28 April 2011

More Upcoming Events

Friday, April 29th, 5-8 PM at Alonsoville, the upstairs bar of Alonso's in Roland Park, a portion of all sales go to ROAR for Autism and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Victoria Gastro Pub, Columbia:
Tuesday May 17th, Bus Trip to Yards Brewery
Monday May 23rd, Victoria Day, Beer Club Trip Giveaway
Tuesday June 14th, Colorado Beer Dinner
Tuesday July 12th, Dogfish Head Beer Dinner

Hellas Restaurant & Lounge. Millersville:
Sunday May 15th at 5:30pm, Heavy Seas will be joining us, for a Tripel Cannon Pint Nite. We will be selling $4.50 pints of Loose Cannon IPA, Dubbel Cannon and Black Cannon IPA.  As always, your first purchase gets you a free Heavy Seas pint glass. Only one glass per customer while supplies last.

On Wednesday June 15th, Heavy Seas will be joining us again but this time it will be for a meal.  That's right, after a very successful Victory Beer Dinner in March, we will be hosting our 2nd beer dinner featuring Heavy Seas' great beer lineup.  And as an added treat, the owner of Clipper City Brewing Co., Hugh Sisson will be our guest speaker for the evening.  Reception starts at 6pm and the cost of the dinner is $55 which includes tax & gratuity.  Like the first dinner, you must reserve your seat in advance by either stopping by the restaurant, email or over the phone.  Please ask for either Mike Stavlas or Joey Marchiano.

Three upcoming events

First, tonight: Loose Cannon (with a promised surprise of sorts) at Metropolitan for their usual Thursday night firkin event.

Friday evening: in Federal Hill, at Muggsy's Mug House, 1236 Light Street (the former Sean Bolan's):
Muggsy's Mug House would like to invite all our friends to welcome 16 Mile Brewery into the Baltimore Area. Originally from Delaware, they just began distribution here this month and they want to introduce you to their 3 flagship styles Amber Sun Ale Old Court Ale and Blue's Golden Ale with a free tasting at the Mug House from 9pm till the kegs kick!! now that is an awesome deal.
Out in the remoter suburbs, provided they haven't dealt with tornado disruption by then: Firkin Fridays return to the DuClaw Brewing outlets:
We will be hosting a Firkin Friday at the Arundel Mills, Bel Air and Bowie DuClaw Brewing Company locations on April 29th, 2011 at 5pm. Each location will be serving a Firkin of Double Dry Hopped Black Lightning - Our electrifying American Black Ale, supercharged with a double dose of Chinook hops for a shockingly delicious variation on the newest addition to our staple brew line-up. Stop by your nearest DuClaw Brewing Company location, Friday, April 29th and give your taste buds a jolt!

26 April 2011

Wooden You Know? Heavy Seas' Latest Barrel Experiment

Methinks these guys are trying for a lifetime membership in the Society for Preservation of Beers from the Wood.

Heavy Seas' latest wood-barrel-aging experiment is right in keeping with its pirate marketing theme: 75 barrels' worth of Plank I and Dubbel Cannon in five white oak rum barrels from Prichard's Distillery in Tennessee.  Expected release: mid-May (likely at the two festivals on May 14th, of course), and only locally in the Baltimore-DC region.

More on that beer here.

Heavy Seas also has a long list of upcoming events in May, including a beer dinner at Alexander's Tavern on May 4th,  the official release of Plank I at Max's on the 17th, and firkins and beer dinners in Mt. Airy, Frederick, and elsewhere.  Full list here.

City Paper Brew Fest: Almost Sold Out

As of a few minutes ago, the Baltimore City Paper reports "less than a hundred" tickets remain for this Saturday afternoon's Brew Fest on the Broadway square in Fells Point. They expect to sell out by the end of business Wednesday, and will not be selling tickets at the event itself.

You have been warned.

Tickets here.  (Or walk into the City Paper offices at 812 Park Avenue.)

22 April 2011

If I ever get this bad, you have my permission to shoot me.....

......  but you must first videotape several minutes' worth of my being this bad as evidence.  (Yeah, that'll stop them.  I specifically said "videotape."  Let's see those guys try to find a working videotape camera these days, heh heh heh....)

Link here.

