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Welcome to 100.7 The Bay’s Craft Beer Blog from Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy!

Check out the pics from Pappas Restaurant Cockeysville with The Craft Beer Guy Here.

Check out pics from the Greene Turtle Owings Mills Craft Beer Party Here.

July 22, 2016 – Severna Park Taphouse

If you live in the Severna Park/Pasadena area and love craft beer, or if you simply want to  try a new bar and restaurant, plan on making a visit to Severna Park Taphouse on Earleigh  Heights Road in Severna Park.  This past Tuesday, I met with Jessica Tinordi, the manager  of Severna Park Taphouse and asked about how this craft beer destination came to be.

(Jessica Tinordi talks)

Forty­three beer handles!  I like it!  Here are some of the beers on draft at Severna Park  Taphouse, right now: 

 Seersucker, a Pilsner from Abita

 Oarsman, a Weissbeer from Bells

 Old Oriole Park, a Bohemian Pilsner from Peabody Heights

 UFO Raz, a fruit infused Hefeweizen from Harpoon

 Blackboard #2, a dry hopped Pilsner from Victory

 Dew Right, a Blonde Ale from Jailbreak

 reDANKulous, an Imperial Red IPA from Founders

 Hoppy Bunny, a Black Ale from Duck Rabbit

 Double D, a Double IPA from Fordham Dominion

 120 Minute, an Imperial IPA from Dogfish Head

 Go To IPA, a Session IPA from Stone 

 Arm Chair, a Dry Stout from Blue Point …and so many more! 

The draft lines rotate, so you’ll always have the chance to either try something new or enjoy  a craft beer that you’ve had before.  Severna Park Taphouse is a place where families are  welcomed, friendship is celebrated… and craft beer is savored!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

July 15, 2016 – Shandy and Radler Beer Styles

Gotta love summertime. Yeah, it’s hot on some days, but we get to do so many things that only this time of the year offers.

With the rapid growth and popularity of India Pale Ales­­­IPAs­­­over the last 15 years, most breweries have made sure that they have at least one IPA in their portfolio of craft beers, even if their focus is on lagers. The concept of the IPA goes all the way back to the 1800’s when Great Britain brewed a higher alcohol ale to last on the six­month journey by ship from England to India.

Recently many craft breweries have looked to add lower alcohol products to their line­up of beer, ranging from brewing lagers to session IPAs­­­IPAs that have lower alcohol by volume­­­to brewing shandies and radlers.

Shandies and radlers are very similar, with the distinction between the two being that the shandy was conceived in England while the radler originated in Germany. Both styles, shandies and radlers, are made with a combination of a citrus or fruit beverage, and beer or ale. The result is a light, refreshing, usually slightly sweet, lower ABV beer. The two most common citrus additions are lemons and grapefruit, usually individually and not combined. Ginger, oranges, raspberries, black cherries, limes, cranberries and mangos are also used, again almost always as a single fruit blend.

With another hot weekend upon us, this is a great time to go on a craft beer adventure and try a shandy or a radler! Flying Dog makes Hibiscus Grapefruit Radler a delicious example of the radler style and is only 4.2% ABV. Del’s Shandy, brewed by Narragansett Beer is a lemon shandy that checks in at 4.7% ABV. Both are excellent and a nice way to spend a hot summer afternoon with family and friends.

Cheers!

Jefferson

The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

July 8, 2016 – Flying Dog – Dead Rise Summer Ale

When I visited Flying Dog Brewery a couple weeks ago, Chief Marketing Officer, Ben Savage, and Brewmaster, Ben Clark, and I savored a few craft beers and talked about their individual paths to joining Flying Dog. Last week, it was CMO Ben Savage’s story; this week, it’s Brewmaster Ben Clark’s turn.

Ben Clark’s inspiration for brewing beer came during some Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations with family. His grandfather was a winemaker and one year, on a trip to the basement to get some wine for the holiday meal, Ben said he’d like to brew beer. But his grandfather said, “Don’t do it. It’s too hard.” And the challenge was on.

Ben had always liked working with his hands, from ceramics to gardening to making cheeses, so beer was the next, natural thing to do. After starting his career in the banking and finance world, Ben decided to take classes on brewing. As he was finishing up his initial brewing education, he applied for an entry level job at Flying Dog, just as the brewery was moving from Colorado to Maryland.

He started in the cellar, cleaning tanks, scrubbing floors, and slowly worked his way up through the ranks until being named Director of Brewery Operations. Two months ago, the title changed to Brewmaster, but the job remains the same: creating and brewing some of the best beer in the world!

