January 30, 2010

Beer Notes

-- Heavy Seas owner Hugh Sisson explains the various branding decisions made lately that have many folks (perhaps unnecessarily) up in arms. We wish the company well but to keep with the nautical theme, these are perhaps uncharted waters. Read it in entirety.

-- Straight outta Twitter land, Flying Dog's Jim Lutz says 24 of their newly purchased firkins have been loaded with Doggie Style Pale Ale and are ready to ship in two weeks. GOOD times.

New Flying Dog events:

An updated list of "Bitch Sessions"/Tweetups in New York City, Frederick, Bel Air, Washington D.C. and Fredericksburg, VA.

At Sean Bolan's in Bel Air super-rep Matt Crow will be on hand from 7-9 PM with the Raging Bitch, Doggie Style and their awesome new one-off Coffee Stout, as well as the Double Dog on nitro.

In DC they'll hold it at the great Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown. From 5-7 PM enjoy Raging Bitch, Gonzo, Double Dog and a TBA cask. The first 20 people to 'tweet' their arrival (to @FlyingDogJT and w/ #BitchSession hash tag) will receive a free beer of their choice and a Flying Dog glass.

2010 Bowl Bash on Super Bowl Sunday at Frederick Indoor Sports Center. For $20 you get two Flying Dog beer tickets and all you can eat pizza and wings, with part of the proceeds donated to 'Hope in Richmond, South Africa'.

A correction to the most recent "Beer Notes" the Flying Dog firkin at Alonso's will be on March 5th, not 3rd. Another correction, the Flying Dog "Beer Club" event at Lures has been switched to March 9th (previously Mach 16th). Please adjust plans accordingly!

-- A reminder: check out the condensed events list for beer events going on in the coming days and weeks ... exciting times!

-- Rams Head Tavern is having its "Spring Buck" (Belgian blonde flavored with honey and hints of chamomile and orange) beer release on Thursday February 4th from 4-6 PM at the various Rams Head restaurants. The beer will come in $4 special event glassware with $1 refills, be sure to check that out!

Please note also that they've changed the URL of their blog, which has been reflected and remedied in the "Maryland Beer Blogs" links section on the menu at right.

-- Our friend Brad (BeerInBaltimore.com) is the new Mid-Atlantic writer for Ale Street News so look for his updates in the latest issue that has apparently hit the bars and retailers.

He also notes that RateBeer.com has released its "best of" list for 2010. Local notables:

Flying Dog #92 brewery
Max's #23 Beer Beer Bar
Frisco Grille #46 Best Beer Bar
Brewer's Art #37 Best Brewpub

ALL are very deserving, congratulations.

My one disagreement and something that has stirred a quiet rebellion I'm sure on both Rate Beer and Beer Advocate: the raw dominance of imperial stouts, which tend to dominate the "best beer" lists. Ridiculous, in my mind, and perhaps a bit of herd mentality more than wisdom of crowds at work.

-- Beer superstore The Perfect Pour in Columbia is offering a 6-pack beer sampler including a Perfect Pour tote: Nora Birreria, La Binchoise Brune, Heavy Seas DIPA, Biere De Miel, Jerome Cerveza Diablo and Green Flash Grand Cru for $58.29 through their email list. New arrivals - Dominion variety 12 pack and Mountain Pale Ale, Gordon Biersch Maibock, DuClaw Colossus.

-- Another local (hopefully beer, mostly cocktail) blog: The Noble Experiment. Oh hell, one more - BeersForDinner.com. Its an explosion of local beer blogging and writing, I tell ya!

Max's Tuesday Beer Social Feb. 2

This Tuesday starting at 6 PM in the Mobtown Lounge Max's will feature a new brewery to the US: Bierbrouwerij Grand Cafe Emelisse out of Kamperland, Netherlands.

On draft:
Emelisse Imperial Stout
11.0%abv. Imperial Russian Stout

Emelisse Winterbier 2009
8.5abv. Belgian Style Strong Ale

Emelisse Double IPA
9.0%abv. Double IPA

Elsewhere at Max's ...

Boulder Mojo Risin
Lagunitas Hop Stoopid
RCH Pitchfork
Boulder Mojo
Boulder Mojo Risin
Boulder Mojo Risin (Nitro)
Boulder Never Summer
Boulder Planet Porter
Boulder Sweaty Betty
Brooklyn Cookie Jar Porter
Cape Ann Fishermans IPA
Corsendonk Pale Ale
Dogfish Head 90 Minute
Flying Dog Raging Bitch
Great Divide Hercules
Magic Hat Vinyl
Oskar Blues Old Chub
Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale
Rogue Dead Guy John John
Sam Adms Noble Pils
Southern Tier Unearthly
Troegs Hopback
Victory Prima Pils
Victory St Victorious
Brooklyn Lager
North Coast Brother Thelonious

It's Coming! Max's Belgian Beer Fest

Arguably one of the country's best beer events, Max's Belgian Beer Fest is almost upon us. As with every year they'll supply seemingly endless rare and incredible Belgian beer offerings on tap, cask and in bottle.

It will run Friday February 12th to Sunday February 14th, no cover, everyday from the 11 AM open until close. Full taplist below, but first, two Max's videos I found on YouTube. See if you can spot me in the herd trying to enter on the first day last year.

