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Welcome to 100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Blog! 

 
October 24, 2014 – Pumpkin Ales – Part III
 
With Halloween now just a week away, pumpkins are everywhere. Front porches, road-
side stands, grocery stores, offices and... in bottles at your favorite package store! Pumpkin beers are here and it’s a delicious way to celebrate Halloween, Autumn and life!
 
Here are five pumpkin ales to look for. And, if you’re ready---try ‘em all! There are three from Maryland and one each from our neighbors in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Now, in alphabetical order:
 
  • Dogfish Head – Punkin’ Ale 7.0% ABV
    A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar, brewed with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices. 
  • Flying Dog - The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale 9.0% ABV
    Brewed with local pumpkin puree and a secret blend of spices. The Fear has bold pumpkin pie flavor complemented by graham cracker and chocolate notes.
  • Full Tilt – Patterson Pumpkin 9.0% ABV
    Patterson Pumpkin begins with malts and pumpkin in the mash. Then the hops go in to balance the malt sweetness before adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar for a rich, full-bodied pumpkin pie experience.
  • Heavy Seas – The Greater Pumpkin 10.0% ABV
    With a rich, deep and burnished orange color, Greater Pumpkin has aromas of bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove. The full malt body features brown sugar and pumpkin. Bourbon barrel aging brings out notes of oak, vanilla, and bourbon.
  •  Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale 8.0% ABV
    A hearty pumpkin ale, with spicy, caramel and pumpkin flavors. Brewed with lots of pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove.
 
These are each phenomenal examples of this wonderful style!
 
Have a great weekend!
 
Until next week...
 
Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
October 17, 2014 – Tap Take-Overs
 
Well I hope you’ve been enjoying Baltimore Beer Week! It started last Friday and runs through Sunday. As a matter of fact tomorrow is the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival at Pratt Street Ale House! There will be a ton of cask ales from Oliver Breweries---so that alone makes it awesome. Plus, there will be a bunch of other breweries there as well. It’ll be a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
 
One of the concepts that’s taken place during Baltimore Beer Week is the Tap Take-over. A true Tap-Take-Over is when a bar or restaurant pulls all of their regular beers off line for the night and then features different beers---from ONE brewery. It’s an incredible experience to drink several different beers from one brewery in one evening. Your journey can easily go from a pilsner, to a golden ale, then to an IPA and finish off with a stout... all from ONE brewery! You’ll love the freshness of the draught beers and you’ll also see why some breweries are so highly regarded for their multiple outstanding beers.
 
If you’d like to experience a Tap Take-Over that’s part of Baltimore Beer Week, head to the Greene Turtle at The Shops at McHenry Row tonight! Flying Dog will have four draught lines for the night... and that means a stellar night for you!
 
Until next week...
 
Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
October 10, 2014 – Baltimore Beer Week
 
Today’s a big day in Baltimore for a couple great reasons! #1: The Orioles are playing game one of the ALCS! Go O’s! And, #2: today is the first day of Baltimore Beer Week---a week-long celebration of great beer!
 
Last week, I sat down with Joe Gold, one of the founders of Baltimore Beer Week and talked about the magic behind this wonderful celebration. It started in 2009 when Joe and co-founder Dominic Cantalupo, wanted to draw attention to the amazing, and in some cases, complex beers being brewed right here in Baltimore. Well, Baltimore Beer Week is now in its sixth year and now actually lasts ten days, starting with today!
 
There are hundreds of events, from the ones officially associated with Baltimore Beer Week, to the ones where bars, restaurants and package stores are simply joining in on the energy of this awesome event! The Baltimore Beer Week 2014 Opening Tap Celebration happens tomorrow at DAS Best Oktoberfest at Rash Field, on the Inner Harbor, directly across from Federal Hill. Then for the rest of Baltimore Beer Week, the entire Baltimore area is rockin’ with great beer events. Joe Gold’s advice on how to enjoy this week? Try something that sounds like fun. 
 
For a lot of great information go to: baltimorebeerweek.com!
 
It’s the 6th Annual Baltimore Beer Week! Time to toast our town!
 
Until next week...
 
Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
October 3, 2014 – Beer Medals
 
 
Hi. This is Jefferson, 100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy.
 
The world of craft beer is one that is filled with adventures of all five senses! Just think about it...
Sight: the look of the bottle, the draught handle, and the beer in its serving vessel.
Sound: the pop of the bottle cap, the snap of the can lid, the beer pouring into your glass
Touch: the cold feel of the beer as it quenches your thirst
Aroma: the bouquet of the beer itself
Taste: the liquid nectar that we love to savor so much!
 
With all of these senses being part of every beer experience, it would only make sense that there would be some kind of judging, rating, and ranking of different beers. And there are! Web-sites and print publications often score beer on a 1 to 100 scale and beer festivals regularly feature judged beer competitions. 
 
Two weekends ago, the Brewers Association of Maryland awarded medals to some of the best beers in Maryland and Heavy Seas walked away with ten medals and an Honorable Mention! 
  • Best of Show Gold: Plank III
  • Best of Show Bronze: Gold Ale
  • Gold Medal in Gold/Blonde Ale Category: Gold Ale
  • Gold Medal in Gold Lager Category: Small Craft Warning
  • Gold Medal in Belgian Ale Category: Plank III
  • Gold Medal in Marzen/Oktoberfest/Vienna/Dark Lager Category: Cutlass Amber Lager
  • Silver Medal in Belgian Ale Category: Holy Sheet
  • Silver Medal in Stout Category: Peg Leg
  • Silver Medal in Amber/Red/Hybrid Alt Bier Category: Winter Storm
  • Silver Medal in Specialty/Experimental Category: Siren Noire
  • Honorable Mention in Specialty/Experimental Category: Greater Pumpkin
 
If you’re looking for a great beer this weekend, it’s easy! Just enjoy one of these Heavy Seas beers!
 
Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 
 
September 26, 2014 – Oktoberfest

With Autumn now officially here, and the growing presence of many Fall seasonal products, Oktoberfest beers are now everywhere.  Although Pumpkin beers have become a favorite of many craft beer enthusiasts, there are many great craft Oktoberfest beers available right now and they shouldn’t be missed!

The origins of the true Oktoberfest beer are in Germany where the beer was brewed in March and kept in cold storage because refrigeration didn’t exist at the time.  And of course that’s different now.  But the style that was created---a Märzen… for March---was started this way.  These beers are typically a dark copper or burnt orange color and have a mild hop profile.  They’re very drinkable over a session because of their reasonable ABV percentage.  ABV means Alcohol By Volume.  Most Oktoberfest beers are below 6% ABV.

One Maryland brewer that brews an authentic and excellent Oktoberfest is Flying Dog.  Their DOGtoberfest is brewed with only imported German ingredients and has won a number of awards including two Gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival.

So celebrate Oktoberfest now… with a DOGtoberfest Marzen Beer from Flying Dog!  ‘Tis the season!

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

September 19, 2014 – Maryland Microbrewery Festival – Part Two!

The countdown is on for a very cool vibe craft beer event that’s now in it’s 9th year!  It’s the annual Maryland Microbrewery Festival taking place next Saturday, September 27th at the historic Union Mills Homestead, on Route 27 just north of Westminster.  There are a few things that make this such a great craft beer festival: one… naturally… is the beer.  Every brewery is from Maryland.  Two: almost every beer is on draught!  And three: the location is spectacular.  The Union Mills Homestead is a well cared for property with gardens, 16 acres of open parkland, the historic Shriver homestead itself and the beautiful brick gristmill.

Here are some of the breweries that will be there this year: Pub Dog, Raven Beer, Flying Dog, DuClaw, Full Tilt, Heavy Seas, Oliver, Public Works, Union… and many more!  You’ll be able to enjoy lagers, pilsners, pumpkin ales, IPA’s, American ales, stouts, porters, Belgian-ales, sours… nothing but good stuff!  And proceeds go to the Union Mills Homestead!

Now to get in the mood for the event, here’s an ale you gotta try: It’s Pub Dog’s Imperial Dog IPA.  This is a fantastic IPA and it’s brewed right in Westminster!  It’s really good!