21 April 2011

Frederick Beer Week Update

Things have been progressing for Frederick's inaugural Beer Week, as can be seen at their updated website.

Right now, they're still somewhat low-key with only thirteen events spread over the five days.  The big event for the week is the FBW Beer Fest on Saturday, May 14th at Stillpoint Farm, the hop-growing farm with a planned farmhouse brewery, northwest of Mount Airy.  Admission: $20 for 21+ (includes 4 beer tokens), $10 for designated drivers and 21-, Children under 13 free; with beer from Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley, Barley and Hops, and Heavy Seas, and featuring live music by The Jug Band, The Polka Dots, and The Fieldhands, artisanal vendors, food, hay rides, and more.

Xtranormal: "Macro Beer S*cks!"

It had to happen.

Someone has taken Xtranormal, the text-to-movie "animation" site that has become the medium of the month for creating disparaging and insulting agenda-driven videos (likely the most famous so far: "I don't care; Obama is awesome...") .......

.... now has a video (apparently produced by Pacific Brew News) on the whole craft-versus-micro debate......

(Tip of the hat to Lew Bryson for the heads-up)

20 April 2011

Washington Post Beer Madness 2011 Winner......

...... is none other than Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel.

Read all about it here.  The brackets, with popular votes, here.

Thoughts:  The contest is what it is, basically a run-off competition.  Arrange the brackets differently at the start, and the results would be different.  The public voting amounts to pretty much a popularity contest, with "local" beers such as Evolution garnering high numbers of votes over "out-of-town" competition regardless of the merits of the beers.  Side-by-side tasting is crucial to such judgment.

I would like to see what would happen if this run-off had been held with a bunch of BeerAdvocate.com or RateBeer.com regulars..........

14 April 2011

TV Reminder: "Brewing On the Bay" on MPT Tonight

Maryland Public Television is showing Brewed on the Bay: Craft Beers of Maryland tonight at 8:30 pm.  The special 30-minute documentary, being broadcast as part of Chesapeake Bay Week on MPT, is co-sponsored by Baltimore Beer Week, Baltimore Beer Week, the Brewers Association of Maryland, Heavy Seas Beer, Maryland Homebrew, Trigger Agency, and The Wine Source--a sponsor list that would make an anti-corporate activist blanch and protest accordingly if this were commercial television. 

I watched a sneak preview during a Baltimore Beer Week meeting earlier this week, and I found it generally accurate (save for one howler of an interviewee-misidentification, corrected in time for broadcast) and as overwhelmingly sympathetic to the cause of craft beer as many other similar shows such as Beer Wars.  In other words, positively a cheerleading rally for the cause of good beer in Maryland.

In some locations you can receive MPT on more than one channel. For cable, check with your local company.  Maryland's transmitters:
  • Annapolis Channel 22
  • Salisbury Channel 28
  • Baltimore Channel 67
  • Hagerstown Channel 31
  • Oakland Channel 36
  • Frederick Channel 62
After its 8:30 PM showing, Brewed On the Bay airs again that night at 12:30 AM and. for videotapers, TiVo programming, or early risers, on Friday morning at 4 AM. The documentary is slated to be available on the Maryland Public Television website as streaming video at a later date, and DVDs will be available for purchase.

Bowie Baysox Beer Dinners Return

Don't like the beer selection, or the challenge of finding the ones you want, or the prices at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but still want to get your beer and baseball?

The Bowie Baysox are doing a monthly series of beer dinners at their Bowie stadium:

Each month of the season also features a beer dinner in the climate-controlled Diamond View Restaurant. Tickets for the beer dinners are $41 per person, and include a two-hour all-you-can-eat buffet and three hour all-you-can-drink open bar. Tickets for the beer dinners must be ordered at least 48 hours before the event. For more information or to order tickets, fans may call DeFilippo at (301) 464-4855.
Complete schedule of 2011 Beer Dinners:
  • Sat. April 16 - Festa d'Italia
  • Thurs. May 12 - Mexican Cantina
  • Wed. June 15 - Salute to the Irish
  • Thurs. July 14 - American Classics
  • Wed. Aug. 3 - Oktoberfest
  • Thurs. Sept. 1 - Seafood Beach Party
It's just a little late for the Italian dinner, but mark your schedule accordingly for the rest of the year.  Capacity in the restaurant is limited, so reservations are necessary. 

