30 September 2009

What's Up Annapolis/Eastern Shore: Beer Madness!

The joint magazines What's Up Annapolis and What's Up Eastern Shore are running an online "Beer Madness" competition between regional breweries and beers, with an excellent rundown of the many breweries in the competition (including, importantly, newbies such as Eastern Shore, Evolution and 16 Mile), and featuring video shot in Town and Country Liquors near Easton, Md. featuring the founders of Eastern Shore Brewing and, um, yours truly.

This week's the play-in round between Gordon Biersch's Czech Pilsener and Fordham's Helles Lager.  Starting tomorrow October 8th they start an eight-beer round.

Baltimore Beer Week Update--the Latest UPDATED

After a last(?) meeting with the BBW committee yesterday, here are some updates:

*It appears the magic number of events in the official calendar has become 333 335.  Other events may pop up--I was fielding frantic e-mails yesterday from potential participating venues that wanted to add an event or three--but since the official print deadlines for the official programs, etc. have passed, it looks like we're stuck with a nice, round, "lucky" still adding events to a number that is over twice what we in the committee had originally hoped for.  Not bloody bad for a first year!
There are a couple events that are officially sold out--among them the Clipper City beer brunch and tour on Sunday the 11th and the Red Brick Station Brew With The Brewer Day on the 16th.  A couple events are reportedly under threat of cancellation due to low sales, such as the Red Brick Station Brew Day on Tuesday the 13th and possibly Mahaffey's bus trip to Flying Dog's shindig on the afternoon of the 13th.  If you really want to see certain events come off, don't wait until the last minute!

*I will be the first to concede that the numbers in question have been nicely and handily inflated by certain venues using the same marketing gimmick for ten days running.  Muggsy's Mug House, for example, is doing ten days of hoppy beers as "Hop-toberfest"; Duda's Tavern in Fells Point is offering a Fordham beer as a charity fundraiser; and Jack's Bistro in Canton is offering a $20 prix fixe beer dinner with various rotating beers and menu pairings.  And many breweries are hosting short promotional tastings at various liquor stores throughout the region, including some stores usually well off our radar screens.  That still amounts to an average of 33 or more things you're going to have to choose between each day.

*The six keynote events are here.  They include the obvious Opening Tap and after-party, the Md. Oktoberfest at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium, the Beer Pioneers' Luncheon at Bertha's on Monday the 12th at Bertha's, the Blues and Brews concert at the 8x10 on the 14th, and the Real Ale Festival on the 17th at the Pratt Street Ale House.  (To that list, I'll add the public homebrewing demonstration and display at PSAH on Sunday the 18th.)

*The Baltimore City Paper will be publishing 12-page inserts with the schedules and more in both the Oct. 7th and 14th editions.  Baltimore Beer Week is one of two cover stories in the October-November issue of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, which is due out on the streets and at your favorite venues momentarily.  (Shameless disclosure:  I write for MABN and wrote the cover story; and have ordered an extra 400-500 to be shipped to me; I will attempt to have them available at the Opening Tap, the Opening Tap after-party, the Oktoberfest, and the Real Ale Fest.)

*Extra coasters are on hand; if you truly can't live without one and can't get to Baltimore, e-mail me here and I'll tell you where to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope; I'll stuff as many as I can into whatever envelope and postage is provided.

*The Opening Tap hammer mallet will feature oak from the famed Wye Oak in Talbot County, which fell to old age and a severe thunderstorm in 2002.  (Brewers were threatening to steal the sample of the wood brought to the meeting for oak-aging one of their beers--it has a heavenly scent, let me tell you.....)  UPDATE:  Left behind in my notes was the information that the BBW committee is seeking a name for this mallet, which will be preserved and used for future BBW tappenings and maybe other beer events throughout the years.  I'm not hearing of a specific prize for the winner--I'm thinking maybe an excellent name might garner a t-shirt or Opening Tap ticket.  Any suggestions?

*T-shirts: because the entire BBW operation was designed specifically to be a break-even operation, with just enough in the bank to keep an account active until next year's committee planning, there was little to no money left over for souvenir production.  However, 144 white t-shirts are being produced besides the sample blue and brown ones cranked out for BBW committee members as promotional tools.  Look for what few shirts are available at the Opening Tap Party at Pratt Street Ale House on Thursday the 8th, the Oktoberfest on the 10th, and the Real Ale Fest on the 11th.  IF the t-shirts sell out extremely quickly--as in, all on Thursday the 8th--there exists the possibility that another run of t-shirts can be run.  They're not that expensive--I was hearing a price of $10, which I was suggesting be raised to $12--and they're not making that much money from their sales.

Anything else?  I'm planning like crazy--there's already a spreadsheet on my desk trying to outline how I'm going to make "token" media appearances at as many events as I can..........  so far I have 52 events highlighted, more for their unique qualities than anything else (go ahead--find the place that's serving a pumpkin beer out of a pumpkin.........)  My personal advice:  A Weekly MTA Pass and running shoes.

Rice in Beer?

The Los Angeles Times has an interesting article today on using rice as a beer ingredient--and how it's not necessarily the evil incarnate that some brewers and breweries have made it out to be (or, in other cases, the evil that they made it).  I must agree--it's so hard to find a good beer to go with sushi.

28 September 2009

Anyone got Baltimore Brewing glassware to spare?

I got an e-mail from a reader:

Do you know where I might be able to find any glasses/mugs from the old Baltimore Brewing Company? I'm actually looking for any sort of stuff that may remain that might have a logo of King Gambrinus, similar to this glass.
Any help or ideas?

Go to a Blog, Answer Questions (Right), Win Stuff!

Short, sweet, and to the point:

Stephen Jones' blog at the Pratt Street Ale House's website features what has now become a regular weekly prize competition: The Friday Question.