So put this on your calendar: The 9th Annual Maryland Microbrewery Festival, next Saturday, from 11am-7pm, at the Union Mills Homestead in Westminster.  I’ll see you there!  It’s going to be a great day!

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

September 12, 2014 – Full Tilt Brewing

 

Last week I talked a little more about Pumpkin beers and, in particular, about Patterson Pumpkin from Full Tilt Brewing.  If you had a chance to try Patterson Pumpkin---great!  If not, there’s plenty of time to enjoy this and the other Full Tilt Brewing beers.

Full Tilt is headed by Nick Fertig and Dan Baumiller, the owners and brewmasters. They are two passionate guys who are always exploring new ideas for their beers.  When I talked to Nick earlier this week, he gave me a feel for the process he and Dan go through for each new brew that becomes part of the Full Tilt line.  They first independently create several recipes for each new project.  Then they brew each beer in small batches, go through taste testing, settle on one and then tweak the beer until it’s… perfect.  That process has already produced several outstanding brews: Baltimore Pale Ale, Fully Tilted Baltimore Pale Ale, Fleet Street Raspberry Wheat, Berger Cookie Stout and, of course, Patterson Pumpkin.  On tap next: Hop Harbor, a brew for the hop-head in all of us!  Hop Harbor is a Double IPA and features Mosaic hops.  It’ll be available beginning September 20th, on draught and in bottles.  I can’t wait!

Full Tilt Brewing.  Great brewers.  Great brews.

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

September 5, 2014 – Pumpkin Ales – Part II

Pumpkin Ales.  Pumpkin Stouts.  Pumpkin Porters.  Pumpkin Lagers.  So many great pumpkin beers to experience.  So where do you start?  You could start with something that only has pumpkin flavors added.  Or you could start with a beer that’s light on spices and heavier on pumpkins.  Or start with one that has lots of pumpkins and lots of spices.

Here’s a pumpkin ale that’s brewed right here in Baltimore that’ll let you taste the pumpkins, some really nice spices… and by the time you have a couple, you’ll be ready to dress up for Halloween!  It’s Full Tilt's Patterson Pumpkin.  I picked up a four-pack last weekend and… well, it’s gone.  Yeah---good stuff.  Here’s part of what’s written on the four-pack carrier: Warning.  Bottles contain exceedingly delicious, high octane liquids.  We have spent years coming up with what we believe is a perfectly balanced blend of hops, barley, pumpkin, spices and alcohol.  Experience the full taste of American hops and barley, while sensing the full pride we put into every single brew.”

And that’s just part of the description.  What makes the description especially great is that it really does describes just how good and interesting this pumpkin ale is.

So now you know what to try this weekend!  Full Tilt’s Patterson Pumpkin.

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

August 29, 2014 – 6th Annual Brews on the Beach

An annual late summer, early fall event is taking place again this year in Ocean City; an event that makes the “Shoulder Season” even more fun.  It’s the 6th Annual Brews on the Beach Craft Beer Festival, Saturday, September 6th at Hooper’s Crab House in West OC.

The event was the first true craft beer festival in the Salisbury/Ocean City area in its first year in 2009.  At that point, Delmarva was just beginning to enjoy the wonder of craft beer and only one of the current Delmarva breweries was brewing beer.  That year, the event was held inside Hooper’s Crab House but then grew quickly and by 2011, Brews on the Beach moved outdoors and undercover.

The event takes place each year under a massive open-air tent, right outside Hooper’s Crab House, located on the left just before you cross the Route 50 Bridge going into OC.  There will be a bunch of great craft beer’s at this year’s event including Dogfish Head, 16 Mile, Evolution, Burley Oak and Fin City, Ocean City’s first craft brewery.

So get yourself ready now for next weekend’s 6th Annual Brews on the Beach Craft Beer Festival!  Pop open a Fin City Captain Jack Pumpkin Ale this weekend and enjoy! 

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

August 22, 2014 – Session Beer – Part I

As we wrap up another amazing summer of life, there are still some spectacular summer seasonal beers available.  And in this group of summer seasonals is a relatively new category: session beers. 

