30 August 2011

Joe Squared 2 Opens in Power Plant Tomorrow

 UPDATEDSo what do we call it now?  Joe Squared Squared?

Anyhow, the new branch of the pizza-and-craft-beer emporium has a soft opening tomorrow, getting in ahead of the Leininkugel's Beer Garden set to open on Sept. 9th.  Sixteen drafts promised.

UPDATE: They opened prior to getting their liquor license, but hope to have it in hand today (Friday the 2nd).

DuClaw H.E.R.O. Release Postponed

From an e-mail from their P.R. firm:

[We] wanted to let you know that the launch date has changed for DuClaw Brewing Company’s H.E.R.O Homebrew, which was originally scheduled for this Thursday, Sept. 1st at DuClaw’s locations in Bel Air, Bowie and Arundel Mills. Due to Hurricane Irene, DuClaw’s Bel Air location has been experiencing power outages and has decided to move the H.E.R.O. Homebrew launch to Wednesday, Sept. 7th.
Expect posting to be sporadic at best for a while--both power and DSL are out at the Beer in Baltimore World Headquarters Office, and the laptop time is being shared at wi-fi outlets with "the better half."

26 August 2011

Running to Higher Ground because of Tropical Storm Irene? Here's an Alternative......

Man, these guys are bad at getting publicity out to me in a timely fashion.

The "first annual" Mountain Maryland Beer and Wine Festival is scheduled for this weekend (with the obvious caveat of "weather permitting") at Canal Place in downtown Cumberland, Md., noon to 9 PM Saturday and noon to six Sunday.

Breweries expected include Heavy Seas, Flying Dog, Fordham/Old Dominion, Brooklyn, Lancaster, Troegs, Victory, and Williamsburg; the Queen City Homebrew Club is also showing up and having a competition.  The six wineries expected include five old (Boordy) and new wineries plus a well-regarded Virginia one (Horton).

And for the next trick, wine being made in a brewery.....

One of the running jokes with small commercial wineries is that if you keep looking far enough back in the corners, you're likely to find a carboy or two of beer percolating away in a perfect fermentation environment.  And I have also seen a carboy of wine squirreled away in at least one brewpub.

The Fairfax (Va.) Times reports on a Loudon County winery that added a brewery.:
Corcoran’s wife Lori has long been synonymous with the local wine industry, producing award-winners using traditional methods at Corcoran Vineyards (14635 Corkys Farm Lane, Waterford). And as passionate as she is about wine, he is about beer. 
Perplexed by the lack of breweries in Virginia and yearning to be able to get a good beer close to home, Corcoran hired brewmaster Kevin Bills and opened shop on July 30 — within stumbling distance of the vineyards.
Bills and Corcoran tapped the support of a large community of brewers, so their fledgling effort is amazingly developed. The diminutive brewery is now open to the public, and you can taste for yourself.

25 August 2011

DuClaw to Release Homebrew Competition Winner, Donate 100% of Brewery Sales to Charity

From the DuClaw press release:

Baltimore, Md. (August 23, 2011)—;DuClaw Brewing Company, a Maryland-based craft brewery, announces its H.E.R.O. ’10 homebrew will launch on tap Thursday September 1 at the Bel Air, Bowie and Arundel Mills DuClaw Brewing restaurant locations and in 22-ounce bottles at select local beer merchants. To celebrate the launch, DuClaw will be donating all H.E.R.O. ’10 brewery sales to the Towson-based charity the Cool Kids Campaign.

“We are extremely honored to be chosen by DuClaw as a charitable partner and recipient of such a generous donation,” commented Sharon Perfetti, executive director and co-founder of the Cool Kids Campaign. “This comes at a special time for our organization as we have recently opened our first Learning Center in Towson. DuClaw Brewing’s support will help make the center a success, as well as help us to achieve our mission of providing educational support to children with cancer.

“Just as our DuClaw team is passionate about the art of the craft, we are equally passionate about giving back, hence the name of our H.E.R.O. brew,” said Dave Benfield, founder and president of DuClaw. “We look forward to supporting the Cool Kids Campaign and the success of the Learning Center with not only the sales of our homebrew, but with the support of our DuClaw team and community.” 