The prizes started out small:  A pint of beer at the pub, a glass, whatever.  But now Jones and his employers have raised the stakes substantially, with such prizes as tickets to Baltimore Beer Week events and--this week--an eleven-pound bag of hops.

Go play.  I'm getting sick and tired of being a repeat winner.

Oh, wait, I'm lying.  No, I'm not.  But it would sure as hell look a LOT better for both Steve and me if other people started winning more.  I mean, I could go after that bag of hops, but I'm getting hops out of the homebrewing demonstration, and I have hops to use up, dang it, so...........

Great American Beer Festival Goes to the Dogs in Maryland--UPDATED

Congratulations to the greater Baltimore region's winners in the 2009 Great American Beer Festival:

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year: Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD and brewer Robert Malone

Flying Dog Brewery: Horn Dog Vintage 2007 : Gold Medal, Aged Beer
Flying Dog Brewery: Dogtoberfest : Gold Medal, German Style Märzen
Flying Dog Brewery: Gonzo Imperial Porter : Gold Medal, Imperial Stout
Flying Dog Brewery: Barrel Aged Gonzo : Silver Medal, Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer

Brewer's Alley Restaurant and Brewery: Brewer's Alley India Pale Ale : Bronze Medal, English-Style India Pale Ale
Clipper City Brewing Co.: Clipper City Marzhon : Bronze Medal, Vienna Style Lager
DOG Brewing Co.: Pub Dog Black Dog Stout : Bronze Medal, Classic Irish Style Dry Stout

A complete rundown of all 234 (!) medal winners in all 78 categories is available (PDF format) here.  Feel free to discourse on style/category inflation as you see fit in the comments.  (UPDATE: Here's a blog post on when the GABF had only twelve categories.....  one gold winner was Chesbay, and another gold winner ended up being brewed in Maryland for a couple years......)

Meanwhile, to continue with the dog theme:  Max's Taphouse's Tuesday Beer Social this week will feature the first (only?) kegs of Laughing Dog Brewing's beers from Ponderay, Idaho to reach Maryland (NOTE: none of these beers are listed on the brewery's apparently slightly outdated website):

Laughing Dog CSB    Bitter/ESB
Laughing Dog Alpha Dog    Imperial IPA  (127 IBU's, 8.0%)

Laughing Dog Dogzilla      Black IPA
Laughing Dog St Benny Labby Abbey     Belgian Style Ale

And if THAT isn't enough........................

Also on Max's draft lineup as I type:
Brew Dog (Scotland) Paradox Isle of Arran (10% imperial stout, whisky-barrel-aged for six months) ON CASK  (We are sincerely not worthy...........)

Brew Dog Paradox Smokehead  (aged in different barrel, smokier than even the German Schlenkerla "bacon" beers!)

Stoudt's Fat Dog
and we won't count the usual DOGfish Head stuff...............  and by the way, I'm reliably informed that Dogfish Head beers command a stiff premium nowadays in the few Arizona beer bars that serve them.......

Voting Now Open for "The Mobbies"!

Click here to vote for my blog at The Baltimore Sun's Mobbies  ... early and oftenSee the graphic on the right or right sidebar, and click on it.  If you care to, you can vote for me as among "Maryland's Outstanding blogs" as nominated by the Baltimore Sun and its editors, online staff, and readers.

Note: Mine is the original, #12, not the ".com" version.

I discovered this the hard way, finding that I had been nominated by persons unknown (possibly my Baltimore Sun associates/comrades, Sam Sessa and Rob Kasper), before I even knew about the competition.

Note: There are seventeen categories, and lots of other blogs to explore (225 if I'm counting right); you must be a registered BaltimoreSun.com user to vote for specific categories but not for Best Overall Blog, and can vote once a day.  Complete rules are at the Mobbies page.  I harbor no illusions about winning; it's an honor just to be nominated, etc. etc.  But vote anyway........  if you wish.

And if you feel like spreading the love just a bit. my sister's blog is also up for a Mobbie under Personal Blogs: On the Other Hand, Who Knows What I'll Do?

24 September 2009

Homebrew Contest at Ellicott Mills

Ellicott Mills Brewing Co.

November 7, 2009 1 PM

"Homebrewers, make us your best pale ale!"

Registration deadline is Oct. 29th, limited to 20 entries. Entrants must submit their recipe plus three 12-ounce bottles (or the equivalent).

For information: 410-313-8141

23 September 2009

Note: Posting and updates will be light and sporadic for the next few days due to family obligations. If possible, I will try to update from the field.

Meanwhile, you can follow the goings-on at the Great American Beer Festival (NO, dammit, I'm NOT there!) with this blog from Virginia brewer Bill Madden. (I think we now have a new nominee for CRABB......)

22 September 2009

Last Call to Win Tickets to Balto. Beer Week Opening Tap............

Go to www.BaltimoreBeerWeek.com and sign up for the e-newsletter on the left side of the home page before October 1st. Subscribers to the e-newsletter will be enrolled in a drawing for tickets for either the gala VIP Opening Tap event aboard the USS Constellation on Oct. 8th, or tickets to the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival on Oct. 17th. Go for it, folks--tickets for this event are all but impossible to come by; last I heard there was a waiting list of over 50 willing to pay dearly for this special event!

(Note--the sign-up sends you an e-mail to which you have to reply to confirm your sign-up.)

And while you're at it, there's the Facebook and Twitter sign-ups as well..............

Homebrewing Demonstration Oct. 18 at Pratt St. Ale House UPDATE

At this point, I have official word about "my" homebrewing event at Pratt Street Ale House Oct. 18th on the following:

The Chesapeake Real Ale Brewers will be on hand, providing an all-grain (i.e. no malt-extract shortcuts) brewing demonstration beginning sometime around 9 AM for set-up, probable 10 AM burner light-off.

