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Welcome to 100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Blog! 

September 4, 2015 – Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival
 
There are so many cool things about September: Orioles baseball, Ravens football, lots of warm weather, some cool days, leaves that are still green and a few that are changing and… craft beer festivals and special craft beer events are happening everywhere. In the coming weeks, we’ll have the chance to enjoy fresh, craft beer at the Maryland Microbrewery Festival at Union Mills Homestead in Westminster, September 26th; during the incredible 10- day Baltimore Beer Week with events happening everywhere, October 9th-18th; and at the Maryland Craft Beer Festival, October 24th at Canton Waterfront Park on Boston Street in Baltimore.
 
Next weekend, you can start your Fall festival tour by going to the Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival. It happens next Saturday, September 12th from 12noon-6pm at NavyMarine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis and features over 120 beers from more than 50 breweries! Burley Oak, DC Brau, DuClaw, Eastern Shore, Evolution, Fordham & Dominion, Full Tilt, Heavy Seas, Jailbreak, Oliver, RAR, Troegs, Union, Victory, Weyerbacher and Yards and so many more.  And on top of all of the great craft beer that we all enjoy year-round, there will also be a bunch of seasonal products, including pumpkin ales, Octoberfests, and harvest ales. The Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival is a great way to spend part a day next weekend in Annapolis!
 
And this weekend… well, it’s Labor Day Weekend! So have a backyard beer festival with your family and friends!
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy 
 
 
August 28, 2015 – Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar
 
As a fellow craft beer fan, I’m sure you’ve noticed that more and more restaurants and bars are featuring a solid line-up of craft beer. It’s certainly made going out for dinner or drinks a lot more fun. It wasn’t too long ago when we would have to “settle” on a beer choice because we were at a place that hadn’t yet embraced craft beer. But now we have more options and finding a new place to relax and enjoy some great craft beer is part of the adventure!
 
This week, I visited the new Pappas Restaurant and Sports Bar, on Cranbrook Road in Cockeysville. This spacious and well-designed Pappas location is approaching its one year anniversary and has two distinct spaces: a restaurant for dining and a huge sports bar for… well, watching sports---they have 21 TV screens!---and, of course, for enjoying craft beer! Whether you grab a high-top table, sit in a booth, or sit at the very cool horseshoe shaped bar, you’ll have a prime view of multiple screens.
 
I met with Tim Miller, the Bar Manager at Pappas in Cockeysville and we talked about their craft beer selection. Pappas has a large craft beer bottle and can menu and also features three always-on-tap craft draught beers---Resurrection from The Brewers Art, Loose Cannon from Heavy Seas and seasonal releases from Sam Adams.
But on top of that, they showcase eight rotating draught lines; the eight change as each sixtel is finished. Sixtels are one sixth of a keg and are great for restaurants and bars that celebrate craft beer, allowing for a steady change in draught selection. The eight additional craft draughts at Pappas this week are Sweetwater’s Sweetwater Blue, Boulevard’s The Calling, Allagash’s Allagash White, Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA, Sixpoint’s Bengali, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Southern Tier’s Pumking. And, if you want some craft beer to go, Pappas will fill your growler. It’s a great space and a great place.
 
So now you have a new craft beer destination in Cockeysville. The only question is… which one to have first!
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy 
 
 
 
August 21, 2015 – Beer Tasting of Peg Leg from Heavy Seas
 
Last week, Fred Crudder, Heavy Seas Marketing Director and a serious craft beer enthusiast, described Red Sky at Morning, a fantastic Belgian-style Saison, one of the two beers we tasted while I was visiting the brewery a couple weeks ago.  The other beer we tasted was Peg Leg, an imperial stout that is so spectacular that it’s easy to drink this any time of the year… and, if so inclined, any time of the day!  After you hear Fred describe this incredible beer, you’ll be ready for one right away!
 
(Fred talks about Peg Leg; please listen to the podcast on this page for Fred’s description and a video of the brewery)
 
Feeling thirsty now?  I know I am.  Time to pick up some Peg Leg Imperial Stout.  As Fred Crudder says, “It’s one big ball of deliciousness!”
 