Last Night's Baltimore Invasion of DC's Meridian Pint

Just some random photos of the Baltimore brewers' multi-tap takeover of Meridian Pint in Washington, DC last night.

Top Photo: Oliver's Steve Jones taps a Beaujolais Nouveau-aged pin of Jacob's Winter Celebration [corrected].

Bottom photo, L to R: Stillwater's Briam Strumke (in plaid shirt), Brewer's Art Steve Frasier, DC Brau's Brandon Skall, and Brewer's Art Tom Creegan.

13 April 2011

A Conservative Suggests Lowering the Drinking Age

Well, maybe he doesn't count as a "conservative" unless he thumps a Bible, in the eyes of too many.......

In today's Wall Street Journal, Glenn Renyolds, the man behind the popular "Instapundit" libertarian/conservative blog/link site, gives a well-reasoned argument for politicians, especially Republicans, to abandon their historic "alcohol is evil" passions and restore the rights of states to lower the drinking age to what they see fit:

Democrats traditionally do well with the youth vote, and one reason is that they have been successful in portraying Republicans as fuddy-duddies who want to hold young people down. This may be unfair—college speech codes and the like don't tend to come from Republicans—but the evidence suggests that it works. What's more, the first few elections people vote in tend to set a long-term pattern. A move to repeal the federal drinking-age mandate might help Republicans turn this around.
Republicans are supposed to be against mandates aimed at the states, so this would demonstrate consistency. Second, it's a pro-freedom move that younger voters—not yet confronted with the impact of, say, the capital-gains tax—can appreciate on a personal level. Third, it puts the Democrats in the position of having either to support the end of a federal mandate—something they tend to reflexively oppose—or to look like a bunch of old fuddy-duddies themselves.
   Read the whole thing An interesting response to a nay-sayer in the comments:

How about we turn it around? What about seniors? Should people over 50 be drinking? After all, their faculties are already in decline, they're probably on several medications, and, well, you know, alcohol really isn't that good for the system. So how about we ban drinking for everyone over 50? You know, to protect them. From themselves.
While we're at it, the same reasoning would apply to driving. Should seniors really be driving. With their vision? With their cholesterol? With their risk for heart attack? Rolling time bombs I tell you. And I shouldn't have to worry that you'll come crashing through the front of Starbucks while I'm enjoying a latte, should I? So no car for you! 
An interesting but important side note:  It's become popular legend that states that did not go along with imposing the conditions of the 1984 National Minimum Drinking Age Act would lose all their Federal highway funding--to the point that said canard is apparently believed by even current Senators and Representatives.  However, as you can read for yourself in Section 158 (page 125), the amount in question is actually only ten per cent of three matching-grant programs calculated by a complicated formula (see pages 16-19 and review 104(b)1, 104(b)3, and 104(b)4--and you thought booze laws were complex?).  These are substantial programs, and not an insignificant amount of money in a day when places like central Maryland and Northern Virginia are fighting for a way to add even one lane to a highway.  But to characterize these restrictions as "all our highway funding" as many legislators do in kowtowing to this extortion  blackmail restriction on the rights of its youngest citizens shows either an appalling ignorance on the part of our legislators, an appalling willingness to sacrifice rights in exchange for money, or both.

12 April 2011

WashPost's Beer Madness Down to Two

Yeah, I missed last week's installment

Next to last round:  Flying Fish Exit 4 beat DuClaw Misery; and Lagunitas Maximus trumped Evolution Rise Up Stout.

Write-up and Brackets, the latter with the option of examining the online popular vote totals, which often differed wildly from the panel's choices (especially with Evolution versus Lagunitas).