One of those beers is Dead Rise Summer Ale, a craft beer that was first available in the Summer of 2014.

(Ben Clark talks)

So this weekend, have a Dead Rise Summer Ale and taste some of the spice of life! 

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

July 1, 2016 – Flying Dog – The History & Snake Dog

Maryland’s outstanding craft beer culture is the direct result of so many passionate and creative people in the craft beer industry and, as consumers, our love for craft beer! Last week, I had the chance to spend time at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick and sat down with Ben Savage, the Chief Marketing Officer, and Ben Clark, Flying Dog’s Brewmaster. During my visit, we talked about the formation of the brewery and sampled a few craft beers.
 
Ben Savage, the CMO, joined Flying Dog in 2010 as Flying Dog was looking at new ways to expand and enhance their profile as a brewery. After getting his degree as a film and marketing major, Ben worked for some Washington D.C. advertising agencies before the Flying Dog opportunity came along. Ben was a natural fit as a Maryland native, born and raised in Ellicott City, and someone who has always had a love for craft beer.
 
I asked Ben Savage about the Flying Dog story.
 
(Ben Savage talks)
 
Then we opened a bottle of Snake Dog IPA and Brewmaster Ben Clark described what has become one of their flagship beers.
 
(Ben Clark talks)
 
Next week, I’ll share Ben Clark’s path to his Brewmaster position at Flying Dog and hear Ben talk about another one of the beers he brews. Between now and then, have a few Snake Dog IPA’s!
 

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

June 24, 2016 – Devils Backbone’s 16 Point Imperial IPA

Last Thursday I attended a Devils Backbone Brewing beer tasting event at Woodberry Kitchen, in the Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore. Devils Backbone has just released the latest beer in their Peak Series, 16 Point Imperial IPA, and last Thursday was my first chance to have this beer. I wish I would have had it sooner. It’s brewed with Columbus, Centennial and Simcoe hops and is incredible! If you see it on the menu or chalkboard at your favorite establishment, be sure to have one because it’s a limited release and is only available on draft. You will love it!

Devils Backbone started as a small brewpub in Roseland, Virginia in 2008 and has gone on to win Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup medals because of the quality of their craft beer. The Brewmaster today is the same one who helped establish the brewery: Jason Oliver. I had the chance to talk with Jason this week and hear about his path to becoming a world­class brewer.

Jason grew up in Howard County and attended Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. As he moved through his college years, he started to develop an interest in beer. After a just­ after­graduation job in Alaska, Jason came back to Maryland and while looking at a book on careers, he came across “Brewmaster” and knew immediately that this is what he wanted to do.

So Jason started home brewing. Then he started looking for a job in the brewing industry and landed an assistant position at Oliver Breweries in Baltimore. After a year and a half, he got his Master Brewer’s Program diploma from UC­Davis and returned to Maryland to take on a series of brewing jobs, most notably, six years brewing for Gordon­Biersch restaurants. Then it was the job that really changed it all: the first brewer at what was to become Devils Backbone Brewing.

As the popularity of Devils Backbone beers grew, it became clear the brewery needed more space and opened a 120 barrel brewery in Lexington, Virginia in 2012. The brewery specializes in German beer styles, but as you now know, they also make some excellent ales.

So if you get the chance, drink a 16 Point Imperial IPA from Devils Backbone, a limited release, crafted by Brewmaster Jason Oliver!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

June 17, 2016 – Bel Air Beer Week – Part I

As you make your summertime plans, be sure to block some time in early August for the 2nd Annual Bel Air Beer Week! Last year’s 5-day event was so successful that this year, Bel Air Beer Week will be running for 9 days!
 
Earlier this week, I met with Shane McCarthy, the Beer Manager for Ronnie’s Beverage Warehouse and founder of Bel Air Beer Week, and Jerry Schmidt, the Store Manager at The Liquor Stop. Both of these men are highly knowledgeable and passionate about craft beer. Shane McCarthy’s inspiration for creating the first Bel Air Beer Week was purely from his desire to create a celebration of craft beer! I asked Shane to talk about the kick-off for this year’s Bel Air Beer Week.
 
(Shane McCarthy talks)
 
And the beer’s name? With A Little Hops From My Friends! Nice! Shane then talked about the first day of Bel Air Beer Week.
 
(Shane McCarthy talks)
 
I then asked Jerry Schmidt to talk about some of the other events for the week.
 
