Some notable events for this first full week of June
-- The East coast's pre-eminent real ale society, SPBW (Society of Preservation of Beer in Wood) meets Thursday (correction: Thursday 6/14, not this Thursday. My apologies for the error) at Red Brick Station. Enjoy real Maryland beer and the company of cask beer enthusiasts.
-- Boulevard Brewing out of Kansas City launches in Maryland this week. Find them on Tuesday Wednesday at Max's Taphouse for the statewide launch and Thursday at T-Bonz in Ellicott City for the Howard County launch. Boulevard is famous for its "large format" bottled beers which should be available at select retailers including The Perfect Pour in Elkridge/Columbia.
-- DuClaw Brewing is having a pint night event Wednesday night at the venerable Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore. Their newest version of single hopped Venom, called Anti Venom, will be hopped with Citra hops and be on tap at the event. Also on tap will be Oak Aged X-1 (2012 World Beer Cup silver medal winner), Repent and Mysterium.
-- Frisco Tap House & Brewery will host Evolution Brewing and owner Tom Knorr on Wednesday as part of a pint night event. Get yourself some super fresh Lot No. 3 IPA, my favorite IPA made on the east coast that is available in Maryland and just a damn good beer regardless.
-- On Saturday T-Bonz is celebrating the one year anniversary of its 40-tap system. A ton of great beers will be on tap, this should be a good time to see such a good lineup in condensed format.
-- And of course, its SAVOR week in Washington D.C. The annual event is sold out but brings together a ton of breweries and pairs their beers with superb food. Inevitably there's spilloff into the DC/MD/VA area at bars and breweries so I recommend looking at DCBeer.com's site for more highly detailed info on how to enjoy some of the rarities and festivities.
Notably, Flying Dog will be having its second annual "Backyard Symposium" Thursday at the brewery. Its a great gathering of SAVOR participating breweries plus industry people featuring several salons/symposia on beer related topics and a catered lunch. I have been invited to this and hope to provide some notes after it happens and maybe some live Tweeting during the event with amusing anecdotes.
Heavy Seas is hosting a special musical event at their brewery on Saturday, May 5th.
Titled "Blues at the Brewery", enjoy special Heavy Seas beer ($4 for 14oz cups), ala carte food from Kooper's Chowhound Wagon (famous for their burgers) and blues music including special guest Deanna Bogart.
The limited ticket event is specially priced at $20 and includes a souvenir pint glass. Purchase tickets here.
Gates open at 730 p.m., the show commences at 8:15 p.m. with last call at 10:45 p.m.
This is the big one.
If word of mouth means anything, the twice-a-year real ale festivals at Pratt Street are the region's finest. The nearest one is this upcoming weekend, on April 28th.
I've yet to attend one but inevitably I feel like a boob for missing out when dozens of friends in the beer community spend the next week or so raving about this beer or that, and the overall camaraderie of the thing.
Keep track of the available beers and other details at the event's special twitter account.
Third Annual Chesapeake Spring Real Ale Festival Saturday April 28th
VIP's ($60) from 12-1 p.m. one hour early entrance and access to three VERY exclusive beers (one hush hush plus Brewer's Art Tiny Tim and Evolution Rise Up Stout with something extra). Food will also be served, specifically paired to the three VIP beers.
General Admission ($40 early $50 door) 1-5 p.m. all you can drink plus a souvenir mug
Music from Table Top Poets
Food including grilled and raw oysters, pit beef sandwiches on the patio as well as the full Alehouse menu
Commemorative t-shirts for $15
Pretty cool event today at the delicious BBQ and beer haven Kloby's Smokehouse in Fulton/Laurel/southwest Howard County.
Kloby's will be celebrating its fourth anniversary with several food specials and an inspired selection of Heavy Seas beers including a special firkin. In addition, the band Dirty Secret will be rocking out, featuring Heavy Seas' Kelly Zimmerman. No joke, I've seen them perform, they're good, and fun.
Click on the flier below for a more graphic explanation, but the basics are as follows:
$4 Heavy Seas drafts including Marzen, Loose Cannon, Siren Noire (!!!), Black Cannon, the newly released Dubbel Cannon and Small Craft Warning as well as the Oak Barrel Loose Cannon Cask.
