30 July 2010

Let's just merge the rumors: Alewife replacing Lucy's Irish Pub

So I had rumors from two different directions, and having full-time employment with overtime and other commitments kept me from the usual process of beating the street personally, so the guy who gets paid to do it beat me to it:

The former Lucy's Irish Pub, located in the historic Baltimore Equitable Society building across from the Hippodrome Theater on North Eutaw St., is slated to reopen in September as Alewife, a beer-centric dining establishment with 40 drafts and 100 bottled beers.  Business owner Daniel Lanigan also owns a number of other beer halls, including Lord Hobo in Cambridge, Mass. and Other Side Cafe in Boston.

Lucy's Irish Pub had replaced--mostly in name only--the former Maggie Moore's, which had opened in 2005 in the Italian Renaissance Revival-styled building after its sale by Baltimore Equitable.  It had been built as the headquarters of the Eutaw Savings Bank in 1857, and acquired by the mutual insurance firm in 1889.  The upstairs used to house one of the largest private collections of historic firefighting memorabilia and ephemera in existence.

Upcoming Events

Tonight: Coconut Firkins at DuClaw locations:
We will be hosting a Firkin Friday at the Arundel Mills, Bel Air and Bowie DuClaw Brewing Company locations on July 30th at 5pm. Firkins scheduled to be tapped by location:
Arundel Mills
•Bare Ass Blonde with REAL shredded coconut
*Bonus Firkin* Black Cherry Misfit Red (tapped after the 1st one is finished)
•Bare Ass Blonde with REAL shredded coconut
Bel Air
•Bare Ass Blonde with REAL shredded coconut

Beer Dinner at Brewer's Art Wednesday, August 4th:

Here's the menu:
Maryland Crab Cake: Popcorn Purée, Clamper's Crab Sauce, Local Corn Chow-Chow, Zodiac Ale
Local Watermelon and Feta Salad: Red Onion, Mint, Green Olive, Harissa Vinaigrette, Green Peppercorn Tripel
Seared Diver Sea Scallops: Duck Confit-Yukon Potato Hash, Quail Egg, White Truffle-Foie Gras Hollandaise, Ozzy
Beef Two Ways: Grilled Butter-poached Tenderloin, Shortrib Ravioli, Horseradish-Potato Mousseline, Creamed Spinach, Resurrection
Almond-Semolina Cake: Peach Jam, La Petroleuse
Price: $55 (does not include tax or tip)
Reservations by calling (410) 547-6925 or through OpenTable.

August 12-15: Max's 3rd annual Rare & Obscure Fest, with an additional cask night:

We will be featuring casks on Thursday the 12 and drafts the 13-15.Here is a breakdown of what beers will be on for each day.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh 18 Year
Hogback A Over T
Brew Dog Dogma
Brew Dog Hardcore
Plus a few others TBA.......
Saison De Cazeau
Dieu Du Ciel Pesche Mortal
Dieu Du Ciel Aphrodite
Mikkeller Yeast Series: Brett
Mikkeller Yeast Series: Hefeweizen
Mikkeller Yeast Series: Lager
Mikkeller Yeast Series: Belgian Ale
Mikkeller Yeast Series: American Ale
Mikkeller It's Alive
Mikkeller Fresler
Mikkeller Monks Brew
De Molen Amarillo
De Molen Disputin
De Molen Stout & Hop
BFM Douze
BFM La Torpille
Stillwater Love & Regret
Stillwater Jungle Des Rues
Brew Dog/Mikkeller Divine Rebel 2010
Beer Here Dark Hops
Emelisse Double IPA
Emelisse Dubbel
Emelisse Lentebier
Emelisse Witbier
Plus a few others.........
Haandbryggeriet Farwell Ale
Haandbryggeriet Menno & Jens Gruit Ale
Haandbryggeriet Pale
Haandbryggeriet Odins Triple
Haandbryggeriet Dubbel Dram
Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere
Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanco
St Fueillien /Green Flash Biere De L' Amite
Nogne O Saison
Nogne O Sunturnbrew
Nogne O Pale
Nogne O Imperial Brown
Nogne O Brown
Broadway La Thucke
Broadway Le Don Juan
Le Trou Diable La Morsure
Saint Bock RIP
Blaugies Darbyste
De Le Senne Zinnebir
Chrsitoffel Brambling Cross
Christoffel Wiijs
Harviestoun Ola Dubh 18 Year
Petrus Aged Pale
Hof Den Doormal Blonde
Plus a few More..............
Hopfenstark Baltic Porter
Jenlain Biere De Mars
Ommmegang Zuur
Ommegang BPA
Sierra Nevada Charlie, Fred & Ken
Sierra Nevada Fitz & Ken
Hebrew Rejewventor w/ Grapes
Sloeber Rossa
Oskar Blues Oak Aged Ten Fidey
Allagash Bourbon Aged Black
Allagash Blonde
Victory Gassy Jack
The Bruery Coton
De Ranke Saison
Troubadour Magma
Plus a few Others.............
Some beers may change due to things out of our control. Cheers!