Achilles Celtic Angel
Achouffe Houblon Chouffe
Achouffe Mc Chouffe
Achouffe La Chouffe
Achouffe N' Ice Chouffe
Alvinne Bathazar
Alvinne Extra
Alvinne Gaspar
Alvinne Melchior
Alvinne Oak Aged Bathazar
Alvinne Oak Aged Podge
Barbar Winterbok
Blaugies La Moneuse Special Winter
Blaugies Saison D Epeautre
Bockor Cuvee Des Jaocbins Rouge
Brugse Zot Dubbel
Cantillon Gueuze
Cantillon Iris
Cantillon Rose De Grambrinus
Cazeau Tournay
Cazeau Tournay Black
Cazeau Tournay De Noel
Cimay Cinq Cents
Contreras Valier Blonde
Contreras Valier Divers
Contreras Valier Extra
De Dochter Van De Korenaar Emblasse
De Dochter Van De Korenaar Noblesse
De Dochter Van De Korenaar Courage
De Glazen Toren Angelique
De Glazen Toren Jan De Lichte
De Glazen Toren Ondinke
De Glazen Toren Saison De Epre Mere
Strubbe Ichtegems Grand Cru
De Proef Van Twee
De Ranke Noir De Dottignies
De Regenboog T' Smisje Triple
De Regenboog Catherine The Great
De Regenboog Guido
De Regenboog T' Smisje Dubbel
De Regenboog T' Smisje Kerst
De Regenboog T' Smisje Plus
De Regenboog T' Smisje Speciale
Delirium Tremens
Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
Ellezelloise Hercule Stout
Ellezelloise Quintine Blonde
Geants Gouyasse
Geants Urchon
Gulden Draak Vintage
Het Alternatief Eerwaarde Pater
Het Alternatief Piet Agoras
La Rulles Triple
La Trappe Isid Or
Lefebvre Floreffe Dubbel
Lefebvre Floreffe Triple
Silly Enghien Noel
Silly Saison De Silly
Sint Canarus Pere Canard
Sint Canarus Triple
Slaapmutske Dry Hopped Lager
Slaapmutske Kerstmutske
St. Bernardus Christmas
St Feuillien Blanche
St Feuillien Saison
Timmeramns Bourgogne Des Flanders
Van Honsebrouck Bacchus
Van Honsebrouck Gueuze Fond Tradition
Brewers Art Green Pepercorn w/ real Peppercorn (Cask)
The Bruery Two Turtle Doves(Cask)
Regenboog BBBourgondier (Gravity keg)
De Regenboog T' Smisje Calva Reserva (Gravity keg)
De Regenboog T' Smisje Kerst (Gravity Keg)
Allagash Black (Cask)

Allagash Fluxus
Allagash Hugh Malone
Allagash Interlude
Alllgash Odyssey
Chimay Cinq Cents
De Dolle Dulle Teve
De Dolle Stille Nacht
De Koninck Winter
De Ranke Pere Noel
De Ranke Guldenberg
Delirium Noel
Dupont Avec Les Bons Voeux
Dupont Foret
Dupont Saison
Echt Kriekenbier
Gouden Carolus Cuvee Blauw
Gouden Carolus Noel
Klokke Roeland
La Rulles Estivale
Ommegang Abbey
Ommegang Rare Vos
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
Ommegang Hennepin
Ommegang Pale Ale
Ommegang Rouge
Ommegang Witte
Ommegang Three Philosophers
Petrus Winter
Scaldis Noel
Van Bossche Buffalo Stout
Van Eecke Kapittel Abt
Van Eecke Kapittel Blonde
Van Eecke Kapittel Pater
Van Eecke Kapittel Prior
Van Eecke Poppering Hommelbier
Strubbe Ichtegems Grand Cru
Sint Canarus Potteloereke
Silly Double Enghien Blonde
Silly Enghien Noel
Silly Pink Killer
Silly Saison De Silly
Silly Super 64
Silly Pils
Silly Titje
Kerkom Bink Blosem
Kerkom Bink Blonde
Kerkom Bink Bruin
Kerkom Bink Triple
Het Alternatief Hik Blonde
De Regenboog Vuuve
De Regenboog Wostyntje
St. Bernardus Wit
La Divine Dark Triple
Allagash Cask TBA
Brewers Art Seven Beauties (Cask)

January 28, 2010

Beer Notes

We're long overdue for a round of Beer Notes, so carve out some serious chunks of time, click all the happy little links, absorb what is to be absorbed and yeah. Here goes:

-- Victoria Gastro Pub

See below for several pictures of the Victoria Gastro Pub/Flying Dog winnebago trip from last week. It was a really great time, and more could be on the way to places like Clipper City and maybe even Troegs and Stoudts.

They just switched out 7 of their 24 taps on Friday, so there should be a bonanza of new stuff on from what I've written about before as well as a few others barman Alex told me recently: Stoudts Winterbock, St. Bernardus 6 and 8, Flying Dog's delicious new and rare Coffee Stout, Flying Dog Gonzo (nitro), Dieu Du Ciel (!), Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Hitacino Witbier and The Bruery's Mischief (extremely limited showing in Maryland)

Also, coming Monday (2/1): its Great Divide night with the Titan IPA, Hercules Imperial IPA, Yeti Imperial Stout and Old Ruffian Barleywine all on tap.

A date has been set for their Unibroue beer dinner: March 9th.