The H.E.R.O. ’10 craft recipe is a full-bodied, jet black Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter with a roasted malt flavor accented by notes of chocolate, coffee and peanut butter. The creators of the brew, Tony Huckstein and Doug DeLeo, are homebrewers from Baltimore County whose recipe was chosen by DuClaw brewmasters over 48 other craft recipes. H.E.R.O. ’10 will make its tap debut at a release event at the Bel Air, Bowie and Arundel Mills DuClaw Brewing restaurants on Thursday, September 1.

Hoppy, Hoppy, Joy, Joy, Hoppy, Hoppy--OW YARGH OOF

No, it wasn't served at Max's Taphouse last weekend during their first Hop Fest. (They still have quite a few of their 80+ hoppy standouts still on draft as I type, including most of the Mikkeller Single Hop series.........)

Nor is this likely to be at Frisco's Hop Fest on August 31st.

The Globe and Mail of Toronto reports [emphasis added]:
At the Too Hop To Handle festival in Vancouver last month, Claire Connolly put the name of the event to the test. The brewmaster from Big River Brewpub in Richmond, B.C. entered a small batch of “Insane” India Pale Ale in the friendly competition. It registered 9 per cent alcohol and a shocking 151 International Bittering Units. (IBU is the scale used to measure hop bitterness in beer, given in parts of iso-alpha acids per million.) To put this hop monster in perspective, consider that most IPA, the fastest-rising beer category in North America, falls in the 30-to-60 IBU range.
“I was worried that it wouldn’t be drinkable,” Ms. Connolly said, pouring a glass from a cask that passed through a filter filled with dried hop buds to infuse it with an additional blast of rubber band bitterness and pinecone aroma.
They "Randallized" a cask of 151-IBU IPA..............

And I sense a few readers already searching for a sample of this sadistic creation.

(This is not the record claim; BrewDog claimed 225 IBUs for the first batch of their 0.5%-alcohol Nanny State.)

The World's Best-Selling Beer?

Quick.  Name the beer you think is the biggest-selling beer brand/label in the world.

Budweiser?  Bud Light?  (Gee prove the U.S.'s ethnocentrism once again.)

Guinness?  Carlsberg?  Heiniken? 

Ah, forgot about China.......  Tsingtao?

According to this article from Britain's Telegraph, the world's best-selling beer is a brand that (as far as I know) isn't available in Maryland or D.C., not even at Max's Taphouse or The Bier Baron; is partially owned by SABMillerCoors; and is (to read some reviews) nothing you need to bother with seeking out.

Maryland Craft Beer at the Maryland State Fair

Well, finally.

For the first time in years, Maryland craft beer will be prominently featured at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium.

Erik Maza reports on the effort led by the Brewers Association of Maryland:

The association sees the State Fair as a platform to promote their products and to telegraph that their business "supports local jobs, local farms and local communities," BAM said in a statement.
The booth, located in the food pavilion, will carry six drafts: DuClaw Sawtooth, Dog Brewing Blonde, Brewers Alley Hefeweizen, Flying Dog Raging Bitch, Heavy Seas Loose Cannon and Raven Lager.
They will only be available from August 25 - 28 and from September 2 - 5. On those days, reps from the breweries will be around from 5 - 9 p.m.
Incidentally, the Maryland State Fair still hosts both a homemade wine competition and a homemade mead competition, with prizes straight of the 1960s.  Perhaps it's time for the Free State Homebrew Guild to lobby for a homebrewing competition.

22 August 2011

Lots of Stuff Going On Tomorrow.......

Gee, you'd think Baltimore Beer Week was in full swing.

Tomorrow, the 23rd, we have on offer:

  • The Snakehead Beer Dinner at Alewife, featuring Stillwater ales and The Brewer's Art chef (and if you don't already have your ticket in hand, abandon all hope for now);
  • The New Belgium debut at Max's Taphouse, with Fat Tire, Hoptober, Kick, Clutch, Tripel, Ranger IPA, and Super Cru, as well as the head brewer;
  • A schooner sailing race between boats occupied by Flying Dog and Heavy Seas.  (Seriously, why aren't they doing this for Baltimore Beer Week?  Or is this a practice run?)  Tickets to ride on your choice of brewery's boatare $39 or $37 for seniors; thus far the Heavy Seas boat is outselling the Flying Dog boat.........

