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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.

 

January 20, 2017 – Beer Flights
 
OK. You’re making your first visit to a tap room and you’re trying to figure out what to try. So much beer, so many tough decisions. This is the kind of problem we all love to have!
 
Whether you’ve been drinking craft beer for years, or you’re new to this wonderful world, a fun way to begin your afternoon or evening is with a beer flight.
 
A beer flight features, typically, four to six different beers, presented on a wooden tray, board, or paddle, with the craft beers presented from light in color to dark. The pours are smaller than a standard draft, but are still enough to give you the chance to really evaluate each beer. Some taprooms have a standard flight of their signature beers and others allow you to build your own flight. No matter which presentation method the brewery offers, beer flights are a great way to try several different beers before settling in on the one or two you like most.
 
Another nice part of beer flights is that very often your bartender or server will describe the aroma and tasting profile of each beer, making the entire experience a little like dining in a fine restaurant, but instead of getting hungry as you hear the descriptives, you’re getting thirsty! It’s gourmet… drinking: a beautiful visual of your beers set up, side-by- side on the paddle, the light of the room making each beer appear especially appetizing, the smell as you lift the beer to drink, and then the remarkable flavor of a great craft beer.
 
So visit a craft brewery this weekend, spend some time in their taproom, and start your adventure with a beer flight!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 
January 13, 2017 – FebBREWary!

We are now almost half-way through January and that means we are less than three weeks away from… FebBREWary. That’s right, Feb-BREW-ary! February is Maryland Craft Beer Lover’s Month! And, as part of this month long celebration of craft beer, a very cool and different kind of event is taking place on Friday, FebBREWary 17th at the Silver Spring Civic Center. It’s called Love Thy Beer: Winter Warmer Showcase and it runs from 7pm-10pm, with a very limited attendance, 6pm-7pm, pre-event session. Love Thy Beer is another awesome event presented by the Brewers Association of Maryland.

And like their other two major events, the Maryland Craft Beer Festival and the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, this event will exclusively feature Maryland Craft Beer. But it’s a little different because of the special beer that breweries make at this time of year. Love Thy Beer is putting the spotlight on Winter seasonals, porters, stouts, and small batch releases.

And like the other two signature Brewers of Association of Maryland events, you’ll have a chance to talk with brewers and brewery owners. It’s a great way to break out of the winter blues and have an amazing night! Tickets are available now for the main event at $50 each and for the pre-event session at $65---and those are going to sell out fast!

Celebrate FebBREWary and make your plans now to head to the Silver Springs Civic Center on Friday, FebBREWary 17th for the Love Thy Beer Winter Warmer Showcase!

I’ll see you there!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

January 6, 2017 – Sour Beer

Over the last five years, a lesser known beer style has steadily been making some noise and gaining popularity. As you know, I’m a true craft beer enthusiast and someone that really enjoys the craft beer adventure. So naturally, I’ve had a number of these beers. And as a person who often says “this isn’t for everyone” when I’m recommending or pouring a beer, the reality is that with so many different beer recipes, you’ll undoubtedly find some that you love and some that you hate.

This beer style is Sour Beer. And as the name implies, a fairly common tasting profile for these beers is that they often---but not always---have an element of sourness to them, from very subtle to extreme. I’ve had some that I absolutely love and some that I won’t ever drink again. But, you never know what the taste of any beer is going to be like---and whether you love it or hate it---until you try it. And that truly is part of the fun of the journey.

Sour Beer intentionally introduces bacteria or wild yeast into the brewing process. What’s amazing to me, is that despite the unpredictability that all of this could present, today’s brewers have perfected recipes so that the Sour you’re drinking comes out as consistently as your favorite lager or ale.

Some of the common versions of Sour Beer that you’ll find are Gose, Berliner Weisse, American Wild Ale, Flanders Red Ale, Lambic, Fruited Lambic and American Wild Ale. And, as I mentioned, you’ll find a wide variety of flavors when you explore Sour Beer.

When you pick up your first Sour at your local liquor store, or order one at your favorite bar, ask about the flavor profile. This way you can find something that comes close to what you normally enjoy.