In the meantime I really enjoy that they have an all but permanent supply of Flying Dog's "Raging Bitch" Belgian IPA which sells an incredible volume there.

There's nothing official but like several other major beer bars it looks like Victoria would like to expand their tap system to something like 40 taps (plus a beer engine) above the current 24. They also now have over 200 bottles available.

They were also recently featured on MPT television.

-- Pratt Street Ale House

Their Scottish Ale is making its debut this month, hitting Metropolitan Coffee House among other sports. It has a new recipe with a hint of smoked and peated malt at about 7% ABV.

Much, much more from BeerInBaltimore.com. New beer releases and several events to look forward to from PSAH and brewer Stephen Jones who just recently celebrated a birthday.

Also, save the date: Real Ale fest set for March 27th.

Also, just added on cask: the Blonde Ale, dry hopped with Frederick grown, picked, dried Chinook hops! Yum! Just one pin available, so its gone soon.

Be sure to be there on Tuesday (2/2) as they'll release the new Bishop's Indulgence, an 8% stout with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. That goes off at 6 PM. At the same time in the lounge brewmaster and Baltimore Beer Guy friend Stephen Jones will hold an informal "cask ales social" discussion about cask beer featuring a glass-bottomed firkin to show whats going on. That could be one of the more interesting, can't-miss beer events of the year.

-- Today (Thursday 1/28) Max's will feature the following beers on cask: Boulder Mojo Rosin, North Coast Red Seal, RCH Pitchfork as well as Cape Ann's Fishermans Greenhorn on the bar.

In addition, they'll play host to Boulder Brewing and rep Melvin who is on a "right coast" tour of sorts. The highlight will be their Mojo Risin double IPA three ways: firkin, draft and nitro.

Boulder Mojo Risin (nitro)
Boulder Mojo Risin
Boulder Hazed & Infused
Boulder Sweaty Betty
Boulder Planet Porter
Singletrack (Copper Ale not published in Max's email)
Never Summer (winter seasonal see above)

The show begins around 6 PM.

-- On tap right now at Mahaffey's is Sierra Nevada's Glissade (golden bock) and Tupper's Hop Pocket, back in action! Coming soon, Sierra's Bigfoot Barleywine and the return of Ola Dubh 40, a rare, extremely expensive dark offering aged in barrels that housed scotch for 40 years. Rare, rare, rare.

-- In Harbor East, a place called City Tap House is planning to open soon, with ambitions for 100+ taps. Read the comments, not sure whether this is another Max's or more of a Yard House/corporate type experience yet.
the City Tap House will have a beer sommelier, private tasting lounge, open kitchen and wood-burning pizza oven, according to owner Brian Harrington.

The Tap House, which will occupy the space next to RA Sushi near the intersection of South Eden and Lancaster streets, will seat 175 in the dining areas as well as 60 around the island bar. ...

-- Flying Dog Brewery

The first Thursday of every month, Flying Dog hosts Twitter-based tweetups/'Bitch Sessions' featuring representatives and employees. Its an opportunity to meet at a new place that features Flying Dog beers, taste some Flying Dog creations and maybe walk away with some swag.

The next one is February 4th, with Sessions set for the Bentz Street Sports Pub in Frederick MD and another at the Sean Bolans in Bel Air MD (with other locations still possible, be sure to check the website. Further details such as time and them are available at the link.

There will be a Flying Dog night Friday January 29th at Callahans in Frederick. They'll have $3 Doggie Style Pale Ale pints, a new happy hour menu and some samples and giveaways.

Flying Dog will be the featured beer at Frisco Grille's weekly "Pint Night" Wednesday February 3rd. Super rep Matt Crow will be on hand as Frisco Grille pours four Flying Dog offerings including the spring seasonal Garde Dog. Buy a Flying Dog beer (after 7 PM) and get a complimentary Flying Dog glass while supplies last.

Another pint night goes off at the WOW Cafe & Wingery in Frederick on February 11th from 7-9 PM. Stephanie will be on hand for samplings and giveaways plus $3 pints and $4 bottle specials. Tire Bite and Doggie Style will be on tap, with bottled Road Dog, Old Scratch, In-Heat Wheat, Snake Dog, Raging Bitch and K-9 Cruiser.

A cool "Meet The Brewers" event will be held February 17th at Koopers Tavern in Fells Point. From 7PM+ they'll have two Flying Dog "beer of the month" beers on tap and five different bottles.

Aaaaaand Alonso's on Cold Spring Lane in Baltimore will have a specialty Flying Dog firkin on March 3rd. The last firkin I had from Flying Dog was at Frisco Grille, the Doggie Style Pale Ale and the hop flavor coming out of it was ridiculously good. No pressure, guys!

Oh hell, one more: Flying Dog will be at Lures on March 16th for Lures' "beer club" event.

-- Troegs' Nugget Nectar release schedule:

Jan 1st = 22oz
Jan 15th = 12 oz
February 1st = DRAFT

-- Muggsy's Mug House

Muggsy's in Federal Hill has several goings-on in February (thanks for the heads-up email Danny!). The headliner is the "Week of 100,000 Mugs" starting February 1st. Basically, you come in, order a mug, get a raffle ticket to win prizes. Do this as often as you want all week. They're promising a ton of great beers.

The drawing (be there) will be on February 6th at midnight. Grand prize is a trip to Atlantic City for the 5th Annual Atlantic City Beer Festival (held March 20th and 21st). It plays host to 75 brewers and breweries. Prize includes two nights stay and admission to all three sessions.

