August 9, 2010

Beer Notes

-- First things first. Please follow me on Twitter for all kinds of beer news, notes, and discussion. Its a lively feed where plenty of local beer news is relayed.

-- Upcoming items at Frisco Grille:

1)Dogfish Head Randallizer next Monday (8/16). The randallizer is a device that acts like a hop filter, running a TBD beer through layers of hops (in this case, Nugget hops) to enhance the flavor.

2)Firkin Thursday this Thursday featuring a bartop firkin of Tupper's Hop Pocket

3)Pint Nights (7 PM+) on Wednesday (8/11) He'Brew & Coney Island (8/18) Sierra Nevada (8/25) Flying Dog.

4)Expansion plans are still tangled in bureaucracy and whatnot, it looks like the opening of the new place is slated for early November at this point.

-- Couple events at Victoria Gastro Pub.

1)First up is this Wednesday's (8/11) Scottish Beer Dinner starring the rare Brewdog Tokio and a cask of Brewdog's Scotch Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Isle of Arran. Full menu and drink notes (.pdf).

2)Also, on Saturday (8/21) they'll host their first ever beer brunch featuring Flying Dog from 10am-2pm. In includes two courses and 5.5oz tastings of three Flying Dog beers. Full menu options and beer notes (.pdf)

3)Future scheduled beer dinners at Victoria include Dogfish Head (Tuesday September 7th), Oktoberfest dinner (Tuesday October 5th) and Stone beer dinner (Tuesday November 2nd). Check the website for menu details and pricing/RSVP information as they are posted.

-- Cool event at Ellicott City's T-Bonz this Friday, "Friday the Firkinteenth". Essentially, T-Bonz is scuttling the taps and only serving "real ale", firkins on bartop, with five cask offerings plus a few extra menu items themed to the beer. More details in a subsequent entry. Be there!

-- In Flying Dog News:

1)You have a chance to tell sales manager Matt Crow which firkins to bring to the DuClaw Real Ale Fest. Pick two among the six options and Tweet them to Matt via the instructions at this page. Single Hop Imperial IPA hmmmmmm?

2)The hot-selling Dogtoberfest Marzen has hit retail shelves, and not far behind it will be for the first time, 12oz bottles of the superb Barrel Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter.

3)Flying Dog made the set of ESPN's Pardon The Interruption last week, with a mask of Hunter S. Thompson in the background.

4)See above with the Victoria Gastro Pub Flying Dog Beer Brunch.

5)See below re: MABN, but Flying Dog is producing a one-off single hop Imperial IPA for sometime in September.

6)Flying Dog beers are now available at the 8x10 in Federal Hill.

7)A cask of Raging Bitch is making its way to Ellicott City's Phoenix Emporium (8/26) to celebrate the release of Dogtoberfest Marzen which will also be available.

8)Other scheduled Flying Dog events -- Pint Night at Metropolitan Coffeehouse (8/17), Firkin Thursday at Metropolitan (8/19) Pint Night at Frisco Grille featuring Dogtoberfest Marzen release! (8/25), Flying Dog tailgate at the Ravens game w/the T-Bonz crew (8/28), Flying Dog event at Federal House in Annapolis w/14+ Flying Dog beers on tap (8/29) and "Back to School Steal The Pint Night" at Alonso's (8/31) 5 PM+

-- Heavy Seas News

1)Prosit! Imperial Oktoberfest Lager should be available mid-August! Its official release is scheduled for Tuesday August 24th at Max's. As a bonus they'll be bringing an oak cask of Loose Cannon.

2)Heavy Seas' Beer & Bacon fest is scheduled for September 11th from noon-4pm. They will have 10+ bacons from around the world and plenty of dishes made with bacon, joined by 12 Heavy Seas taps, several firkins, and live music. Tickets are $40 and are on sale here.

3)No brewery tours are planned for August, next one scheduled is for Saturday September 4th, Labor Day weekend.

4)Look for Heavy Seas firkins at ... T-Bonz (8/13), Bluegrass Tavern (8/17), Phoenix Emporium (8/19), Chesapeake Beer & Crab Fest (8/21), Max's (8/24), Churchkey DC (8/25) and Thunder Burger DC (8/26)

5)There is a Heavy Seas social (RSVP/ticketed event) pairing tapas and beers on the rooftop at Kooper's on August 27th from 6-8pm.

-- The Tuesday Beer Social today at Max's will feature "High & Mighty Brewing" from Mt. Holyoke, Mass. Four beers will be available via bottle, served in a glass. 1)Beer of the Gods 4.5% hoppy blonde in the German style 2)Two Headed Beast 4.5% stout brewed w/organic raw cocoa beans and fermented with Belgian ale yeast 3)St. Hubbins Dubbel 6.5% Belgian style brown fermented with Trappist yeast and 4)Purity of Essence 5.4% India Pale Lager.

And also this week, the much anticipated Third Annual Rare & Obscure event from August 12th-15th. On Thursday (8/12) they will have 7 casks, On Friday (8/13) over 25 rare and obscure drafts on, on Saturday (8/14) another 30 rare & obscure drafts and a special Stillwater cask in the Mobtown Lounge at 3 PM and another 15 rare and obscure drafts Sunday (8/15).

An email of the final taplist will be sent late Wednesday.

Major congratulations are also in order for Heavy Seas' Loose Cannon placing 2nd among American beers at the Great British Beer Festival!

Finally, check out their revamped website! There's what is seemingly an up-to-date taplist and cask list! Wow. There's a feature to check out Max's formerly mysterious cooler and a date set for next year's Belgian Beer Fest (February 18th-20th 2011).