The Cross Street Irregulars homebrew club, a holdover from when there was an actual brewpub on Cross Street in Federal Hill (we're talking Sisson's here, not Thirsty Dog or The Dog Pub), has also pledged its participation and support.

Maryland Homebrew will show up, maybe with a carload of various supplies and adjuncts just in case. And also to fly the flag for central Maryland's best/largest/only(?) homebrew supply shoppe.

Pratt Street Ale House's brewmaster Steve Jones has offered at least some small amounts of malt and hops from their cellar for the project, and maybe some Ringwood yeast fresh from the krausen. If you're interested, you have to get in touch with Steve. If you care, you know how.

If you want to join in the fun, you MAY be able to bring your stuff to the brewpub the evening before at the end of the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival, and it'll be stashed in the building until Sunday morning. Bonus: If any real ale is left after paying attendees fill growlers, you MIGHT be able to top off a growler of fresh real ale for a discounted price as you drop off your brewing rigs and supplies.

At least one of us is trying to finish in time for the Baltimore Beer Week closing party at Max's that evening.

Me? I'm digging through my spice rack and cursing the fact that John Bull malt extract is no longer sold around here..........

My brewing partner? "What did we just get ourselves into?"

Questions or comments? There's the comment form below.

20 September 2009

332 Baltimore Beer Week Events!!!!!

THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-ONE THIRTY-TWO events on the official list.

Okay, I give up. My brain simply CANNOT keep tabs on just what got added when. You're on your own, folks.

That's the Baltimore Beer Week total as this is typed, with late additions from Baltimore Taphouse, Duda's, a week-long "Hop-toberfest" at Muggsy's Mug House, Mother's, an Italian beer dinner at Corks, the Brews and Blues concert at the 8 x 10 in Federal Hill on Wednesday the 14th, and more. Now admittedly. many of these are redundant listings of the same special for ten days running, but still.....

Also added: Beer dinners at The Brewers Art and Pratt Street Ale House, and a weeklong $20 dinner special at Jack's Bistro.

And I know of three one more event in the works.

Most Patriotic Event seen so far:

Drink Beer and Donate to our Wounded Soldiers
Duda's Tavern
1600 Thames St
Baltimore, MD 21231

All Ten Days of Baltimore Beer Week
Time: All Day
Cost: Pay as you go

Defenders Choice Premium Lager is made by Fordham Brewing Company in honor of our brave and heroic service men and women. Sixty cents of each bottle sold is donated to the Fisher House, a private / public partnership that supports our military personnel in need (fisherhouse.org), We don't think we have ever seen a beer with so many patriotic American appeals. The label has a battleship, a tank, a fighter jet, and a helicopter on it. U-S-A! U-S-A!

I ain't getting into the whole "patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels" thing..... but I'm there.

19 September 2009

One CRAZY Day.....

Clipper City's Beer & Bacon Fest at the brewery:

By my count, four firkins, and 18 different "kinds" of bacon or ways of preparing it.  I seriously suggested that Johns Hopkins send a stand for free cholesterol testing/screening for next year.  Sadly, one vendor broke down along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway en route to setting up shop to make "Bacon Donuts."  Most unusual?  Popcorn fried in bacon fat, then caramelized with brown sugar and bacon bits added.  Or maybe it was the chocolate covered bacon bark.

Waynestock at Mahaffey's, Canton, with the band Caffeine performing as I visited:

Max's Deutsch Fest, Tag Zwei:

18 September 2009

Max's German Fest Update

Doors opened 11 AM. About a dozen folks waiting to storm the fortress at the beginning.

On gravity kegs (think vertical firkins), all 5.0% ABV unless otherwise indicated: Schneider Edel Weisse (5% hefeweizen), Reissdorf Kolsch (4.8%), Hofstetten Hochzeitsbier 1810 (6% Original Festbier), Lowenbrau Buttenheim Lager, Mahrs Brau Ungespundet (unfiltered) Lager, Lindenbrau Grafenberg Vollbier, und Fischer Greuth Rauchbier. The latter is a nice smoked beer with a more restrained smokiness than Aeche Schlenkerla's products. Another gravity keg was being delivered as I arrived; I didn't catch which beer it was.

Late scratches from the master list below: Ayinger Oktoberfest and Wurzberger Pils on drafts, and Ayinger Weizenbock and Gunther Brau Burgskonstaldt Bockbier on bottles. Slated to be rotated into drafts later this weekend: Uerige Weizen, Leipzigerer Gose, Erdinger Weisse, Erdinger Dunkel Weizen, and Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock.

Strongest draft beer present, for the nutcases: Heavy Seas Prosit on handpump at 9%.

If you want any of those gravity beers, get your butt down there--Casey expects all of them to drain by midnight.

UPDATE From Casey Hard 7:22 PM:

Fischer Greuth Lager
Bayer Theinheim Unfiltered Lager
Kraus Hirschaid Lager
Spezial Bamberg Rauchbier
Zehender Monchsambach Amber Lager
Schneider Edel Weisse(Wooden Gravity)

Hofstetten Hochzeitsbier 1810-Tapped today -not much left
Reissdorf Koelsch-Tapped today-Not much left

Also, we have a few changes to the menu,

Einbecker Urbock Dunkel
Wurzburger Pils
Baynof Berliner Weisse

Julius Echter Hefeweizen
Hacker Pschorr Hefeweizen
Becks Oktoberfest

17 September 2009

Homebrewing Demonstration Oct. 18 at Pratt St. Ale House

Steve Jones and I have settled on Oct. 18th as the date for our homebrewing demonstration at the Pratt St. Ale House, beginning at 11 AM. Beer and brunch specials at PSAH, us brewing out on the patio.