The catch is you must be present at Muggsy's to win prizes, of which there will be many secondary prizes all week.

Features that week include two steal the glass nights featuring Schmalz (Tuesday) and Stone (Thursday) as well as a Friday firkin for their monthly "First Friday Firkin Night". Prize examples include the Harpoon package: t-shirts, hats and a bottle of 100 Barrel series Wet Hopped Ale (!).

Also in February, for Mardi Gras week, they'll be pouring "the maltiest" beers available including Louisiana native Abita. Look for a steal the pint night on Fat Tuesday February 16th.

-- This is an event I'm really looking forward to: the "Pints and Pancakes" breakfast at T-Bonz in Ellicott City. T-Bonz is a hidden beer gem and is hosting a pretty cool event here. Basically, you gain access to a mess of pancakes and can drink from an interesting lineup of breakfast themed beers. It will go from 10AM-2PM on the first "no football Sunday" of the year.

Featured beers: Butternuts Porkslap Pale Ale, Pub Dog Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (delicious!), Abita Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat Beer, Flying Dog Coffee Stout (delicious very rare one-off beer), Lancaster Strawberry Blonde, Riverhorse Oatmeal Milk Stout, Wells Banana Bread Beer, Kona Pipeline Coffee Porter, Wild Blue Blueberry Lager, 33rd Street Ale.

-- Kudos to downtown Ellicott City's The Judges Bench which now lists their taplist (as of the opening time each day) online. Any place that rotates their taps -- and Judges definitely does with 17 taps in a space with only storage room for sixtels so they invariably move through a lot -- needs to have their beer list online to eliminate the guesswork. Anyway, great news.

Speaking of downtown Ellicott City, I stopped by the tiny, very modern looking Pure Wine Cafe the other day, and they have a small if respectable bottled beer selection in a cool little space. Hard to complain about a Flying Dog Garde Dog in a nice glass with several Ommegang and other selections available.

That area's a sneaky good pub crawl spot if you're looking for good beer: there's Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, The Judges Bench and its 17 taps and excellent beer fridge, Diamondback Tavern and their Flying Dog friendly taps, Phoenix Emporium which doesn't have any taps but does have a very extensive bottle list and now Pure Wine Cafe. There's plenty of free parking and its just fun walking around the historic old town.

-- Elsewhere in Howard County, there's two YouTube videos online showcasing Maryland Homebrew's wares. Its a nice little homebrew shop tucked away near the post office in Columbia not far down the road from Frisco Grille.

-- More HoCo as the great HowChow generates an interesting discussion about liquor stores and reveals that a Buffalo Wild Wings (24 taps) may be headed to Dobbin Road at the sight of the former Rocky Run.

-- Frisco Grille, among other bars, will be host to a new local brewery very early in April featuring a pint/firkin night event with some really cool glassware. I should be able to say a LOT more in a few weeks.

One Frisco Grille event I can talk about is a visit from Allagash brewer Rob Tod, who will be on hand for something of a "meet and greet" from 530-730 PM on a special Frisco Grille "pint night" April 21st.

-- Looney's (North/Bel Air) is hosting a Rock 4 Relief benefit concert for the Haiti earthquake victims on Sunday January 31st with several live bands from noon to 8 PM. Its a concert and silent auction with 30$ of all sales donated to Catholic Relief Services and the American Red Cross. Similar 20% proceeds will be donated from Looney's in Canton and Maple Lawn locations.

-- Ram's Head Tavern Annapolis is hosting a $70 Fordham Brewing Beer Dinner on Thursday March 4th at 7 PM.

Speaking of Fordham, their Queen Anne Kolsch should be released soon if not out already. That is one of my absolute favorite styles and a sure sign warm weather is (hopefully) on the way.

Also, be sure to get on their email list for more thorough updates on musical acts and whatnot. The most recent one has a generous 20% off full check coupon.

-- Long Trail Brewing out of Vermont will be expanding into Maryland, Delaware and Virginia sometime in 2010, just a heads up. We'll have to give them a hearty welcome whenever they arrive.

-- Earlier this month, Ruddy Duck put their Robust Porter (7% ABV) on tap.

-- Slightly belated: DuClaw released their Old Flame last week, its an Old Ale style. Next month is their release of Serum, which has been pushed back a bit to Feburary 17th and 18th. The Serum is their Double IPA, woo!

Again, belated, but obviously they closed their Fells Point location. I thought it had one of the best spots down there but as they've noted, it was more of a seasonal location great for the summer and people watching but a little overlooked in the winter. Fortunately there's three other locations to fall back on!

-- Gilly's in Rockville has a ton of new beers in stock from Southern Tier, Victory, Allagash, Rogue and North Coast. Also: Saturday January 30th is a "Nobil Pils" tasting from Sam Adams, $3 pints and keep the glass. The Noble Pils is made with all five "noble" hops and will replace the White Ale as the new spring seasonal for Sam Adams.

Saturday February 6th is a Sierra Nevada tasting with special discount. Do check them out, its a little out of the way for me but they now have a six tap system, a really nice beer and glassware selection and a cool deli with unique sandwiches, cheeses, etc. Plus the people are nice. Another hidden gem beer place.

Currently on tap: Heavy Seas Winter Storm Warning, Kona Longboard Lager, Lindeman's Peche, Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron and Brooklyn Brown Ale.