-- Pratt Street Ale House's anticipated Jacob's Summer Celebration Ale will debut at Max's this Thursday August 12th, at 6 PM. I got a sneak peek of this during the Flying Dog/Pratt Street Orioles Crawl a few weeks ago and it was delicious (see, you should have joined us!). Check out brewmaster Stephen Jones' writeup about the growth of his beers in the area -- Oliver Ales is getting around!

-- The chilling system that controls the fermenters at Franklins is on the fritz, so they're running at about 40% of capacity lately.

-- Sublimation is now available at Brewer's Art, with Clamper's Ale on tap after that.

-- Lures in Crownsville's next "Beer Club" event is Tuesday August 18th from 6-8 PM. For $38.50 there is beer and buffet food and the entire bar/lounge area is reserved. The featured brewery this time is Evolution, with appearances from Lot No. 3 IPA, Rise Up Coffee Stout, Lot No. 6 DIPA, Haymaker and Summer Session Ale.

-- Currently on tap at Gilly's in Rockville: Dogfish Sah'Tea, Dogfish Namaste, Climax Helles Lager, Peak Organic IPA.

-- Wayne is on vacation so last week's Mahaffey's email was rather generic other than to say fall beers are on the way, which is already evident at most beer bars around town. Just a reminder, Mahaffey's will be closed from Saturday August 14th to Friday August 20th and re-opens Saturday the 21st at 5 PM. Also, it appears "Waynestock" will be held on supremely busy September 11th.

-- Brewer's Alley is hosting a Local Harvest Beer Dinner on August 31st.

-- The great real ale enthusiasts know as SPBW are set for their monthly gathering at the very underrated Grand Cru at Belvedere Square this Wednesday around 7 PM.

-- The Maryland Microbrewery Festival at Union Mills Homestead in Westminster is fast arriving. It will be on Saturday September 25th from 11am-7pm featuring 12 breweries, food, entertainment and vendors.

-- On August 21st and 22nd, Hagerstown is hosting its 15th annual Augustoberfest celebrating the area's German heritage.

-- Notable beer news items from the latest Mid Atlantic Brewing News compiled by Kevin Smith and Alexander D. Mitchell IV

1)Something called the Burley Oak Craft Brewery has approval to produce a microbrewery in Berlin, Maryland, this fall.

2)Also planned, Mad Hops brewing in Ellicott City (ETA 2011) and the Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm (who has been supplying Heavy Seas and Flying Dog with awesome local hops) in Frederick at some point TBD.

3)Flying Dog is producing a one-off single hop (Simcoe!) Imperial IPA around mid-September

4)Frederick's Brewer's Alley will release its Wedding Alt on September 14th and Oktoberfest on September 28th.

5)New beers at Barley and Hops (Dancing Dan blonde lager) and Rock Bottom (Liquid Sun hefe and Keller Helles plus Rocktoberfest sometime in September).

6)Look for more bocks and Bock of the Bat as well as the extremely popular pumpkin ale at Ellicott Mills Brewing soon.

7)DuClaw is releasing Pax Nemesis (Altbier) late August and Oktoberfest soon thereafter.

8)Heavy Seas' planned expansion should push their production from 20,000 barrels currently to around 28,000/year. This year's homebrew winner is David Edmundson and Doug John of Forest VA. and they'll produce Bastard Child Dubbel in early 2011. Also, look for two versions of The Great Pumpkin (regular and oak barrel aged).

9)Red Brick Station continues its focus on session beers and coming soon is the Cervesa Sandia, the popular watermelon beer.

10)De Kleine Duvel, a planned Belgian beer bar to arrive in Hampden has had some delays but is hoping for an August open.

-- Couple DC events from MABN's "Hop Tips" email of beer events in the Mid Atlantic region ...

Allagash Beer Dinner w/brewer and owner Rob Todd at Granville Moore's (8/17), Beer Nerd Night at Rock & Roll Hotel on H. Street featuring Stillwater's Brian Strumke and ChurchKey's Greg Engert as a kickoff to DC Beer Week (8/20), Heavy Seas Cask Night at ChurchKey including an oak aged Loose Cannon, Hang Ten and vintage aged Below Decks (8/25), Heavy Seas cask night, first ever cask at Thunder Burger (8/26).

-- Looks like DC is also having its own Beer Week, with a website coming soon. In the meantime here's a list of events scheduled at a Facebook page (via Beer In Baltimore)

-- Three other DC items ... 1)The Verizon Center apparently doesn't have a half-bad craft beer selection -- if you know where to find it 2)Justin's Cafe just outside Nationals Park has some quality beers available on tap and in bottle. That's a tough location once baseball ends but we wish them well 3)A review of the beer selection at the new-ish Thunder Burger & Bar in Georgetown. Heavy Seas and Flying Dog make an appearance.

-- Beer Advocate has updated its list of the top 100 beers on planet Earth. Here's a quick numerical look at the goings-on from Brookston Beer Bulletin. Still too many imperial stouts for my taste. Maryland's lone entrant -- at No. 70 -- is Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter.

-- Rumor has it that Santa Barbara based Firestone Walker may be releasing several new offerings to the East coast soon. Click the link for heavier details.

-- Redhook is sponsoring the Washington Huskies. Methinks one of the local breweries should sponsor the Terps!

-- New local libation blog "It's 12 O'Clock Somewhere". Well written, discerning -- perhaps too discerning, heh.

-- From the people I've talked to it sounds like the beer selection at Johnny Rad's is promising.

-- Baltimore Beer Week -- it's coming!

-- Finally, I'll have a more complete roundup of Baltimore Beer Week events at the major Howard County beer bars hopefully this week -- there are some really cool events going on! Stay tuned for that.

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