27 July 2012

Balto. Beer Week 2012 Opening Tap

Tickets are now on sale for Baltimore Beer Week 2012's Opening Tap event at the Power Plant Live! downtown on Thursday, October 19th; $30 per person plus MissionTix processing fee.

Baltimore Restaurant Week, Summer 2012

Baltimore Restaurant Week, Summer 2012 edition, is now underway until August 5th.  Participating restaurants offer a special selected menu at a discounted price ($30.12, or in some cases $20.12), and in some cases a lunch menu for $15.12.

Craft-beer-friendly venues participating include Heavy Seas Ale House (with lunch as well), The Brewer's Art, Bluegrass Tavern, and B&O American Brasserie; in addition, many restaurants are a mere stone's throw away from better beer bars for after-dinner libations.  Reservations strongly recommended.

Apparently, "Craft Beer" Is Now Mainstream......

For decades, in spite of the increased attention by connoisseurs and the media on microbrews, local beer, craft beer, or whatever the chosen term is this year, there has to come a point when it gets the recognition and attention garnered by its more industrially-produced relatives.  At what point do we finally declare them on an equal playing field?

We suggest that this may well be a step in that direction, if not the tipping point: a Craft Beer Fest at a Hooters Cafe:

20 July 2012

Put These On Your "To Do" List

Running late because of other commitments, but here's a round-up of up-and-coming events.....

*DuClaw just now started selling tickets ($55) to its annual Real Ale Fest on SEPTEMBER 8th, with 40 firkins from 20 breweries promised in addition to the usual eclectic DuClaw offerings.  Once again, proceeds benefit a chosen charity, the Cool Kids campaign.  This year, they're also offering buses from their Arundel Mills and Bowie locations, as well as a bus from JD's Smokehouse in Canton (an additional $25--worth it to avoid a DUI ticket or crash, or dragging along a designated driver that really doesn't want to be there.....).  This fest features a spectacular food buffet (with three slow-roasted pigs) as well.  The 4 hour (Noon-4pm) all inclusive real ale samples and food package for $55 or a 5 hour (11am-4pm) "V.I.P." all inclusive real ale  package for $65.  There are only 650 tickets available, and the last few such Fests have been complete sell-outs.

*On AUGUST 8th (Wednesday), The Brewer's Art combines the second of its monthly firkin releases with a fundraiser  to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Part of the sales from the firkin will be donated, and if they kick the cask TBA has offered to match funds!   If you can't make it but want to donate go to http://pages.teamintraining.org/md/seagull12/rperry

*Artscape, sometimes known sarcastically as "Foodscape" or "Chicken-On-a-Stick-Scape," is today through Sunday around Mount Royal Station, the U. of Baltimore, Mt. Royal Avenue from St. Paul St. to North Avenue, and up Charles Street from Mt. Royal to North Avenue.  Your best beer options in the area include The Brewer's Art, Liam Flynn's Ale House (promising three firkins, from Heavy Seas, Flying Dog, and Olivers Bishops Breakfast with coffee), and Joe Squared Pizza.

*Max's Taphouse reports that they escaped damage from last night's flooding from 2-3 inches of rain drenching the area, and will be open for business as usual to finish out their "extended Belgian beer festival," through today--and, as usual, a large number of Belgian drafts will be on through the weekend, if the sweaty, sardine-packed crowds of FreeConcertScape doesn't appeal to you.  Here's a list of what they put on draft when:
St Bernardus Tokyo on draft

Vanberg & Dewulf
Dupont Foret
Dupont Forest Blanche
Dupont Saison
Dupont Avril
Dupont Biere De Beloeil
Dupont Posca Rustica
Dupont Moinette Blonde
Dubuisson Scaldis
Dubuisson Peche Mel
Dubuisson Scaldis Blonde Triple
Dubuisson Cuvee Des Trolls
Dilewyns Vicaris Generaal
Dilewyns Vicaris Triple
Dilewyns Vicaris Triple-Gueuze
Schelde Hop Ruiter

Bunited Imports
Smisje Catherine The great
Strubbe Ichtegems Grand Cru

12% imports
T Gaverhopke Extra
Hof Ten Dormaal Dark
Stillwater/Hof Ten Dormaal Bronze Age
Cazeau Tournay Black

