31 October 2011

A Baltimore Brewer Reaches Israel

The Jewish Chronicle publishes an article by Britain's Simon Jenkins on a thriving craft beer renaissance in Tel Aviv, Israel with a surprising Baltimore (well, suburban Baltimore) tie:

But the success of places like Jem's Beer Factory in the unfashionable industrial zone of Petach Tikva is symptomatic of a growing awareness among Israelis of hand-crafted beers.
This cavernous building serves as brewhouse, restaurant, bar and concert venue. Brewer Jem Welfield turned his back on an amazing job as White House events manager to swear a new allegiance to beer. He studied hard before going hands-on with Baltimore's Oxford Brewing Company, and moving to Israel with $5,000, his family and a dream.
It was a risk, but Jem's Beer Factory is a major success; 300,000 litres have been downed in two years. "Craft brewing has really taken off in the US," he tells me. "Israel usually follows about 10 years behind."

Fire Destroys Mount Washington Tavern

A two-alarm fire early this morning has severely damaged the historic Mount Washington Tavern in its namesake northern Baltimore neighborhood.  With the recent closure of The Falls, this effectively removes the two "best" craft-beer locations in that area. 

More at WBAL-TV and at WBFF-TV.

18 October 2011

BBW 2011: Was It Good For You?

"Is it over yet?"

Yes, the third Baltimore Beer Week is over--and the industry folks who suffered through many long nights of work (see left) are no doubt relieved.

So how was it?

There were a few things different this year, including the wildly successful tours of the old Wiessner/American Brewery on Gay Street and the Walking Tour of Highlandtown/Canton that included a trip to the roof deck of the National Brewery Building.

The events were spread out far enough--you could find events going on from Annapolis to Mount Airy, and from Laurel to Bel Air.  In fact, my biggest regret was making the "diplomatic" decision to remain rooted to my blog's name, and stay inside the city limits, save for the BAM Oktoberfest at Timonium.  I know for a fact that I missed some excellent events at Kloby's, Victoria Gastro Pub, Hellas, Hop Heads, Frisco, and other places.  It's the inevitable downside to any such Beer Week: too much good beer, too many good events, not enough time or money, and human cloning hasn't been perfected yet.  And in spite of a "down" economy, I have yet to hear of any cancelled beer dinners

How was it for you?

13 October 2011

The Last Three Days of BBW 2011.......

Three days left. 

Friday the 14th: Start with a 5-course Beer Breakfast at Pickles Pub (well, if you read this in time) or a Beer Brunch at Metropolitan; beer and blues at both Leinenkugel's Beer Garden and Kloby's Smokehouse; the Charmingly Charitable Chilibrew at Load of Fun Gallery (a block from Liam Flynn's, the sponsor); and loads of beer tastings, firkins, pint nights, tap takeovers, and dinners.

Saturday the 15th:  Dominated, of course, by the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival at Pratt Street Ale House.  If that's not your style, there's Oktoberfest at Alonso's, Belgians at Hudson Street Stackhouse, beef cookout at TBonz Grill, a "kill the keg" finish-the-leftovers special at Mount Airy Inn, a Trappist Beer Dinner at Metropolitan, beer art and Brewer's Art at Frisco Taphouse, meet-the-brewer-from-Brewer's-Alley (Maggie Lenz) at Hellas, a "date night" at the Baltimore Aquarium; and the usual medley of tastings, samplings, and the like.

Sunday the 16th: If you have any energy and liver left, Hop Heads is selling leftovers from the past week's tastings at half price; The Point in Fells Point is selling pumpkin pancakes and beers; a four-course beer brunch at Mount Airy Inn; ciders at Liam Flynn's; skee-ball and Flying Dog beers at Johnny Rad's; Session Sunday at Victoria Gastro Pub; and the to-be-expected football game tie-ins at many of the other venues.

Lots of photos at BBW's Flickr feed.

11 October 2011

Some BBW 2011 Photos

What, you're expecting regular updates? It's Baltimore Beer Week, folks--it's all I can do just to keep up with as much of the terrific stuff happening as I can! Anyway, here's a few photos from the past couple of days.

Another Round of BBW Highlights

Man, took me long enough to get back to this.....