For a video tour of the Heavy Seas Brewery and Tap Room, click here.
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson 
 
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy 
 
 
 
August 14, 2015 – Beer Tasting of Red Sky at Morning from Heavy Seas
 
Last week, I visited with Fred Crudder of Heavy Seas Beer. Fred is the Marketing Director for Heavy Seas and a deeply passionate and knowledgeable craft beer man. The Heavy Seas brewery is a first class operation and they make a… boatload… of first class craft beers. We sampled two different brews, Red Sky at Morning and Peg Leg Stout.
 
Fred’s ability to capture the joy of savoring a delicious beer in a few words is so good that you’ll be thirsty right away. I’m going to save our tasting of Peg Leg Stout for next week and… dive… into a glass of Red Sky at Morning right now. (Fred talks about Red Sky at Morning; please listen to the podcast on this page for Fred’s description and a video of the brewery)
 
So don’t mess around, and make the easy decision of enjoying a Red Sky at Morning, a wonderful Belgian-style Saison. For a video tour of the Heavy Seas Brewery and Tap Room, click here.
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson 
 
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy 
 
 
 
August 7, 2015 – Brewery Tap Rooms
 
So often when we think about enjoying a great craft beer, we think about stopping in at our local liquor store or visiting our favorite pub or restaurant.  And nothing can replace either of those experiences.  Each is special.  
 
But part of the craft beer journey means taking on new adventures.  And I have a great one for you to explore!  Plan a visit to a tap room, sometimes called a tasting room, at one of the local breweries.  Not only will you have the chance to enjoy some outstanding craft beer at its freshest, you’ll take in an atmosphere that is different from most bars and restaurants.  Very often, you’re able to see part of the brewing operation.  And even if it’s not visible, you’ll find the space to be interesting and uniquely beer centric.
 
There are a number of very cool tap rooms right here in Baltimore and I recommend you visit each one.  All of them feature multiple craft beers and all are deliciously fresh!  
 
RavenBeer brews all of their craft beer at Peabody Heights Brewery, at 401 East 30th Street, not far from Johns Hopkins University and Charles Village.  Their tap room is roomy and you can see part of the brewery from the bar.  Interesting fact: RavenBeer is brewed on the site of the original Oriole Park!  
 
Union Craft Brewing is located at 1700 Union Street in Woodberry, right on the edge of Hampden.  It features an intimate tap room with a bar that is made from thick wood floor boards that were available when the second floor was removed to make room for the brewing system.  
 
Heavy Seas has a tap room that is warm and comfortable and features tables built on wooden barrels.  It’s an easy place to spend time and savor amazing craft beer.  Heavy Seas brewery is in the Halethorpe section of Baltimore, at 4615 Hollins Ferry Road.
 
Jailbreak Brewing’s tap room is a vast, two story open space with a clear glass wall behind the bar providing a cool view of the brewery itself.  Jailbreak is in Laurel at 9445 Washington Boulevard North, officially in what is called Suite F.  But just look for the sign outside---you can’t miss it!
 
So it’s time for a spontaneous weekend adventure!  Visit a brewery tap room and celebrate life!
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson
 
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy
 
 
 
July 31, 2015 – Loose Cannon from Heavy Seas Beer
 
It’s a wedding anniversary dinner a few years ago and my wife and I are celebrating at an excellent steakhouse. The waiter stops by and asks us if we’d like something to drink. My wife orders a glass of wine and I ask about the craft beer selection. They have a nice lineup and I select one of my favorite craft beers: Loose Cannon, from Heavy Seas Beer.
 
The table has beautiful tall, deep wine goblets, a wonderful vessel for savoring an ale. When the waiter returns with my wife’s wine and my Loose Cannon, he sets a pilsner glass on the table. I tell him that I’ll pour the beer myself and that he can take away the pilsner glass. I then pour the Loose Cannon IPA into my wine goblet, holding the bottle high so that the beer spills into the center of the glass and creates a rich, thick head. After the head settles, I take a nice drink of this delicious IPA.
 
