• Ellicott Mills Brewing Company Crab Soup Contest

    The annual crab soup contest at Ellicott Mills Brewing Company was a great success in good fun and raising money for a local charity.  There were 6 contestants, with 2 types of soup being tasted (traditional Maryland crab soup and cream of crab soup).

  • IPA Day Celebrations at Dogfish Head

    The Randall used for infusing hops at the time of the pour.

    In case you didn’t know, yesterday was the second annual IPA day .  The website http://ipaday.org/announcing-ipa-day/ has lots of information about the day.

    Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross, IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation together.

     

    IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.

    So what did I do for IPA day?  I went to the homeland.  I bellied up to the bar at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth Beach, DE (ground zero for the IPA movement) and ordered a Randalled 120 Minute IPA.  What is a Randalled IPA?  At the time of the pour the 120 is pushed through hops.  In this case it was pushed through cascade hops and grapefruit zest (to bring out the citrus in the beer).  Wow was it good.

    The bar was pretty well packed for a Thursday night, and it didn’t seem like too many people were aware of the significance of the day.  That, of course, didn’t keep me from enjoying it.  The Randall on the bar was also a great conversation starter among bar patrons.  I’m not sure how often Dogfish Head will be pulling out the Randall, but if you get a chance to try it, you should, it’s worth the effort.

    So did anyone else enjoy an IPA for IPA day?

  • Brew at the Zoo in Baltimore MD

    I love how the animals and beer glasses have been incorporated together into the logo.

    Kelli and I headed out to the Brew at the Zoo over Memorial Day weekend in Baltimore.  The entire event was a lot of fun and I would recommend to anyone who loves craft beer and is in the Baltimore area.  I didn’t get to try all the beers, but I had my fair share.  I’ll be trying to make this event next year, too, as it is too much fun to pass up.

  • Review Hop Heads Alehouse – Middle River, MD

    Kelli and I recently went out for food and drinks at a new bar in the Baltimore area called Hop Heads Alehouse.  We had a great time as the bar is quintessential Baltimore at its roots.  There was very much a home town feel and a general comradery among patrons.  There are nightly specials listed on their website, so check it out before you go and see which night is the night for you.

    If you go:
    http://hopheadsalehouse.com
    9611 Pulaski Highway
    Baltimore, MD.
    443-969-2477
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hop-Heads-Alehouse/185854428124932

    Arriving at Hop Heads in Middle River, MD.

     

    Kelli had a Bear Republic Racer 5, I had a Flying Dog Classic Pale Ale.

    The menu was mainly comprised of your standard bar items of easy to make and easy to consume food.  Nothing really stood out to me on the menu, but keep in mind I don’t eat meat.

    For food I ordered the blackened tuna bites.

     

    Good, but highly seasoned.

    Their beer selection was really good if you are into craft beers.  I was blown away by the amount of beers they have available, over 200!!  While they are a lot of the standard craft beers you will find in the craft beer scene, that fact that the vast majority of the beers are from independent breweries is a welcome change in any bar.

    Plenty of great craft beers from which to choose.

     

    Craft beers were on tap, too.

    Make no mistake, this is not some stuck up, hoity-toity bar full of beer snobs.  This is a place where people come to have fun, meet new friends, and drink!!!

    Being a bar, and energy drinks on special at $4 each, we did a round of shots with the bartender.

     

    Not being full yet I went for a pizza.

     

    My pizza with half olives.

    There was a lot of room in the bar, and I could see the empty floor quickly becoming a dance floor when the music and crowd were just right.  Our early arrival found us in a mostly empty bar, but in the hour or two we were there the bar quickly began to fill.  I could easily see this bar being shoulder to shoulder by the end of the night.

    It was early on Friday, but you can see the potential.

    The event calendar on the website always lists any entertainment, and the DJ’s that were there the night we went were fantastic.  These guys had a nice grove going that made me want to stay longer.

    DJ’s Tony Stylez and Supreme were setting the mood.

     

    Some old school Baltimore action.

    The owner Mike Roser was a really down to earth guy that was enjoyable to talk with during my time in the bar.  He had some big ideas on what he wanted to do in the future, and I’m glad to see that his vision is off to a great start.  More bars like his would be a welcome addition to any city.

