Max's 8-11 PM
Widmer Pale Ale $1 at Alexander's Tavern
$0.40 steamed shrimp at Duda's 6-close and all-day Fordham beer proceeds go to military charity
Flying Dog at Alonso's (+firkin) 5-8 PM
1/2 price drafts at Grand Cru 4-6 PM


Evolution is good beer and I haven't been to The Parkside yet. The taplist looks really good at Max's for Friday. The ad for the Widmer pale ale talks about some citrusy hop they're using, color me intrigued. I love steamed shrimp. Flying Dog is great stuff and like The Parkside I haven't made it to Alonso's yet (one of the perks of Baltimore Beer Week, incentive to try new places that have eluded you). Aaaaand Grand Cru is pretty darn cool, I don't write about them enough, cool concept even though its more of a wine place they're sneaky good about beer and offer some good food.

Happy Baltimore Beer Week!

Today's schedule

I was thinking about heading to the Opening Tap Celebration downtown (someone I know has an extra ticket) but will probably go local and try hitting up Victoria Gastro Pub for their North Coast night and Frisco Grille for their first even 'Firkin Thursday' in which they'll pour the awesome Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon from a firkin on the bar.

What will you be up to?

October 7, 2009

Vote For Baltimore Beer Guy!

Bumped -- Please vote again if you have a spare moment today (click on the image below to get to the voting page), MANY thanks!

Oh and just a note, repeated votes will cancel each other out, please vote just once a day.

So I'm nominated for an award best 'Foodie' blog in the Baltimore Sun's 'The Mobbies' awards.

To support, just go to the website and vote once per day (please, please, please) from today (Monday) to 5 PM on Friday October 9th. It does require that you have registered with BaltimoreSun.com but that takes literally two seconds.

Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often

Reminder: Clipper City Pint Night at Frisco Grille

From Clipper City's own Twitter account (via Baltimore Beer Guy's):

RT @HeavySeasBeer The crew & Hugh will be at Frisco's in Columbia this evening for a Pint Night from 7-9. Come have a beer w/ us!

You heard the man.

October 6, 2009

Beer Notes

-- Just added captions/explanations for the bevy of pics in the posts below. I spent last Friday jumping around from Frederick to downtown to sneak in a few beer visits. Its pretty cool what one can do on a tank of gas and with a little energy to enjoy good beer in Maryland.

-- Now on tap at the great Brewer's Art: their new Clamper's Ale, described on their Twitter link as 'draft brewed w/Sorachi Ace hops and lemon peel!' Mmmm. Also: their Coup De Boule, Le Canard Belgian brown and Virgo (see here) the first in a monthly Zodiac series of pale ales. Oh and their new Autumn menu was released not long ago, yay menu variety.

-- Speaking of Twitter, be sure to follow my MDbeerspotter Twitter account, I try to repost interesting items and there's some cool interaction going on with other local beer geeks, beer writers, beer reps, breweries, bars, and so on.

-- Here's the FULL Baltimore Beer Week schedule. Great stuff.

-- Beer and food pairings (so DC!) from Metrocurean -- Orr Shtuhl and Melanie Corbett.

-- The New York Times spends 36 hours in Baltimore and smartly makes a pit stop at Brewer's Art.

-- Alexander Mitchell (Beer In Baltimore) is killin' it this week. Metropolitan Coffeehouse Beer Week events, more info on the opening day events for Baltimore Beer Week, Christmas beers (they're comin'!).

-- Gilly's down in Rockville is hosting its second annual 'Gillys-Tober-Fest on Saturday October 10th from 4-7 PM. All listed beers (below) will be available to sample free. Some of the craft brews will only be sold by the pint. There will be sales, tons of glassware, and a fun overall experience. Seriously this is a cool little sandwich shop/deli with a couple rotating taps and a really cool selection of bottled beers (and glassware) and wines. They even let you open any purchased refrigerated beers to go with your food (for a small corking fee, free on Thursdays)

Brooklyn Oktoberfest & Post Road Pumpkin
Southern Tier Pumpking
Dogfish Punkin
Sam Adams Octoberfest, Imperial White, Cherry Wheat, Boston Lager
Clipper City Prosit!, Big DIPA, The Great Pumpkin
Flying Dog Dogtoberfest, Double Dog Pale Ale, Tire Bite Golden, Doggie Style Pale Ale
Becks Oktoberfest
Starr Hill Festie & Northern Lights

-- Bad Decisions' raved-about 'Bacon & Beer Happy Hour' is returning (Edition VI) on Tuesday October 20th from 2-close. Its a big party with an all-bacon menu and bacon themed libations.