19 August 2011

BBW Events Being Posted

The committee that runs Baltimore Beer Week has started posting events on the schedule page.

First out of the gate seems to be the soon-to-open Leinenkugel's Beer Garden, with a flurry of events scheduled.  More are sure to follow from other sponsors and venues soon.

DuClaw Real Ale Fest Tickets NOW On Sale

Here's your chance.  Sept. 10th., 12 to 4.  Don't complain to me if you can't get a ticket.

(Disclaimer: I was offered a media pass as a representative of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News.)

Fire Hits Former Gunther Brewery

The Baltimore Sun is reporting on a fire at the vacant former Gunther Brewing facility in the Brewers Hill part of Highlandtown.

(Photo from  Flickr user Lars Peterson))

11 August 2011

DC Beer Week August 14-21

Many of you reading this will have marked your calendars way in advance, but for those who haven't:

DC Beer Week is this upcoming week.

DC Beer Week has evolved from a rather embryonic, distributor-promoted event to a more organic and diversified week, offering events big and small at places you probably know (RFD, Meridian Pint, Granville Moore's, Meridian Pint, Birch & Barley/ChurchKey, Belga Cafe, Pizzera Paradiso, etc.) and places you may not (Iron Horse Tap Room, Lou's City Bar, The Pour House, Little Miss Whiskey's Golden Dollar, etc.).  Among the events on the schedule is the debut of the District's newest brewery, Chocolate City (not chocolate-flavored beers, as far as I know).

I strongly recommend a perusal of the schedule; there's really something there for every beer geek or craft beer aficionado.  Fritz Hahn has selected a few of his favorite recommendations in this Washington Post blog post.

SPBW Bus Brewery Crawl through Delaware this Saturday

There are a handful of seats left for Saturday's coach trip to Delaware breweries (Stewart's of Bear, Fordham/Old Dominion of Dover, Dogfish Head's Milton plant and treehouse, and Evolution of Delmar). Visit www.SPBW.org for details.

10 August 2011

Balto. Beer Week Opening Tap Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for Baltimore Beer Week's kick-off event, the Opening Tap at the Ram's Head Live on Oct. 6th, 6-9 PM:
Witness the ceremonial tapping of the first firkin using the fabled “Star Spangled Banger”, enjoy unlimited samples of the area’s finest beers, mingle with Baltimore’s beer industry elite and listen to the artful tunes of The Anytime Anywhere.
Tickets are $30 and all attendees must be 21 years of age or older.

BBW is also holding a preview event at The Judge's Bench in Ellicott City this Friday, 5-8 PM, with a chance to enter for a drawing for two tickets to the Opening Tap event, as well as two firkins of Heavy Seas Loose Cannon dry-hopped with Maryland hops.

Heavy Seas Beer Dinner at The Diamond Tavern (Hilton) Sept. 9th

Chef Murray Healey of The Diamond Tavern in the Hilton Baltimore (the one adjacent to the Baltimore Convention Center and Camden Station/Yards) likes the concept of beer dinners.  To that end, he is proceeding with a series of beer dinners at his restaurant over the course of the next couple of months.

Following an inaugural dinner featuring Oliver Breweries beers, his next dinner on Sept. 9th will feature Heavy Seas beers and brewery general manager Hugh Sisson:

Sep 9 - 6:30pm9:00pm
Join founder Hugh Sisson at the Diamond Tavern in the Baltimore Hilton for a multi-course beer & food pairing.
$60 Inclusive   For Reservations Please Call Antoine McClurkin 443-573-8710


Meet and Greet with Hugh Sisson, founder of Heavy Seas Beer,  6:30pm-7pm

Heavy Seas Pale Ale 

She Crab Soup and Tavern Salad Mixed Greens, Talbot Cheddar, Glazed Pecans, Roasted Corn, Dried Cherries With Sherry Vinaigrette
Heavy Seas Märzen

Crab Cake with Sweet Corn Succotash and Whole Grain Mustard Beurre Blanc 
Orange Thyme Granita

Loose Cannon

Braised Beef Medallions with Cilantro Barley and Haricots Verts 

Great Pumpkin

Butternut Squash and Hazelnut Crème Brûlée

Fruits of the Labors at Metropolitan Thursday

From the weekly Firkin Thursday update from Metropolitan:
The cask for this Firkin Thursday will be Wells Banana Bread Beer from Bedford, England.  Banana Bread Beer is 5.2% and copper-colored with a subtle hint of banana.