Would anyone else like to come out and set up? Come on, you don't ALL have your Christmas beers done yet! Maybe someone could do a fresh pumpkin ale, with some roasted Blue Hubbard squash? We'll have one double-burner stand set up for my kettle, and Maryland Homebrew might has agreed verbally to show up as well. I also plan to give away, by some means yet to be determined, five copies of Charlie Papazian's "The Complete Joy of Home Brewing," considered the "bible" of the home brewing hobby.

Hacker Intercepted........

I just had a hacker attempt to hijack this blog. Blogger and I managed to nip it in the bud, but we grabbed a "screen shot" of what the guy was doing, and.......... well......... you can see it here.

Sheesh. <:-)

BBW Tops 200!

With the addition of daily tastings at Dawson's Liquors in Severna Park, the BBW schedule has officially topped the 200-event mark, with 203 events and more still being planned/plotted............ see it all here.

16 September 2009

Max's German Fest Draft & Bottle List

Just received from Max's, the final (published) draft and bottle list for the German Fest this Friday through Sunday:

Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier 5.50% Lentbier(smoked)
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles 4.30% Smoked Helles
Aecht Schlenkerla Marzen 5.40% Smoked Marzen
Aecht Schlenkerla Unfiltered Urbock 6.60% Smoked Urbock
Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock 6.60% Smoked Urbock
Ayinger Celebrator 8.50% Dopplebock
Ayinger Oktoberfest 5.80% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Baynof Berliner Weisse 3.10% Berliner Style Hefeweizen
Bitburger Pils 4.80% Pilsner
DAB Dortmunder 5.00% Dortmunder Lager
Einbecker Brauherren Pils 4.90% Pilsner
Einbecker Mai Ur Bock 6.50% Maibock
Einbecker Schwarzbier 4.90% Schwarzbier
Einbecker Urbock Dunkel 6.50% Bock
Erdinger Dunkel Weisse 5.60% Dunkel Weizen
Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen 5.60% Oktoberfest/Weizen
Erdinger Weisse 5.30% Kristall Weizen
Franziskaner Dunkel Weisse 5.00% Hefeweizen Dunkel
Franziskaner Hefeweizen 5.00% Hefeweizen
Goller Zeil Am Main Pils 4.90% Pilsner
Hofstetten 1810 Hochzeitsbier 6.00% Original Festbier
Hofstetten Honigs Bock 8.30% Bock
Hofstetten Kuebelbier 5.30% Zwickelbier
Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe Bonator 8.20% Dopplebock
Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe Monksfest 5.00% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Konings Ludwig Hefeweizen 5.40% Hefeweizen
Kostritzer Oktoberfest 5.60% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Kostritzer Schwarzbier 5.00% Schwarzbier
Kulmbacher Eisbock 9.20% Eisbock
Kulmbacher EKU Pils 5.00% Pilsner
Kulmbacher Kapuziner Weisse 5.40% Hefeweizen
Kulmbacher Monchshof Festbier 5.60% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Kulmbacher Monchshof Kellerbrau 5.40% Specialty lager
Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzbier 4.90% Dark Lager
Kulmbacher Pils 5.00% Pilsner
Leipziger Gose 4.50% Gose
Mahrs Der Weisse Bock 7.20% Weizen Bock
Mahrs Pils 5.00% Pilsner
Mahrs Ungespundet Lager 5.20% Unfiltered Lager
Paulaner Hefeweizen 5.40% Hefeweizen
Paulaner Oktoberfest 5.60% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Prof Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse 5.00% Berliner Weisse
Schneider Aventinus 8.00% Wheat Dopplebock
Schneider Aventinus Eisbock 12.00% Eisbock
Schneider Brooklyner Hofen Weisse 8.20% Hefeweizen
Schneider Organic Weisen Edel Weisse 5.00% Hefeweizen
Schneider Weisse 5.00% Hefeweizen
Spaten Bock 6.50% Bock
Spaten Oktoberfest 5.90% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Spaten Optimator 7.20% Dopplebock
Spaten Pils 5.00% Pilsner
Spezial Rauchbier 5.00% Smoked Lager
Ueriege Dopplesticke 8.50% Alt/Dopplebock
Uerige Classic 4.70% Alt
Uerige Sticke 4.70% Alt
Uerige Weizen 4.70% Hefeweizen
Warsteiner Dunkel 4.80% Dunkel
Warsteiner Oktoberfest 5.90% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Warsteiner Pils 4.80% Pilsner
Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen 5.40% Hefeweizen
Weihenstephaner Oktoberfest 5.80% Oktoberfest/Marzen
Weihenstephaner Original 5.10% Lager
Wurzburger Oktoberfest 5.90% Oktberfest/Marzen
Wurzburger Pils 4.90% Pilsner
Heavy Seas Prosit(Cask) 9.00% Imperial Oktoberfest

BOTTLES (following numbers are price in dollars per bottle, not alcohol content):