-- Just ... dammit. On Monday DC's Brickskeller let loose a couple bottles of Lost Abbey's Red Barn, a Saison style and one of my favorite beers, ever.

-- OK that's all for now, Baltimore Beer Week is finally here! Keep the emails, Tweets and other communication going, cheers.

Brewers Art

1)And finally from last Friday, a stop at the great Brewer's Art. I just had to try their new pale, first in a 'Zodiac' series (Virgo). Not bad, nice malt/hop balance plus that distinctly odd flavor Brewer's Art beers have (is it the water?). Also, a taster of the '13', hard to describe.

2)The handles. I just love their handles (L to R) Coup De Boule, Le Canard, '13', Ozzy and Resurrection.

3)Zoomed in Le Canard, its a devil duck! Love it.

4)The somewhat new Banh Mi sandwich, really good although it took me forever to chew through the bread. Basically a pork loin sandwich with daikon slaw, butter lettuce, sriracha aioli, cilantro.

5)A zoom-in of the ingredients, came out blurry.

Barley and Hops Part I

1)Another Frederick stop from last Friday: Barley and Hops (first time). Jake and Elwood were waiting inside.

2)The beer tote board. Nothing on cask that day, but I had the Double Deuce Double IPA. They also had a stout, an ESB, a pale, a nut brown, a light lager and a Oktoberfest beer. Good mix.

Barley and Hops Part II

1)The outside, great entrance!

2)Enjoying my double IPA at the bar, growler and candle (surrounded by barley husks) in the background. It was a solid effort on the DIPA but I thought it was extremely sticky sweet and the hops were resinous without the nice bright citrusy feel to offset. Almost tangy sour like grapefruit. They nailed the body and consistency though.

3)Tote board of their offerings.

Flying Dog

1)Sooo along with the Brewer's Alley stop (below) I swung by the Flying Dog brewery in Frederick last Friday and got a growler fill of the Snake Dog IPA as well as a taster of their winter seasonal, K-9 Cruiser. The Cruiser isn't on taps yet but its now at the brewery/tasting room if you make their Saturday tours. Its delicious, tremendous malt flavor, not too big on the wintery spicing, robust, just good stuff.

2)Several of the taps. I'd drink any of those, no questions asked.

3 &4)Enjoying the growler Saturday at home watching the USC game. The beer was spectacular. Brewery fresh beer just tastes a little different, its still pretty good in bottle and tap around town but fresh its just about as good as some of the truly great IPA's from masters like Russian River and Alpine.

Brewer's Alley

1)Sitting at one corner of the bar, looking at the tap handles

2)My glass of the '21 Cherries' cherry beer. Not bad, definite cherry flavor but not like one of those tart lambics either, mild, watery body

3)A taster of the '1634' ale commemorating the early days of Maryland, lots of spices and herbal flavors in there.

Notes: Brewer's Alley makes good beer, its just a difficult place to get to since downtown Frederick can be such a pain getting through and parking. Fortunately their Kolsch is seen on several taps around town and several of their other offerings can be found in bottled six packs.

October 5, 2009

Max's Tuesday Beer Social (10/6/2009)

Hot off the (electronic) presses, so no ink stains.

As usual its on Tuesday starting at 6 PM at the Mobtown Lounge. The theme this time is a 'biere de champagne social', special beers that are all produced in the champagne method. They'll be served by glass from their bottles

Moa Noir
Moa Original
Moa Blanche
Malhuer Biere Brut
Malhuer Dark Brut
Dues Brut Des Flanders
Eisnbahn Lust
Brew Dog Paradox Isle of Arran
Olivers ESB
Great Divide Fresh Hop
Great Divide Hibernation
Hebrew Bittersweet Lenny RIPA
Allgash Interlude
Evolution Lot #3 IPA
Southern Tier Oat

Baltimore Beer Week on TV!

So it begins ...

