Was trying to catch up with the chaps who run Illusions, to talk with them about Baltimore Beer Week, but Spencer was in the midst of a Very Important Phone Call, so to kill time I wander down Charles Street, and around the corner to The Dog Pub, which opened as I walked up.....
Imperial Dog, their version of an Imperial IPA. Okay, if you're whipping out your AOB/BJCP style sheets, forget it. It supposedly clocks in at 6.5% or a little bit more, about what many snobs would deem just a regular IPA. But it's aggressively, assertively hoppy in the Pacific Northwest style, and would pass for something by Lagunitas or the like on a good day. If you've been bypassing the Dog because you think you've "tried 'em all" or think they're only doing a minimal effort, think again and hie thee down there. At least do so while you're still allowed to park anywhere down there but the West St. parking garage (which is where you go if you can't find legal parking).
A couple doors down, Billabong's is bringing in a few more beers to supplement their Australian/New Zealand theme, including Dogfish 60-minute Tetley's, and Hoegaarden.
Heads-up: Illusions, in spite of the website, is down to two or three nights a week, and will be closed for a couple of weekends as the owners tour China on a magic tour. Call before making a trip, and if you go, dress well (it's a classy place) and pressure them for a decent tap line or two.