February 28, 2010

Racers Cafe and Hamiltons Tavern

Backstory: Brad from BeerInBaltimore.com organized a gathering at Racer's Cafe on Harford Road to watch the Olympic hockey gold medal game between the United States and Canada. Having never been to Racers but hearing good things about it for a while, it was a good opportunity to finally swing by.

Brad was there as well as several other local beer writers and Twitter friends so it was a really nice time.

Racers has about 17 beers on tap, which you order at the bar by number assigned to them on the big chalkboard inside. They also have a deal where you can get three mugs of beer for I think $5.

Its a blue collar place with free peanuts which you can toss on the floor. Next door is an attached packaged goods store mostly stocked with beers which can be enjoyed at Racers (see picture No. 3 a barrel aged Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA).

After the game several members of our group headed over to Hamilton Tavern. It had nice food (I went with the jalapeno cheese fritters and a delicious meatball sub) and four overall taps, two of which were devoted to Brewers Art beers.

February 25, 2010

Firkin Thursday

As reported here, Frisco Grille will put Pratt Street Ale House's brand new Three Spires Ale on firkin tonight starting at 4 PM. Already on hand pump is Flying Dog's hopalicious Doggie Style Pale Ale which tastes amazing right now.

Federal Hill's Metropolitan Coffeehouse is tapping their 100th firkin and will have Pratt Street's brand new Bier De Garde, created with a Belgian ale yeast (we don't see that too often from PSAH).

And at the great Max's: Burton Bridge Bramble Stout, North Coast Red Seal and Arcadia London Porter (dry hopped) starting at 6 PM.

February 24, 2010

Frisco Grille Latest

Frisco Grille in Columbia ...

Currently on the beer engine: Flying Dog Doggie Style.

For Firkin Thursday they'll pour Pratt Street Ale House's brand new Three Spires Golden Ale.

AND sneak peek next Thursday: a TBD firkin from Brewer's Art scheduled to arrive this Thursday and settle for a week before any pouring occurs.

February 23, 2010

Victoria Gastro Pub Behind The Scenes I

MANY thanks to Victoria's excellent bar manager Alex in giving me a view into the world behind the bar at Victoria Gastro Pub.

1) Its a mess of kegs and lines sometimes, such is life with a 24 tap system

2) Self explanatory

3)Pressure and lines and beer, oh my

4)Some of the bottled offerings

Victoria Gastro Pub Behind The Scenes II

1)Barman Alex proudly displaying a new arrival: Brewdog's Tokyo

2)Bottles, kegs and barmen

3)The arsenal

4)The good stuff

Victoria Gastro Pub Behind The Scenes III

1)The tote board!

2)Lookie lookie what do we have here?

Amusing Frisco Grille Anecdote

One of the main bartenders at Frisco Grille, Oliver, tells me that he can tell when customers have read Baltimore Beer Guy or HowChow because they'll ask for the 'secret menu'.

Its actually labeled 'Adaptations and New Items' and has some delicious offerings on there but its a bit wordy for my liking. So, 'secret menu' it is. Because at one time it was sort of secret, more word of mouth than anything but they've since made it part of the regular menu, albeit as part of a flier that comes with the menu.

Most people I talk to seem to go wild for the Steak Sammich but I'm more a sucker for the stupidly simple yet delicious BBQ chicken tacos or the Adam Bowl. I mention Frisco Grille a lot on here but don't say enough about the menu, its a real treat with a surprising amount of diversity beyond their staple burritos (which are themselves wonderful and able to be customized just about any way imaginable).

Just the other day they tried something new, offering their taquitos to be made from flour tortillas instead of the normal corn tortillas. Keep in mind these are a little different from what we traditionally think of taquitos: larger, more flavorful with a delicious side dipping sauce. The flour ones came out extra large, with a crunchy outside and nice layer of soft, doughy inside covering the meat filling (either chicken or beef).

Anyway, the food is another reason to give Frisco Grille a try.

Flying Dog at Brickskeller Strong Ale Event

The Brickskeller's rescheduled strong ale event goes off tonight (Tuesday) down in D.C. and Maryland brewery Flying Dog will participate.

It looks like tickets are still available so if you're into the big beers and Flying Dog, consider stopping by down there.

Update, from BBG regular Brandon in the comments below: "Other Maryland breweries represented tonight will also be: Oliver's Steve Jones, Johannssons, Ruddy Duck Brewery and Marylands own Bob Tupper."

February 22, 2010

Monday Beer Madness in HoCo

1)T-Bonz in Ellicott City is debuting its first ever firkin event, featuring Heavy Sea's brand new Siren Noire, a chocolate stout. Scoot on down there and try for yourself Heavy Seas' first offering since the re-branding. You'll hear more about T-Bonz on here very soon. For now, just know they just put Flying Dog's Raging Bitch and the extremely limited Kerberos Tripel on tap.

2)Pratt Street Ale House takes its wares to Victoria Gastro Pub, starting at 5 PM. Brewmaster Stephen Jones will be on hand with the debut of his brand new Biere de Garde on cask. In a departure for PSAH, the beer was fermented with Belgian ale yeast, which should make this a rare treat.

They'll also have The Bishop's Indulgence, Strongman Pale Ale and Coventry Cream Ale on tap. Victoria just added Boulder Mojo Risin' IPA (nitro), Southern Tier Choklat, Duvel Green and Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout on tap.

3)Don't forget about Frisco Grille and The Judges Bench!