Anyway, Tonight (Tuesday the 11th): 40 events. This will be the day you have to clone yourself or ride a dirt bike through traffic between events.  If you don't get on a bus at Mahaffey's after lunch to ride up to Philly and Yards Brewing for a tour and a casino stop, start things off with a Night of Scottish Ales at Liam Flynn's, with Bruce Williams of Scotland's Heather Ale/Williams Brothers (warning: bagpipes, kilts, and sporrans!).  Hop Heads and Victoria Gastro Pub are having two of many Pumpkinfests with pumpkin ales; a Lagunitas fundraiser for the neighborhood animal shelter at Little Havana; burgers made to pair with Sam Adams special beers at Alonso's (the "Burger Bar"); the homebrew beer dinner at TBonz; meet the brewer from Hopfenstark of Quebec and sample some of their beers at Max's; and the Flying Dog beer dinner at Alewife and the Olivers/Evolution one at Pratt Street Ale House.  Last but certainly not least is the "Pints for Poe" fundraiser for the Poe House in West Baltimore, with the Creative Alliance at the Patterson Theater in Highlandtown, featuring--naturally--Raven Beer.  Mark Supik, the Highlandtown tap-handle producer, will be on hand, along with, it's likely, one of the new Raven tap handles for silent auction or raffle.

Wednesday the 12th, 44 events:   Vertical Troegs Mad Elf at Hudson Street Stackhouse (if they have this year's, it was the last beer produced at their original Harrisburg brewery); Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head at Max's 3-5 and then Alewife later; two special Oskar Blues firkins at Victoria Gastro Pub; a selection of Evolution Menageries at Kloby's Smokehouse; a boxing match at Max's (no, really, fists and a ring, not cardboard); Carol Stoudt of Stoudt's Brewing at Frisco; the homebrewing showcase/fundraiser at Little Havana; Ommegang six-course beer dinner at Pickles Pub; dual beer release at the three main DuClaw outlets; joint Brewers Art/Red Brick crab feast at Red Brick Station;  Bruce Williams and Steve Jones celebrating the best of Britain at Metropolitan; Raven pint night with new glass design at Patrick's of Pratt Street; Leinenkugel beer dinner at their Beer Garden; and the monthly Sea Shanty sing-along at The Wharf Rat.  And more.

Thursday the 13th, 43 events:   Women in Beer at Max's (paid admission event); do-it-yourself Oskar Blues can art at Alonso's; casks specially prepared by the Max's crew at Max's; DuClaw brewers show up at the homebrew demonstration (no, not an "Occupy The Brewery" demonstration!) at Maryland Homebrew's new site in Columbia; another DuClaw brewer and Duclaw-and-crab-claws at Hellas; a charity benefit beer dinner at James Joyce; and lots of other tastings, pint nights, and what have you.  The beer dinner at Punk's in Annapolis is sold out.

Road Closures for Saturday, and Real Ale Fest Cask Update

What, you're expecting day-by-day posts on beer tastings? Hey, it's all I can do just to keep the photos going up on the Baltimore Beer Week Flickr page!

But this public service announcement first:

The Baltimore Running Festival--both a marathon and a half-marathon--is totally guaranteed to screw up your travel plans for Saturday, if you're taking in any of the 38 BBW events in Baltimore that day.

Here's the course map.

Here's the schedule of when you can expect various parts of the route to be closed to traffic.

Want to watch the Marathon or half-marathon?  The routes go past many good, craft-beer-friendly bars and cafes in town--such as Bistro Rx next to Patterson Park--but many of the runners will pass many before normal opening times.  Best bets?  Alewife, right on the home stretch, then either a quick lunch and/or directly over to the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival over at the Pratt Street Ale House.

Speaking of the Real Ale Fest, want an updated cask list, in case you're still trying to decide whether to go or not?  Go here. And they're still not all in yet!

06 October 2011

Tentative Star Spangled Banger Parade Route

Gather at 11:45 at Fort McHenry near the front gate. At noon the group will begin walking down Fort Avenue with whomever shows up.
Stop #1 – City Limits: whomever shows up by noon will start walking from the gate at Ft McHenry to this bar which is .4 miles
Stop #2 – Barfly’s (if they are open)
Stop #3 – Captain Larry’s
Stop #4 – Little Havana (should get to this stop by no later than 1:45pm). Banger takes limousine shortcuts from here on in to:
Stop #5 – Big Jim’s Deli – Cross Street Market (2:30pm-ish) 
Stop #6 – Metropolitan
Stop #7 – Mt Vernon Square for a photo op with the Monument and the mallet
Stop #8 – Wine Source
Stop #9 – Alonso’s
Stop #10 – Grand Cru
Stop #11 – American Brewery Building – Gay Street – photo op
Stop #12 - Fells Point
Stop #13 - Canton
Stop #14 - Rams Head Live!

'Twas the Night Before BBW. . .

An Ode to Baltimore Beer Week
by Dominic Cantalupo

'Twas the night before Beer Week and all throughout town
The drinkers were perched in their beds without frown
They dreamed of porters, IPA’s and stout,
Lambics and pilsners for soon they would shout.

At Opening Tap the firkin will screech
When the Star Spangled Banger creates the first breech
The ale will flow and the people will cheer
For the love of the scene and more so the beer

Baltimore is richer for beer week we know
Eleven days in October has started to grow
Our Sponsors are gracious and definitely most giving
To support All Things Beer in the Land of Pleasant Living

05 October 2011

Baltimore Beer Week: Read All About It!