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

December 30, 2016 – Naughty Egg Nog Ale from Flying Dog

Here we are. The day before New Year’s Eve and the perfect time to try a craft beer brewed especially for the holiday season and the perfect time to tell you about a spectacular spiced holiday ale that is a relatively new addition to the Flying Dog Brewery portfolio.
 
Naughty Egg Nog Ale is a rich, slightly sweet American Strong Ale that is absolutely delicious. When you lift the glass to your lips, you’ll pick up on cinnamon and nutmeg and when you drink it, you’ll taste that cinnamon and nutmeg and also some vanilla notes. Naughty Egg Nog Ale is a perfect New Year’s Eve drink if you’re a spiced ale fan. Naughty Egg Nog Ale checks in at 8.4% ABV.
 
I’ve always found that enjoying the beer bottle and can wording and artwork is part of the beer adventure and you’ll see that Naughty is another Flying Dog design classic. I asked Ben Savage, the Chief Marketing Officer for Flying Dog, about their approach to designing their labels.
 
(Flying Dog’s Ben Savage talks)
 
And Flying Dog has some really cool labels because of their creative team and the artist who creates the fascinating paintings that become Flying Dog labels.
 
(Flying Dog’s Ben Savage talks)
 
So grab a Naughty Egg Nog Ale and check out Ralph Steadman’s design and then savor the richness of this spiced ale from Flying Dog Brewery! 
 
Happy New Year!
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy
 
 
Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy
 
 
December 23, 2016 – Heavy Seas 21 Anniversary Ale
 
On Friday, October 7th, I had the honor and pleasure of emceeing the Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame Luncheon at Pratt Street Ale House. The luncheon was the first event of Baltimore Beer Week and was a special occasion. The Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame was established in 2015 by Baltimore Beer Week co-Founder, Joe Gold. Joe wanted to find a way to formally recognize some of the good people who have helped make the Baltimore’s beer industry so vibrant. That inspiration led to the formation of the Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame.
 
The first part of the ceremony involved recognizing the 2015 class: Thomas “Nelson” Carey III from Grand Cru, Bob Footlick from Bond Distributing, Tim Hillman from The Wine Source, and Mick Kipp from Whiskey Island Pirate Shop and Pickle’s Pub.
 
Then, it was time to announce the 2016 inductee, Hugh Sisson, from Heavy Seas Beer. In the mid-80’s Hugh worked to change Maryland state legislation to allow a restaurant to brew and serve beer. In 1989, Hugh’s restaurant, Sisson’s, became Maryland’s first brewpub. Hugh Sisson then went on start Clipper City Brewing in 1995, now known more commonly as Heavy Seas. The Heavy Seas portfolio of beers is impressive and their innovation never stops. I sat down at their taproom bar with Marketing Director, Fred Crudder, who described their newest release.
 
(Heavy Seas Beer Marketing Director, Fred Crudder, talks)
 
And their celebration of 21 years means that you and I have another outstanding Heavy Seas Beer to enjoy: Heavy Seas 21 Anniversary Ale!
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy
 
 
Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy
 
 
December 16, 2016 – TropiCannon All Year Round!
 
If we go back to early April and look at some of the seasonal craft beers that were being released for Spring and Summer, the prevailing theme was of fruit infused beer. Some established fruit infused seasonal releases were already on draft and on shelves and new ones were emerging. Brewers were making beer with blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, mango, kiwi, pineapple, apricots, clementines and oranges.
 
And when these seasonal beers really connect, breweries put them on their annual release schedule knowing how special it can be to drink a beer that is unique to that time of year.
 
Every now and then, a beer becomes so wildly popular and in demand that a brewery will decide to make the beer available year-round. Well that is now happening at Heavy Seas Beer! A few days ago, I caught up with Fred Crudder, the Marketing Director at Heavy Seas and he broke the big news!
 
(Heavy Seas Beer Marketing Director, Fred Crudder, talks)
 
And it is awesome! I enjoyed it many times this summer and even talking about it makes me thirsty.
 
(Heavy Seas Beer Marketing Director, Fred Crudder, talks)
 
‘Tis the season to be jolly! ‘Tis the season to celebrate! TropiCannon from Heavy Seas is now available year-round!
 