Just arrived in stock: De Dochter Embrasse, Kalle Triple, Hornsby Cider, Atwater Cherry Stout, Flying Dog Garde Dog and Raging Bitch BIPA, Arcadia Hopmouth, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Eerwaarde Pater and more ...

Also: DC IPA adds his $0.02 about Gilly's.

-- Join the Lures (Crownsville, MD) "Beer Club". For $30 you get a platinum members card, a free beer each month ("do the math"), a free birthday dinner (up to $20) and a members only hat. Yet another place I need to visit soon, I keep hearing good things about it.

-- Nice deal coming out of famed pizza joint Joe Squared: a free 10-inch pizza with purchase of two bottles of beer (not named National Bohemian, at least).

-- Check out the "Mid Atlantic Beer Club" More info at the Twitter account.

-- Check out this cheese and beer pairing "clock"

-- For Christmas I sent my friend Steve in California bottles of Heavy Seas Yule Tide and Brewers Art's Coup De Boule. He's got pictures.

-- The Ravens' season is over but the playoff win over New England netted some interesting spoils: lobsters! Max's inherited the beasts and is auctioning them off for charity but in the meantime, check them out at the Lobster Cam.

If you're still feeling Raven crazy, The Raven lager is on tap at two places I'm aware of (maybe many more): Annabel Lee Tavern in Canton and The Diamondback Tavern in downtown Ellicott City.

-- Brewer's Art just changed its dining and appetizer menus (yum!). The veggie banh mi, chili dog and mac-n-cheese all look great.

Currently on tap (per website): La Petroleuse, Zodiac and the deliciously sessionable Proletary Pale.

-- Be sure to check out the website "Alex Brews" run by a DC native and Twitter follower of mine. Also: "Beer Blog" by another local. Also: DC IPA (+Twitter). Also: Beer . Simple. Also: Brew Notes. Also: Beltway Beer. Also: Scottie Knows Beer. Also: The Amber Age run by Mid-Atlantic Brewing News' Kevin Smith (Twitter) who also writes the Frederick Craft Beer Examiner and wrote up "The Brewing Decade In Brief" recently. Yes, I think we're in the middle of a modest renaissance of beer blogging in the area.

Thanks also to The Foaming Head for a link, too kind. They're a great NY based clearinghouse of beer items

-- Follow Orr Shtuhl on Twitter, he has a knack for uncovering the elusive Bells Hopslam in and around DC. Speaking of DC, DCBeer writes up five new DC beer spots to check out in 2010. They recently hosted a canned beer tasting at can-beer-only Red Derby. We could use a place like that in Maryland.

-- The Atlantic reviews new DC beer hotspot ChurchKey/Birch & Barley and the first sentence of the review is "I hate beer". Really?!

-- This is cool: a listing of places in Pennsylvania that carry Russian River beer (with their phone numbers). Thanks to my Twitter friend David for the link.

-- Also cool: a gallery of photos taken from the Clipper City Brewery and Brewer's Art via DC Foodies who ventured north to partake in two of Baltimore's finest breweries.

-- New, sort of bare-bones beer website: BrewAdvice.com. The concept is like the Yahoo! Answers thing where brewers can ask questions and select from a range of brief answers as guidance.

-- So, Tupper's Hop Pocket is back. I've never tried it having only been in this area for about two years now but the oldtimers rave about it. Its been spotted at Mahaffey's and The Judges Bench and is listed as pending at Frisco Grille, so its making the rounds. Thoughts?

-- Long tail: so Mr. Mitchell didn't like Poe Boys, but has anyone else given it a try? Its got Flying Dog on tap. We would all love to have a million 15+ tap beer bars around but its just not reality right now. In the meantime I think it helps that beyond the Max's, Mahaffey's, Frisco Grill etc. places out there there's enough Poe Boys, Buffalo Wild Wings etc. that carry some of the corporate stuff but also make room for a few craft goodies in the mix.

-- Franklin's new brewer Mike Roy has started a blog, bookmark it! This Friday's firkin will be their Anarchy Ale.

That's all (for now). Hopefully this has proven useful. Someone recently accused me on HowChow's blog of simply regurgitating the beer emails everyone's on. First of all, I do provide information that isn't always available via those emails (plenty right here, for starters) of which I appreciate the many great people in the beer world in Maryland who are kind enough to bother with me and talk shop and share the goods, if you will. Second, not everyone is signed up to those emails (hell, I'm probably missing a few). I enjoy being a conduit passing along the obvious but also the not so obvious that may not be in email but rather on the websites or Twitter and even information I personally glean from my various friends and contacts.

Bottom line: this is fun, no need to be all snide like that.

As to those out there reading who qualify as "contact" types that I don't already personally know, feel free to shoot me an email sometime, I'd be happy to relay what I can to Baltimore Beer Guy's audience and help the overall beer scene here grow and be more connected. A rising tide lifts all, right? Cheers.