    Owner, Mike Roser.

     

    Beer selection 4/5
    Food: 3.5/5
    Atmosphere: 3.5/5
    Overall: 3.5/5

    http://hopheadsalehouse.com/

  • Beer Tasting with Heavy Seas Owner Hugh Sissons

    Hugh was on hand to do the pouring for the tasting. He was also happy to pose for pictures.

    From an email I received from The Perfect Pour:

    Heavy Seas is a local craft beer staple. Founded by Mr. Sisson in 1994 as Clipper City, the brewery has been putting out award-winning and downright tasty beers for almost twenty years. Their broad range of beers is brewed “to be the best combination of modern beer thinking blended with traditional brewing methods in the beer world today.” We think they succeed.

     

    Hugh will be pouring two special beers and one customer favorite. Try the brand new Sea Nymph summer seasonal and the newly-released Plank II, a Doppelbock aged with eucalyptus and poplar, and remind yourself of the greatness that is Loose Cannon.

     

    Come support your local brewer and enjoy some of the best craft beer on the market.

    So I decided to head over to The Perfect Pour after work and check out the scene.

     

    Hugh was on hand to do the pouring for the tasting. He was also happy to pose for pictures.

     

    With pen in hand he was also signing six packs and bottles!!

     

    Overall it was a good time.  Hugh was happy to answer any questions people had about his beer or his brewery.  I’m happy to see local business owners coming out to do meet and greets with fans of their products.  Hugh really is a pleasure to be around.

  • Beerporn

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    Hanging out with my brother in post-Christmas celebration and enjoying some good independent beer.  Only 2 of the 11 coolers had independent beers and this is the one we chose, Porkhouse Pale Ale.  I like their 6 pack holders.  They seem to be more environmentally friendly than the normal ones even though they are more difficult to pull off.

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  • Drinking craft beer during The Birthday Massacre

    Kelli and I headed to Sonar in Baltimore, MD to see one of her favorite bands, The Birthday Massacre.  The show was a great time, but I was concerned going in about what beers were going to be available.  Upon first look of the beer list:

     

    I wasn’t too happy with the beers available.  I glanced at the cooler to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, and found that the list was a clear reflection of the beers I could see.

     

    So, sure enough, the selection was limited.  This isn’t to say, however, that I didn’t find a fantastic Maryland craft beer.  In the middle left of the above picture you can see the dent I was putting in the Raging Bitch by Flying Dog.  A great IPA worth a try by anyone who likes the hoppy style beer.  With My beer in hand, I made a quick post to IndyBeers.com.

    Afterwards, I kicked back and enjoyed the great sounds of The Birthday Massacre  at Sonar  in Baltimore, MD.  By the way, if you happen to be a Birthday Massacre fan, you can check the rest of the pictures at http://www.talonphotography.com/album.php?albumid=5684952762119496737

     

  • The Birthday Massacre & Raging Bitch

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    More pictures to come.

  • Halloween, Beer, and Candy.



    Halloween this year was another great night of fun with kids and candy, and as always, the adults loved the beer.  I give away lots of candy every year with a slight twist.  There is a game I have all the kids play where they reach into a bag and pull out a poker chip.  Most of the chips are white (and I change the odds as needed), but if they pull out the black chip they win an entire sleeve of candy.  For those that are older, they know the game (I think I have done it for 10 years now), and for those that are younger, they are just learning, but they all love it!!!

     

    I had about 110 kids stop buy and went through most of the candy as well as about 30 beers.  This year I had the Samuel Adams variety pack, a case of Buffalo Bill’s pumpkin ale, and a few left over Dogfish Head Punkin ales.  It’s funny that there are some adults who go out of their way to come to my house just to get a beer.  I had two mothers that asked if they could have their pumpkin beers unopened as they wanted to have them after they put the kids to bed.  I was happy to help them out.  I also bring up my projector and put It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on my garage door.  I love to watch the younger kids get sucked in watching the show, and the parents who enjoy the beer don’t mind standing around with a pumpkin ale.

    What was your setup like this year?  Does anyone else give out beer or do prizes?

  • Flemings Doesn’t Know Craft Beer

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    Since when is a product produced by a big beer company a “craft beer”?

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