Now to be fair, session beers have been around for a long time.  When I met with Steven Jones, the brewmaster at Oliver Breweries, a few weeks ago, we touched on the subject of session beers, and more specifically session ales.  Steven was quick to point out that not only has the style been around for a long time, but in his native England, session ales are an important part of beer culture and the enjoyment of this very special part of life.  Steven has brewed a really enjoyable session beer at Pratt Street Ale House and it’s available right now!

Session ales are brewed with the idea of creating an ale that is full of flavor but lower in alcohol so that you can have several---during a session---without falling into a state of… let’s call it… fuzziness.  The challenge for all brewers is getting the full flavor AND the low alcohol.  But brewers love challenges and there are a ton of very good session ales available right now.  Many of them literally have the word “session” in the name of the beer.

With two August weekends left, this is a perfect time to enjoy a session beer.  Take a look in your local store and find one to enjoy.  Or swing by Pratt Street Ale House, right near Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and try their session beer!  Steven has called it “You Made Me Realise” and describes it exactly as it’s referred to in England: a British table beer.

Until next week…

Cheers! 

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

 

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

August 15, 2014 – Pumpkin Ales – Part I

 
 
Although it’s only mid-August, some of the Fall seasonal craft beers are beginning to appear around Baltimore. Until about 20 years ago, the arrival of Fall seasonal beers meant that shelves and draught handles would feature Octoberfest beers. But beginning in the early 90’s, a new Fall seasonal began to slowly emerge. And over the last five years, this craft beer category has exploded and is now one of the most popular craft beer styles for beer enthusiasts!
 
The category? Pumpkin! There are Pumpkin Ales, Pumpkin Stouts, Pumpkin Porters and Pumpkin Lagers! And you can buy some of them right now!
 
Now... like you, I love summer! Why should we even be thinking about Pumpkin beer right now? Well, Pumpkin beers are brewed in limited quantities so when they’re gone... they’re gone. The great news is that there are now so many different Pumpkin beer recipes that you’ll be able to find a wide array of these very special craft beers all the way into November. 
 
I’ll talk a lot more about Pumpkin beers over the coming weeks because there are so many interesting craft beers in this category. Some are brewed with pumpkins, some are brewed with pumpkin flavors, spices and sugars, and some have it all! Each brewer finds their own variation on the style so you’ll find the process of trying Pumpkin Ales, Stouts, Porters and Lagers to be a great adventure! 
 
Until next week...
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson
 
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy
 

August 8, 2014 – Growlers

There was a time when most of us had just two ways to enjoy a craft beer: on draught or in a 12 ounce bottle.  But like everything else in life, things changed.  Craft brewers started releasing 22 ounce bottles of special creations or seasonal offerings.  Then, the canning of craft beer started.  It’s now common to find many outstanding beers in cans… in 22 ounce bottles… 12 ounce bottles and on tap!  But what if you want to have a draught beer at home?  Throughout craft beer's emergence as a wonderful way to enjoy life, there has been a way many craft beer enthusiasts do just that---drink draught beer at home!  They buy beer from a local craft brewery in a growler! 

 What’s a growler?  It’s typically a brown glass container shaped like a jug with an aluminum twist off lid.  Most growlers are 64 ounces, but they are also available in 32 and 128 ounce sizes as well.  Sounds great doesn’t it?  Well it is!  The only challenge can be getting to a craft brewery or a brew pub to get your growler filled.  However---the Maryland General Assembly approved a law this year allowing growler sales at your local beer store.  Beginning October 1st, Harford County will have fresh, delicious craft beer available at many beer stores.  If you don’t own a growler, don’t worry---you can buy one at the store.  Then, you simply fill it up, take it home, savor the experience… and go back for more!

 Growlers are coming!  It’s another reason to celebrate life!   

 Until next week…

 Cheers!

 Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

August 1, 2014Maryland Microbrewery Festival

If you haven’t yet had the chance to attend some of this summer’s craft beer events, here’s one to put on your calendar for the end of September: it’s the 9th Annual Maryland Microbrewery Festival, Saturday September 27th at the Union Mills Homestead in Westminster.