(Jerry Schmidt talks)
 
And Bel Air Beer Week wraps up on Saturday, August 13 th , the day of the Maryland State Barbeque Bash in downtown Bel Air! It’s going to be quite a week and I can’t wait! I’ll see you in Bel Air!
 

 

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 
 
June 10, 2016 – Hops & Vine Rewind Festival

Summertime and the livin’ is easy. This is such a great time of year. So many things to do, so many places to go, so much of life to live.
 
Grab a little piece of the easy livin’ next weekend, Father’s Day Weekend, at the Hops and Vine Rewind Festival on the grounds of Red Shedman Farm Brewery and Linganore Wine Cellars, in Mt. Airy. There will be craft beer, ciders, wine, Classic Rock, classic cars, art and crafts… all on the beautiful Red Shedman and Linganore Wine property.
 
I met with Red Shedman’s Vic Aellen this week and Vic has some new beers that are ready for this event!
 
(Audio: Red Shedman’s Vic Aellen)
 
Hmmmm. Coconut Porter. A little island flavor in Maryland…
 
(Audio: Red Shedman’s Vic Aellen)
 
While Vic and I talked, he also spoke with great passion about his cider, from his brand new Ginger Cider to Red Shedman’s increasingly popular Raspberry Cider. And while this Craft Beer on The Bay feature is focused on craft beer, ciders at this level are crafted as well and Vic Aellen has brewed a cider that smells and tastes like fresh raspberries.
 
Beer, cider, wine, Classic Rock and more… all happening next weekend at the Hops and Vine Rewind Festival at Red Shedman Farm Brewery in Mt. Airy.

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 
June 3, 2016 – Fruit Infused Craft Beer

The idea of adding fruit or vegetables to beer has been around for hundreds of years.  Over  the last 30 years, craft beer has increasingly become the richest and most interesting way  to enjoy beer.  Over this same time, brewers have found more and more ways to offer a  variety of styles to all of us, including infusing vegetables and fruit in the beer.  In the early  2000’s, the production and popularity of pumpkin beer and especially, pumpkin ale, started  to explode.  At the same time, beer brewed with fruit has also taken off!  Now, just in time  for summer, you can find a bunch of these delicious offerings at your favorite liquor store.  

Some are seasonal and some are year round.  The great news is that you have a lot of fruit  infused craft beers to… pick… from.  There are beers with peaches, blueberries,  strawberries, mango, pineapple, apricots, oranges, clementines, and raspberries.  Here are  a few to try:

 Baltimore’s Full Tilt brews Fleet Street Rasperry Wheat, a light wheat ale with  raspberries and a subtle sweetness.

 Dover, Delaware’s Dominion makes Cherry Blossom Lager with red sour cherries and  dark sweet cherries.

 Salisbury, Maryland’s Evolution has bottled Pine’Hop’Le this year, an IPA brewed with  pineapple juice.

 Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head makes Festina Peche, a somewhat bitter Weissbier  brewed with peaches.

 Baltimore’s Heavy Seas released Tropi Cannon this year, a mango, grapefruit and blood  orange infused IPA.

 Vermont’s Magic Hat has made a mark with Magic Hat #9, a very drinkable craft beer  with apricot flavors.

 Frederick, Maryland’s Flying Dog produces Bloodline Blood Orange Ale year round  featuring… blood oranges.

 Bar Harbor, Maine’s Atlantic Brewing puts fresh blueberries into their Bar Harbor  Blueberry Ale, an amber colored, yet, light ale.

And there are so many more.  As you explore, you’ll find some have pronounced fruit  flavors and some have more subtle notes.  And like all parts of your craft beer journey,  you’ll find a few that you will only have once and others that will become life­long favorites.

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

May 27, 2016 – Key Brewing Company – Part II: The Beers

Last week, the Mike McDonald and Spike Owen, the two primary owners of Key Brewing  shared the story behind the formation of Key Brewing.  This week, Head Brewer, Mike  McDonald, describes the five main beers from Key.

(Mike McDonald audio)

So the next time you see a Key Brewing draught on the menu at your favorite  establishment, taste some of the good life with a Key Brewing beer.

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

May 20, 2016 – Key Brewing Company – Part I: The Story

Earlier this week, I stopped by Key Brewing in Dundalk and met with the two principal  owners, Spike Owen and Head Brewer, Mike McDonald.  Spike Owen and Mike McDonald are  two guys who got to know each other years ago as neighbors in Federal Hill.  Over time, a  chance meeting became a friendship and these two men began to talk about how much fun  it would be to be in business for themselves.  Spike was in the restaurant business at the  time and Mike was the head brewer for the Whitemarsh brew pub, Red Brick Station.  The  more they talked about being entrepreneurs, the clearer it became that they needed to start  their own craft brewery. 

