March 4, 2010

Beer Notes

-- Couple big Flying Dog events this week. First up is the monthly "Bitch Session" held on the first Thursday of ... every month. They're held around various markets and feature Flying Dog reps, beer, and merriment. The big one this week will be at Elliott's Pour House in Canton. Super rep Matt Crow will be on hand, there will be a cool happy hour deal, plenty of nearby parking, and a screening of bowling comedy King Pin. Festivities kick off around 6 PM.

EPH is interesting because they have a cool tap tower that has room to expand, something they just might be doing soon as they have plans for five new lines. They mention a hope for Stillwater Ales, Dogfish Head, Evolution, 16 Mile and one more.

Also, in Frederick at Bushwaller's they'll gather from 5-7 PM with $3 Flying Dog beers and giveaways.

On Friday, Alonso's will have its monthly firkin, featuring Flying Dog's Doggie Style Pale Ale. I've had this firkin around town now several times (mostly at Frisco Grille) and have yet to be disappointed, very tasty stuff. Speaking of Alonso's, here's their St. Patrick's Day specials (.pdf). Oh, and Loco Hombre just unveiled their new dinner menu (.pdf) as well as Alonso's (.pdf).

Flying Dog will also have another firkin around town on Friday, at Koopers Tavern in Fells Point! What a night.

-- Also, a recipe for "Bitch and Chips" ... Raging Bitch beer battered fish and chips at the Flying Dog website. That picture is a great sell!

-- Pratt Street Ale House is rapidly gearing up for their March 20th Real Ale Festival. They'll have casks from Arcadia, Weyerbacher, the brand new Stillwater Brewing, Brewer's Art, Flying Dog and some house offerings. Tickets ($35) are now on sale and all but sold out. It promises to be an amazing event.

Also: the Three Spires Ale just went on tap (and cask). Its a 5% golden ale hopped with English First Gold, Kent Goldings and Fuggles. Brewmaster Stephen Jones is a 'very happy man, it's fantastic!'. Look for the appearance of a few firkins of this around town in the next few weeks. Next in the cask rotation: Biere De Garde and then Mocha Java Porter!

Or, check out this week's Friday Question for a chance to try Fuller's Vintage Ale 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Also, Midnight Sun covers steady rumblings that PSAH will expand into Federal Hill and perhaps even Pennsylvania.

Also, a nod on where to find PSAH beers in DC this week and the crazy labors of being a brewer at the blog.

-- Brewers Art's new monthy pale ale in the Zodiac series is Pisces with an 'interesting new malt and nice hop character'.

-- This week's firkin for Firkin Thursday (cask conditioned/gravity poured) at Columbia's Frisco Grille will be Brewers Art's Saison L'Ombre, tapping at either 4 or 6 PM. Pint Night on Wednesday will feature Warsteiner beer.

-- Mark your calendars: Friday April 2nd is the third anniversary party for The Judges' Bench in downtown Ellicott City. They'll have the Heavy Seas crew in attendance to tap a firkin of the Big DIPA!

-- We've heard the rumors but now they appear to have made their way to print: Beer In Baltimore's Alexander Mitchell is reporting that Clay Pipe Brewing may close down. Better stock up on whatever's left on store shelves if true. Its just weird to me that this state would add one brewery (Stillwater) and lose another (Clay Pipe) within weeks of each other after little growth or decline in the last few years.

-- Something called Gadling lists Baltimore as one of the top 24 greatest cities in the world for drinking beer. To which I say: duh! They amusingly mock 'Baltimore Beer Week's 10 day idea of a week, but get down with the 'Hon nature of Charm City.

-- has a recap and some pictures of Max's recent 6th annual Belgian Beer Fest. Flip through the pictures and there should be someone you know in them.

-- Mr. Mitchell takes a page from Baltimore Beer Guy and lets the picture do (most of) the talking: Sam Smith Beer Dinner at Metropolitan Coffeehouse in Federal Hill, March 2nd (menu info). He also reports on new beers at Don't Know Tavern (thanks to suggestions from commenters at the Midnight Sun blog). Flying Dog rep Matt Crow has confirmed with me they'll be on tap with the upcoming changes.

And there's this excellent writeup of Kloby's Smokehouse (plus more here) somewhere in that vague area of southern Howard County. I've seen a few recent Twitter updates noting good craft beer on tap there, which is a wonderful pair with BBQ. I need to haul it over there, soon! Of some intrigue:
In addition, the glassware used is Ball pint and half-pint jars--a rather transparent answer to the issue of just how much the glass holds
Oh, and some info on the next SPBW meeting scheduled for March 11th at Metropolitan. Again, something I need to partake in.

-- Draft Magazine lists four Maryland establishments among its 150 best (beer) bars: The Brewer's Art, Frisco Grille, Max's and Silver Spring's nearly hidden Quarry House Tavern. Congrats to all, for the honor.

-- Victoria Gastro Pub

Here's a little extra hype for Victoria -- I am fully convinced they are the best bar in all of America to get Flying Dog's awesome Raging Bitch 20th Anniversary Belgian IPA. Victoria brilliantly ordered a ton at the initial opportunity and ever since has had a seemingly endless supply with zero hint of ever taking it away. Its served right and tastes great and its sort of a cool treat to be able to go in there and enjoy a great beer people around the country talk about at perhaps its No. 1 location.