I had the chance to meet with David and James Shriver this week at the Union Mills Homestead.  David and James began the Maryland Microbrewery Festival in 2006 to help preserve this historic treasure.  The Homestead is in a beautiful setting, with both the home and the original grist mill surrounded by lush, flowering gardens and 16 acres of well-maintained parkland.  The historic Shriver home, dating back to 1797, and the grist mill are open for tours and the grist mill is a working mill, producing wholewheat, buckwheat and cornmeal flours.

The Maryland Microbrewery Festival takes place on the grounds of the Homestead and, beyond the historic setting, has two very special features that make it different from many other craft beer events in Maryland.  The Festival only features Maryland craft beers and all of the craft beers are on draught!  That’s right: only Maryland craft beers and all are on tap!  Yeah, I’m right with you!  This one is on my calendar and it’s an “I gotta be there” event.  And there are going to be at least 15 Maryland craft breweries there this year! 

If you’d like to get a taste of one of the featured beers beforehand, pick up a Full Tilt Pale Ale.  Full Tilt is brewed in Baltimore and their Pale Ale is a nicely balanced ale that you’ll want to enjoy again and again.

For more about the Maryland Microbrewery Festival, just click here!  

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

July 25, 2014-Oliver Breweries

The weekend is here and now you’re trying to decide how to spend some time.  Well, here’s a great idea.  Grab some friends, or take your date, and head to the Pratt Street Ale House at 206 West Pratt Street in Baltimore, just a couple blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  It’s a big space, with three floors, many different rooms, a great outdoor sidewalk seating area, killer food and… awesome craft beer!

This week I had the chance to spend some time with Steven Jones, Oliver Breweries brewmaster and Justin Dvorkin, one of the owners of Pratt Street Ale House and its in-house brewery, Oliver Breweries.  Brewmaster Steven Jones came to the States in 1999 after spending seven years brewing in England.  He immediately joined the brewing team at Oliver Breweries and began brewing interesting and delicious craft beer.  Steven is a beer craftsman and his ales are truly handcrafted.  But he’s only part of the story.  In 2008, Justin Dvorkin and Donald Kelly bought the building, known then as the Wharf Rat, and re-opened it as Pratt Street Ale House and in the process knew that they had something special.  They had a classic brew-pub with great craft beer and simply wanted to make it better… and better.

If you’ve had the chance to enjoy any of their ales, you’ll be especially happy to know that in the very near future, Oliver Breweries will be moving from the Pratt Street Ale House to a separate brewing facility so they can keep up with the demand for their ales.  But there’s more!  Oliver Breweries will soon become known as Oliver Brewing Company and will be putting their ales into cans for you and I to enjoy… anytime!

So back to this weekend, head to Pratt Street Ale House and see for yourself why this is such a great place!  And be sure you have a pint of Draft Punk, an excellent American IPA that’s hopped up and so good!

 Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

July 18, 2014-Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival

This is the good life.  At last, we’re livin’ and lovin’ summertime, warm weather and the many adventures this time of the year brings.  And after the insane winter we all experienced, sometimes it almost feels like we’re owed a couple bonuses for simply getting through all that snow and ice! 

Well I have some great news: a bonus is coming in just eight days!  Next Saturday, July 26th, the first Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival is taking place at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds and for a first year event, this is gonna rock---in more ways than one!  As the name implies, the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival is a celebration of great brews and great music! 

The music happens all day long and is from several tribute bands.  You’ll hear songs from U2, Journey, John Cougar Mellencamp, Jimi Hendrix and Dave Matthews.  And the brews--- almost all craft beers---are from as far away as Hawaii and as close as… right here! 

There will be over 60 different craft beers, including amazing brews from these Maryland breweries (alphabetical): Duclaw, Eastern Shore, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas, Jailbreak, Tall Tales and Union!  And here’s another bonus to the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival: almost every one of these Maryland brewers are bringing firkins! 

If you’ve never had an ale pulled from a firkin, this is your chance!  Yes, it’s pulled; a hand-pump is used to draw the beer into your glass.  Firkins are smaller kegs---about a quarter barrel of beer---and are filled with cask conditioned ale.  This means that fermentation takes place in the firkin and the beer actually matures while in this small keg.  There’s a different quality to cask conditioned ales and the Brewsic Festival will give you the chance to see why firkins offer such a special craft beer experience.