Aktien Belli Bock 16.9oz 5
Aktien Burtonator 16.9oz 5
Aktien Hefeweizen Anno 25 16.9oz 5
Aktien Hell 16.9oz 5
Aktien Maibock 16.9oz 5
Aktien St Martin Dunkler Dopplebock 16.9oz 5
Aktien Steingadner Dunkel Weisse 16.9oz 5
Aktien Tanzelfestbier 16.9oz 5
Allaguer Teusch Pils 16.9oz 5
Allaguer Bayrisch Hell 16.9oz 5
Allaguer Bueble 16.9oz 5
Allaguer Cambonator 16.9oz 5
Allaguer Furstadt Hefeweizen 16.9oz 5
Augustiner Brau Light 12oz 4
Augustiner Brau dark 12oz 4
Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel 16.9oz 5
Ayinger Brauweisse 16.9oz 5
Ayinger Jahrhundert 16.9oz 5
Ayinger Ur Weisse 16.9oz 5
Ayinger Weizenbock 16.9oz 5
Brauerei Beck Lisberger Bock 16.9oz 6
Brauerei Fischer, Greuth Bockbier 16.9oz 6
Brauerei Reh Lohndorf reh-Bock Dunkel 16.9oz 6
Burgerbrau Hersbruck Hernbrucker Bockbier 16.9oz 6
Burgerbrau Naila Dunkler Bock 16.9oz 6
Burgerbrau Naila Heller Bock 16.9oz 6
Erdinger Kristall Weisse 16.9oz 5
Ettal Curator 16.9oz 6
Ettal Dunkel 16.9oz 6
Ettal Helles 16.9oz 6
Grutbier 16.9oz 6
Gunther Brau Burgkonstadlt Bockbier 16.9oz 6
Hacker Pschorr Munich Gold 12oz 4
Hacker Pschorr Weisse Dark 12oz 4
Hacker Pschorr Weisse 12oz 4
Hansa 12oz 4
Hofstetten Granit Bock 16.9oz 6
Hofstetten Kuebelbier 16.9oz 6
Innstadt Bock Weisse 16.9oz 5
Innstadt Dopplebock 16.9oz 5
Innstadt Edel Sud 16.9oz 5
Innstadt Extra Schwarzbier 16.9oz 5
Innstadt Innsatd 16.9oz 5
Innstadt Passauer Weisse 16.9oz 5
Julius Echter Dunkel 16.9oz 5
Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe Monks Festbeir 16.9oz 6
Kulmbacher Edelherb Pils 16.9oz 4
Lammsbrau Dunkel 12oz 5
Lammsbrau Pilsner 12oz 5
Lowenbrau Buttenheim Bockbier 16.9oz 6
Mahrs Bock 16.9oz 5
Monchschof Kapuziner Weisse 16.9oz 5
Paulaner Salvator 12oz 4
Pinkus Hefeweizen 16.9oz 5
Pinkus Jubilate 16.9oz 5
Pinkus Munster Alt 16.9oz 5
Pinkus Ur Pils 16.9oz 5
Reider Marzen 12oz 4
Reider Pils 12oz 4
Reider Urecht 12oz 4
Reider XXX Weisse 12oz 4
Tucher Kristal Weisse 16.9oz 5
Weihenstephaner Dark Weizen 16.9oz 5
Weihenstephaner Korbian 16.9oz 5
Weihenstephaner Vitus 16.9oz 5
Weltenburger Asam Bock 16.9oz 5
Weltenburger Barbock Dunkel 16.9oz 5
Weltenburger Hefeweizen Dunkel 16.9oz 5
Weltenburger Hefeweizen Hell 16.9oz 5
Weltenburger Pils 16.9oz 5
Zipfer 12oz 4

Expect German foods out of their kitchen as well.

Who's coming for the occasion?

A Look at Weird Alcohol Laws

Sam Sessa's Midnight Sun blog at the Baltimore Sun website has a weekly guest post by his frequent commenter going by the cryptic pseudonym "Owl Meat Gravy" on oddball alcohol regulations, mostly centered around the bizarre stupidity this nation went through over a national drinking age of 21 in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Be sure to glance through the comments.

City Paper Best of Baltimore 2009 Winners

Congratulations to Baltimore beer's winners in the City Paper Best of Baltimore 2009 issue: Mahaffey's Pub for "Best Restaurant Beer List"; Hamilton Tavern on Harford Road for "Best New Bar;" Max's Taphouse for "Best Beer Selection;" The Brewer's Art for "Best First-Date Bar;" The Brewer's Art's Resurrection for "Best Local Bottled Beer" (even though technically the bottled stuff is brewed under contract at Sly Fox in Pennsylvania), Clipper City's BaltoMarzHon for "Best Local Draft Beer;" The Ropewalk Tavern in Federal Hill for "Best Drunken Hook-Up Bar;" The Wharf Rat (I no longer have to say which one) for "Best Happy Hour;" Roland Park Wines and Liquor for "Best Beer Store"........ and............ ummmm..... some hack that thinks he's a blogger as well as a Mid-Atlantic Brewing News columnist won "Best Drinking Blog"......

Our congratulations to the above winners! (Well, except for that hack, of course...)

In addition, another award went to "Best View": the view from atop the former Wiessner/American Brewery on North Gay Street (now rebuilt and occupied by social-help company Humanim), shown in a zoom-able, scroll-able, color 360-degree view image at the web link above. (And now you know why the Baltimore City Police used the tower as a surveillance post in years past!) I'm also in a pilot test group to field-test the new MTA Smart Cards for transit, selected as "Best Transit Change" by the City Paper staff. (I'm a less frequent user of transit than I'd like to be, but I know more about transit and transportation than the average user, and have had a DC Metro Smart Card for some time now.)

More updates: In the Readers' Poll, Resurrection won the Best Local Beer, The Brewers Art won Best Upscale Bar, and The Wine Source won Best Liquor Store.

15 September 2009

Chesapeake Real Ale Fest 2009 and SPBW Crab Feast

Saturday, October 17, 2009, 1-6pm

Part of Baltimore Beer Week.

The VENUE: Pratt Street Alehouse (formerly Wharf Rat Camden Yards), 206 W. Pratt St, Baltimore.

PS - Unlike last year, the Festival will have the entire run of the Pratt Street Alehouse. The front, the side courtyard, the bar area, and second floor will all be open for our event. They are anticipating 550-600 people this year and tickets are capped so when they are gone, they WILL NOT fit anyone else in per fire code.

THE PRICE: $35 which will include a souvenir SPBW/PSA mug to go along with unlimited samples of over 35 cask conditioned beers, some rare, some not so rare, all delicious though! Plus tons of giveaways and food available a la carte.