Via the Baltimore Beer Week Twitter

October 4, 2009

Woodberry Kitchen Notes

-- Of most immediacy, Woodberry Kitchen is hosting the Chesapeake Oyster Festival today (Sunday) from 3-5 PM. They'll have four different oysters (iced on the half shell), plus roasted oysters and oyster stew. The pairing is white wines. It will be out on their patio, with live jazz, very Sunday, no?

OK, so the beer:

Right now the current beer list is:

Victory Prima Pils
Clay Pipe Backfin Pale Ale
Coney Island Imperial Lager
Smuttynose IPA
Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest
Troeg's Dead Reckoning Porter
Wolaver's Organic Oatmeal Stout
Anchor Steam

October 1, 2009

Beer Notes

--- Via Beer In Baltimore, a really informative rundown from Whats Up Magazine of the breweries in the Annapolis/Southern Maryland/Delaware area. Be sure to participate in the voting for best beer award.

--- If you're headed to Fells Point this weekend, be on notice its Fells Point Fun Festival on Saturday and Sunday from 11 AM - 7 PM, its going to be crowded but there's probably many opportunities for great beer both from the establishments and whatever vendors participate.

--- Frisco Grille's Wednesday Pint Night schedule is up for October:

October 7th: Clipper City
October 14th: Flying Dog
October 21st: Otter Creek
October 28th: Smuttynose


Troegs' Nugget Nectar will be on cask on Thursday October 15th (while it lasts!) plus a cask stout of Troegs' Java Stout. Mmmmmm ...

--- Also along Snowden River Parkway in Columbia, here's the Baltimore Beer Week schedule of events for Victoria Gastro Pub

- October 8th (TH) North Coast 530 PM
- October 9th (FR) Stoudts 530 PM
- October 10th (Sat) Lagunitas 12 PM and St. Bernardus 7 PM
- October 11th (Sun) Oliver Ales 11 AM & Dogfish Head 730 PM
- October 12th (Mon) Flying Dog 530 PM
- October 13th (Tue) Otter Creek 530 PM
- October 14th (Wed) Unibroue 530 PM
- October 15th (TH) Clipper City 530 PM
- October 16th (FR) Brewdog & Cooper's Ales 530 PM
- October 17th (SAT) Troegs 11 AM & Saranac 7 PM
- October 18th (SUN) Rogue 12 PM & Lancaster 730 PM

'Come taste many unique and rare beer offerings with limited availability and talk with the brewery representatives. The breweries will also be offering many FREE giveaways'

Clipper City Update

TONS of stuff from their email, enjoy.

--- Their winter seasonal is coming soon: Winter Storm Category 5 Ale, a 'winter warmer' brewed with a lot of English malts and both US and English hops similar to an Imperial ESB in style. It is available now through February.

--- 'Ladies Night' will be on Wednesday November 4th from 6-9 PM. They'll focus on pairing beer with food and well as discussing and tasting plus whatever else is going on in that treehouse, no boys allowed. Chef Mick T. Pirate from Whiskey Island will be serving 'heavy tapas and cooking advice'. Cost is $10, plus advance registration required (410)247-7822 or email kelly@ccbeer.com

--- Brewery Tours are being offered Saturday October 3rd, 17th and 24th at 1 and 230 PM, be sure to make a reservation.

--- Other events:

* Saturday October 3rd - Indian Food & Beer Pairing at Vineyards Elite from 2-6 PM, FREE
* Fells Point Fun Festival Friday October 3rd and Saturday October 4th 11 AM - 7 PM
* Pint Night at Frisco Grille Wednesday October 7th, 7 PM free logo glass w/first Clipper City beer purchase
* Das Best Oktoberfest (Timonium) October 10th
* Tasting at Ye Old Spirit Shop (Frederick MD) October 23rd
* Tasting at State Line Liquors (Elkton MD) October 3oth

--- Baltimore Beer Week Events

10/8 Max's 5-8 PM
10/9 Kooper's Firkin Friday 5-8 PM
10/12 Mahaffey's 3-7 PM
10/12 Alonso's 5-8 PM*
10/13 Antonio's 5-8 PM
10/14 Lure's Firkin Night 5-8 PM
10/14 CC's Tavern 6-9 PM
10/15 Cat's Eye Pub 9-11 PM
10/15 Victoria Gastro Pub 530 PM
10/16 Judge's Bench 5-8 PM
10/17 Duda's 8-10 PM