So plan on joining a bunch of great people next Saturday the 26th at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds for the Mid-Atlantic Brewsic Festival… and cash in on those well-earned bonuses!

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

July 11, 2014-Burley Oak

Before my family moved to Baltimore we lived on the Eastern Shore, in Berlin, which is just a few minutes from Ocean City.  The actual town of Berlin was just named “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel magazine and it certainly is just that: it’s a very cool place.

The town offers some small art galleries, several interesting shops, a number of very good restaurants and a historic downtown with beautiful brick architecture everywhere.  And there’s something else that’s very cool about Berlin.  It’s the home to Burley Oak Brewing Company, founded in 2011 by Delmarva resident Bryan Brushmiller.  The brewery features a comfortable, inviting taproom where you can stop in, grab a stool at the long, wooden bar and enjoy some of the freshest beer you’ll ever have.  Bryan has a deep commitment to creating outstanding brews and---here’s what’s very different and very cool---using locally grown ingredients at every opportunity.  You can find Burley Oak products at a bunch of bars and restaurants on the Eastern Shore and in a few select package stores where 750ml bottles are sold.

I’ve not had one Burley Oak brew that I didn’t like, but if there’s one I always think about when I think of Burley Oak, it’s Rude Boy Red Ale.  It was one of their first brews and it was the very first Burley Oak beer I ever had.  I remember the day well.  The brewery had just opened, I was sitting in the tasting room in Berlin with a group of great friends, talking, laughing and celebrating life. 

So grab a Rude Boy Red Ale and talk and laugh and… celebrate! 

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

Email: thecraftbeerguy@thebayonline.com

 

 July 4, 2014-Craft Beer Festivals

OK. So you like beer. And maybe even you love beer! How many times have you walked into a store to buy beer, looked at the selection and thought, “I’d love to try a bunch of these.” 

Well, there’s a way that you can! Grab some friends and attend a craft beer festival!
 
Craft beer festivals come in many different formats, but all celebrate the art of brewing amazing beer. Some are almost exclusively craft beer focused, others feature music, art, crafts... or all of the above. And all feature food. And that’s important. As with any pairing of food and drink, the food adds unique qualities to the taste of the beer and the beer adds the something special to the taste of the food.
 
There are a ton of craft beer festivals right here in Maryland, from small to large. Beginning this week, we will be listing festivals and celebrations on the Events tab of our Craft Beer page at thebayonline.com.
 
Here are three taking place in September. With a busy summer ahead of you, knowing about these gives you plenty of time to arrange your schedule so you can attend them all!
  • The 47th Annual Maryland Seafood Festival, Saturday & Sunday, September 6th & 7th at Sandy Point Park State Park, near the Bay Bridge. 
  •  The 3rd Annual Annapolis Craft Beer and Music Festival, Saturday September 13th at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis. 
  • The 9th Annual Maryland Microbrewery Festival, Saturday September 27th at the Union Mills Homestead, Westminster.
You’ll love everything about a craft beer festival: the atmosphere, the people... and, of course, the beer.
 
Until next week...
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson
 
100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy
 
 
June 27, 2014-What Is An Ale? A Lager?
 
There’s nothing like summer! And there’s nothing like enjoying a cold beer on a hot summer day.
 
But which beer? So many to choose from and so little time. Do you want an ale? Or a lager? Ales and lagers are names for two different categories of beer. 
 
Ales use yeast that ferments at the top of the fermentation tank and typically ferments at warmer temperatures. Ales produce a range of distinct flavors, from sweet to bitter. They are often amber in color, but can also be golden or dark brown. And all ales produce a variety of wonderful aromas. 
 
Lagers feature bottom fermenting yeast and are usually golden in color, but with darker malts can be various shades of brown. Lagers are what many people think of when they hear the word “beer”. But as you either already knew, or now understand, beer is a word that simply describes the delicious liquid that we all love!
 