Baltimore Invades DC's Meridian Pint; ChiliBrew in Hampden on Sunday

Two late-breaking events:

At Meridian Pint in D.C.Wednesday the 13th:

5 pm - close

Join Baltimore brewers Steve Frazier (Brewer's Art), Steve Jones (Oliver) & Brian Strumke (Stillwater) for a night of ridiculous Baltimore beers:

MP2: Le Revelateur w/ Vanilla & Cacao
Oliver / Stillwater Channel Crossing #3
Oliver Jacob's Winter Celebration in Beaujolais Nouveau cask

Brewer's Art Drafts:
Bière De Mars
Débutante (Collaboration w/ Stillwater)
Green Peppercorn Tripel
Sweet Cherry Ale

Oliver Drafts:
18 Smoke Porter
Bière De Garde
Bishop's Breakfast
Channel Crossing #3 (Collaboration w/ Stillwater)
Cherry Blossom Ale
Cream Ale
Hot Monkey Love
Le Revelateur
Strongman Sorachi Ace
Sweet & Sour Cherry (Collaboration w/ Brewer's Art)

Stillwater Drafts:
25 to 1
Cellar Door
I anticipate that most of these beers will be on tap for a couple days more, at least.

On Sunday the 17th, we have the return of the popular Charitably Charming Chilibrew for 2011.  This informal homebrew competition and chili cook-off, which is held to benefit the Baltimore Free School and the Velocipede Bike Project (to promote localized lifestyles and DIY communities), has become a stellar event, with the group participating in last year's Baltimore Beer Week as well.  This spring, the event will be held at the Baltimore Free Farm, 3510 Ash Street, in the Hampden neighborhood.  Admission is by donation of $10-20 (sliding scale).  Entries of chili and homebrew are still being sought; info is available at the website.  (Hint: The winners are often simply the folks that bring the most to sample!)

11 April 2011

SPBW at Metropolitan Thursday, with Yards of Philly's debut

I don't have to explain the Society for Preservation of Beers from the Wood to you anymore, do I??  Good.

They're at Metropolitan Thursday, officially beginning at 7 but usually with a lot of folks showing up early for early libations or dinner.  The meeting will do double duty as a kick-off for the re-introduction of Yards Brewing of Philadelphia to the Baltimore market.

Beers expected:

    Brawler:  Ruby Mild 4.2% ABV
    ESA: a robust and hearty amber ale with a malt body and aromatic hop finish. 6.0% ABV, served in cask-conditioned firkin.
    Philly Pale Ale:  
Brewed with pilsner malt, Philadelphia Pale Ale is crisp and hoppy, bursting with citrus flavors and aromas.  4.6% ABV
    Seasonal:  Belgian Saison
6.5% ABV
7.0% ABV

Metropolitan will also have a firkin of either Evolution Sprung or Oliver Cherry Blossom too, but which one is not confirmed yet, according to Metro's Bruce Dorsey.

Md. Alcohol Tax Increase Passes

To no real surprise, the proposed alcohol sales tax increase (from 6% to 9%) passed in the closing hours of the Maryland legislative session tonight.  The tax hike starts July 1st.

Mind you, they've only allocated $30 million of the revenue increase.  They're still debating, as I type this, how to spend the rest.

More here from Annie Linskey of the Baltimore Sun.  Earlier blogpost on the news here.

And the full story from the Baltimore Sun here. 

And the picture chosen to illustrate the story on the website sure isn't going to win over anyone on the fence about said tax increases, or the rest of the malarkey passed by the legislature......

Typo of the Day

In an otherwise intriguing "pub-crawl" article in AOL's Travel section on five bars in Baltimore (emphasis added):

My first landing spot was The Wharf Rat in Fells Point, and it didn't disappoint. This late sixteenth-century pub immediately reminded me of some of the eclectic pubs I visited while in Oxford and London recently.
In other words, late 1500s.  Meaning that some Spaniards came up from St. Augustine, Florida and beat the Pilgrims and Virginians to the waterfront, I guess.

And I thought the old claims about The Horse You Came In On dating from "1775" were preposterous.

(For the record, Bill Oliver told me a while back that the earliest that they have been able to document his Ann Street location being a bar was in the 1861-63 time frame, when two houses were combined into a live-above bar for the benefit of a widow.  Potentially, that could still makes it the oldest functioning bar location in Fells Point, if not the city.)

Hey, Folks! Another Wonderful Round of Microbrew Musical Chairs!

The craft-brewing and brewpub world is full of folks drifting from one brewery to another, usually brewers.  For a variety of reasons (among them low pay or low hours, grueling conditions, lack of variety in brewing, or even something like the location of a girlfriend), brewers in craft brewing have tended to play a huge game of "musical chairs," wandering about from pub to pub or from brewery to brewery in search of a comfortable fit or a pay raise.  Thiose with longer memories will remember that both Barrett Lauer (of District Chophouse in D.C.) and Jason Oliver (now of Devil's backbone in Virginia) both started at the Wharf Rat brewpub in Baltimore.