In addition, after 2 p.m. a ton of $4 food specials including pulled pork sandwich, (4) delicious whole wings and 4 for $4 Kloby's Beer Grab.
So swing on by, get yourself some BBQ, some Heavy Seas and say congrats to owner Steve and his family on their continued success.
--- The growler debate rages on in Howard County and the Maryland legislature. I respect the sentiments of the opposition but are we seriously arguing that the handful of bars taking advantage of the right to sell growlers will have patrons drinking in the parking lot after departing? Its a hilarious visual if you understand the physics of 64 ounces of liquid tilted upside down through a widemouth spout.
--- Please consider contacting various representatives in support of several craft beer and brewing-related legislation working its way through Annapolis. This link has plenty of information about the legislation and the easy process to make your voice heard. Also, more information via Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws.
--- Happy 10th Anniversary to Hyattsville's Franklin's Restaurant, Brewery & General Store!
--- Sprecher beers have arrived in Maryland! They're a nice addition to the market out of the brewing hotbed of Milwaukee. Good stuff all around among the many offerings I tried at the Bond Distributing industry event about a month ago. Do seek these out (I had a pint of their Doppel Bock at Judges Bench last week).
--- Also recently hitting the market, New Belgium's "Dig" a spring pale ale with something extra -- Sorachi Ace and Nelson Sauvin hops!
-- DuClaw brewing says two 22oz bombers have hit stores: their Double Naked Fish imperial chocolate raspberry stout, and Anti-Venom, their Venom pale ale hopped solely with "Green Bullet" hops from New Zealand that offer tropical flavors and aromas.
--- DuClaw will also be releasing its Celtic Fury traditional Irish stout in time for St. Patrick's Day. Pint Club members can taste it March 5th but it will be released to the public at their three locations (Arundel Mills, Bel Air and Bowie Town Center) on March 7th and March 8th.
--- DelmarvaNow does a good job detailing the dirty work of the brewing process in speaking with Burley Oak Brewing Company based out of Berlin, Maryland (on my to-do visit list this summer). Also, check out this picture of them filling their "coolship" for open fermentation of beer, for the first time. Update: their first coolship beer is complete (picture). It will be called Bunker-C, spontaneously fermented and then it will be aged in a Merlot barrel for a year.
--- The much anticipated expansion at longtime Harford Road craft beer standout Racer's Cafe is rumored to be called Boulevard 60 per the Baltimore Nightlife Examiner. Interesting story as to how it may gain that name.
--- Looking for something to do on St. Patrick's Day morning? Flying Dog is opening up its brewery from 7 a.m. to noon for "Green Eggs and Kegs" with breakfast and your first beer for $15. Their Lucky SOB Irish Red brewed with real four leaf clovers will be on draught plus music and a traditional Irish breakfast from Mt. Airy's Carter Que.
--- The Baltimore Sun does a solid review of Annapolis' Punks Grill. The folks who run that place are savvy and quite participatory in the craft beer scene while also churning out excellent made from scratch food.
--- Beer In Baltimore (.com) reports a new craft bar opening soon in the Towson/Loch Raven area called McFaul's IronHorse Tavern. They will have approximately 16 craft beers on tap. "The focus will be lots of local and regional beer".
--- The other Beer In Baltimore speculates on the dynamics of a planned "brewpub" at Camden Yards that would theoretically be a year-round destination.
--- Also from Mitchell, a more everything's-fair, free-wheeling interpretation of the "Wild West" aspect of beer sales in D.C. (as it relates to the more restricted environment in Maryland and elsewhere).
--- Leinenkugel Beer Garden hopes to break free from the winter rut with a Spring Beerfest on March 30th. Looks fun. Details below.
--- American Craft Beer shows some love for the "art" of beer. Flying Dog brewery has been on a roll lately expressing its more artistic side.
-- Its that time of the year again for one of my favorite Dogfish Head offerings: Aprihop. The apricot-y, hoppy IPA creation will be released at the various Alehouses (read: Gaithersburg) on March 7th paired with a charity raffle.