A little while later, a couple is seated at a nearby table and when their waiter arrives and takes their drink order, the man orders a big name American beer. In the meantime, I’ve finished my first Loose Cannon and are pouring another one, again, from high above my wine goblet. I see the neighboring couple looking at my pour and think nothing of it. Later, the gentleman nearby orders a well-known import as his second beer as I appreciate my second Loose Cannon. The dinner my wife and I have ordered arrives.
 
Part way through dinner, I decide to have a third Loose Cannon---it really is that good. I again give it a high pour into the wine goblet and watch the head rise up the glass. A few minutes later, I have another taste, admiring the color and taking in the aroma of this spectacular IPA. I, again, notice the couple next to my wife and me looking at my beer.
 
The waiter at the table next to us arrives to check on his customers. As before, I overhear some of the order taking process. When the waiter asks the man at the table if he’d like to have another well-known import beer, the man points toward our table and responds, “No thank you. I want to have what that guy is having.”
 
Craft beer. It’s part of the richness in life. Grab a Loose Cannon IPA from Heavy Seas and taste liquid nectar.
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson
 
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy
 

 

July 24, 2015 – New Brewery for Oliver Brewing Company

Last summer I met with owner Justin Dvorkin and head brewer Steve Jones at Pratt Street Ale House, on Pratt Street in Baltimore, and heard about the evolution of the restaurant since Justin took over the operation and about the experience Steve gained brewing beer in his home country of England.  
 
Pratt Street has been the home to Oliver Brewing Company for years, with all of their craft beer being brewed in the cellars of this historic building.  But plans have been in the works for well over a year to move their entire brewing operation into a separate brewing facility.  
 
Well, about six weeks ago, Oliver Brewing Company began brewing in their brand new Baltimore brewery.  The entire brewery was built specifically for Oliver Brewing and the beer they are brewing there is better than ever!
 
I visited the new brewery last week and after getting a truly educational tour of their brewing system, Steve poured two craft beers from their array of draught handles so we had something to taste as Steve described his recipes.  First up, a mild ale; a sessionable ale that is more common in England than the States and something you will really like.
 
(Steve talks about Dark Horse; please listen to the podcast on this page for Steve’s 
 
description and a video of the brewery)
 
Then another craft beer and another style; this one tipping the scales at 6.8% ABV.
 
(Steve talks about Seas of Spears; please listen to the podcast on this page for Steve’s description and a video of the brewery)
 
You can enjoy Oliver Brewing’s craft beers any day of the week at Pratt Street Ale House in Baltimore and at The Ale House Columbia.
 
For an inside look at the new Oliver Brewing Company brewing system, click here.

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

July 17, 2015 – Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company

A few weeks ago, I touched on the 1995 formation of Fordham Brewing Company at Ram’s Head Tavern in Annapolis.  In less than 10 years, the demand for Fordham’s craft beers had grown to the point where it needed a larger brewing operation.  So in 2003 Fordham moved to Dover, Delaware at a facility that would also give them room to expand!

Enter Old Dominion Brewing.  Old Dominion started at a brewpub in Ashburn, Virginia in 1989 and quickly developed a strong legion of fans.  As Old Dominion’s reputation grew for brewing high quality craft beer, the brewery knew it needed a larger space.  In 2009, Old Dominion teamed up with Fordham to create Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company.

Last week, I met with Jim Lutz, the President and CEO at Fordham & Dominion Brewing and got a tour of their impressive brewing facility which includes a state of the art brewing system, and a complete bottling and packaging operation.  We then headed to a place the Fordham & Dominion team affectionately call their “Boardroom”: a serene clearing under a canopy of trees in the woods adjoining the brewery.  Jim and VP of Marketing Ryan Telle and I sat down with a couple half-growlers and talked craft beer.  Our first tasting was from the Fordham line.  Here’s Jim Lutz on Fordham’s Route 1 Session IPA:

(Jim talks about Route 1 Session IPA); please listen to the podcast on this page for Jim’s description and a video of the brewery)

Then it was time for Dominion.  Dominion’s brands feature names and artwork that are inspired by World War II airplane pin-up art and are as delicious to drink as the labels are to look at.  Here’s Ryan Telle:

(Ryan talks about Double D Double D IPA; please listen to the podcast on this page for Ryan’s description and a video of the brewery)

So you know what you have to do!  Pick up a Route 1 Sesson IPA and a Double D Double IPA, two fantastic craft beers from Fordham & Dominion Brewing.