Here’s Key Brewing’s Spike Owen.

(Spike Owen audio)

And they are doing it well.  Their beer is delicious!  

Mike’s ability to make excellent beer is a  direct result of many years of experience and a desire to make high quality beer.

Here’s Key Brewing’s Mike McDonald. (Mike McDonald audio)

Key Brewing uses a 40 barrel brewing system that they were able buy on the used brewing  equipment market just as they were getting ready to build­out their brewery.  While, at the  time, it was a little larger than originally planned, it was such a great opportunity and the  timing for them was perfect.

Now that you’re getting thirsty, do two two things.  Number one: make sure you listen to  Craft Beer on The Bay on 100.7 The Bay next week when Mike describes Key Brewing’s  five… key… beers­­­On Point Ale, California Common, Helles Lager, Spot Buy IPA and Rye  Porter.  Number two: drink some Key Brewing beer this weekend!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

May 13, 2016 – Summer Beers

Well like you, I’m getting tired of the rain, the cloudy days, the drizzle, the fog… this gloomy  weather.  But we all know it will pass and soon we will be celebrating summertime!

Every year, craft brewers release summer seasonal beers.  So this is a great time to start  looking for some of these once­a­year releases.  But the warm weather is also a time to  drink some beers that maybe were not on your “must enjoy” list during the Fall and Winter.

Here are a few excellent craft beers to fill your fridge with right now!

From Evolution Brewing, Summer Session Ale.  Brewed with barley, oats, rye and wheat,  this 4.6% ABV beer has very little hop bitterness and is easy to drink.

From Full Tilt Brewing, The Bay IPA.  Beyond loving the name­­­The Bay IPA!­­­this is a nice  session IPA, giving you some of the bitterness that are characteristic of IPA’s, but is light  and crisp and very… sessionable.

From Heavy Seas Beer, Smooth Sail Summer Ale.  This is a wheat ale brewed with orange  peel and lemon and comes in at 4.5% ABV and is delicious! And from Union Craft Brewing, Anthem.  Brewed with Mosaic and Columbus hops along with  barley, wheat, corn, and oats, Anthem is a 5.0% ABV golden ale that is great anytime of the  year and absolutely during the summer!

So get ready now!  We’ll soon be enjoying those lazy, hazy and crazy days of summer!

Cheers!

Jefferson

The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

May 6, 2016 – BAM and the MD Craft Beer Festival

 
The growth of craft beer is happening for many reasons: more and more people are discovering this wonderful part of life, people are becoming inspired about brewing, craft breweries are starting up all year long, and so much of all of this is promoted and supported by the Brewers Association of Maryland or BAM.  I met with Kevin Atticks, the Executive Director of the Brewers Association of MD and we talked about their work.
 
(Kevin Atticks of the Brewers Assocation of MD)
 
BAM puts on a wide variety of events throughout the year, some for the men and women who work in the craft beer industry and some for the general public.  Next Saturday, the 14th, the Brewers Association of Maryland presents the 6th Maryland Craft Beer Festival!  I asked Kevin Atticks to describe this amazing event.
 
(Kevin Atticks of the Brewers Assocation of MD)
 
Good beer, good weather and… you and me!  And if for some reason you can’t make it there this year, pour a cold Maryland craft beer at home and listen to 100.7 The Bay from 12noon-5pm and hear interviews every half hour with different Maryland craft breweries!
 
I’ll see you there!
 
Cheers!

Jefferson

The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

April 29, 2016 – Waverly Brewing

About a month ago, I was a Pappas Sports Bar in Cockeysville for the release of Pappas Pale Ale, a wonderful pale ale brewed by Waverly Brewing in Hamden.  While I was there, I had the chance to spend some time with Roy Fisher and Greg McGrath, two of the brewers at Waverly.  We talked about getting together at the brewery so that I could let all of Maryland in on a little secret: Waverly Brewing is the real deal!
 
So this week, Roy Fisher, Greg McGrath and I met at the brewery and talked about the start of Waverly Brewing.  Here’s Head Brewer Roy Fisher.
 
(Roy Fisher talks about the start of Waverly Brewing)
 
Moving from a home brewer making 10 gallon batches to a five-barrel brewing system, or 200 gallons, is quite a leap.  But under Roy and Greg’s care, Waverly is making amazing craft beer.  I asked Roy to describe a beer that was partially inspired by the old Baltimore TV show, “Captain Chesapeake”. 
 