Also, next Monday will feature Troegs Brewing for the beer club (all are invited). There will be a pin of the Nugget Nectar on gravity firkin starting at 5 PM!

-- Some discussion of Looney's pub at HowChow. I need to sneak down there and check it out, they have 20-ish taps and a few beer geek friends enjoy the happy hours deals on the handful of craft offerings available.

-- Brewers Alley in Frederick also has a few openings remaining for their Bourbon Street Beer Dinner on Tuesday, March 7th.

-- Several Howard County folk keep asking me when a new British pub called Union Jack's will open. Until now I didn't have an answer but via Twitter it looks like they'll open sometime in the March 11,12,13 range with a VIP party March 11th. It is listed at 10400 Little Patuxent Parkway, which is at the Columbia mall.

-- If you are in D.C. and are looking for a charitable beer-related event, how about trying the Brewer's Ball to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Several local breweries including Heavy Seas will be there.

-- Elsewhere in DC, the much hyped Meridian Pint is steadily gearing itself up for an opening hopefully soon.

-- Gertrude's has surprised us and declared themselves craft beer friendly in a big way, stocking Brewer's Art La Petroleuse, Heavy Seas Winter Storm and Flying Dog Biere De Garde and claim to proudly serve Maryland craft beers. Cool!

-- The brand new DuClaw at BWI airport gets a nice writeup from the Sun's Rob Kasper. Its a rare airport establishment that is placed before security rather than after it, just a heads up. Hours are from 7 AM to 9 PM.

-- A Beer In Hand raves about the weekly beer dinner at Jack's Bistro in Canton, and discusses a new tea beer he found.

-- Burger At Law has a wordy, positive, beautifully visual review of Alonso's famous one pound burger. What better way to wash it down than with some of their draft offerings including Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada creations Life & Limb and Limb & Life? Also, their new menu debuted this week.

-- Rumored new arrival to Baltimore on tap: Lagunitas' Wilco Tango Foxtrot 'jobless recovery' ale.

-- Interesting, from The Baltimore Snacker: a map of Europe's alcohol zones. I wonder what America's would look like?

-- Maryland's Belgian beer and brewery expert Chuck Cook reports back from Westvleteren!

-- The latest extensive beer (and wine) roundup from Tom Cizauskas' Yours For Good Fermentables.

-- Video: how to brew beer in three minutes

-- Online wine purchasing/shipping coming to Maryland? Make it happen.

-- A grim warning: someone on Twitter wrote 'passage of this bill will be the death knell of all the craft bars/breweries in Maryland'. Thoughts? It says the state will increase tax rates for beer from 9 cents to $1.16 per gallon of beer "for the distribution of the additional revenue to special funds to be used only for the purpose of providing additional funding for specified health services etc."

-- We need something centralized like this for the Maryland craft beer bar and brewing community.

-- Yet another (somewhat craft beer related) entrant into the Maryland beer writing scene: Bar-timore. Bookmark it.

-- Another offering from Beer In Baltimore's Alexander Mitchell -- a discussion on the growth of multi-tap bars (the 40, 50, 75+ type offerings) sprouting up.

My condensed thoughts: so far most of these are offering a heavy dose of Bud/Miller/Coors offshoots and cater to more noisy, casual visitors than the beer geeks. That may or may not be the case with the new 100+ tap place set to open near Harbor East but obviously is not the case with the legendary Max's.

The author also notes that the magic number of taps seems to be 24, which sounds just about right and is an astute observation. Places like Victoria Gastro Pub (24!), Frisco Grille (20), Mahaffey's (20-ish) seem to be right in that range. That said, there's a wave of expansion coming, with Frisco looking to go to 50 and maybe even 100 taps eventually, Max's soon expanding to 100, and perhaps a few more I'm not at liberty to discuss yet. Even a few smaller places are adding taps. Mahaffey's just added a few recently, Elliott's Pour House appears to have added a few, and T-Bonz recently went up to 14 taps (11 rotating/craft).

So long as these establishments continue to respect beer, keep their lines clean (!) and know their business and customers its difficult to fret about expansion. I've been to the Yard Houses of the world and although I like them the selection is actually a bit wanting and I find myself merrily heading back to the actual committed bars.

Aaaaaand we'll wrap this up for now, PLENTY more Beer Notes (huge backlog of emails to get to plus notes I've taken from talking to various beer folk to include) coming very soon.


Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

I've seen this word Raging Bitch so often I'm thinking it's a substitute for Holy Water around your parts?? :-P

BeerGuy said...

Well, it is sustenance for believers and non-believers alike.

BTW sounds like a couple truckloads of Raging Bitch are off to CA. Not sure where they'll end up but hopefully in some bottle shops and bars nears you. The stuff is awesome.

Brad said...

Great round-up! Though I recently had an issue with the site so some older links are bad, including the one you posted (BBF recap & pics).

Here's the correct link:

BeerGuy said...


Thanks! I've corrected the link, thanks for the heads up.