For a quick walk-around of the Fordham & Dominion Craft Brewing operation, take a look at the video podcast here.

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

 

July 10, 2015 – Beer Tasting at Union Craft Brewing Company

Last week I stopped by Union Craft Brewing in Hampden and spent some time in their Tap Room with Jon Zerivitz and Adam Benesch, two of the owners of Union.  Jon, Adam and Kevin Blodger founded Union in 2011 and have been growing steadily ever since.  One of their most popular craft beers is Duckpin Pale Ale, a wonderful beer that’s pale orange in color and is brewed with Pale Ale, Wheat and Munich malts and Columbus, Cascade and Galaxy hops. 

But Union has many equally excellent craft beers, so I asked Jon Zerivitz to describe a couple of them.  We sat down at Union’s hand-crafted bar and filled up the first tasting glasses.

(Jon talks about Balt Altbier; please listen to the podcast on this page for Jon’s description and a video of the brewery and Tap Room)

Then we moved on to the second set of tasting glasses and experienced another style.

(Jon talks about Old Pro Gose; please listen to the podcast on this page for Jon’s description and a video of the brewery and Tap Room)

And each of these taste as good as they sound!  So go on another craft beer adventure this weekend and enjoy a Balt Altbier or Old Pro Gose, two very different craft beers that you’ll find easy to enjoy.

For a quick look at Union Craft Brewing, watch the video podcast here.

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

July 3, 2015 – Beer Tasting at Frey’s Brewing Company

This past Tuesday afternoon, I went to Mt. Airy to visit again with Adam Frey of Frey’s Brewing Company.  As you may recall, I met with Adam earlier this year to see his brewing system, learn about the formation of his farm brewery and, of course, taste some delicious craft beer!  It was a typical March day: sunshine, brisk and just a hint of Spring coming. 

Well, Tuesday was a typical June afternoon: sunshine, mild, and Summer in the air.  We sat under a tree overlooking the barn where he brews and bottles Frey Brewing’s craft beers and enjoyed a couple beers that are perfect for the summer.  I asked Adam to describe them for you. 

(Adam talks about “Made in FREYpan”; please listen to the podcast HERE for Adam’s description)

There’s something special about enjoying session beers in the summer.  Sure, they’re great anytime---but that’s true of all really good craft beer---but a summer session with interesting craft beer makes life rich.  So, we had another.

(Adam talks about “One Eyed Bride”; please listen to the podcast HERE for Adam’s description)

The weekend is here!  Pick up one of the Frey’s Brewing craft beers and celebrate America.  And “Made in FREYpan” and “One Eyed Bride” and two good places to start.

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

June 26, 2015 – Ram’s Head Tavern – Annapolis

Earlier this year, I attended the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Ram’s Head Tavern in Annapolis.  It’s always been a cool place to hang out at, but before that January evening, I didn’t know about the direct connection between the great craft beer they serve and the kazillion shows that happen at Ram’s Head On Stage in Annapolis, and at Ram’s Head Live and Pier Six here in Baltimore.

But before all of these concerts were happening, the Ram’s Head Tavern opened in Annapolis, in 1989 as simply a restaurant and bar.  Six years later, in 1995, Ram’s Head Tavern started serving craft beer!  At that point in history, craft beer was completely new to most people.  But Ram’s Head launched Fordham Brewing that same year.  There’s a wonderful story to Fordham and the partnership it formed with Dominion Brewing, but I’ll share that with you in a couple weeks.  The cool part of this story is that with great craft beer at Ram’s Head Tavern, more and more people started going to the tavern.  And with more people, came the need for more space.  And with more space came the decision to begin booking shows with bands and solo artists who loved playing for a passionate music crowd in an intimate concert setting.  So Ram’s Head On Stage was created. 