Now it's stretching to the marketing field.

Not long after former Wild Goose (and later Flying Dog/Wild Goose) marketing alumnae Jim Lutz departed Flying Dog to return to the Eastern Shore (well, in a sense, at least) by rejoining Coastal Brewing, the joint Fordham/Old Dominion brewing operation in Dover, Delaware............

...... comes word that Joe Gold, co-founder and spiritual head of Baltimore Beer Week (along with a resume that includes the Wharf Rat, Max's, various real ale festivals, and the Society for Preservation of Beers from the Wood), has now departed his sales position at Victory Brewing of Downingtown, Pa. to join up with the "home team," Heavy Seas Beer as their national sales manager.  (Press release still in the works, I'm told.)

Further comes word that Brad Klipner, the creator of the second/other "Beer in Baltimore" blog, has been named a market manager for the aforementioned Coastal Brewing.

(Both news items above from Yours for Good Fermentables.)

Md. Braces For Inevitable Alcohol Tax Increase

If the weekend's media coverage is any indication, by this time tomorrow the citizens of the People's Democratic Republic of Maryland will all but be guaranteed, save for some legislative fumble or a sudden dislike of tax increases by Gov. Martin O'Malley--oh, who in hell are we kidding, folks?--to be hit with a sales tax increase on alcohol in July.

A couple observations:

There is always "salesmanship" going on between pro-tax ("it's only a three per cent tax increase!"  "only a dime a drink!") versus anti-tax ("fifty per cent increase in taxes!"  "1200 per cent increase in the proposed excise tax rate!").  Of course, please ask your math teachers which descriptions are more accurate.  But I noticed that the Baltimore Sun held off on using the description of a "fifty per cent increase" until this weekend, when the deal was all but over with.  Bias?  You decide.  (They had run editorials favoring the tax increases in earlier excise tax proposals.)

Remember that lovely "bait and switch" tactic where the excise tax was proposed with revenues going to specific health programs, and then once everyone got that in their heads and favored a tax increase, it shifted to a sales tax increase to be phased in over three years, with much (not all) of the money targeted to education programs in Baltimore and Prince George's County (cue the damned "won't somebody think of the children?!?" violins and Kabuki dance...)  Well, now the latest proposal is to impose the sales tax increase all at once in July.

GEE?!?!?!  WHO in hell could have seen THAT coming?????????  You mean our honorable legislators tricked us to get our support for a tax increase??????

A lot of commentary has been raised about the potential for larger consumers of alcohol to simply jump across state lines to a state with lower taxes to save on the likes of cases of expensive wines or spirits.  Many folks use the potential of Delaware as a shopping option.
Folks who suggest that haven't tried it.  It has been my experience over twenty years that Delaware's prices, though spared the 6% (soon to be 9%, I'm wagering) sales tax of Maryland, have been marginally higher than Maryland's, due in part to Delaware excise taxes being higher (16 cents per gallon on beer as opposed to Maryland's nine cents; national median is 18.5 cents and national average 27.8 cents; wine is 40 cents versus 97 cents and spirits $1.50 versus $5.46/gallon).  In my personal experience in purchasing beer at Delaware retail, the increased retail price typically negated any sales tax savings--a sixer of $6.99 beer in Maryland would cost $7.99 in Delaware, for example.
Beer excise taxes in Pennsylvania are lower at eight cents a gallon (believe it or not), but the typically horrendous selection brought about in part by the "case law" pretty well negates the prospect of anyone from Maryland shopping for beer anywhere near the Maryland border.  Indeed I have had one Maryland retail outlet with a good selection of craft beers tell me, years ago, that "a full 40% of our annual revenue is from what we call the 'Pennsylvania navy'--boaters from Pennsylvania loading up their boat trailers southbound to the [Chesapeake] Bay Thursday or Friday, then stopping to load up again northbound Sunday or Monday."
Virginia beer excise taxes?  25.65 cents a gallon.  West Virginia: 18 cents a gallon.  An overview of all the states and D.C alcohol excise and sales taxes here.