We shall also be tapping a mini keg of crazy French Normandy cider.

Apples and bananas . . . oh my.

In the Upstairs Bar starting at 6:00 pm with Sarah.
If you've had the Wells Banana Bread before, you may know that "subtle hint" is an understatement.  Some are more likely to describe the  ale in terms of being hit in the face with a malted banana cream pie.  Good, though......

Old Stein Inn reopens Sept. 14th

The "cheaper than a plane ticket to Germany" Old Stein Inn in Edgewater, heavily damaged by a fire at the end of 2010, has set a reopening date of Sept. 14th, according to Baltimore Magazine's In Good Taste blog.

Bring on the wursts, schnitzels, and lagers.

04 August 2011

Stillwater Beer Dinners at Pazo Sept. 8th, Alewife Aug. 23 (with snakehead fish!)

From Pazo, the restaurant on Aliceanna in Harbor East/Fells Point:

Join special guest Brewmaster Brian Strumke on Thursday, September 8th at 7:00PM as he hosts the Stillwater Artisanal Ales Dinner at PAZO.
Tickets are $79 per person inclusive.

MENU (Beer pairings with each course coming soon!)

Hors D'oeuvres
Quixote Chorizo, pan con tomate
Ceviche chips, jicama & lime
Summer Bruschetta, local zucchini, ricotta, herbs
Pork and veal empanadas, salsa verde
Potato and manchego croquetas
Serrano ham and grilled fig pinxto

Late Summer Tomato Gazpacho
Slow poached shrimp, preserved orange, chili, Arbequina olive oil

Octopus a la Planxa
Fingerling potato, pimenton, marcona almonds, and mojo verde

Herb Marinated Wood Grilled Leg of Lamb
Samfaina and natural jus

Traditional Sicilian Cannoli
dark chocolate and caramel sauce

Call for reservations or more details at (410) 534-7296.
Meanwhile, this in from Alewife, doing their part to chow down on invasive species:

Chef Chad Wells and his friends Chef Joe of Joe Squared, and Chef Dave of The Brewers Art will be presenting a SNAKEHEAD dinner on Aug 23 here at Alewife. Oh, I also didn't mention it's a BEER DINNER with Stillwater Artisanal Ales. Details coming soon...this will sell out quick!

Leininkugel's Beer Garden opening September 9th UPDATED

Leininkugel's Beer Garden can join the lengthening queue of new beer places hit by construction delays.

Originally slated to be open by now, the new venue at the Power Plant Live is now planning its formal grand opening for September 9th.  And their staff is planning on getting the venue into Baltimore Beer Week one way or the other.  A soft opening is planned for September 2nd of Motorhead Weekend, otherwise known as the weekend of the Baltimore Grand Prix.

There's a bit more at Midnight Sun. 

Including, now, the proposed draft and bottle list.  (For some strange reason, the bottled beer list goes on for three separate website pages.)

01 August 2011

Administrative Notes, and More

Due to work and other obligations, expect posting here to be rather light for the next couple of weeks.  News of updates, upcoming events, and the like will still be welcomed, of course.

To help tide you over, here's the latest from the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News Hop Tips calendar.  This includes the formal Grand Opening of the newly-expanded Kloby's Smokehouse this Friday and Saturday, and Max's Taphouse's Hop Fest August 19-21.

Also, the August-Sept. issue of Mid-Atlantic Brewing News should be arriving on the doorsteps of your (presumably) favorite brewpub, bar, or alcoholic-beverage retailer in the next day or three, featuring a cover story (and photo) by yours truly, and more details on a couple stories already covered in this blog, plus the rest of the beer news in the region.

If you should become desperate for more of my writing and photography (yeah, right, but....), you can also check out my latest client/venue, beginning with this (beer-relevant) piece right here.  There is more scheduled to be published over the next couple weeks/months, beer-related and not, and they're supposed to show up here, as well as the regular spots on the website.

And, of course, you can rely on a few of the other bloggers listed to the right to keep you somewhat up to date on some of the forthcoming beer events, tappenings, and whatnot.