With less than 24 hours to go before the first pubs open for Baltimore Beer Week, the print media brings you lots of reading material.  Check out the free weekly "B" paper from the Sun, in those orange boxes hither and yon.  Not only is BBW prominently featured on the cover and inside, but their website features this essay on how BBW started, from some hack in town.

Meanwhile, the City Paper (the ones in the yellow boxes) gives its readers a double-whammy:  a 12-page insert featuring all the BBW events that were scheduled by press time (not including the Wiessner/American Brewery Tour, approved too late for the deadlines), and a excellent cover story on Hugh Sisson and Clipper City/Heavy Seas and how it pioneered the central Maryland craft beer rennaissance, which online readers can read here.

In addition, glossy printed Official Baltimore Beer Week Guides have been distributed to most participating venues by now, and the latest issue of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, with a theme on Beer Weeks in general and several articles/photos by yours truly, should have arrived or be arriving any minute now at its usual outlets--good beer bars, breweries/brewpubs, and better craft beer retailers.

04 October 2011

Maryland Among Lowest Beer-Consuming States: Report

According to the Beer Institute in their Beer Capita Consumption Report (PDF, 8 pages), the average American 21 years of age and older consumed 28.9 gallons of beer in 2010. New Hampshire had the highest per capita beer consumption rate in 2010 with 44.2 gallons per person, followed closely by Montana with 41.6 gallons per person, North Dakota with 41.1, South Dakota with 38.9, and Nevada with 37.6. The states with the lowest beer consumption per capita in 2010 were Utah (19.4), Connecticut (22.1), New York, (22.6), New Jersey (23.1) and Maryland (24.1).
Mind you, that figure still amounts to just under ten cases of beer per drinking-age adult in the state.  Another surprise: California is just behind us, at #45 (26.4 gallons/adult), whereas Colorado is #23 (30.7 gallons).

The First Weekend of Baltimore Beer Week 2011

Continuing the event suggestions for Baltimore Beer Week with the Columbus Day Weekend of Baltimore Beer Weekend:

October 8th: Get an early start with our exclusive tour of the landmark Wiessner/American Brewery at 1700 N. Gay Street, between 9 AM and noon.  Then head either north to Timonium for the Maryland Brewers Oktoberfest, the biggest beer festival of the week, or southeast to Highlandtown and Mark Supik & Co. on Haven Street, for homebrew and a look at one of the nation's premier custom tap handle makers.  If those don't work for you, there are brunch events at Mt. Airy Inn and Metropolitan.  For something different, The Judge's Bench offers a blind tasting of mass-marketed industrial lagers; Hellas in Millersville is cracking open a Sam Adams Utopias to join a Sam Adams tasting line-up; Max's is showing a Yeti-themed movie to go with the Great Divide Yeti horizontal tasting; Mahaffey's is pouring "double digit" beers (i.e. beers above 10% abv); and Leinenkugel's Downtown Beer Festival features door prizes and a chance to win a trip to Wisconsin.  All 30 Saturday events are here.

October 9th: The line forms at sunrise for a chance to purchase one of the 101 bottles of Olde Bay Saison from Stillwater Artisinal Ales brewer Brian Strumke at Max's Taphouse beginning at 10 a.m., after which 20 Stillwater beers will be on tap.  The other big events include the Maryland Beer Festival at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia and the Historical Walking Pub Tour of Highlandtown, Brewers Hill, and Canton, beginning at Elliott's Pour House at 3 p.m.  Join Baltimore Beer Week co-founder and Brewer’s Hill native Dominic Cantalupo along with the well-respected Baltimore Sun journalist and writer, Rob Kasper and Baltimore City Liquor Board Chairman, Steve Fogleman, as they take you on a walking pub tour through Brewer’s Hill and Canton.
Other events:  Pancakes and Pints for breakfast at Mahaffey's; the family-friendly pumpkin-carving (with pumpkin beers, of course) at Alonso's in Roland Park; a women's-only homebrew competition fundraiser for breast cancer research at Maryland Homebrew; an animal-shelter fundraiser at TBonz; another beer festival (with a Flying Dog fundraiser for a local school) at Honeygo Liquors in Perry Hall/White Marsh; a homebrew tasting competition of a different sort at Kloby's (raising money for firefighters); a Haunted Pyrate Pub crawl in Fells Point; speed-dating over Yards love Stout at Metropolitan; The Wharf Rat open on Sunday for once; and lots of pint nights.  Peruse all 28 events here.