So, assuming the sales tax is raised, nobody's going to save any substantial amount of money skipping across the borders.  It's like the guy who chances running out of gasoline to save five cents a gallon, or fifty cents to a dollar on a $35-70 of gas.
What will most likely happen, however, is that many now-popular retail venues on the "borderlands" or close to them, places such as State Line Liquors between Newark, Del. and Elkton, Md., or Chevy Chase Liquors just north of the D.C. city line, will lose the price advantage they formerly offered for those (such as well-to-do folks from Delaware's New Castle County) who chose a slight detour over a line for what could be a substantial cost savings, in addition to a typically wider selection offered by Maryland distributors and retailers.  Legal or no, you could see cars with Delaware and Pennsylvania tags (and even DC and Virginia tags) all the time in State Line's parking lot, as people loaded up their cellars with cases of finer wines or procured a wedding's worth of booze.  The superior selection may remain, but not the price advantage.  I therefore forecast a not-insignificant reduction in total sales revenues at these locations, enough to impact the projected revenues raised from the tax increases.

Anyone wanna wager otherwise?

08 April 2011

Beer Events Here and There

Alonso's 80th birthday tonight.  Party hard.

White Marsh Pint Night with Octopus' Pajamas Sunday, April 17th at Hellas in Millersville, Anne Arundel County, beginning at 5:30 PM.

Heavy Seas Beer Dinner at Clyde's in Columbia Monday the 11th, $40 all inclusive.

Heavy Seas Beer Dinner at Blue Grass Tavern April 27th: $65 per person, all inclusive.  Menu. 

And don't forget Md. Public Television's Brewed on the Bay on Thursday the 14th at 8:30 PM, with rebroadcasts at 12:30 AM and 4:00 AM on the 15th.

07 April 2011

Frederick Brewpubs Protest Proposed Tax Increase--With Lowered Prices

Even before the Maryland legislature imposes its proposed sales tax increase on alcoholic beverages, the two brewpubs in Frederick--Barley & Hops and Brewer's Alley--are preemptively launching a counter-attack on their own against Annapolis, according to stories by NBC4 Washington and WHAG Hagerstown:
"This money is going to be going to Prince George's County and Baltimore City, and we are we having to subsidize them," Gary Brooks, the operations manager at Barley and Hops, told WHAG.
Analysts estimate the tax would raise about $29 million in fiscal 2012, $58 million the following year and $85 million in the third year. A significant portion of the year one proceeds would be set aside for schools in Prince George's and Baltimore.
But Brooks's protest could cost the state some of that cash. 
At Barley and Hops, customers currently pay 21 cents in sales tax for a pint of beer. Under the proposed increase, that would rise to 32 cents per pint.
Brooks is lowering prices enough so that customers would only pay 20 cents in sales tax per pint.
He hopes that will get the attention of lawmakers, who are still debating the bill in the House of Delegates.
Another restaurant, Brewer's Alley, also is taking part. 
"They're putting this tax on the back of our customers to take care of their legislative problems," said Phil Bowers, owner of Brewer's Alley.
This isn't going to last forever, of course:
"Until they either repeal the sales tax increase or until tax day, April 19, we'll just keep lowering the price of our alcohol," Brooks said.
Anyone want to place wagers on whether any Baltimore-area beer bars or brewpubs will join in?

06 April 2011

Why You Could Get Beers iIn D.C. That You Couldn't Get in Maryland

This blogpost at the Washington City Paper's "Young and Hungry" blog does a good job of concisely explaining how certain Washington, D.C. bars like (famously) the late Brickskeller, and more recently R.F.D, Pizzera Paradiso, ChurchKey, Meridian Pint, and other such beer bars have been able to--legally--offer exotic beers that are not seen in the adjacent Virginia and Maryland markets, or for that matter almost anywhere else on the Atlantic Seaboard, at least commercially.

In short, there's a perfectly legal way for the bar's owner to load up (or have an employee load up) a six-pack, case, keg, or truckload of any certain beers not available through standard distribution in D.C. and bring it back for resale.  The cost for these special privileges?  Five dollars, plus the requisite excise taxes on the beer.  (Oh, and the fuel, van wear and tear, or whatever shipping costs.)

Compare this to the proposed $200 permit to be assessed to any non-Maryland winery that wishes to ship directly to Maryland customers.