January 27, 2010

Beer Events, Condensed

1/28 TBD Firkin at Frisco Grille
1/28 Boulder Brewing Co. event at Max's + Firkin TH at Max's
1/29 Flying Dog event at Callahans in Frederick MD
1/29 Firkin (Anarchy Ale) at Franklin's
1/30 Gilly's "Noble Pils" Sam Adams event

2/1 Great Divide event at Victoria Gastro Pub
2/1 (all week) Muggsy's "week of the 100,000 mugs"
2/1 Troegs Nugget Nectar officially released on tap
2/2 Pratt Street Ale House "cask ale social" and Bishops Indulgence release
2/3 Flying Dog pint night at Frisco Grille
2/4 Flying Dog Tweetup/"Bitch Session" various locations
2/4 Rams Head Tavern "Spring Buck" (Belgian blonde) release - all locations
2/5 Firkin events at Alonso's and Muggsy's
2/7 Flying Dog 'Bowl Bash' at Frederick Indoor Sports Center
2/9 "New Brew" at Franklin's
2/10 Allagash beer dinner at Victoria Gastro Pub + Fluxus, Interlude, Hugh Malone, Victor, Black on tap
2/12-2/14 Max's Belgian Beer Fest (!)
2/16 Fat Tuesday Abita event at Victoria Gastro Pub
2/17 Flying Dog "meet the brewers" event at Kooper's in Fells Point
2/17-2/18 DuClaw Serum (DIPA) release events
2/20 Flying Dog bus trip at T-Bonz

3/4 Flying Dog "Bitch Session"/Tweetup various locations
3/4 Ram's Head Annapolis beer dinner - Fordham Brewing Co.
3/5 Firkin events at Alonso's (Flying Dog!) and Muggsy's
3/9 Unibroue beer dinner at Victoria Gastro Pub
3/9 Flying Dog "Beer Club" event at Lures
3/27 Heavy Seas Real Ale Fest
3/27 Cask Ale Fest at Pratt Street Ale House

4/1 ... (?) firkin event at Frisco Grille
4/2 Firkin event at Alonso's, Muggsy's
4/10 Pyrate Invasion in Fells Point
4/21 Allagash owner Rob Tod "meet and greet" and pint night at Frisco Grille
4/24 City Paper Brew Fest in Fells Point

Mondays - Beer Club events at Victoria Gastro Pub
Tuesdays - Cask night at Pratt Street Ale House; Beer Social at Max's
Wednesdays - "Pint Night" at Frisco Grille
Thursdays - Firkin Thursday events at Frisco Grille, Max's and Metropolitan Coffeehouse
Sundays - 1/2 price draft beers after 930 PM at Victoria Gastro Pub

Just a *taste* of whats going on in the coming months. Send me an email to provide updates of what else is going on, thanks!

Frisco Grille Dogfish Head Pint Night Teaser

Wednesday night at 7 PM this week

January 25, 2010

Victoria Update: Flying Dog Coffee Stout

They JUST put this on, a stupidly delicious one-off coffee stout from Flying Dog. I hate coffee, am neutral about stouts and love this beer, and would love it even without the bias.

Flying Dog made it on a seven barrel system. Kudos to brewer Matt Brophy.

See this beer here or Saturday at T-Bonz for their pancakes and beer brunch (recently also spotted at Max's and Frisco Grille).

Real Time Victoria Gastro Pub

Enjoying a Sierra Nevada Glissade ... Spotted on tap:

Sierra Nevada Life and Limb, the great Weihenstephaner Hef, Unibroue Chambly Noire, Stone RIS, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, Great Divide Old Ruffian Barleywine, Dogfish Head Old School Barleywine, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Stone/BrewDog BASHAH

The Bruery at Max's Tuesday Beer Social

This Tuesday We will be featuring two great new beers from The Bruery in California. These guys are making some really excellent beers that you don't want to miss.
We will be featuring ON DRAFT:
Mischief -8.5%ABV. Hoppy Belgian Style Golden Strong Ale. dry hopped w/ American Hops
Rugbrod-8.0%ABV. Danish Style Rye, with 3 types of rye malt.
We will also have in bottles:
Two Turtle Doves
Orchard White
Black Orchard
Saison Rue
Trade Winds
Autumn Maple
These are all in 750ml, we will not be serving these by the glass. Whole bottles only.
These are some great beers from a great brewery that you don't want to miss.
As always we start at 6pm
We will be meeting at the main bar (Downstairs)
See you All Tuesday
Olivers Scottish Ale
North Coast Red Seal
Brew Dog Hardcore
21st Amendment Golden Boom
Anchor Steam
Laughing Dog Alpha Dog
Laughing Dog Dogzilla
Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
Sierra Nevada Glissade Bock
Southern Tier Choklat
St Bernardus Wit
St Fueillien Saison
Stoudts Fat Dog
Stoudtys Gold
Stoudts Reserve Bock
Stoudts Smooth Hoperator
La Trappe Isidor

Canned Beer Day

Apparently yesterday was the 75th anniversary of the arrival of canned beer onto the American beer landscape. That has been both good and bad but I think we're taking a turn for the good thanks to folks like Oskar Blues, Butternuts, Reading, 21st Ammendment and now, apparently, Avery.

So be sure to celebrate your own way this week. Most good beer bars around here carry at minimum something from Oskar Blues.

Butternuts from New York recently arrived on the scene and I've spotted their cans at Victoria Gastro Pub and Max's.

Picture Dump

1)I think that was some kind of IPA at Frisco Grille

2/3)Cool foaming head with bubbles of a pint of Flying Dog Raging Bitch at Victoria Gastro Pub ... addicting.

4/5)Lighting was dark but listings of two Brew Dog special bottles aged in unique whiskey casks from the Victoria Gastro Pub bottle menu.