October 10th:  Some folks get that day off from work as Columbus Day.  What's a Columbus?  Anyway, the big event that day is the limited-seating Beer Forum at Bertha's; $30 gets you a luncheon featuring the area’s most prominent brewers, including Steve Jones from Oliver’s, Mike McDonald from White Marsh/Red Brick, Volker Stewart from The Brewers Art and Hugh Sisson from Heavy Seas Beer.  Other events include beer dinners at Frisco Taphouse (their first ever), Alewife, and Mt. Airy Inn, a beer brunch at Metropolitan, and far too many firkins and beer tastings to recount.  Look for yourself instead.

03 October 2011

The Evolution/Olivers Beer Dinner Menu

The Pratt Street Ale House has released its dinner menu for the joint Evolution/Olivers beer dinner on 11th October.   
Tickets - $30 - Please contact Shannon@prattstreetalehouse.com for all ticket purchase info, or call 410-244-8900 to reserve your place.

Crab and Sweet Corn Fritters
Lump crab and organic sweet corn fritters with a dusting of ancho chile
Paired With
Olivers Dark Horse (4%abv)
A traditional English dark mild, light in body and hops and low in alcohol. A real session beer for any season

Fall Salad
Mixed greens tossed with a caramelized apple vinaigrette, topped with candied pecans, pickled onions and dried cranberries
Paired With
Olivers Harvest Ale (5.8%abv)
Brewed with a little clover honey and Gently bittered with English Fuggles and Kent Goldings and finished with generous amounts of American Cascade and Amarillo

Roasted Pork Belly with Cheddar Stone Ground Grit Cake
Fried stone ground grit cake topped with a spicy roasted pork belly ragout
Paired With
Evolution Lot 6 Double IPA (9.3%abv)
Deep gold in color, massive additions of American varietals of hops generate assertive bitterness and big hop flavor and aroma

Bourbon Braised Shortribs
Slow cooked beef shortrib topped with a smokey Makers Mark Demi Glace, served with sweet potato mash and mustard greens
Paired With
Evolution Menagerie 3 Redux (9.4%abv)
A big, rich scotch ale, 2/3 of which has been aged in bourbon barrels for six months

Cheese Course
Maytag Blue Cheese with roasted fig compote and toffee dusted walnuts
Paired With
Olivers “My Minkeys Got Wood” (10%abv)
French oak aged barley wine

Beer Float
Evolution “Morning Wood” (9%abv)
Oak aged coffee oatmeal stout served with a scoop of house made hazelnut chip ice cream
NOTE:  The price has, indeed, been reduced from $45 to $30.  PSAH's Justin Dvorkin said, "I decided to
make the event as affordable as possible due to the large amount of events going on during the week."  I'm sure I'm not the only one thanking him--heck, some folks drop that much just on a beer session at other pubs!

The First Round of Recommended BBW Events


Too bad.  It's sneaking up on us, anyway.  Just hope for warmer weather, please.

As with past years, this blog's author will be rummaging through the list of available events, and a couple days early, recommending or highlighting particular events.  Maybe they have a special beer or two, maybe they have an embarrassment of riches, or maybe they may be a rare opportunity to meet a brewer, or taste a once-in-a-lifetime beer.  But as always, your personal choice will depend on your schedule, where you live, your transportation options, and/or your budget.  Or lack thereof, in some cases.

Baltimore Beer Week officially kicks off, of course, with the Star-Spangled Banger Parade, basically a glorified pub crawl from Fort McHenry to downtown and ending up at the Ram's Head Live for the Opening Tap, which happens from 6 to 9 PM.  Unofficially, of course, whichever participating venue opens its doors first on Thursday technically can lay claim to "starting" BBW; in past years, it's been a tie between several places with daylong specials that open at 11 a.m., such as the Pratt Street Ale House, the Wharf Rat, and Max's Taphouse  "After-parties" following the Opening Tap will be held at the adjacent Leinenkugel's Beer Garden (with Flying Dog), at Max's Taphouse (with Unibroue brewers and Duvel trivia night), Pratt Street Ale House (a collaboration beer with Stillwater), and Alewife (Stillwater's Strumke and karaoke!),

Other events happening on Thursday include the tapping of Liam Flynn's Ale House's first "house firkin," a heather-and-apricot ale, at 4 PM;  a "Science on Tap" educational event at the Maryland Science Center featuring DuClaw's beers and brewers; and what has to be by far the most exotic event of BBW, an erotic art show opening featuring The Raven Lager.

Among Friday's 33 events: a homebrewing demonstration as part of the Charles Street Farmer's Market; the monthly SPBW gathering at TBonz Grill in Ellicott City; beer trivia at James Joyce, a German brat-and-beer-fueled Oktoberfest at Hop Heads on Pulaski Highway, the aforementioned Flying Dog Habitat for Humanity fundraiser/building in East Baltimore and Canton, and a "Beer-Lesque Show at Metro Gallery in Station North.

More to come...................