Heavy Seas Food & Beer Pairings

10/13 Beer Dinner at Mother's Grille 7 PM*
10/13 Bertha's Beer & Oysters 5-7 PM*
10/15 Ryleigh's Beer & Oysters 6-8 PM*
10/15 Rowhouse Beer & Cheese 8-10 PM*
10/16 Judge's Bench Beer & Cheese 5-8 PM

Free Beer Tastings

10/9 The Perfect Pour 5-8 PM
10/16 The Wine Source 5-8 PM

* = hosted by Clipper City founder Hugh Sisson

Clipper city is also on Twitter

Beer Lit

Just picked these up brand new Wednesday at Frisco Grille. I love beer lit.

Try The Award Winning Flying Dog Beers

If you are headed in the general direction of Washington D.C. today, 2009 Great American Beer Fest 'mid-size' brewery of the year award winner Flying Dog out of Frederick Maryland is hosting a special tasting event tonight between 530 and 830 PM.

It will be at the Mayflower Hotel, and $20 gets you beer and appetizers, and I have to assume they'll put on most or all of their four award winning beers. Anyway, no reservations but the Washington City Paper says tuck in your shirt, at least.

Evolution Pint Night at Frisco Grille

1)Hefe/Pils style glassware (!) plus Evo's pale ale

2)Balloon about a grumpy old man because ...

3)Bartender/Beer procurement Mensch Oliver was having his birthday! Happy Birthday Ollie.

4)Whats left of the taster of Evolution's excellent 'rise up' coffee stout

5)Funny signage related to Oliver's birthday

Evolution Craft Brewing Company

DO check these guys out.

I had the pleasure of talking with Evolution Brewing founder Tommy and one of his brewers, Randy, at the Evolution pint night at Frisco Grille Wednesday night.

It was casual talk, but I think they're definitely headed in the right direction. Plus, their beer is fantastic. Right now there's a holy Trinity, if you will, of offerings --- the Lucky 7 Porter which I've seen all around town, and then the Primal Pale Ale and Exile ESB. Each has its own story worth exploring.

The key here is that they can brew the heck out of beer but are seeking something a little bit different. Look, most of us LOVE the amped up beers, the imperials, the funky Belgians, etc. but the Evolution folks are coming from a culinary background currently running several dining establishments and sought to make beers that are reliable enough to comfortably pair with a freaking meal but taste great as well.

They've nailed it. I'm not much for the whole art of food + beer pairing thing, but its not a joke either (hello, Garrett Oliver! Great book). For years wine has dominated this domain and while almost every brewer and beer expert I talk to respects the hell out of wine (unlike myself, sorry ...) most are critically aware that *good* beer can hold its own in this arena even against much more expensive vinous competition.

Count Delaware's Evolution Brewing Co. among this group.

This is not to say they can't brew the stuff most of us beer nerds crave --- they can! I had a taster Wednesday night of their 'Rise Up' coffee stout which was (insert positive adjective, perhaps four letter word) good. They also have an IPA in the works and are tinkering around with other offerings. I also heard them talking about cask offerings, so they're serious and able.

But, bottom line, their major thrust right now is to create accessible, enjoyable, well-crafted brews that make sense when you're sitting down with a burger, a steak, some seafood, or whatever.

And, it doesn't hurt they're good people.

As much as I enjoy the adventurous stuff out there, Evolution seems to have the great timing of filling a void in the craft beer world. Too many name brewers right now (this is less so with 'local' brewers who haven't hit it big regionally and nationally) have gotten so good at their craft they've left an opening with the seemingly mundane styles that can be filled with fresh, well-crafted, well-meaning beers like those being made by Evolution. This is at their own peril and I think we're going to see Evolution slowly and steadily fill up taps at both the 15+ taphouses the beer nerds frequent (Frisco Grille, Max's, Mahaffey's, The Judges Bench, Victoria Gastro Pub, Racer's, etc.) and those offering just a small number of taps next to the usual Bud/Miller/Coors offerings both here in Maryland and regionally.

So ... check them out. This is gushing stuff but in drinking their offerings (however limited right now), talking to them, there's a plan and obvious skill, and with the whole local feel they're definitely worth seeking out and supporting.