The Dog Pub--formerly the Thirsty Dog Pub--in Federal Hill has undergone an apparent maturation in the past couple months. Formerly a "faux" brewpub that sold re-branded Old Dominion beer, they were all but forced to snap up their own brewery--the former Clay Pipe facility in Westminster--and start brewing in order to fulfill their mission of serving house beers. Since then, they've expanded as well, with a second location in Columbia, Md. (across the parking lot from the terrific Frisco Grille).
I have yet to hear a "beer geek" sing the praises of these beers--not because of any fundamental flaws, but simply because the beers seemed to lack any real character, aimed more at the "average Joe/Jill" beer drinkers than aficionados (and, in the case of the Federal Hill location, dog-walking "average J's"). The image of beers flavored with fruit syrup after their pouring didn't help their image any, either. But their two-mugs-for-$3 special (has it been raised yet?) was a welcome dose of variety after the late Sean Bolan's closed a while back and Ryleigh's (the former Sisson's, site of Maryland's first modern-era brewpub) finally stopped pretending to have house beers at their much-renovated location.
Well, an e-mail from the just-around-the-corner Metropolitan Coffee House and Lounge reveals that the Dog Pub has supplied them with a firkin of Hoppy Dog, their hoppy (well, duh) pale ale.
The Dog Pub going to cask-conditioned beers? This bears checking out! More details as they become available...... meanwhile, the firkin is scheduled for tapping Thursday, June 5th at 6 PM. See you then.
UPDATE: an online report indicates that the Health Department may have finally caught up with this place, banning the dogs in what used to be as dog-friendly a place as you were likely to find (everything but a beer tap for the dogs).