Ram’s Head On Stage now presents concerts almost daily, year-round.  They’ve already had a bunch of killer shows this year and have a ton of shows coming up, including Leon Russell, Gin Blossoms, Graham Nash and Little River Ban.  And, so many more.  It’s a great place to see a concert and, of course, enjoy a nice cold Fordham or Dominion craft beer!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

June 19, 2015 – The Brewer’s Art
 
A few weeks ago, my wife and I went to see the magician, Cris Angel, at The Lyric.  It was a nice summer afternoon and a perfect time to walk around part of Baltimore.  The Lyric is in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, a really interesting part of this great city.  After the show, we walked to The Brewer’s Art, on North Charles Street near East Chase Street, to have dinner.  The Brewer’s Art is a very cool restaurant that doesn’t just have excellent food, it’s  also an architecturally appealing space that is immediately comfortable and… here comes the beer part… has awesome craft beer!
 
Maybe you know about The Brewer’s Art from your own experience dining there.  Or maybe you know about The Brewer’s Art because of the craft beer they can and distribute.  Before I ate at the restaurant, I had enjoyed two of their beers from the can: Resurrection Ale and Birdhouse Pale Ale.  Resurrection is the craft beer that they call their flagship brand.  It’s a delicious, full bodied brown ale and is easy to drink and just as easy to have again for round two!  Birdhouse Pale Ale is a classic example of the pale ale style, full of flavor with a nice balance between the hop and malt profile, and is a great ale to introduce to friends who have never tried craft beer.  On the night I had dinner at The Brewer’s Art restaurant, Birdhouse was on draught and it was awesome to enjoy it that way after having had it many times before from the can.
 
So try something new this weekend!  Pick up Resurrection Ale or Birdhouse Pale Ale from The Brewer’s Art---you’ll enjoy every moment!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
June 12, 2015 – Low ABV Craft Beer
 
Does it seem like we skipped Spring and jumped into summer?  Summertime heat is here this weekend in a big way!  So what better way to enjoy summer than to cool off with an ice cold craft beer?  Of course when it’s hot, it’s easy to drink a lot of liquids.  And that’s a good idea, in general.  But on hot days, pacing yourself with a very drinkable, lower alcohol, craft beer is a pretty good idea.
 
Whether you seek out a lager or an ale, there are a lot of great choices for satisfying your summer thirst this weekend.  Union Craft Brewing’s Anthem Golden Ale is brewed with American grown barley, wheat, corn, and oats and Columbus and Mosaic hops and has an ABV---Alcohol By Volume---of 5.0%.   Heavy Seas Beer has created CrossBones, a light and refreshing session ale with an ABV of just 4.5%.  Jailbreak Brewing Company’s The Infinite Amber Ale weighs in at 5.0% ABV and is smooth ale for summertime, or anytime.  Raven Beer’s Pendulum Pilsner is a rich and delicious pilsner and has an ABV of just 4.5%.  And Full Tilt Brewing’s The Bay IPA is another session ale and checks in with an ABV of 4.5%.  
 
And there are a ton more.  Just grab the bottle or can and look for the ABV on the side.  Or ask someone at your local liquor store.  The key to staying cool and enjoying summer is… being cool and being in control.  And as a fellow craft beer lover, I know you like having two or three as much as I do.  So try a lower ABV beer this weekend… or enjoy one of the summer craft beers you had last year and celebrate the summer of 2015!   

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
May 29, 2015 – Raven Beer            

Within this wonderful world of craft beer, there are so many rich and interesting stories about how people got involved with brewing beer.  The big unknown for every brewer is where the journey will take them. 