So... here’s an ale to savor this weekend: Jackspot Amber Ale from Fin City Brewing. And here’s a lager to enjoy: Small Craft Warning, from Heavy Seas.
 
Until next week...
 
Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

 

June 20, 2014-Summer Seasonal Beers

Summertime is here and the livin’ is easy. And the beer is ice cold!

One of the many truly wonderful aspects of the growth of the craft beer industry is the never ending introduction of new products. So with summer here, there are, again, a bunch of great new brews and the welcome return of some seasonal beers.

If you’re new to the craft beer journey, seasonal beers are an exciting and special part of the experience. As each of the four seasons approaches, special brews are released, whether for the first time or returning for another season of savoring.

For example, Flying Dog Brewery recently released Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale. It’s an ale that is literally brewed with Old Bay. The first taste is intriguing and lets you know that Old Bay is definitely in there! But as you work through your first Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale, the ale just feels like, and tastes like, summer.

If you’d like to try a great double IPA, head to the Pratt Street Ale House and order a Big D. Double IPAs, or imperial IPAs, are just a variation on the India Pale Ale style. Big D, on draught now at Pratt Street Ale House, is a fantastic double IPA.

And there are so many more. So go shopping, go searching... start the journey. It’s a great adventure.

Until next week...

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

 

June 13, 2014-The Raven & Tell Tale Heart

Another week and more beer.  Life is good.

This week I had the chance to visit with the guys from the Baltimore-Washington Beer Works who brew The Raven Special Lager and more.  I stopped by the brewery yesterday (Thursday) and enjoyed one of their excellent brews and heard, first hand, a brief history of how The Raven came to be.  More about that particular excellent brew in a minute.

When brewery founder Stephen Demczuk brewed his first Raven Special Lager, he was in Germany running Europe’s first beer-of-the-month club.  Not too long afterwards, Stephen came back to Baltimore and began brewing here.  Although The Raven beer started it all, the brewery has expanded on the Edgar Allen Poe theme and now makes Tell Tale Heart IPA, Pendulum Pilsner and The Cask (a double bock)… with Annabel Lee White (a Belgian wit beer) coming soon.  The company is booming and the interest in their beers is so high that it’s hard to keep up with the demand! 

Of the four beers in the Edgar Allen Poe series, I’ve had three of them and I can recommend them all.  But, I did promise I’d tell you about the one we all enjoyed yesterday as we talked, surrounded by beer, filtration systems and brew kettles.  It was the Tell Tale Heart IPA and it is… awesome!  So try it this weekend… if you can find it!  If not, grab a Pendulum Pilsner or a Raven Special Lager.  It’ll be a nice weekend with one of those nearby.

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

 

June 6, 2014-Heavy Seas & Loose Cannon

If you love great beer, than you feel the same way I do: I’m glad I live in Baltimore.  There are a lot of great craft breweries right here… and as a result we’re able to enjoy their beers and ales from bottle and draught on a regular basis.

And one of the best is Heavy Seas.  Founder Hugh Sisson is about as passionate as anyone about great beer.  The company started as Clipper City Brewing Company in 1995.  As the brewery grew, new beers were brewed and new styles were developed including many in the Heavy Seas line-up.   The Heavy Seas beers, ales and stouts popularity took off and Heavy Seas quickly became the new identity for Clipper City. 

Heavy Seas is, literally, an award winning brewery with medals from the prestigious Great American Beer Festival, the World Beer Cup… and more.  I can honestly recommend all of their products simply because I can’t think of one I haven’t had. 

If you’ve never had a Heavy Seas beer, let me give you one to start with.  It’s Heavy Seas Loose Cannon.  It’s their flagship beer and is an American IPA.  IPA stands for India Pale Ale and there’s a great history to the IPA style---but that’s for another time. 

So try a Loose Cannon from Heavy Seas.  You will be amazed!  And if you’ve had it, you know exactly what I’m talking about!

 Until next week…

 Cheers!

 Jefferson

100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Guy

 

May 30, 2014-Introduction & Welcome

Ahhhh craft beer.  Wonderful, interesting… delicious craft beer.  Whether it’s beer, ale, stout, or any one of the---now---thousands of variations on each traditional s

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