Sierra Nevada Night at Victoria Gastro Pub

This Monday is Sierra Nevada night at Victoria Gastro Pub.

They will be pouring the much-hyped Life & Limb and Limb & Life (they have about two sixtels of each), plus:

Glissade (a golden bock)
Harvest Wet Hop

All on tap, starting at around 5 PM.

January 21, 2010

Firkin Thursday

Frisco Grille: Heavy Seas Below Decks (barleywine)

Maxs: Oliver's Scottish Ale, Brew Dog Hardcore IPA, North Coast Red Seal

PLUS on the bar: Cape Ann Fishermans Greenhorn Double IPA

Flying Dog I

Sooooo, I went on a little Winnebago ride Wednesday to the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick with some patrons and employees of Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia.

1)Beer ready to ship. Flying Dog reuses containers so not everything necessarily says"Flying Dog" on it but its a conscientious and commendable decision.

2)The last of the ridiculously delicious "Raging Bitch" Belgian IPA. Flying Dog's had a really nice year and as such orders and production have soared. There's Bitch in the tanks but that isn't ready to ship yet.

3)The gift shop. That's Humphrey the Humping Dog. You'll see more of his insane little self in the set of pictures further below.

4)The tasting room taps and posters.

Flying Dog II

1)Hmmmmmmmm ... I see an intriguing five letter word in there.

2)Oak barrels, firkins, beer. All for you, the consumer!

3)Well, well, well ... I'll have more details on these later but yeah, Flying Dog's getting into the real ale/cask/firkin business. Like, big time.

4)More firkins. They'rrrrrre comiiiiiing!

Flying Dog III


1)World class Flying Dog rep Matt Crow attempting to add "Humphrey" the humping dog to a tap at Victoria Gastro Pub as bar manager Alex looks on.

2)Mmmm, beeerrrrrr

3)Whatever leaked out of there looked like molasses

4)Barrel aged beer, coming your way hopefully soon, I believe those started aging in September or so.

Many thanks to Flying Dog and Victoria Gastro Pub for organizing that little visit, always a great time no matter the format, good beer, good people, good times.

January 18, 2010

Stoudts Fat Dog Oatmeal Stout Cask Aged With Cherries and Chocolate at Victoria Gastro Pub

One of a kind beer, I advise letting it warm up for a good while, it turns extremely chocolatey and smooth after a bit of a sharp hit while still cool to cold. Good stuff

Stoudts Night at Victoria Gastro Pub

Today (Monday) starting at 5 PM is Stoudts night at Victoria Gastro Pub. They'll have several Stoudts beers on plus a rep and one of the Stoudt family members on hand.

Of special note is a unique firkin being poured: the Fat Dog oatmeal stout aged with cherries and chocolate


Scarlet Lady ESB
Abbey tripel
Gold Lager

PS ... keep up to date with Victoria beer and dining news at their brand new Twitter account.

January 15, 2010

Experience 21st Ammendment's Golden Doom

Whatever that means!

I just got a call from Frisco Grille (Columbia, MD) saying they put 21st Ammendment's "Golden Doom" on tap. It just arrived from the warehouse, there's not much information about it but its a Belgian Golden style beer, an unexpected release from a brewery that's really starting to make its way in Maryland from out of its home base in San Francisco (blocks from the Giants' baseball stadium).

This follows the releases of the popular Monk's Blood, Hell or High Watermelon Wheat and Brew Free or Die IPA. Like the great Oskar Blues in Colorado, 21st Ammendment is famous for packaging their beer not in bottles but cans. Obviously they send it out in kegs as well.

Anyway, sounds exciting.

January 14, 2010

Thursday Cask Events

At Max's:

Heavy Seas Winter Storm
Olivers Peeping Tom Porter
BFM Alex Le Rouge
JW Lees Harvest Ale aged in Lagavulin casks
And one more TBA

At Frisco Grille:

Heavy Seas Below Decks OR something from Oliver Ales depending on delivery status

January 13, 2010

Frisco Grille Oliver Ale Pint Night

Check out Columbia's Frisco Grille today or tonight as they're featuring Oliver Ales/Pratt Street Ale House.

The pint night starts at 7 PM with free glassware with purchase of featured brewery beer, and there might even be an appearance from all around guy guy and awesome Oliver brewer Stephen Jones.

On tap:

Three Lions
Scottish Ale (new recipe!)
Bishop's Indulgence
Peeping Tom Porter (cask!)

That's a terrific lineup.

January 11, 2010

Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence at Victoria Gastro Pub

Victoria Gastro Pub, Monday

Tonight, Allagash Ommegang (d'oh!) beer is the theme at Beer Club night at Victoria Gastro Pub (no membership needed).

They'll have Hennepin, Abbey Ale, Chocolate Indulgence and something else I'm forgetting, on tap.

The fun starts just about any minute now (5 PM). Cheers.

January 8, 2010

Alonso's Update

Hot off the press today:

Alonso's (on Cold Spring Lane north of Baltimore city) is resuming its Firkin program, run on the first Friday of every month. At 5 PM today they'll 'tap' a firkin of Pub Dog's Hoppy Dog IPA (people 'dog' Pub Dog but I really enjoy Hoppy Dog).

Also new on draft: Stone Double Bastard and Stone Cali-Belgique!

Be there, if you're in the area. I need to scoot down there soon and check them out.