For you and me, finding a great craft beer is simply a matter of walking into our favorite pub or liquor store and enjoying one of our favorites or trying something new.  But for the craft brewer, creating a great craft beer takes curiosity, intelligence, knowledge of the brewing process, a willingness to experiment, a tireless work ethic, and a commitment to making the highest quality beer possible to capture magic in a bottle!  And Stephen Demczuk, the President and Brewmaster of RavenBeer, is just that: a true craft brewer.

Stephen first began brewing in Belgium, then opened Europe’s first beer-of-the-month club in Luxembourg, a very small country bordered by Germany, Belgium and France.  Talk about a great part of the world to start brewing!  Along the way, one of his beer suppliers approached him about brewing beer in Germany with an American theme.  And so The Raven Special Lager was born!  Yes, this excellent American craft beer was actually first brewed in Germany by a guy who grew up in Dundalk, graduated from the University of Maryland and has a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Oklahoma! 

Raven Beer brews five equally excellent craft beers: The Raven Special Lager, The Cask double bock, Tell Tale Heart IPA, Pendulum Pilsner and Annabel Lee White Belgian wit beer.  Annabel Lee is the newest addition to the RavenBeer portfolio and has a cool brewing profile.  It features a Belgian yeast, unmalted wheat---wheat that has not been roasted---barley malt and Hersbrucker hops.  Then coriander and orange are added during the boil of the wort---the wort is the liquid that, after fermentation, becomes beer.  The result of this creative brewing process is a delicious wit beer, one you’ll definitely want to have again and again.

Annabel Lee White, from Raven Beer, a beer that’s arrived just in time for summer! 

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

May 29, 2015 – Maryland Craft Beer Festival – Part II

The moment we’ve been waiting for is here!  Tomorrow is the 2015 Maryland Craft Beer Festival at Carroll Creek Park in Frederick!  Not only will you be able to enjoy some stellar craft beer, you’ll also be able to hear live music from a bunch of local bands and do it all along the edge of Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick! 

Carroll Creek Park is a beautifully landscaped area of Frederick with brick sidewalks, footbridges over Carroll Creek, elevated grass areas with brick walls---a nice place to sit and enjoy life for a while---and a number of restaurants adjacent to the park with even more just a few steps away.

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is presented by the Brewers Association of Maryland, an organization that includes 38 of the 48 craft breweries in our state.  I caught up with Steven Demczuk, the President of RavenBeer, makers of The Raven Special Lager, Tell Tale Heart IPA, Pendulum Pilsner, The Cask---a wonderful double bock---and the just released Annabel Lee, a Belgian-style wit beer.  Steven is a member of the Brewers Association of Maryland, or BAM, and boiled down the purpose behind BAM to this: they work together to spread the gospel of Maryland craft beer!  And you’ll see many of these brewers doing just that tomorrow at the Maryland Craft Beer Festival: spreading the good news that craft beer is alive, healthy and on fire in Maryland! 

Make your Saturday into something special tomorrow and be a part of the Maryland Craft Beer Festival.  You’ll have your choice from 30 Maryland craft breweries and well over a hundred different beers: lagers, IPAs, stouts, pale ales, pilsners, porters, Belgian-style ales and more! 

It’ll be a day to remember! 

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

May 22, 2015 – Beer Distributors

Here we are at the unofficial kick-off for summer and like you, I’ll be stopping at my favorite liquor store for some awesome craft beer for the weekend and beyond!  We are incredibly fortunate to be able to choose from a such a wide assortment of craft beer and all of that selection wouldn’t be possible without the work of the beer distributors in our area.

Beer distributors are businesses based on bringing in hundreds of thousands of cases and barrels of beer and then getting it out to pubs, bars, restaurants and liquor stores for our enjoyment.  And as craft brewing grows, we are finding more and more craft beers available because of beer distributors.  Beer distributors actually seek out beers to bring into the Baltimore area, both from a business point of view and from a pure passion for having more great craft beer available.  And this approach applies to both in-state and out of state beers.  Most craft brewers start with distribution only near their brewery and then expand as demand increases.  For example, even if a beer is brewed right here in Baltimore, it may not necessarily be available throughout Maryland. 