THE BEERS: SPBW expect to have 35+ firkins from 30ish brewers, plus one cider at least. See the web page for a full list. Right now we have Appalachian, Barley & Hops, Brewers Alley, Brewers Art, Clipper City, District Chophouse, Dog Pub, Dogfish Head, DuClaw, Evolution, Flying Dog, Franklin's, Lancaster, Magic Hat, Pratt St Alehouse, Red Brick Station, Rock Bottom Bethesda & Troeg's CONFIRMED. Firlins are reported as being in transit from Stone, Langunitas, The Bruery, Boulder Brewery and Weyerbacher! Growler fills will be available for an additional fee, but ONLY at the end at 6 PM of whatever is left--buy growlers from PSAH or bring your own.

Tickets for the Sixth Annual Chesapeake Real Ale Festival are available online at www.spbw.org/realale/index.php. Payment is through Pay-Pal, but you can use a credit card; you do NOT need a Pay-Pal account.


In addition, the Md. Homebrewers/SPBW Crab Feast at Goddard in Greenbelt is this Saturday (along with everything else--Waynestock, Max's German Fest, and Clipper City's Bacon Fest); five firkins are promised. See HERE for late updates.

14 September 2009

Max's Beer Social NEXT week....... UPDATED

Sept. 22nd (UPDATED with blurbs from Duvel Moortgat USA's Steve Cardello, edited and corrected as needed):


Duvel Moortgat USA is proud and excited to present Chris Bauweraerts, founder of one of Belgium’s more eclectic and beloved breweries, Brasserie D’Achouffe, with his Slowbrew Tour de Belgique, in DC and Baltimore September 21 (DC) and 22 (Baltimore). Chris is the current Duvel Moortgat Ambassador and will be discussing what makes Belgian beer styles so special, especially those of Chouffe, Maredsous, Duvel, and Ommegang.

Monday, September 21, Chris and Steve will be in Washington DC hosting an intimate beer dinner at Belga Café. Jens and Bart have paired an amazing 3 course dinner menu and we will be tasting through roughly 7 beers from Chouffe, Ommegang, Duvel, and Maredsous. For pricing and reservations, please contact Belga Café at 202.544.0100.

Tuesday, September 22, Max’s Taphouse in Baltimore will play host to the Slowbrew Tour. This is a special addition to the Tuesday Beer Social that Max’s conducts weekly. Most Chouffe, Maredsous, Ommegang, Duvel beers will be available on tap, with additional bottles available for purchase and signings.

Max's will be featuring ON DRAFT:
Duvel Green
Houblon Chouffe
Mc Chouffe
La Chouffe
Maredsous Triple
Maredsous 8
Maredsous Blonde
Plus a bunch of Ommegang Drafts

For additional information, please contact Max’s Taphouse at 410.675.6297

Then two days later, on Thursday the 24th:

SEPT 24, 2009
Gordon Biersch kick off and Meet & Greet
We will have the Owner/Brewer Dan Gordon here along with some of their brewery reps.
Beer TBA-later this week.

Who Wants To Homebrew For the Public? UPDATED

A friend and I just put our heads together and figured out we need to brew another batch of Christmas beer.

Why not do it during Baltimore Beer Week? Showing off homebrewing to the public?

We've identified Sunday, Oct. 11th as the best date with open time slots and our own availability. We have all the equipment to brew and demonstrate at a remote location, and I would need to buy the malt, hops, etc. anyway. What I would like is either willing participants to help "preach the gospel" of homebrewing to others, help watch the boil, maybe even do a brew themselves, etc. AND/OR a willing and welcoming venue willing to let us set up outside to brew a batch or two of beer, let us use some of their water, etc.

Ideas? Offers of help?

UPDATE: WE have a tentative offer of a downtown location, but a suggestion to move the brew date to the 18th so as not to conflict/distract from the Ravens game........

13 September 2009

The Magic Number: Now 168-- no, 177!................

168 177 Baltimore Beer Week events.

That's the number now up at the official BBW schedule. New additions include several events at An Poitin Stil, the Irish-themed bar and restaurant across from the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium (and if you think they're not taking advantage of that during and after the BAM Oktoberfest on the 10th, think again!), Ale Mary's, and Baltimore Taphouse.

There's also an unusual addition featuring Baltimore's own custom tap house manufacturer, Mark Supik & Company in Highlandtown, which is featuring shop tours of its tap-handle and furniture-detailing custom shop between 1 and 3 PM on the 10th and 17th.

11 September 2009

Pratt St. Ale House's Next Beer Pairing Dinner--Sept. 26th

7 PM Sat., Sept. 26th Call 410-244-8900 for reservations

Don't know the place? Here.


BBQ Bacon Wrapped Shrimp served with a cranberry\ pear slaw and beer battered onion pearls…
Iron Man Pale Ale

Braised Veal and Chicken Chili topped with a white bean chipotle puree …
Amber Ale

Brie Berry Salad
Fresh berries and fried brie with frise and a raspberry vinaigrette…
Blonde Ale

Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb, porcini mushroom risotto and summer baby vegetables with a mint pesto…
Best Bitter

Cookies n’cream ice cream, Baileys Irish cream served over a chocolate stout brownie…
Blackfriar Stout

Supposedly they're also working on one for Baltimore Beer Week...........

Coming to Baltimore for BBW? Here's How! UPDATED!

Planning to come to Baltimore from somewhere else, but not sure how to get about or what transit/lodging options are available?