Saturday, August 21:  Mr. Boh's Brewery, a 30-minute documentary on the history of National Bohemian beer, will be shown at the Enoch Pratt Southeast Anchor Library, 3601 Eastern Avenue, at 2 PM.

23 July 2010

You know how hot it is?

It's so damned hot, I let a bar serve me a cask-conditioned ale in a frosted, right-out-of-the-freezer tumbler.

That's how hot it is.

(Alonso's, Stillwater Stateside firkin, then Evolution Summer Session Ale.)

DuClaw Real Ale Fest Tickets on sale NOW

Just received in the e-mail box:
Real Ale Fest 2010 tickets are available NOW!, so get over to www.realalefest.com and get yours today! There are only 525 tickets available, so we’re expecting an online sell-out in a matter of minutes that will result in many of you sending us hateful emails later. If there are any available the day of the festival, they will be for sale at the door, but keep in mind, THERE ARE ONLY 525 TICKETS AVAILABLE, SO DON’T WAIT!
From the ticket sale website:
Enjoy unlimited samples of cask-conditioned ales from 15 renowned craft breweries, an amazing free food buffet and live music from the band Acoustically Sound! All this can be yours for the low low price of $45 per person, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit FARM.
It's at the Bel Air location, site of the original brewpub before they moved to a larger central brewery.  In addition, they're running buses from their Bowie and Arundel Mall locations for $15 a person.

Participating:  Barley & Hops, Brewers Alley, Brewers Art, Flying Dog, DuClaw (usually around ten or so firkins), Flying Fish, Heavy Seas, Franklin's, Pub Dog, Olivers, Red Brick Station, Stone, Stoudt's, Stillwater, and Troeg's.

So lets see if it sells out in minutes or hours or days.  Then we'll debate whether this is an accurate reflection of the national economy or not.  (The food spread, by the way, has been lavish and extravagant in past years.  Don't argue with the price.  Excellent value--almost too much so, as I wish I had a subway or Light Rail to get me to and from the place.)

A response to the latest high-alcohol beer insanity

Ladies and gentlemen, save your money and enthusiasm.

I have, over the course of a long and sleepless night, home-brewed a "clone" of the latest product by Scottish madcap brewers BrewDog. And I will share it all with you for only $100 a full serving.

For an extra $20, I will meet you and serve it in an authentic BrewDog glass for an extra dose of authenticity.

If you wish to try this yourself, start here. 


What?!?!?!  %#)(*@! WHAT?!?!?!?!?  You don't WANT the red squirrel, you want the ^#)+%!@ STOAT instead?!?!?!?  Do we even HAVE freakin' stoats in North Ameri-.......

Oh, fine.  !*&$%#@ FINE, dagnabbit.  HERE.  ALSO in an authentic BrewDog glass!!!!  Now buy up, dang it!

22 July 2010

Are they brewers or just publicity-crazy nut-jobs?

You know, if you read this blog, the odds are it's likely that you have already heard by now about the latest bit of wretched excess from the folks that brought you 32% "beer" and then 41% "beer."

I'm not going to play along this time. There's no chance you're going to see it or get the opportunity to taste it. This is just a publicity gimmick for publicity's and gimmickry's sake. I was offended enough by the idiocy of Sam Adams putting probably $40 worth of beer in a ceramic bottle costing probably as much, and selling the results for $125 or so (or up). And I'm not the only one to comment that this latest stunt may well be their "jump the shark" moment.

James and Martin: Knock it off and brew up BEERS. Beers that I actually want to drink.

Casey, I'll take a Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted again, please.......

(Okay, for the few of you that need to figure out just what I'm talking about: here.)

19 July 2010

DuClaw's Xmas in July and Real Ale Fest

From their e-mail:
Once again, Santa has decided to make a special early delivery to all of the good girls and boys on his list: One keg of “31” and one keg of Devil’s Milk! On Thursday July 22nd, Santa’s helpers at DuClaw Brewing Company will tap these special mid-summer treats and pour* until they’re empty. But, remember, there is only one keg of each, and once they’re gone, there will be no more until fall!

