05 August 2009

More on Baltimore Beer Week

First, you can check out the website, www.baltimorebeerweek.com (always on the links to the right side). If you haven't been there lately, it's being updated somewhat frequently by now.

Second, various venues are signing on and making arrangements as I type. Obviously we don't want to make announcements until details are firm, but it looks like there will be a healthy variety of event types, at least--not just beer dinners or tastings.

One notable problem has been that, until now, there hasn't been a big festival-like venue for out-of-Maryland beers--the Oktoberfest at the Md. Fairgrounds on Oct. 10th is Maryland beers, and the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival, though open to any and all cask beers, is cask-conditioned beers only. What if Sam Adams, or Sierra Nevada, or Smuttynose or Southern Tier or Spaten or Samuel Smith want to come out and play? What if--heavens--New Belgium wanted to launch Fat Tire in Maryland at a festival?

Well, I'm going to leak that plans are being worked on for a major downtown beer festival, similar in size, scope, and scale to the City Paper Brew Fests in Fells Point in April. At the moment, the proposal is NOT the City Paper Fest, and NOT in Fells Point, but MAY involve a similarly closed-off street area like the Hampden or Fells Point Fun Fests. Details will be forthcoming as they develop, but make plans for one last round of liver punishment on Sunday, Oct. 18th.

In other news, it appears that the Baltimore City Paper, a media partner with BBW, will be publishing a special insert to their weekly edition on Oct. 7th, with the events schedule, map, and additional information.

With that, a gentle caveat to potential sponsors/participants: Based on experiences with other Beer Weeks in other cities, we know that some places will wait until the last possible minute to "get on board." All is well and good as far as that goes, but the further in advance one joins the efforts, the more promotional value they get out of it. And besides, if you want to do, say, a Flying Dog tasting or whatever, it's best to get you spot on the schedule before the guy down the street tries to do the same thing at the same time!

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