(Roy talks about Captain C, Waverly’s flagship IPA)
 
Waverly has been open about six months.  The concept is straight-forward: a brewery in the back and an inviting, comfortable and sizeable taproom in the front.  The taproom is made primarily from recycled and reclaimed materials and features art, antique collectibles, old magazine ads, photos, hand-made furniture, and lots of places to sit and spend an easy afternoon or evening.  Put Waverly Brewing on your list of places to go and their beer on your list of great craft beer to drink.
 

Cheers!

Jefferson

The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 
 
April 22, 2016 –Tropi Cannon from Heavy Seas Beer!

I had the chance to visit with some of the Heavy Seas team a few days ago and sat down  with Christopher Leonard, the Brewmaster and Operations Manager for Heavy Seas to talk  about Tropi Cannon, the most recent seasonal offering from this outstanding brewery. 

(Brewmaster Christopher Leonard describes Tropi Cannon)

Tropi Cannon tastes like summertime!  And the design for the labels, six­pack carriers and  cases all capture the essence of this incredible seasonal craft beer from Heavy Seas!  For a  look around the Heavy Seas tasting room and some images of the design work around Tropi  Cannon, click here: http://pro.wzba­fm.tritonflex.com/common/page.php?id=3711

So now that you’re thirsty, do the next logical thing!  Pick up some Tropi Cannon for the  weekend!

Cheers!

Jefferson

The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

April 15, 2016 – 2016 Maryland Craft Beer Festival Take a look at your calendar and then enter this date: May 14, 2016.  In less than a month,  the 2016 Maryland Craft Beer Festival will take place in Carroll Creek Park in downtown  Frederick.  It’s a cool setting in a cool town.

 

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is one of two major beer festivals that the Brewers  Association of Maryland puts on each year and they are both awesome!  Your ticket includes  a commemorative glass and unlimited samples of Maryland craft beer.  With over 30  Maryland craft breweries on site, you’ll have a huge variety of beer to choose from during  what will surely be a day to remember.  And there will be food and music all day plus a  number of artists and craft vendors displaying and selling their work.

VIP tickets are $50 and give you early access to the Festival, an exclusive VIP Tasting Glass,  access to small batch, limited edition, and vintage craft beer during the VIP session from  12noon­1:30pm­­­and unlimited samples.  General Admission starts at 1:30pm and tickets  are $40 and include a Souvenir Tasting Glass and, of course, unlimited samples.  

The Maryland Craft Beer Festival is special.  Imagine a peaceful creek winding through the  center of town, with brick sidewalks on both sides, restaurants and shops everywhere and  lots of delicious, fresh, craft beer!  You’re going to have an amazing day!

The complete brewery list will be released in a couple weeks, but you can count on enjoying  beer from some of the craft breweries that you’ve grown to love and from some new  breweries.  Craft beer is alive and well in Maryland! …

See you at the Maryland Craft Beer Festival, Saturday May 14th!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

April 8, 2016 – World of Beer One of the many signs of the ever increasing popularity of craft beer is the number of  choices we have when we visit a bar, pub, tavern or restaurant.  Whether the craft beer is  bottled, canned or on draught, we now have a variety of beers to choose from. The growth  of the craft beer industry has meant that there are now establishments that make beer the  centerpiece of their business.  Instead of having 5 or 15 beer selections, these places have fifty or even… 500!

One of these places is World of Beer, now with two locations in Baltimore: Locust Point and  Towson.  Each location features 500­plus beers with over 50% of them American craft  beers!  I sat down with John Stein and Rich Weddle from World of Beer this week and we  talked about the growth of World of Beer.

World of Beer started in a suburb of Tampa, Florida in 2007.  Over the years, it has evolved  from a strictly beer and craft beer concept to a place that now offers craft spirits, wine and  tavern food.  I asked John Stein about World of Beer’s presence in Baltimore.

(John Stein talks about World of Beer’s first two stores).

John is a Vice President with World of Beer and Rich Weddle is a Product Manager.  When I  asked Rich about his responsibilities, I heard the passion of a true beer guy.

(Rich Weddle talks about the beer and the events at World of Beer).

You can’t miss the Randall when you walk in to World of Beer.  And the ingredients that are  in the Randall and the featured beer change on a regular basis.  What’s really cool is  drinking a craft beer in its original recipe and then drinking the same beer after it’s gone  through a Randall.

World of Beer.  Another stop in your craft beer journey.

Cheers!

Jefferson

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