First, some official BBW info:  BBW has set up a group rate with the following THREE hotels, for Group Rate mention Baltimore Beer Week when booking:
Days Inn Inner Harbor
Special low rates for BBW Attendees available 10/10 – 10/17

100 Hopkins Place
Baltimore, MD 21201 USA
(410) 576-1000

Marriott Courtyard Inner Harbor   Special Baltimore Beer Week Discounts
1000 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore, MD 21202 USA
(443) 923-4000

Brookshire Suites  Special Baltimore Beer Week Discounts
120 E Lombard Street
Baltimore MD 21202 USA
(866) 583-4162

More Downtown Hotels: http://baltimore.org/hotels-and-accommodations/

Second, I will shamelessly refer you over to another nonprofit's website and its "how to get to our convention" pages:    http://www.otakon.com/allroads.asp .  I harbor no qualms in doing so because I wrote approximately 95% of the content on that page in 2006-2008.  Actually, I do have one qualm in that some of the information and links are outdated, but nothing so critical that you'll get lost, gouged, or hopelessly stranded.  It's especially useful for getting downtown for the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival on Sept. 17th or any events at the Pratt Street Ale House, as that's right across the street from the Baltimore Convention Center's main entrance.  Similarly, it also works for the nearby Pickles Pub. 

Baltimore MTA in general: http://www.mtamaryland.com 
MTA's New Transit Trip Planner:  http://www.mtamaryland.com/transit/
Bus: http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/bus/ 
Light Railhttp://www.mtamaryland.com/services/lightrail/  
Metro Subway:  http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/subway/
MARC Commuter Rail: http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/marc/
Baltimore Super Shuttle: http://www.supershuttle.com/bal.htm
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport: http://www.bwiairport.com
DC Airports: http://www.metwashairports.com
Amtrak: http://www.amtrak.com
Greyhound: http://www.greyhound.com
Peter Pan Bus: http://www.peterpanbus.com
More Transportation: http://www.baltconvstr.com/pages/transportation.htm

Baltimore City Taxi Cabs
Yellow Cab (410) 685-1212
Baltimore Taxi Company (410) 327-7777
Royal Cab (410) 327-0330
Anne Arundel County Taxi Cabs
Cab Connection (410) 766-1000
Baltimore County Taxi Cabs
County Cab (410) 339-0000
Jimmy’s Cab (410) 296-7200
Howard County Taxi Cabs
Columbia Taxi Service (240) 210-6688

Some more information posted by BBW at its Hospitality page.

General hints:  An MTA Day Pass, good for all modes, is $3.50--cheaper if you're a senior.  If you're trying to get to Fells Point from downtown, you should seek out the #10 bus line, which drops you off at the Broadway Market at Broadway and Eastern,  three short blocks from Max's and less than that for Alexander's, etc.  Bus routes 7, 11, and 13 will get you to various points around Canton, with varying success depending on your origin and exact destination.  Routes 1 and 64 will get you to Federal Hill, with the former getting you to Locust Point.  Light Rail will get you from downtown or Glen Burnie to the Timonium Fairgrounds on Saturday the 10th for the Oktoberfest; it will get you from the north and south to Pratt Street Ale House for the Real Ale Fest on the 17th.   

Try the MTA Trip Planner at: http://www.mtamaryland.com/transit/

If anyone has specific transit-to-BBW-related questions, I'm willing to try to answer them here.  Ask via the comments below......

10 September 2009

Buzz Beer, Vermont Style, at Metropolitan Coffeehouse Tonight

E-mail from Bruce Dorsey re; tonight's cask ale at Metropolitan:

Join us tonight as we tap a fresh firkin of cask-conditioned Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout Brewed with Vermont Coffee.  Wolaver's as you may know brews delicious organic ales in Middlebury, Vermont.  This oatmeal stout is approximately 6% and brewed with Vermont coffee.  Nothing like beer and coffee, at least around here anyway.

Staring at 6:00 pm in the Upstairs Bar with the Kentucky Beer Wrangler, Lindsay.
 Just like what they brewed in the garage on "The Drew Carey Show"?  Probably better.

BBW: 150 and counting...........

Nothing much.  Just noticed that the 150th beer event has been added to the official Baltimore Beer Week tally. 

I'm stunned, however, at a few places that are not yet on board with BBW.  TWO "brewpub" chain outlets in town.............  one suburban brewpub and another "brewpub" outlet in the suburbs.........  and, by my rough count,  six top-notch beer bars..........  I know one or two of these places are under financial crunches that make coughing up a sponsorship tough, but............

08 September 2009

Beer of the 09-09-09 Day

Assuming that we can't get Stone Vertical Epic 09-09-09 on Wednesday..........

Anyone know if The Brewer's Art has their "Nein!" on tap?  Or maybe (as my friend suggested) a Magic Hat #9?

06 September 2009

BBW Coasters Now Out!

For those of you that care about or collect such things, official Baltimore Beer Week coasters are now out, having arrived Friday.........

Anyone spotted any at the bars yet?

04 September 2009

Baltimore Beer Week: 144 and Counting........

Latest addition to the BBW calendar:  Events sponsored, separately, by the Wharf Rat (largely promoting the "3 beers for $5" specials) and Pratt Street Ale House/Oliver Breweries.  We may be at 150 by the end of the weekend.

Most unusual events added recently:  Nick Nichols' beer appreciation class at Howard Community College's Laurel Campus on the evening of Oct. 14th; the monthly Sea Shanty Sing-a-long at the Wharf Rat the same evening; and a Baltimore Running Festival post and party at Pickle's Pub on Oct. 10th.  Note also, for Columbus Day (Oct. 12th), the beer breakfast at Metropolitan, a beer founders' luncheon at Bertha's, and quite a couple dinner options........

03 September 2009

Tastings Tonight and Next Week

Tonight (and presumably tomorrow, as they seldom kick through a firkin in one night, as I understand), Metropolitan taps an Olivers Summer Ale dry-hopped with Brambling Cross hops, a nice 3.4% session beer, just at the edge of the summer as the days cool. 