--- "Fight Of The Firkins" goes down at Mahaffey's Pub in Canton on March 7th. Two specially made Heavy Seas firkins will be on the bar, created by owner Wayne and several staff members. The most popular firkin "wins" and that team gets bragging rights. Also: doors open at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day at Mahaffey's.
Some finds from the electronic adventures of beer life in Maryland this week ... (all images are thumbnails, click to expand)
American Homebrewers Association president Charlie Papazian Tweeted this amazing image a few days ago -- Kathy Ireland chilling on the beach next to a carboy holding some tasty beverage. Classic!
One of my favorite tiny, hard-to-find but lovely little beer bars in Maryland, Canton's Elliott's Pour House is apparently getting new signage in large block letters. Can't wait to check it out soon.
Flying Dog Brewing president Jim Caruso posing with "Jackass" etc. starr Wee Man at the brewery. Wee Man had been filming "Elf Man" in downtown Frederick in recent weeks before incorporating Flying Dog brewing into his wrap party.
Its good stuff. Some really exciting hop flavors and aromas are backed up by a sturdy malt profile more familiar and acceptable to our more delicate Eastern United States palates.
Anyway, two things I know:
2)Frisco Tap House bar manager/beer program maestro Alex Taylor says he has a healthy supply on the way, something like 16 or so kegs (not sure if thats half barrels or sixtels but regardless, he's going to have plenty of the Nectar on his hands) so count on it pretty much having a permanent place on Frisco's taps until it runs out there.
Frisco Tap House & Brewery will also be hosting a Troegs' Pint Night event starring the Nugget Nectar (as well as several other Troegs' "Scratch" one-off specialty beers) on February 29th.
I have also heard a rumor that No Idea Tavern in the Federal Hill neighborhood downtown will have a rare Nugget Nectar firkin on tonight.
This will be the first edition produced by Troegs' new Hershey brewery (previously they made beer in nearby Harrisburg). Already on Twitter I'm hearing about sightings around Baltimore and it appears to have been delivered to Virginia and Washington D.C. ahead of us in the once-Free State. Happy hunting!
The event commences in the evening and will be graced by Pratt Street Ale House/Oliver Ales brewmaster Stephen Jones, one of the hardest-working people in Maryland beer.
The expected draft lineup is as follows:
- S.O.B. collaboration between Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Oliver Ales and Brewer's Art
- Merry Old S.O.B.
- William's Winter Warmer
- Bourbon Barrel Aged William's Winter Warmer
- Creeper Belgian IPA developed by the assistant brewmaster Derek
- B.W. Rye III collaboration with Washington D.C.'s Three Stars Brewing
- Scotch Ale
- Iron Man
- 3 Lions
Amazing! So be there to once again support local beer.
Exciting news out of Columbia this week as we've received word Frisco Tap House, long aspiring to brew beer, has made a huge step toward those plans.
There are still several always-complicated bureaucratic hurdles to clear but owner Adam Carton expects the arrival of a custom-made seven barrel brewing system on or around March 15th.
The Tap House already has a brewer lined up, although he or she will remain anonymous until I can confirm its OK to let that cat out of the bag. Bar manager Alex Taylor says they also plan to allow the brew space -- which is situated next to the front lobby for all to see -- to be shared for future brewing collaborations or use by so-called "Gypsy Brewers" if the mood hits.
Carton hopes to start brewing almost immediately so as to get used to the system. Expect a steady dose of hoppy beers, certain to please the "hop heads" in the community.
Carton has already chosen a name: Push Brewing with imagery and names focused on one of his passions -- racing. Carton sometimes competes in motorcycle racing events and the current brew space is actually a temporary sales room for a local motorcycle dealer. Assuming there isn't another Push brewery out there, that name is good-to-go.
The great HowChowBlog is publishing several entries in a series titled "Welcome To Howard County". One of the most recent entries in the series was about libation (and good beer!) in Howard County. Its a good primer on whats available in an increasingly impressive area for craft beer. Don't miss the comments section.