18 June 2008

This Week in Baltimore

Saturday and Sunday: What beers show up at Hampden's "Honfest"? No, not Natty Boh or National Premium, nor Clipper City's BaltiMarzHon..... but Heiniken and Amstel Light, plus an import tap (I forget whether it was Franziskaner or Warsteiner)..... plus a stand by Redstone Meadery of Colorado, serving HONey wine! Damn, why didn't I think of that?!? (Local tie: the parents of Redstone's founder live in a Baltimore suburb, and shamelessly ran the booth all weekend!)

Monday: Baltimore Sun reprints last week's Wall Street Journal article on bars using undersized "pint" glasses (or "cheaters") in an effort to squeeze out larger profits--not unlike the ubiquitous shrinking candy bars, potato chip bags, or ice cream containers (usually 1.75 quarts rather than 1/2 gallon, and I've seen 1.5 quart containers). They link to Jeff Alworth's Honest Pint Project at his blog, and so will I.

My own thought? Just Say Know. An informed consumer is an empowered consumer. I want to pay a bar a fair price for a beer, be it expensive or cheap, and I want an appropriate serving every time, and I want to be able to tell if a beer's 3%, 5%, 8%, or 10% before I order. And having said that, I also have no objection to a bar charging me 50 cents or $1 for a sample-sized serving, instead of having to build the cost of a "free" sample into the barkeep's tip. Having said that, however, perhaps the easiest way to get thrown out of many bars, faster than wearing gang colors and a sidearm, is to pour your serving into a measuring beaker......

Odd Beer of the Week (so far): Harviestoun Ginger & Lime Bitter, a 5.8% best bitter from Scotland that tastes like a 3.5% session beer. Max's Taphouse, along with an Italian saison (Piccolo Birrifico Seson, with odd citrus fruit, juniper, and coriander) and Birrifico Grado Plato Strada San Felice, a chestnut-flavored 8% beer.

Thursday the 19th: Max's Taphouse and Allagash of Maine, featuring brewer/owner Rob Tod. Fourteen Allagash beers on draft: Hugh Malone, Victoria, Victor, Black, Grand Cru, Mussette, Dubbel, Curieux, Four, Triple, Mussette(Barrel Aged and Dry Hopped), Odyssey, White, and Barrel Aged Four.

Same Night: if Allagash ain't your thing, have the Olivers Oatmeal Stout on firkin at Metropolitan on S. Charles St. in Federal Hill, starting at 6 PM.

Same Night: Clay Pipe is doing a promo at The Friendly Inn, 11074 Frederick Road (Md. Rt. 144), Ellicott City, MD, featuring Backfin Pale Ale and Hop-Ocalypse, from 8 to 11 pm.

Friday the 20th: Firkin Friday at DuClaw Fells Point: Double dry-hopped Consecration American Brown Ale and that Apricot Hellrazer. Start your stopwatches at 5 pm.

Wednesday the 25th: "Christmas in June" at Mahaffey's in Canton. 3 Christmas beers on tap: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Troegs Mad Elf, and Anchor Our Special Ale 2007.

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