Tour the Wiessner/American Brewery on Saturday, Oct. 8th

I'm pleased to announce that, as of a few minutes ago, we have final approval from Humanim, the owners of the former Wiessner/ American Brewery at 1700 North Gay Street, to allow tours of the historic building on Saturday, October 8th from 9 a.m..to 1 p.m.  Actual tours will be given at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon; last admission will be at 12:30 p.m.

The Wiessner Brewery, or American Brewery as it was later known as, is perhaps one of the most iconic jewels of Baltimore's brewing and architectural history and landscape, so much so that its image was heavily used by Baltimore Beer Week to promote this year's "theme" of the history of Baltimore's beer scene.

The building remains not only a monument to the development of brewing, one of Baltimore's major industries in years past, but also to the Germans who worked and lived in the area. John Frederick Wiessner, a German immigrant, leased the land upon which the current complex sits in 1863 in order to erect a brewery. Although there were already twenty-one breweries in Baltimore City and Baltimore County at the time, Wiessner's brewery rapidly expanded, employing many Germans that had been brewers prior to their emigration to America. In 1887, Wiessner constructed the present building to enlarge and modernize his brewery.

The height of the building and the internal organization of space were determined by the requirements of brewing, but its spectacular exterior reflects the tastes and decorative detail popular during the Victorian age in which it was built. Later renamed the American Brewery, it was one of the largest and finest breweries in the state. The Wiessners were forced to sell during Prohibition; it reopened in the 1930s under the American Brewery name, and the Allegheny Beverage Company was the last company to occupy the brewery.  In the mid-1930s, a modern brewery was created behind the old facade. "American Beer" was produced here until 1973, the same year the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The building was deeded to the City of Baltimore in 1977.

The building, which became part of a large city-owned conglomerate of properties in the neighborhood, sat vacant for three decades--aside from occasional covert use by the Baltimore City Police Department as an observation post for drug investigations--until November 2007, when Humanim, a Columbia-based nonprofit that provides work force development for the disabled, purchased the property for $2,500 from the city.  The owners of the American Brewery complex in East Baltimore then secured $22.5 million in grants and financing to renovate and develop the Brewery building, totaling 30,000 square feet, in what was then one of the city’s most blighted neighborhoods. Streuver Bros., Eccles, & Rouse were the developers chosen to make the combined renovation-and-preservation project a reality.

Renovation of the building was completed in May 2009, and Humanim's offices opened shortly thereafter.  In spite of beer having nothing to do with the non-profit's mission, Humanim and the site's developers have been especially sensitive to the building's heritage.  Two display cases in the main lobby hold artifacts from the brewery's history; several significant details, including a grain elevator, have not only been preserved, but showcased in a sensitive manner; and even a brewing kettle has been "carved" into a conference table nook.  On display, courtesy of a Humanim staffer, will be other American Brewery and pre-Prohibition Baltimore beer-related items, including original stock certificates, ball taps, trays, cone top cans, and more.  More details and surprises await tour participants, and a handout highlighting the building's history will be provided free of charge (I'm sure donations would be welcomed).  Added value: potential spectacular views of the city from one of its highest accessible points!  Bring your camera!

Visitors will be welcomed at the building beginning at 9:00 a.m., and are asked to park on the building site and/or at overflow lot at the corner of N. Gay Street and Patterson Park Avenue (see the blue parking area on the map; click on the map for an enlargement).  A television in the reception area will show a slide show depicting the extensive renovation process undertaken in 2008-2009.  Tours of the building will commence at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon.  No visitors will be permitted after 12:45 p.m., as another event is scheduled for the building after 1 p.m.

Also scheduled for that day are, of course, the Maryland Brewers Oktoberfest at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, the homebrew-and-beer-tap showcase at Mark Supik & Co. in nearby Highlandtown, and over two dozen other events that day.  However, this event has been scheduled in the morning, specifically to allow attendees of the Oktoberfest, the tap-and-homebrew tour, or other events to take in the building before heading to the beer!

Earlier posts on the topic here and here.  Humanim's own web page about the building, with links to far more information, is here.  More on the brewery's history here and here.

The Baltimore Beer Week Committee is grateful to Humanim, Inc, for graciously permitting this tour as part of Baltimore Beer Week.  See you there!

Win Tickets to BBW's Opening Tap (if you're on Facebook)

Baltimore Beer Week is offering a last chance for someone to win two tickets to this Thursday night's Opening Tap event, via their Facebook page.  Details over there, if you're a registered FB user.  Enter by 5 PM tomorrow.

BBW is now up to 317 events, with at least one more still being worked on as we type.