Duvel USA,Ommegang ,Mardesous, Achouffe, Liefmans
Duvel Single
Ommegang Independence Day Ale 2012
Ommegang Biere D' Hougoumont
Ommegang Rare Vos
Ommegang Three Philosophers
Ommegang Abbey
Achouffe La Chouffe
Achouffe McChouffe
Achouffe Houblon
Achouffe Biere De Soleil
Mardesous 6
Mardesous 10
De Koninck Triple D' Anvers
Liefmans Goudenband

*At the Pratt Street Ale House:  The Big D, an 8% IPA brewed with a little orange blossom honey, orange & lemon peel and finished with lots of while leaf Citra & Amarillo is now on the beer engine; Burial At Sea, 4.3% abv ruby mild brewed in collaboration with DC Brau is now on tap.  On deck: Blonde Ale with coriander and dry hopped with Liberty.  Expect lots of firefighters at the expo across the street, ongoing until Saturday.

*Union Craft Brewing has scheduled a Grand Opening party for its brewery in Woodberry on the evening of July 28th, but the $14 tickets have already sold out!

*Over in Frederick, Monocacy Brewing (the production arm of Brewer's Alley) has scheduled its grand opening for the afternoon of August 4th.

13 July 2012

More Upcoming Events

Max's Italian Beer Fest started a couple hours ago and continues through the weekend:

Amiata Contessa
Baladin Noel
Baladin Nora
Baladin Nora Sour Edition 2008
Baladin Super Baladin
Barley Friska Zymatore
Barley Toccadibo Zymatore
Del Borgo 25 Dodici
Del Borgo Re Ale Extra
Del Borgo Re Ale 6th Anniversary
Grado Plato Strada San Felice
Italiano Tipo Pils Zymtore
L’Olmaia Karkade
Loverbeer Madamin
Piccolo Seson
Troll Palanfrina Zymatore

Grado Plato Strada San Felice Zymatore
Baladin Super Baladin

Almond 22 Farrotta
Almond 22 Noa
Almond 22 Pink IPA
Almond 22 Torbata
Baladin Al Ilsir
Baladin Isaac
Baladin Nora
Baladin Super Baladin
Baladin Wayan
Baladin XFume 2006
Baladin Xyauyu Copper 2004
Baladin Xyauyu Silver 2006
Barley BBDexi
Barley Friska
Barley Sella Del Diavolo
Barley Toccadibo
Birradamare Kuasapa
Birradamare Nera
Birradamare Roma
Birradamare Chiara
Birradamare Rossa
Bruton Bianca
Bruton D Bruton
Bruton Lilith
Bruton Stoner
Collesi Bionda
Collesi Chiara
Collesi Ambrata
Collesi Nera
Collesi Rossa
Del Borgo 25 Dodici
Del Borgo Duchessa
Del Borgo Duchessic
Del Borgo Enkir
Del Borgo Genziana
Del Borgo L’Equilibrista
Del Borgo My Antonia
Del Borgo Rubus Lamboni
Del Ducato Beersel Mattina
Del Ducato Chimera
Del Ducato La Luna Rossa
Del Ducato L’Ultima Luna
Del Ducato Sally Brown Bracco
Del Ducato Verdi
Del Ducato Via Emila’;
Di Como Birolla
Grado Plato Cantis Caeli
Grado Plato Chocarrubica
Grado Plato Strada S. Felice
Grado Plato Weizen Tea
Italiano La Fleurette
L’Olmaia La Cinque
L’Olmaia La Nove
L’Olmaia PVK
LoverBeer BeerBera
LoverBeer Neer Brugna
LoverBeer D’UvaBeer
LoverBeer Madamin
Montegioco Bran Reserve
Montegioco Demon Hunter
Montegioco Dolii Raptor
Montegioco Rex Grue
Pausa café P.I.L.S
Pausa café Chicca
Pausa café Navidad
Pausa café Tosta
Piccolo Chiostro
Piccolo Seson
Troll Geisha 2008
Troll Geisha 2009
Troll Geisha 2010
Troll Geisha 2011
Troll Palanfrina
Troll Shangrila
Troll Shangrila Fume
Troll Stella Di Natale
Viva Birra Ambrata
Viva Birra Chiara
Kegs and Corks Fest at Blob's Park in Jessup Aug. 25-26.

