As with past years, this blog will be highlighting specific events worthy of extra attention and consideration a few days in advance, but for today we're going to run down and highlight only events with potentially limited attendance, limited supplies, and/or advance ticket sales, where you may wish to decide now to get tickets or reservations lest you be shut out. A few of these events offer discounts for advance purchase as well. Most BBW events are "pat as you go" (meaning "pay for what you eat/drink"), and a few are even free. All events are listed at the BBW Events page; this is only an overview for purposes of advance planning.
First and foremost on October 6th, of course, is the Opening Tap at The Ram's Head Live 6-9 PM ($30), preceded by the "parade" of the "Star-Spangled Banger" firkin hammer. Liam Flynn's taps a custom-ordered house firkin, a heather ale brewed for them by Heavy Seas. The Maryland Science Center is having its "Science on Tap" featuring DuClaw brewers at about the same time as the Opening Tap. After the Opening Tap, there are after-parties at Leinenkugel's and the Pratt Street Ale House, and former DJ Brian Strumke hosts a karaoke event at Alewife.
October 8th: The Brewers Association of Md Oktoberfest at the Fairgrounds in Timonium, with an added homebrew element this year ($20-35). Start the morning with a Unibroue beer brunch at Metropolitan ($30), or see the tap-making demo at Mark Supik & Co. in Highlandtown (free). Hellas is having a Sam Adams event that includes sampling from a bottle of Utopias; Leinenkugel's has its Downtown Beer Festival that evening ($20-30);
9th: Brewery tour and brunch at Heavy Seas ($40, not on website yet); a Stillwater event at Max's Taphouse includes sales of a one-off batch for the occasion; Victoria Gastro Pub's Maryland Beer Festival (($30-40); Honeygo's beer fest ($30); the Heavy Seas Pyrate Pub Crawl ($25); Flying Dog's Bachelor Beer Dinner at Golden West in Hampden ($35), and Homebrewing for the Cure at Maryland Homebrew in Columbia (which has a new home in the same general building, in case you didn't know).
10th, Columbus Day Monday: The Baltimore Beer Forum at Bertha's ($30); Exotic Beer Brunch at Metropolitan ($35); a Flying Dog Beer Dinner at Frisco Taphouse ($TBA); a Stillwater beer dinner at the Mt. Airy Inn ($75); a Heavy Seas beer dinner at Alewife ($65), and cigars and beer-and-spirits tasting at Red Brick Station ($45).
11th: Mahaffey's bus trip to Yards Brewery in Philadelphia (and a casino!) ($28); beer dinner at TBonz in Ellicott City with homebrew and Maryland Homebrew ($40); joint Olivers/Evolution dinner at Pratt Street Ale House ($45); the Pints for Poe fundraiser at the Creative Alliance/Patterson Theater in Highlandtown (donation); and a fundraising Flying Dog dinner at Alewife ($80).
12th: Flying Dog Civil War dinner at Grand Cru ($TBA); Ommegang six-course dinner at Pickles Pub ($45); the fundraising (for animal shelters) Homebrewing Showcase at Little Havana (which will run out of beer all too quickly!); Red Brick Station's joint RBS-Brewers Art crab feast ($45); Leinenkugel's Flying Dog dinner ($40).
13th: Women in Beer at Max's ($20); James Joyce's charity beer dinner (charity and price TBA); Max's staff makes their own casks at Heavy Seas and pours them at Max's; and the Brewmasters Beer Dinner at Punk's Backyard Grill in Annapolis ($50).
14th: Beer Breakfast at Pickles Pub ($25); beer brunch at Metropolitan ($25); the Charmingly Charitable Chilibrew, this time on North Avenue right near Liam Flynn's (and they usually run out of beer and chili both! $10-20); and a Leinenkugel's beer dinner ($TBA).
15th: The Chesapeake Real Ale Festival at the Pratt Street Ale House ($40-50); Date Night at the National Aquarium with Flying Dog beers ($80 per couple); and Metropolitan's Trappist Beer Dinner ($45).
16th: Wrap it all up with a Beer Brunch at the Mt. Airy Inn with Brewer's Alley beers ($40).
Once again, lots of other special events are out there. Lots of brewers are coming to town, including Carol Stoudt, Scotland's Bruce Williams (of Heather Ale fame), Pete Showvaker of Troegs, Pete Scheider of Victory Brewing, several brewers from Canada, and more. Plan accordingly.