The Latest Chesapeake Real Ale Fest Firkin List, UPDATED

As supplied by the president of the Chesapeake Bay Branch, Society for Preservation of Beers from the Wood, Rick Bloemke, with a few edits, corrections and additions made:

2011 Chesapeake Real Ale Festival Cask List
Updated October 4, 2011

BrewDog: Paradox Smokehead Imperial Stout Aged in Scotch Whiskey Barrels
Boulder Brewing Cold Hop High Gravity British Style Ale
Boulder Brewing Planet Porter [GABF Gold Medal Winner!]
Black Diamond Black Harvest Black IPA Brewed w/Fresh Organic Hops
Black Diamond Imperial Porter Flavored with Cherry
DuClaw Brewing Venom American Style Pale Ale Flavored w/Apricot
DuClaw Brewing "31" Extra Spiced Munich Dunkel
DuClaw Brewing Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter
Flying Fish Hopfish IPA Dry Hopped w/Simcoe Hops
Sixpoint Brewing Autobahn American IPA Dry Hopped w/Columbus Hops
Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils Pilsner w/Chamomile & Lemon Peel
Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale Dry Hopped in Cask
The Bruery - Autumn Maple - (10%abv) - Fall Spiced “Yam” Ale  [not pumpkin.. Yam!]
Weyerbacher - Winter Ale and Pumpkin Ale [Yeah, probably Imperial Pumpkin....].
Stillwater Artisanal Ales Harvest (Dry Hopped with Citra & Summit) & Stateside (Dry Hop Chinook)
"S.O.B."  Stillwater  - Oliver Ales - The Brewers Art Collaboration  - Smoked Belgian Porter
Oliver Breweries:
  • 3500 (Oak Barrel Aged) - (9.2% abv) - Big Red Ale w/ Juniper Berries
  • “My Minkey’s Got Wood” - (10% abv) - French Oak aged Barley Wine
  • “My Monkeys Got Wood” - (10% abv) - American Oak Aged Barley Wine
  • The Darkness - (7.6% abv) - Dark English Wheat w/ Belgian Candy Syrup
  • Bishops Indulgence - (8% abv) - Stout w/ Vanilla Bean & Cacao Nibs
  • Smoke Break (5.9% abv) - Chipotle Smoked Porter
  • The Big D (8% abv) - IPA W/ Orange Blossom Honey, Orange, & Lemon Peel
  • Draft Punk (7% abv) - IPA Dry Hopped w/Maryland Grown Nugget Hops

Heavy Seas:
  • Loose Cannon Wet Hopped w/Fresh West Coast Citra Hops
  • Loose Cannon Wet Hopped w/Fresh Maryland Cascades (aka "Steve's Garden")
  • Winter Storm Wet Hopped w/West Coast Simcoe, White Oak & Plank
  • Peg Leg Stout with coffee, ginger root, wet Citra hops, vanilla bean and Montmorency tart cherries
Crispin Cider: Two firkins of cider, one with rhubarb and elderberry, one with blackcurrent and ginger
Brewers Alley - Two Firkins TBA
Brewers Art - Three Firkins TBA
Evolution -Lot 6 DIPA dry hopped with Galaxy, plus one more TBA
Flying Dog - The Fear – Imperial Pumpkin 9.0% ABV; and Dogtoberfest – German-style Marzen 5.3% ABV.
Fordham - Spiced Harvest Ale w/ Perle, Tradition & Nelson hops brewed w/ Cinnamon, Ginger & Clove
New Belgium - Hoptober – Double Dry Hopped 7.0% ABV
Yards Brewing: - Love Stout – Oyster Stout w/ Chocolate & Roasted Malt 5.5% ABV
Old Dominion - Baltic Porter w/ Perle & Bravo hops
Stoudt's - TBA
The Raven - TBA
Dog Brewing - "Very Very Berry Tart" double aged in French Oak, Imperial Dog IPA with French Oak & Dry Hopped with Citra 
Troegs Java Head Stout with vanilla beans

Note: as many as fifteen firkins not listed are anticipated, pending supply and delivery logistics.

Get your tickets here. 
Growler fills of any leftover cask ale (and usually, at best, that's what's left in the firkin, about one growler-ful!) are usually available to attendees at the end for $5 each plus the cost of the growler (or bring your own!).

02 October 2011

Chesapeake Beer Madness 2011

What's Up Annapolis/Eastern Shore Magazine is once again doing their online Chesapeake Beer Madness.  Start stuffing the ballot boxes.

The Max's Taphouse Battle Plan--or Schedule--for Baltimore Beer Week

Direct from the e-mail blast, here's the final(?) schedule of events for Max's Taphouse for Baltimore Beer Week, with a few annotations from yours truly.  If you look very closely, you may find occasions where special beers, brewers, or representatives may be appearing at Max's that allows you to skip another appearance elsewhere, if you're being forced to choose between simultaneous appearances.