February 20, 2010

T-Bonz Pints and Pancakes I

OK so I *finally* got around to uploading these pics from T-Bonz's amusing "Pints and Pancakes" event held recently (thanks to some prodding from Flying Dog super rep Matt Crow). The sneaky good Ellicott City beer bar hosted a lively breakfast beer themed party with live music and an array of breakfast themed beers featuring coffee -- Flying Dog's awesome coffee stout, berries, and even bacon -- Porkslap ... close enough!


2)Flying Dog Coffee Stout and a bottle of Pub Dog's Chocolate Oatmeal Stout

3)The Pub Dog bottle

4)Delicious pancakes! All you can eat regular or chocolate chip. Most folks ruin pancakes these were pleasantly tasty and of appropriate texture.

T-Bonz Pints and Pancakes II

1)More pancakes and beer ... what a combo!

2)The Grilled Lincolns performing

3)Sample menu: strawberry, coffee, raspberry ... yep, breakfast!

February 18, 2010

Its Official: Frisco Grille is Moving!

This is literally breaking news, first reported here:

Columbia's excellent southwest cuisine restaurant and beer bar Frisco Grille is moving! They had made plans to expand in their current center off Stanford Boulevard but have changed gears and have now begun signing paperwork to move just a bit further down Dobbin Road.

They will be next to Batteries Plus, near Columbia Scuba. Simply take Dobbin Road south, they will be located between McGaw and Oakland Mills Roads. If nothing else, it will be much easier to explain to people how to find them as their current location is in a bit of an oddball spot. The move will shift them from their current 2300 square foot location into a space of approximately 4700 square feet.

The payoff? They now have plans to provide 50 taps, with room for up to 100 if they so choose. The bar should be much more spacious and have greater length, meaning there will likely be two full time bartenders behind the counter, as well as roundtops and whatnot. I don't have official word on this but I know they've spoken of also adding an in-house brew facility to offer some of their own beers (owner Adam Carton is a huge hop-head and has mentioned about five different variations on the pale ale and IPA so thats the likely direction).

The move will not be immediate, obviously, and they will remain open at the current location but they hope to open at the new location sometime in late spring or early summer.

Stay tuned for further details and I'll pass along any questions to the ownership.

Firkin Madness

Its Thursday which means Firkin time around town. See Mr. Mitchell's site for starters:

Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale at Metropolitan Coffeehouse

they will also have draft versions of Special Brewer's Series Coffee Stout, Raging Bitch Belgian IPA, Road Dog Porter and Garde Dog Biere de Garde available throughout both upstairs and downstairs bars

Pratt Street Ale House Bishop's Indulgence, Arcadia Nut Brown and Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale at Max's

Heavy Seas Siren Noire at Alonso's (yum)

Aaaaaand Troegs' Nugget Nectar at Frisco Grille, which will start pouring at 6 PM

February 17, 2010

Flying Dog Meet The Brewers Night at Koopers Tavern

Meet brewer Matt Brophy and other Flying Dog friendly folk tonight at Koopers Tavern in Fells Point. Its also pint night from 7 PM onward.

Troegs Pint Night at Frisco Grille

Tonight, Wednesday, is the Troegs Brewing pint night at Frisco Grille in Columbia. From 7 PM onward they'll be pouring a big offering of Troegs beers including the much-coveted Nugget Nectar.

After 7 PM, the first pint you order of the featured brewery merits a free piece of glassware (be sure to ask the bartender/server).

On tap:

Mad Elf
Nugget Nectar
Hopback Amber
Dreamweaver Wheat

February 4, 2010

Pratt Street Ale House Strongman Pale Ale Dry Hopped Firkin

At Frisco Grille, and they've got the brand new Bishop's Indulgence on hand pump as well.

Rams Head Spring Buck Release

Just another reminder, Rams Head is hosting the release of their 'Spring Buck' Belgian Blonde tonight starting at 4 PM at all locations. Sounds cool!

Flying Dog Thursday

Flying Dog super rep Matt Crow will lead two Flying Dog events today in Maryland.

The first is a tasting of the Garde Dog and 20th Anniversary Raging Bitch at Wine World in Abingdon from 5-7 PM.

Afterwards he'll be at Sean Bolan's in Bel Air for Flying Dog's monthly 'Bitch Session'/Tweetup starting at 730 PM. They'll have four Flying Dog beers on tap: Raging Bitch, Double Dog (nitro tap), Doggie Style Pale Ale and the ridiculously good one-off Coffee Stout.

Aaaaand on Friday they'll be hosting a 'Snow Buster' beer tasting at Corridor Wine & Spirits in Laurel from noon to 3 PM. Sample the Raging Bitch and Garde Dog, two of their very best offerings.

Firkin Thursday

Frisco Grille in Columbia: the brand new, only one in Maryland Pratt Street Ale House Ironman Strongman ("loads more hops! says Oliver Ale brewer Stephen Jones) Pale Ale dry hopped with Maryland Chinook hops, and on the beer engine, the brand new stupidly delicious Bishop's Indulgence from Pratt Street. It is a chocolate stout brewed with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans.

Frisco's Oliver also tells me that about half his taps right now are stronger beers, so if you're a big beer fan come on down and (responsibly) enjoy.

Metropolitan Coffeehouse in Federal Hill: They'll have the Bishop's Indulgence as well.

Frisco Grille's fun officially starts at 4 PM, Metropolitan at 6 PM.

February 3, 2010

Flying Dog Pint Night at Frisco Grille

Be sure to check out Wednesday's 'Pint Night' at Frisco Grille in Columbia. They'll be featuring Flying Dog beers, meet rep Matt Crow, and enjoy the Raging Bitch, spring seasonal Garde Dog, In-Heat Wheat, Doggie Style Pale Ale and Gonzo imperial porter on the nitro tap.