Here's a place that has largely fallen off the radar screens of most craft beer fans. This place, at St. John's Lane on Rt. 40 just west of Rt. 29 northwest of old Ellicott City, ceased being a brewpub years ago after an epic series of screw-ups involving a now-extinct Cockeysville location, and have since contracted with other craft breweries to do beers for them. Currently, beers are brewed for them by Clipper City, Olivers, and Fordham. The eight house beers (mostly a litany of familiar styles, though a surprise sneaks in every now and then) and root beer are often playing second fiddle to the place's famous BBQ ribs and free happy hour food buffet (liberal offerings of hot wings, roasted potatoes, pasta, tacos, cheese, veggies, meatballs, etc.).
But a surprise met me the other day as I stopped in prior to the SPBW "meeting" in Ellicott City:
"What's the guest tap [pointing to a bare wood tap handle)?"
"Sierra Nevada Bigfoot."
".............. You're kidding, right?"
And they weren't. Bar manager Noel Johnson claimed responsibility for last week's heat wave: "Who knew it'd get this hot when I put it on?" And it was delicious, heat notwithstanding.
Waiting on deck to replace it? "I have two kegs of [Heavy Seas] Big DIPA, then [Dogfish Head] Life and Limb, and Limb and Life."
Stop ignoring this place, folks. But you still might, depending on the specific beer, want to specify a non-chilled glass.
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