“31” Spiced Munich Dunkel (2008)
This German-style amber lager tricks you with its smooth, malty taste and moderate 5.1% abv, then treats your palate with a spicy finish of cinnamon and nutmeg. Alcohol Content: 5.1%

Devil’s Milk Barley Wine (2009)
Devil’s Milk is an American-style Barley Wine. This beer exhibits a wealth of fruit flavors, from pears to plums to raisins. Devil’s Milk is dry hopped (hops added after fermentation) for a strong bite that balances its big malt backbone. Served in a snifter glass because of the high abv, barley wines are perfect as a relaxing “after-dinner” drink or nitecap. Alcohol Content: 10.5%

*Because of the limited quantities of these beers, no growler fills or refills will be available until Friday the 23rd.

A previous e-mail had marked a "save the date" of Sept. 11th for their annual Real Ale Fest at their Bel Air location, 12-4 PM, $45/person.

More on the SPBW Pub Crawl in DC July 24th

Here are more details on the SPBW DC pub crawl on July 24th. Please be advised that the general public is welcome to come along for any or all of this tour, and partake of generous real ale offerings throughout the day; you may also meet up at any point or depart at any point, or stay late, skip locations, etc.

The information below is from an amended dispatch from the SPBW's Chesapeake Bay Branch:

Thanks to the efforts of our esteemed colleague and SPBW member Graham Greene, our July event will be the SPBW 'Bring A Friend' Metro Pub Crawl, to be held Saturday July 24th, 2010. The Metro Pub Crawl will be just that, a visit to some of DC’s favorite beer... haunts utilizing Washington DC’s Metro train system as transportation. It will also provide our DC and Virginia members the ability to have the SPBW meeting on their own “turf” for a change.

The day will commence at high noon (opening time) at ChurchKey DC, a great beer and food emporium with five cask engines, located in the Logan Circle neighborhood, at 14th Street near Rhode Island Ave NW.

The precise itinerary will be fleshed out once our start time (noon or before noon) is determined, but the day will include visits to ChurchKey, District Chophouse, Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle), Capitol City Brewing Company (Union Station), and end at Commonwealth Gastropub at 7:00 p.m, with probably other yet-unannounced visits to brand-new places as well. You have the optional ability to detour on your own from the group and check out other noted DC beer establishments such as RFD Washington (two blocks north of District Chophouse), Cafe Saint-Ex (four blocks north of ChurchKey), and The Brickskeller (a short hike from Pizzeria Paradiso), but the focus will be on cask ales being poured at sites on the main itinerary. In some cases, the ales are being specially tapped for the occasion.

Basic Travel Arrangements:

→Each participant will need to purchase a Metro 'One Day Pass' ($9) if they wish to partake in the entire tour cost-effectively (unless you are in possession of a weekly pass already).
→Members or participants in DC, DC suburbs, or Virginia may make their own way to Church Key or other venues.
→Members driving from Maryland may meet at Greenbelt Metro Station (Green Line) or converge upon ChurchKey or other locations on the route, though specific locations and times will only be known by SPBW leaders..
→Members in Baltimore may use a public transport option: bus or subway to Light Rail, then Light Rail to BWI ($1.60 one way), then B30 Airport Express from BWI to Greenbelt Metro Station ($6 one way), then acquire the day pass at the Greenbelt Metro station. This option avoids the dreaded DUI/DWI possibility, or having to sit in your car for 2 hours at the Greenbelt Metro parking lot trying to sober up! Do consider this possibility if at all possible.

Please note that Metro fares increase effective August 1st. Note also that Capitol City Union Station is scheduled for eventual closure, probably March 2011, so get in a possibly final visit if you can.

This will be updated as events warrant.......... see you Saturday!

16 July 2010

The Parkside closes

Sad news via Dining @ Large at the Baltimore Sun website: the Hamilton local bar-and-foodery The Parkside has apparently closed.


13 July 2010

SPBW DC Pub Crawl July 24th

The Chesapeake Bay Branch of the Society for Preservation of Beers from the Wood (SPBW) is taking a different approach to July's "meeting." July has often been the month of the Society's annual bus trip to a different region for beer sampling.

Instead, this month, the SPBW will do a Metro-assisted pub crawl of the District of Columbia's cask-serving bars on Saturday, July 24th. Here's Branch president Rick Bloemke:

The Metro Pub Crawl will be just that, a visit to some of DC’s favorite beer haunts utilizing Washington DC’s Metro train system as transportation. It will also provide our DC and Virginia members the ability to have the SPBW meeting on their own “turf” for a change.