Unibroue Ephemere Cassis
Unibroue Raftman
La Fin Du Monde
Ephemere Apple
Unibroue 15
Plus a few others....

Duvel Single
Ommegang Aphrodite
Liefmans Oud Bruin
Chouffe Biere Du Soliel

1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Fat Tire
Ranger IPA
Super Cru
Ten Ten Ten
Plus 2 Casks .......TBA

Franziskaner Hefeweizen
Franziskaner Dunkelweizen

Raging Bitch
Snake Dog

We will be hosting this event in our new side bar--come check it out.
So we will be featuring 4 versions of Great Divide Yeti and we will also be showing the movie, Harry & the Hendersons--Get it?  [If not, look here.]
Great Divide Barrel Aged Yeti
Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti
Great Divide Chocolate Yeti
Great Divide Yeti

A Few Things. We will be opening out at 10am for the bottle release.We will open the door to our side bar for bottle sales. After you get your bottles walk over to the main bar and enjoy one of the great Stillwater drafts we will be featuring.
As for the bottle sales. we will be selling the special release bottle at one per customer.only 101 bottle made.
everything else is up for grabs.
So here it is, come early these beers are going to sell out.
Olde Bay Saison (Special Release beer)
Cellar Door
Stateside Saison
Autumnal 2010
Autumnal 2011
Stillwater/Brewers Art Debutante
Stillwater/ Mikkeller Our Side
Stillwater/De Struise Outblack
Stillwater/Mikkeller Rauchstar
Stillwater/Max's 25 to One
Rule of Thirds
Of Love & Regret
Saison Darkly
Chardonnay Barrel Stateside
Burgundy Cellar Door
Bourbon Barrel Existent

Cellar Door
Stateside Saison
Autumnal 2011
Our Side
Stillwater/Mikkeller Rauchstar
Stillwater/De Struise Outblack
Stillwater/Max's 25 to One
Rule of Thirds
Harvest Saison
Red Wine Barrel Aged Our Side
Red Wine Barrel Aged Autumnal
Red Wine Barrel Aged Debutante
Stillwater/Oliver's Channel Crossing V3
Stillwater/Oliver's/Brewers Art BBW Porter
Plus 4 casks .......TBA

Ashtray Heart
Before During & After Christmas
Biscotti Break
Molotov Cocktail
Ron & The Beast Ryan
Ryan & the Beaster Bunny
Soft DK
404 Belgian Pale
Disco Beer
Katz Pis

Single Track
Planet Porter
Buffalo Gold
Fresh Track
Never Summer


Blanch De Ermitage
Post Colonial IPA Harvest
Greg American Foreign Stout Harvest
Saison Station 7 ( Herbs)
Saison Station 16 ( Rye)
Saison Station 55 ( Bitter)
Belgian IPA
Boson De Higgs
Saison DuRepos
Berlin Alexander Platz Epilogue
Kamarad Freidrich Russian Imperial Stout
Ostalgia Rousse
Lou Lou Porter

DOGFISH HEAD COME MEET SAM 3pm-5pm (info coming soon on how to reserve a space)
I will be sending out a separate e-mail on how you can reserve a space in our lounge for our meet & greet with Sam [Calagione] from Dogfish Head  [You can figure out how to contact Max's yourself, if you want.]
120 Minute IPA
Punk in
Chateau Jaihu
Plus A Few Other Special Surprises

That's right,  Tom Kehoe(owner of Yards Brewing ) vs Casey Hard (Beer Guy from Max's) are going to have a 1 round boxing match in Max's.
This is going to be very cool and maybe a bit funny.
Cape of Good Hope
Love Stout
Philadelphia Pale
Bourbon Aged Thomas Jefferson


Max's sent 4 employees (Bob, Jason H. Casey H and Mike) to make their own casks at Heavy Seas. These beers should be very  interesting. We will all find out, together.
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon w/ Blue Spruce Tips, Wet Hop Cascade & Wet Hop Simcoe
Heavy Seas Gold w/ Strawberries, Rose Hips, Meyer Lemon Peel and then Dry Hopped w/ Ahthum
Heavy Seas Pale Ale w/ Apricot, Lemon Basil, Cinnamon and then Dry Hopped w/ Centennial
Heavy Seas Peg Leg w/ Rainer Cherries, Coffee, White oak and then Dry Hopped w/ Simcoe

We will be featuring a few versions of Rodenbach
Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach 2007
Rodenbach 2008

Uinta Detour Double IPA
Uinta Baba
Uinta Anniversary 2008
Uinta Wyld
Others TBA
Allagash Curieux
Allagash Blonde
Allagash Fluxus 2011
Allagash Vrienden
Allagash White
Allagash Grand Cru
Allagash Four
Allagash Triple
others TBA