Union Craft Brewing's Grand Opening Party for the public and its tasting room the evening of July 28th; $14 a head, includes two beer tokens,

11 July 2012

Quick Real Ale Updates

Sorry, folks, paying work and a funeral have been sapping my time.

Tonight at The Brewer's Art: First of what will be a monthly (or more often, if demand warrants) firkin at the bar. (Check both upstairs and downstairs.) Second Saturday of the month is the plan for now. Get on out and show Rob Perry some love.

Tomorrow night: Chesapeake Bay Branch SPBW does a Fells Point pub crawl:

Start 7:00 at Bertha’s Mussels
Bertha’s has a permanent cask tap of Bertha’s Best Bitter. They do have a problem with the cask currently on but expect to have it resolved by Thursday evening.

Continue on to the Wharf Rat
The Wharf Rat expects to have the 4 casks currently available:
Oliver 25th Anniversary Ale – Amber Ale 4.8% ABV
Oliver Best Bitter – 4.8% ABV
Oliver ESB special bitter – 6.0% Chosen by Michael Jackson for his book “Ultimate Beer”
Red Brick Station Blueberry – 4.1% ABV (If you missed it last month here is your chance once again)

End the crawl at Max’s
Max’s will have 5 Cask Beers on Tap, at this time they are:
Flying Dog Imperial IBP El Dorado – Imperial IPA 10% ABV
Flying Dog Disobedience – Abbey Dubbel – 7.0% ABV
Olivers Spruce is Loose – Red Ale w Spruce Tips – 8.0% ABV
Olivers The Big D – Citra IPA w / Honey – 8.0% ABV – (Not expected to last)
RJ Rockers Patriot Pale Ale Dry Hopped – 6.0% ABV
I should point out that The Admiral Fell Inn is now serving cask ale as well......

 LATE UPDATE:  The CBB SPBW has officially added the Admiral Fell Inn's new Admiral Fell Tavern, in the basement of the Inn, to the crawl--Heavy Seas Loose Cannon.

03 July 2012

Saving the Ales From the Power Outages

We've not heard any reports of power outages affecting Baltimore-area craft breweries, save for one brewer who shamelessly admitted he might as well stay at work brewing because the power was still out at his place), but we know that's not universally the case.  Communications interruptions--cell phone signals still out, internet connections still down--are affecting beer salesmen and liquor stores in the region, and many customers are still without power, stopping in to bars to recharge cell phones, check e-mails on wi-fi, and have a pint while they're at it.

Harbor East, Fells Point, and some downtown venues reported a brisk weekend business; apparently Washingtonians without power flocked to Baltimore hotels to wait out the power outages (must be nice to have the money to drop on an impromptu weekend getaway, huh, folks?), and patronized local bars and restaurants.

The Washington Post, on the other hand, just posted this video covering a frantic, and down-to-the-wire, effort by Alexandria, Va.'s Port City Brewing to rig up an emergency generator to "save the ales" from overheated fermentation:

02 July 2012

Meanwhile, up in York.....

Baltimore isn't the only place where craft brewing is bucking the national economic trends.  It's even happening across the Mason-Dixon Line, in a state with a liquor control board still stuck in a neo-Prohibition mindset, retail-wise.

First, a new bar, the Holy Hound Taproom, with 30 draft lines, opens today in downtown York, within an easy walk or stumble from the Mudhook Brewing brewpub and the Liquid Hero brewery/bar.

Then, only two blocks to the north and west, a project named Crystal Ball Brewing is being planned for a former steam plant at Pershing Avenue and Philadelphia Street/Lincoln Highway.  (Pershing Avenue still has railroad rails, like Fells Point's tracked streets, which carried freight and passenger trains between Baltimore, York and Harrisburg until 1971.)

So now I have even more reason to stop off in York when headed north....   hmmmmm.

More Union Release Events

Missed out on the debut party for Union Craft Brewing at Max's on Friday night?

Metropolitan is holding its Union Craft Brewing release party this Thursday, with a firkin of Duckpin Pale Ale, and drafts of Duckpin and Balt Altbier.  Also, firkins of cask-conditioned and dry-hopped Duckpin and Balt should be rolling to the "usual" suspects shortly, including Liam Flynn's Ale House.