Read all about it here.

Another take on the new proposed alcohol taxes

Catonsville Patch: 

Baltimore County (and also Montgomery County, home of the county-controlled liquor stores) will pay among the most into the revenue from the new proposed alcohol taxes, while garnering almost nothing in return.

A number of Democratic and Republican delegates said they were concerned with seeing so much of the proposed tax increase on alcohol go to Baltimore City and Prince George's County.
"If you look at the overall budget, Baltimore City and Prince George's County will be receiving the lion's share of money from capital projects ... Baltimore City is the only one of all the municipalities to get highway user funds," said Del. Susan Aumann, a Republican. "It's just another greedy grab from them and I'm totally against it."
"I would also add to that, and the members of (the House Government Operations Committee) can remember when we voted for legislation to give $25 million each year to Prince George's County Hospital, because it was the right thing to do," said Del. Eric Bromwell, a Perry Hall Democrat. "This is not the right thing to do."

05 April 2011

Yet another benefit, but not for Japan this time.... UPDATED

The Brewer's Art, Wednesday, April 6th:: 20% of all proceeds go to brewer Rob Perry's fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 
UPDATE: The night's take: $1,241 plus $146 from the donation jar.

04 April 2011

You like bourbon-barrel-aged beers from Colorado? How about spiced beers? Or English casks?

Max's this Wednesday (below text edited/corrected):





We will be putting on draft thirteen very special Boulder Brewery beers. These beers are very limited and Marvin (Boulder Brewery representative) was kind enough to get them for us. So this is a rare chance to taste these one-off rarities.


Boulder Planet Porter aged 4 Months in Bourbon Barrels w/ Vanilla Beans

Boulder Mojo

Boulder Mojo Risin

Boulder Mojo Aged 4 Months in Bourbon Barrels

Boulder Oboviod aged 3 Months in Bourbon Barrels

Boulder Never Summer Aged 3 Months in Bourbon Barrels

Boulder Never Summer Aged 3 Months in Bourbon Barrels Spiced w/ Nutmeg and Cinnamon

Boulder Sweaty Betty

Boulder Saison Fermented and Aged in Oak Barrels

Boulder Killer Penguin Aged 6 Montrhs in Bourbon Barrels

Boulder Chai Porter aged 3 Months in Bourbon Barrels w/ Chai Tea

Boulder Single Track Aged 4 Months in Bourbon Barrels

Boulder Hazed & Infused
Meanwhile, at tomorrow's usual Tuesday beer social, a British cask line-up:
Thornbridge Kipling- 5.2% English South Pacific Style Pale [oh, NOW what? What's a "South Pacific Style Pale"?]
Thornbridge Wild Swan 3.5% English White Gold Pale [as opposed to yellow gold??]
Harviestoun Schiehallion 4.8% Scottish lager

Yeah, that whole wine-shipping legislation? Some Feds have other ideas.........

Yeah.  Read it yourself (Adobe PDF document).  Introduced last month by Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

The gist: Because alcohol is "different," the Commerce Clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply; therefore, states can apply whatever restrictions they want regarding interstate alcohol commerce.

More from an op-ed contributor to the New York Times.

Frederick newspaper editorial on the Flying Dog-Michigan kerfuffle

The Frederick News-Post has an editorial on the recent "brew-ha-ha" between Flying Dog and Michigan alcohol regulators.

Beer Dinner at Blue Grass Tavern May 11th UPDATED

From Legends Limited:
Wednesday, May 11 at 6:30pm at Blue Grass Tavern, Baltimore, MD
5 Four Courses paired with Oskar Blues Beers. Guest Speaker will be Matt from Oskar Blues.  For more information contact Blue Grass or check out their website

Menu (for four of the courses, at least)::

Course 1 -Mama's Yellow Pils
Daily Crisis Farms Spring Egg- morels, white asparagus, green garlic and truffle essence

Course 2- Dale's Pale Ale
Guinea Hen Gallontine- South Carolina BBQ sauce and pickled ramps

Course 3- Old Chub
Quail Rauchwurst, Anson Mills slow roasted grits, smoked veloute

Course 4- G'Knight
Wood Fired Ostrich Loin, grilled black mission figs, rutabaga & Blue cheese puree, dark cherry balsamico