Last week, I had the chance to spend some time with Mike Kulnich of Legends Limited, an outstanding beer distributor that is responsible for our ability to enjoy some spectacular craft beer here in Baltimore.  Their trucks and drivers move beer daily from their warehouse to our favorite spots.  It’s a big job and every account receives custom orders.  From outstanding Maryland breweries like Union Craft Brewing, Stillwater Artisanal Ales and The Brewer’s Art to amazing out-of-state craft breweries like Southern Tier Brewing, Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Oscar Blues Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company, Legends Limited delivers the craft beer we love!

Enjoy a great craft beer this weekend.  It’s summertime!

Cheers,

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

May 15, 2015 – Red Shedman Farm Brewery
 
Okay---so now you know that farm breweries were made possible due to a Maryland law passed July 1st, last year.  And you know that farm breweries are making great craft beer, just like other craft breweries, except that they are required by law to use locally grown products in their beer.  There are several excellent farm breweries near Baltimore and I had the pleasure of visiting another one this week---the Red Shedman Farm Brewery!  It’s both a place you have to visit and craft beer you have to enjoy.
 
Red Shedman is situated on beautiful farmland near Mt. Airy and is part of the Linganore Wine Cellars family---a, literally, family owned and operated company.  Brothers Anthony and Vic Aellen run Linganore Wine Cellars and Red Shedman Farm Brewery, respectively.  
 
Vic Aellen is the brewmaster for Red Shedman and is producing some delicious craft beer.  Vic designed a beautiful stainless steel brewing system located in a brand new building that houses the brewhouse and the tasting room.  Vic is passionate and creative in his brewing and personally oversees all brewing, doing much of the work himself.  His brewing knowledge is extensive and it all becomes clear just how much he understands the art of brewing when you taste one of his craft beers.  If you visit the brewery, you’ll step into a large, warm inviting tasting room, with a long wooden bar and have the chance to enjoy many different beers including some that are only available at the brewery.  You can find Red Shedman craft beer on draught in many pubs and bars and in cans in liquor stores.  Red Shedman craft beers are all in creative, colorful cans with descriptions of the beer on the side.  
 
I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying all of the canned Red Shedman craft beers and it’s not easy to pick one to recommend.  But as Vic and I talked, I heard his great pride in the evolution of the recipe in Red Shedman Vanilla Porter.  And once you taste it, you’ll see why.  The vanilla notes are strong enough to offset some of the natural bitterness that all porters have, yet the vanilla doesn’t overpower the beer.  So pick up a Red Shedman Vanilla Porter and celebrate the good life!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
May 8, 2015 – 2015 Real Ale Festival
 
Over the last year, I’ve talked a little about cask ales.  And with an awesome cask ale event happening tomorrow---the Real Ale Festival, at Pratt Street Ale House in Baltimore---I thought it would be good idea to take a quick look at cask ales.
 
Cask ale is beer that is conditioned in, and served from the cask.  Casks look much like a barrel and are typically made of steel.  When the ale becomes conditioned, the beer in the cask matures, clarifies and carbonates.  The carbonation happens because a small amount of yeast remains in the cask.  It’s interesting to note that up until the beer actually goes into the cask, the brewing process is the same as the beer that we all drink on draught or from bottles and cans.  
 
So now that you have a feel for cask ales, you’re ready for an amazing Spring afternoon tomorrow from 12noon-5pm at Pratt Street Ale House in the heart of downtown Baltimore!  The Real Ale Festival is all about cask ales and there will be a ton of them there, including a little bonus: you’ll also have the chance to try some craft cask ales from… England! There will be so many cask ales for you to try that I can’t name them all now, but here are a few:
  • Welcome to Scoville Jalapeno IPA from Jailbreak Brewing
  • Riot Rye (with Mango!) from Monocacy Brewing
  • Annabel Lee Belgian Wit from Raven Beer
  • Single Hop Warrior Imperial IPA from Flying Dog
  • O’Reilly’s Stout from Pennsylvania’s Sly Fox Brewing
  • Birdhouse Pale Ale from The Brewers Art
…and so many more!
 