The day will commence at high noon at ChurchKey DC, a great beer and food emporium located in the Logan Circle neighborhood, at 14th Street near Rhode Island Ave NW. There is a possibility that ChurchKey will open earlier and just for SPBW Members if we can confirm enough numbers.

The precise itinerary will be fleshed out once our start time (noon or before noon) is determined, but the day will include visits to ChurchKey, District Chophouse, Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont Circle), Capitol City Brewing Company (Union Station), Rock Bottom (Bethesda) and end at Commonwealth Gastropub at 7:00 p.m.

Basic Travel Arrangements:

→Each participant will need to purchase a Metro 'One Day Pass' ($9)
→Members in DC or Virginia, make own way to Church Key.
→Members driving from Maryland meet at Greenbelt Metro Station (Green Line).
→Members in the Baltimore area may use a public transport option. Light Rail to BWI ($1.60), then B30 Airport Express from BWI to Greenbelt Metro Station ($6).

Note: You do NOT have to be an SPBW member to join the crawl, but theannual membership is a measly $10 a year.

Christmas in July

Tonight at Max's Taphouse, or Sunday the 18th at T-Bonz Grille in Ellicott City/Columbia, with pancake breakfast.

11 July 2010

More firkins about

Heavy Seas will be sending more firkins out to the following places in July:

7/15 Judge's Bench - Ellicott City, MD (oak cask of Loose Cannon)
7/16 Full Moon Pub - Reisterstown, MD (a new cask ale venue! Loose Cannon)
7/20 Max's Taphouse - Fells Point (Hang Ten firkin, draft & bottle)
7/20 Bluegrass Tavern - Federal Hill (bourbon barrel aged Below Decks)
7/22 Elliott's Pour House - Highlandtown (Hang Ten)

10 July 2010

Buy food/drink at the Brewer's Art this Thursday for a good cause

Just a reminder for your calendars: July 15th, at Brewer's Art: Fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 20% of your check from the night (5 pm - 2 am) will be donated to LLS. More at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=lf#!/event.php?eid=132533686757710 .

New beer at The Falls

E-mail from The Falls in Mt. Washington:

"Just got in the Sierra Nevada Charlie, Fred, and Ken's Imperial Helles bock on draft. Not sure who else has it in town; come on by and give it a try if you haven't had it yet."

Sounds worth a stop next time I'm up that way--which won't be today, sadly..... more on the beer here.

04 July 2010

Chairs and Tables for sale

Alonso's/Loco Hombre just put some tables and chairs up on Craigslist.

News Updates

Resurrection Cans:  Pretty much gone already.  The Wine Source: "We didn't get in as many as we'd ordered, and what we had sold out in a day or two."  Wells: "We got 25 cases, we're down to about six [as of 3 p.m. Saturday]; we're supposed to get in another shipment July.............. 18th."  Grand Cru: "We have them, right there with the other canned beers--21st Amendment, Butternuts, Oskar Blues....."

The promised Resurrection side-by-side draft-and-can taste test, done at Alonso's during yesterday afternoon's World Cup game between Spain and Paraguay:  It's not even close.  Presented to us blind, we could spot the bright-as-a-polished-brass-bell canned version and the slightly cloudy draft version from several feet away.  The taste was that distinctly obvious as well--the draft being a fuller, richer, and more complex and developed beer.  The physical appearance is that they're filtering the beer before canning it at Sly Fox, and if that's the case they're also filtering out a dimension of the crucial Rezzie flavor profile.

Is it a bad beer?  Heck, no.  But to highlight what the critical competition for this beer will be, you're looking to have either Resurrection where you can't get the drafts (many bars or package stores, for example), looking for a quality canned beer to go where you can't take the bottles (many bars in the region, for example, or poolside or to the beach), or you're a Brewer's Art loyalist.  If you're in the first category, more power to you.  If you're in the second category, look at the competition.  There's some good stuff in cans now, even Wittekerke.  Ressurection does stand out as a reasonably good value against, say, Oskar Blues Gordon or Gubna, but might Dale's Pale Ale please more of the party crowd?  As for the third category, I need not say more--rumor (unconfirmed yet) says that Brewers Art sold through 50 cases in one day.

Wild Goose:  The news continues to be conflicting.  A Flying Dog rep at The Wine Source yesterday insisted that Wild Goose Oatmeal Stout AND Amber were both on hiatus, and that the currently distributed batches would be the last to be seen in the market "for the foreseeable future."  This leaves only Wild Goose IPA and their seasonal Snow Goose as the survivors of the Wild Goose brand.  Meanwhile, another retailer pointed to Wild Goose 12-bottle sampler cases, and said "They said they were eliminating the Nut Brown and the XPA too, but they're still showing up in these sampler packs.  And I opened up one to check--the freshness codes say new batches, not just old bottles stuck in the boxes.  So who knows?"