We will be featuring some really interesting takes on Crispin Cider.
Crispin Stagerlee (Cider Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels)
Crispin Special (Cider w/ Rhubarb & Elderberry aged in Wine Barrels)
Crispin Cider

Black Hop Rising
Pitch A Tent
Northern Hemisphere
Back Porch Lager
Ovila Saison
Life & Limb 2
Bigfoot 2008
Pale Ale

Old Chub(Nitro)
G' Knight (Nitro)
Plus a few others TBA
Old Chub w/ vanilla

Duclaw Hero
DuClaw X2
DuClaw Double Black Lightning
DuClaw Special
DuClaw 31
DuClaw Twisted Kilt
DuClaw Bourbon X2(Cask)
Oliver's The Big D
Oliver's Smoke Break Smoked Chipotle Porter
Oliver's The Darkness
Oliver's The Bishop Indulgence w/ Cocoa Nibs & Vanilla Bean
Dominion (Cask)
Brewers Art--Beers TBA

Repost: PBS' "Prohibition" Series Starts Tonight

Info reposted from an earlier post:
PBS and MPT are showing the premiere of noted documentarian Ken Burns' latest epic work, Prohibition, on the national "failed experiment" of 1919-1933.  From the PBS blurb:

This 3-part, 5 1/2 hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the era it encompassed. The culmination of nearly a century of activism, Prohibition was intended to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. But a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality. Thugs became celebrities, authority was rendered impotent. Social mores in place for a century were obliterated. Liquor consumption rocketed, propelling the rest of the culture with it: skirts shortened. Music heated up. America's Sweetheart morphed into The Vamp. Prohibition turned law-abiding citizens into criminals, made a mockery of the justice system, caused illicit drinking to seem glamorous, encouraged neighborhood gangs to become national crime syndicates, and fostered cynicism and hypocrisy that corroded the social contract all across the country. The film raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago - about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government and finally, who is - and who is not - a real American..
The program will be aired in three two-hour parts at 8:00 PM on Sunday, Oct. 2nd, Monday the 3rd, and Tuesday the 4th, with rebroadcasts at midnight each evening; additional rebroadcasts are scheduled on MPT and MPT-2 for the next two weeks.  See the MPT page for this program for episode details and specific rebroadcast schedules.

The Washington Post's Hank Stuever has reviewed the series, and gave the (not really positive) review prominent placement in the dead-trees edition, but "buried" it on the website; you can find it here.

01 October 2011

Maryland Medal Winners at 2011 Great American Beer Festival

Flying Dog won a gold medal for Barley-Wine-Style Ale for its Horn Dog, beating out 41 other entrants.

Gordon Biersch's Rockville outlet won a Bronze in German-Style Sour Ale [?!?] for its Gordon Biersch Goze.

Rock Bottom Bethesda got bronze for Brown Bear Brown in Scottish-Style Ale.

And, well, that's pretty much it.  Nineteen medals, including several golds, were awarded to breweries in Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.  See the total results here.  As usual, California and Colorado breweries dominated the medal winners, though the Brewers Association noted that Indiana had the greatest winner-to-entry ration--10 medals out of 52 total entries--in its press release.  3,930 beers (compared to 3,523 entries in 2010) competed for 248 medals in 83 beer categories covering 134 beer styles (encompassing subcategories).

Another Beer Fest Canceled

Another beer fest has been canceled, but this time not to weather concerns, but staffing and ticket sales: The MACBrewFest scheduled for October 15th in downtown Washington, DC.  Ticket refunds are being promised.

(Hey--that's more people to go to the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival that day.....)

Could Department of Justice Eliminate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms?

Found while cruising the web while waiting for the GABF medal results from Denver:

Multiple sources, including sources from ATF, DOJ  and Congressional offices have said there is a white paper circulating within the Department of Justice, outlining the essential elimination of ATF. According to sources, the paper outlines the firing of at least 450 ATF agents in an effort to conduct damage control as Operation Fast and Furious gets uglier and as election day 2012 gets closer.  ATF agents wouldn’t be reassigned to other positions, just simply let go. Current duties of ATF, including the enforcement of explosives and gun laws, would be transferred to other agencies, possibly the FBI and the DEA.  According to a congressional source, there have been rumblings about the elimination of ATF for quite sometime, but the move would require major political capital to actually happen.

“It’s a serious white paper being circulated, how far they’d get with it I don’t know,” a confidential source said.
Most of this, of course, has to do with the still-imploding, undercovered-by-the-mainstream-media "Operation Fast and Furious" fustercku--err, "operation" where thousands of high-powered guns were trafficked to Mexican drug cartels by the ATF, later to be used against them and other law enforcement agents with fatal results.  But if this agency is shut down or reorganized, it may well have an indirect impact upon Federal alcohol regulation--anything from a revamping and streamlining of regulation to endless delays for approval of such things as new labels and packaging designs.