It’ll be a great Saturday afternoon.  The Real Ale Festival at Pratt Street Ale House.  I’ll see you there!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
May 1, 2015 – Evolution Craft Brewing
 
Take a small step back in time.  It’s late 2008 on the Eastern Shore, near Salisbury, and rumors are circulating that a craft brewery might be opening.  This was especially big news then.  The Salisbury/Ocean City area had no craft breweries in ‘08.  But that was all about to change.  Tommy and Johnny Knorr were, indeed, building a craft brewery and in so doing, realizing a dream.
 
Just a few months later, in early 2009, Evolution Craft Brewing Company opened in Delmar, Delaware, just a couple of miles over the Maryland/Delaware border.  Tommy and Johnny had hoped to open their brewery in Salisbury, but at that time, the town didn’t recognize the value of having a craft brewery.  That first space, in Delmar, Delaware wasn’t glamorous or even highly visible, but it had the room to build a brewing system, bottling operation and a small tasting room.  That was all the Knorr’s needed to get their beer to a bunch of thirsty Delmarva residents!
 
Zoom forward to now and Evolution---sometimes just called EVO---has been happily at home in Salisbury for a few years.  They’ve built a great brewery and tasting room and also have a restaurant known as the Evolution, or EVO, Public House.  If you’ve ever eaten at one of Tommy and Johnny Knorr’s restaurants, you know the food is always great!
 
I can comfortably recommend literally all of their mainline and seasonal craft beers because I’ve had them all.  If you’ve never had an Evolution craft beer and are new to craft beer, try their Primal Pale Ale, a balanced, smooth golden pale ale.  And if you’re a craft beer enthusiast, jump into Lot #6, a double IPA, with the right amount of bitterness and a ton of hop flavor and aroma!  Or have one of each!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

April 24, 2015 Maryland Craft Beer Festival

Last year, just a few days after I started writing and talking about craft beer on 100.7 The Bay, an awesome event took place---an event so cool that I already began looking forward to the 2015 version.  And now we’re just a little over a month away and I would not be doing my job as “The Craft Beer Guy” if I didn’t tell you about this.

The date: Saturday, May 30th
The time: 1pm-6pm
The place: Carroll Creek Park in downtown Frederick
The event: The Maryland Craft Beer Festival

This is something you don’t want to miss!  The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is presented by the Brewers Association of Maryland and features an outstanding line-up of Maryland craft breweries!  The Brewers Association of Maryland is the non-profit trade association of Maryland brewing companies.  Their mission is to promote and protect Maryland Beer. 

As of today, here are just some of the breweries that will be there, in alphabetical order:

  • Eastern Shore Brewing Company        
  • Flying Dog Brewery
  • Full Tilt Brewing
  • Heavy Seas Beer
  • Jailbreak Brewing
  • Milkhouse Brewery
  • Monocacy Brewing
  • Oliver Brewing
  • Raven Beer
  • Ruhlman Brewery
  • The Brewers Art
  • Union Craft Brewing

…and there are more.

And of course there will be food and music!  It’s a great event and something you have to put on your 2015 bucket list!

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival, Saturday May 30th, at Carroll Creek Park in Frederick.  I’ll see you there!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

April 17, 2015 – 1st Annual Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ Festival

Warm weather is starting and it feels great!  And with this kind of weather comes a ton of new things to do!  And in the wonderful world of craft beer that means… new beer festivals!

There’s a nice, first time, event happening tomorrow at the Red Shedman Farm Brewery in Mt. Airy.  It’s the 1st Annual Bluegrass, Brew & BBQ Festival and it features… yes… bluegrass music, craft beer, and great food!  Hard to go wrong with that, right!?

If you’ve not heard of Red Shedman yet, they are one of the relatively new farm breweries here in Maryland.  As a quick refresher, last July, Maryland passed a law allowing for the creation of farm breweries where these brewers use Maryland grown ingredients in their craft beer.  But although they are a new brewery, they have years of experience in creating great products.  Red Shedman is, let’s call it the beer division, of Linganore Wine Cellars.  The Red

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