03 July 2010

And MORE homebrew fun, and a request.....

Man, at this rate I'll have to brew up another batch of homebrew sometime.

A fellow homebrewer has been asked to crank up a batch of homebrew for a neighborhood festival/party.  He'll donate the beer and effort, but has decided that since the plan is to serve up the whole ten-gallon batch at once, he would be smart to keg the batch in "corny kegs" or a similar draft set-up.

Is there a reader or a reader's friend that would be willing to loan my friend the necessary set-up for the occasion, possibly for only a week or so?  Maybe some leftover beer will be part of the bargain.  Cotact me if interested.  He's located in western Baltimore/Catonsville/Woodlawn area, if location matters.

Second, fellow beer writer Lew Bryson has posted a "Homebrewers Mad Lib" at his blog.  Funny (and the predictability is part of why I dread certain press releases of that general category).  Enjoy!

And now, Heavy Seas' homebrew contest winner......

From the Heavy Seas website:

Thank you to all the homebrewers who took the time to participate in our Heavy Seas Letter of Marque Contest.  Each of the beers submitted were surprisingly good, not a single bad one in the batch. A variety of styles were entered from Scotch Ales to a Wheat Pale Ale. There’s was even a beer brewed with honey grams!

Judging was done by the full crew at the brewery. In the elimination round, brews were judge for adherence to style and overall drinkability. Thirteen beers moved on and then there were 5.  Merits of each were discussed and the beer re-sampled. Here are the final results.

 David Edmundson and Doug John - Forest, VA
Style: Dubbel
Submitted name: Bastard Child

Runner Up:
Joe Frederic – Alexandria, VA
Style: Scottish Heavy
Submitted name: Thor’s Hammer

Honorable Mention:
Bill Beshorner, Brian McFee and Shawn Poore -  Catonsville, MD
Style: Wheat Pale Ale

Honorable Mention:
Daniel Self and Ryan Ward
Style: Dark American Wheat

David and John will be coming to the brewery to work along side our brewers to brew their beer next year. Watch for the winning beer in our Heavy Seas Mutiny Fleet in early spring 2011. Thanks again to the homebrewers who participated and we hope you try again next year!

02 July 2010

Pratt St. Ale House Homebrew Competition

Steve Jones, in what I might brashly presume is one of his last posts before a bit of a personal break looming, has posted details of the brewpub's upcoming hombrewer's competition at his PSAH blog.  To quote:

For those of you new to the blog follow this link http://www.prattstreetalehouse.com/2009/09/home-brewing-but-not-at-home/ . We’re doing the same this year, inviting all you homebrewer’s to brew something that would fit in with our tap line-up at The Pratt Street Ale House. You can brew as an individual or group, doesn’t matter to us. What is important is that the beer is commercially viable. We’ll brew 7 barrels of it and it will be launched at the start of Baltimore Beer Week at the Ale House on cask and on draft. It will feature at the B.A.M. Oktoberfest and no doubt at a few bars/events around town. Think about the types of hops/grain/special ingredients in terms of availability and cost with regards to a 7 barrel brew length. Obviously we do English style ales here although we have used Belgian Ale Yeast a couple of times recently so that isn’t out of the question, as long as we can get the yeast at the right price (ie free!) I’d like to have all of the entries in by mid August. Judging will be held the following week with a view to brewing mid September. We won’t be judging to any set style parameters, what we’re looking for is a great product that will compliment our existing range of brews on tap. Ideally I’d like to have at least a dozen samples to judge, you’re not restricted to one brew, if you want to brew a couple of different options, that’s fine. We ask that you provide a recipe with your entry and brews MUST be all grain, no extract! You may use our yeast if you wish, contact me to arrange to pick up samples. If you have any further questions please e-mail me @ steve.oliverale@gmail.com.
 I wonder if John and I can brew fast enough............

In the meantime, final judging of the Heavy Seas Letter of Marque homebrew competition is occurring, with a winner to presumably be announced shortly........

01 July 2010

Beer of the Week

Heavy Seas' new Smoke on the Water "imperial smoked porter."

Rich enough in flavor to be a stout.  The smoke is subtle; you might not even get the smoke if you weren't told about it.  8%, but dangerously drinkable, not too heavy for Baltimore's steamy weather.

Seek it out. Max's has it on cask tonight.