January 5, 2010

Flying Dog and Frisco Grille Items

In addition to the information posted below, I thought I'd make this its own post.

Flying Dog will be the featured brewery at Frisco Grille's (Columbia MD) "Pint Night" this Wednesday. It will be the restaurant debut of Flying Dog's secretive but awesome new limited availability Coffee Stout (!) as well as the 2010 Frisco Grille debut of Garde Dog, one of my favorite beers anywhere.

I'm a huge fan of both beers so there's more than a little excitement in writing this. Pint Night starts at 7 PM, basically the first purchase of a featured brewery's beer nets you (while supplies last) a free pint or other glassware item from that brewery.

Also on tap that night will be Flying Dog's Snake Dog IPA and In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen.

There will be bonus Flying Dog action on Firkin Thursday (starting at 4 PM) as they'll have a bartop firkin of Flying Dog's Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale to enjoy.

Howard County Beer Roundup

-- Scan to the bottom to find Frisco Grille's calendar of events for this month. Featured pint nights include Pratt Street Ale House/Oliver Breweries on Wednesday the 13th (perhaps even a visit from brewmaster Stephen Jones!), He'Brew on the 20th and Dogfish Head on the 27th.

One change: this Wednesday (the 6th) will be a Flying Dog pint night, starting at 7 PM per usual (more exciting details in an upcoming post). Also, Firkin Thursdays as usual, starting at 4 PM.

This Thursday's firkin will be the always excellent Flying Dog's Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale.

And, if you haven't already, bookmark and regularly visit Frisco Grille's handy beer page, which lists up to the minute what is available on tap as well as their bottled beer list and what's "on deck" to be added to the taps whenever.

-- On January 31st T-Bonz in Ellicott City is hosting a 'Pints and Pancakes' breakfast from 10 to 2. The $5 entry fee nets you a free pancake breakfast which will also featured breakfast style beers and drinks. I have it on good authority a very special one-off beer from a local brewery will be one of the *breakfast* themed beers featured. Also, music from the Grilled Lincolns.

Side note on T-Bonz, I only discovered they were a beer place by stopping by for the food. Lo and behold its actually a legit craft beer bar as well, with around 10 taps and an interesting collection of bottles and seasonal themed offerings. Nobody talks about them but seriously they're probably the best (craft beer) thing going in Howard County after the Holy Trinity that is Frisco Grille/The Judges Bench/Victoria Gastro Pub.

-- The Columbia Mall's Champps will play host to a Heavy Seas Pint Night on Thursday January 7th from 5-8 PM. Has their beer menu changed lately? It was mostly the usual corporate stuff last time I was in there (a long time ago, mind you). Hmm ...

-- A branch of the Union Jacks pub group is apparently opening in Howard County (I think HowChow mentioned that a while back?), hopefully their beer list, however British, trends slightly crafty as well (Pratt Street Ale House offerings, anyone?).

-- And last but not least, Victoria Gastro Pub. Beer man Alex provided me a wealth of items to discuss yesterday so here goes:

This coming Monday (January 11th) is Ommegang night with their beer club. 'Mr. Ommegang' as Alex calls him will be in person, along with the Abbey Ale, Chocolate Indulgence, Hennepin and 3 Philosophers.

On Tuesday (January 12th) is their St. Bernardus beer dinner with a big line of St. Bernardus offerings (6,8,12) on tap including the rare (on tap) wit. Actually, the wit is on tap right now. If you're curious I'd advise scooting on down there pronto. I think Alex said they only have about two sixtels of each beer so between the dinner and general customer use those should go pretty fast.

Victoria's February beer dinner (Wednesday February 10th) will feature the Allagash brewery, featuring Fluxus '09, Interlude, Hugh Malone, Victor and the black.

Something I'm really looking forward to: an Abita themed night on Fat Tuesday, February 16th. Their chef will be cooking up crawfish (!) and several Abita beers from Louisiana will be available on tap including Andy Gator, Turbo Dog, Bock, Purple Haze and Jockamo.

Sometime towards the end of January they'll put on Unibroue's hard-to-find Trois Pistoles. This beer is released in exceedingly limited quantities to good beer bars.

Also lined up for beer dinners: Rogue in April, Trappist beers in May, Samuel Smith in June, Southern Tier in July and a Scottish beer dinner in August (think Brew Dog, Tracquair, Orkney) plus probably some opening and closing scotch from one of the Glen's.

A selection of beers "on deck" at Victoria: Dogfish Head's World Wide Stout and Fort, Jacobin Cuvee Rouge, Smuttynose Robust Porter, Avery The Czar, one sixtel each of Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada's Life & Limb and Limb & Life, Avery's Dugana, their last three 1/2 kegs of Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, Southern Tier's Choklat, Piraat and Brewers Art's Green Peppercorn Tripel and Cerberus (!).

January 4, 2010

Pratt St. Ale House firkins at Victoria Gastro Pub

Real time

Pratt Street Ale House Cask Night at Victoria Gastro Pub

Late-breaking here, but Pratt Street Ale House will be providing three casks at Columbia's beautiful Victoria Gastro Pub *tonight* (Monday) (5 PM+):

Oak Aged 3 Lions, Old Habit (brown ale) and Best Bitter.

I assume affable brewmaster Steve Jones will also be on hand. I might even sneak in but heads up regardless, and kudos to Victoria for upping the ante and diving into cask beer the last month or so.