Next Tuesday, Max's Taphouse debuts Boulder Beer Company's beers from the Colorado city of that name (which appears to have eight other brewpubs and microbreweries!):
Boulder Cold Hop
Boulder Hazed & Infused
Boulder Sweatty Betty
Boulder Sundance
Boulder Planet Porter
Boulder Mojo IPA
Boulder Pass Time Pale
Boulder Buffalo Gold

More info on the beers at their heavily-Flash-laden website (with lots of sound effects--don't bother if you're on dial-up).  I've run into Hazed & Infused before out west in Arizona--apparently a popular seller.  Funny, I thought they were waiting until Baltimore Beer Week to debut these beers............

02 September 2009

Pay As We Say, Not As We Do

Jules Crittenden notes a Boston Herald item on a Massachusetts state representative caught crossing the border to New Hampshire ("Live Free or Die") to buy booze...........  avoiding the state booze taxes he just voted to raise:

The Westport Democrat, whose family owns a rug business, was among the lawmakers who voted in an unpopular 25 percent sales tax hike for Bay Staters. The increase pushed the sales tax to 6.25 percent and slapped that same levy on booze - the first time alcohol has been subject to retail sales tax.
The hike has been blasted by business owners, especially those on the New Hampshire border, who say the increase has driven business north.
Mike Cimini, owner of Yankee Spirits liquor stores in Sturbridge, Attleboro and Swansea, said he’s lost about 10 percent of his business since the booze tax went into effect Aug. 1.
 This little episode of hypocrisy is not playing well.  

(Tip o' the hat:  Instapundit.)

Chocolate Donut Beer.......... yes, it exists.....

From a newsletter from Shenandoah Brewing in suburban Alexandria:

You may remember a long time ago (November 08) we were all excited
that the Food Network came in and filmed a segment for a show on
donuts. They had heard about our Chocolate Donut Stout and wanted to
include it in their show as they were looking for something different
relating to donuts. Once the projected air time came and went, we
were starting to think that we became stars of the cutting room floor.

But, fame was not robbed from us! The donut show will air this Monday 7 September at 9 pm (the network people told me 9:30 pm so check your local or service listing). That’s right, the brewery will be on TV! We will have a segment of about 4 minutes in the show. Stop by the brewery on Friday and get a six pack of our Chocolate Donut Stout, AS SEEN ON TV, to drink during the show!

Paging Homer Simpson...............

(Actually, I've had this stuff in the past, served at Bardo Rodeo/Dr. Dremo's in Arlington...........  I don't think anyone but Homer would drink it twice....)

01 September 2009

BBW: 131 Events And Counting!!!!!!!!!

Check it out here, folks.

114 117 124 131 events so far--from Joppa to Cockeysville to Ellicott City to Columbia to Crownsville!  Even State Line Liquors in Elkton is hosting a tasting to tie in to this week!

Granted, a lot of the newest additions are free beer tastings/samplings at liquor stores.  But so what?  Not lots of you don't even have to come into the city to participate!

Latest additions to the sponsorship list:  Samuel Adams, and Paulaner reps coming from Germany to be a part of the week...............  and to be perfectly honest, by the time all the events and participants are counted, we could be well over 150 events!

Win Tickets to the Opening Tap of Baltimore Beer Week or the Real Ale Fest!

This just in:

Go to www.BaltimoreBeerWeek.com and sign up for the e-newsletter on the left side of the home page before October 1st.  Subscribers to the e-newsletter will be enrolled in a drawing for tickets for either the gala VIP Opening Tap event aboard the USS Constellation on Oct. 8th, or tickets to the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival on Oct. 17th.


(Note--the sign-up sends you an e-mail to which you have to reply to confirm your sign-up.)

And while you're at it, there's the Facebook and Twitter sign-ups as well..............

A "History of Craft Brewing" Archive?

An interesting question arose during an e-mail discussion.

Does anyone know of any archive that is documenting the history of the craft beer industry, whether in the region or the nation?  I'm talking a central repository for the likes of the Barleycorn, Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, Ale Street News, Malt Advocate, Celebrator Brew News, guide books, and the like.

I can't be the only bloke reading this with a near-complete set of Barleycorn and MABN in boxes somewhere.  In my case, I finally consolidated several boxes into three long file drawers, and am picking through what few ASN's I lack.  Even as someone who makes some pocket change from writing about this stuff, the utility value per cubic inch tends to shrink as it grows.  (I have similar problems with a complete set of 69 years' worth of Trains Magazine, 35 years' worth of Railfan/Railfan & Railroad, 27 years' worth of Railpace, etc., but at least there's a reserve archive of those at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum I can access for research if mine were to disappear--and I help administrate that library as well.)

Be honest, folks--when was the last time any of you, aside from the free-lance or professional writers/editors, had to look up, for example, when Wild Goose was moved from Cambridge to Frederick?  Or when Valley Forge Brewing opened and closed?  Or what the original plans for the brewery were at the new Birchmere?  Or when Lancaster Malt Brewing closed and reopened, or how/why it changed hands, names, or whatever?  Or when a second Globe Brewing opened and closed in Baltimore?

Would it not be fitting for some brewpub, brewery, beer bar, or museum in this region to assume a care-taker role for a selected history like this and keep it publicly accessible, at least by appointment?  I suspect such an archive of publications would be too specialized or broad for an institution like the DC Historical Society or the Maryland Historical Society, or any of the university libraries.  But maybe, for example, the Baltimore Museum of Industry?  The "library" room of the Pratt Street Ale House?

A quick and cursory online search shows a National Brewery Museum in Wisconsin and a Brewery Museum Foundation in St. Louis.  Raise your hand if you've ever heard of either one.

Thoughts?  Does this archive already exist, and we need to know where to access it?  If a brewpub or the like were willing to establish such a craft-brew library archive, would any of you be willing to donate books, papers, coasters, ephemera, or the like to it?  Brewers/publicans: are you interested in allowing a disused office or spare corner of your plant be used for storing a file drawer and bookshelf for "the public" to use by appointment?

And no, I'm not trying to get rid of my own stash.  Yet.