Cheers!
 
Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy
 
 
Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy
 
 
December 9, 2016 – Flying Fish Brewing – Part II
 
Last week on Craft Beer on The Bay, I talked with Gene Muller, the Founder and President of Flying Fish. We had taken a seat at a long high-top table in their taproom and Gene shared the story behind Flying Fish. We were soon joined by Head Brewer, Barry Holsten, and two other Flying Fish brewers, Brian Vanderslice and LeeAnn Wood.
 
Barry Holsten started brewing in college in ’93, then worked as a brewer for several brewing operations before joining Flying Fish in 2013.  Barry takes immense pride in his craft and talks easily about all of the Flying Fish beers. Here’s Head Brewer, Barry Holsten, on Hopfish, their flagship beer and winner of a Bronze medal at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, or GABF. 
 
(Barry Holsten talks)
 
We then moved on to another beer, with brewer Brian Vanderslice. Brian’s craft beer career started just after interning at Stewarts Brewing in Bear, Delaware in 2007 during his senior year at the University of Delaware. He then stayed on for four years until joining Flying Fish in 2011.
 
(Brian Vanderslice talks)
 
Red Fish has medaled three years in-a-row at the GABF, with two Silvers and a Bronze. Then I talked with LeeAnn Wood. LeeAnn is part of the rapidly growing group of female craft brewers. LeeAnn became a lover of craft beer while getting her undergrad degree in Food Science at the University of Delaware. When LeeAnn started home brewing, she soon knew what she really wanted to do.
 
(LeeAnn Wood talks)
 
And that’s my favorite as well. Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA. Time to grab one!
Cheers!
 
Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy
 
 
Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy
 
 
December 2, 2016 – Flying Fish Brewing – Part I
 
The year was 1994. I was working at a radio station in Philadelphia and already into my deep love affair with craft beer when I read about an internet-only brewery. But it didn’t make any sense to me. For beer to be made, there has to be a physical brewery… right? As it turned out, the internet-only brewery was simply a concept that Gene Muller used to launch the now extremely successful Flying Fish Brewery.
 
Gene Muller is the Founder and President of Flying Fish Brewery. I had the chance to spend some time at the Flying Fish Brewery in Somerdale, New Jersey recently, and asked Gene to tell us the story behind Flying Fish.
 
(Flying Fish’s Gene Muller talks)
 
You can see, smell and taste the true care and craft that has gone into making these award-winning beers. Flying Fish has six year-round craft beers. Here’s Gene Muller with the line-up:
 
(Flying Fish’s Gene Muller talks)

Now I know you’re thirsty! Time to have a Flying Fish craft beer!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

November 25, 2016 – White Marsh Brewing at Red Brick Station

I’ve always felt that part of the fun and adventure in life comes from dreaming your dreams and then doing everything you can to make them come true.

Well that’s just what Bill Blocher, President of White Marsh Brewing at Red Brick Station Restaurant & Brew Pub, did! Bill is someone who had a dream and, through persistence, patience and passion made it come true, in a big way.

I recently spent some time with Bill Blocher and his Head Brewer, Dave Thompson, to talk about Bill’s development of Red Brick Station Restaurant, the formation of White Marsh Brewing, and to taste some great craft beer! But before we tasted the beer, we talked about how this all happened.

(White Marsh Brewing’s Bill Blocher talks)

And I was lucky enough to enjoy a few White Marsh Brewing craft beers with Bill and Head Brewer, Dave Thompson. Dave started as a whole grain home brewer and, while still brewing at home, took a job at Red Brick Station Restaurant as a server and bus boy. Then Dave started coming in on his own time to learn about brewing beer on White Marsh Brewing’s larger 10-barrel system. When former Head Brewer, Mike McCormick, left of open Key Brewing, Dave Thompson took over the brewing operations. And Dave is making some great beer. So now it’s time to have one!

(White Marsh Brewing’s Dave Thompson talks)

Daily Crisis IPA is an excellent craft beer. And White Marsh Brewing at Red Brick Station sells crowlers, so you can take home fresh Daily Crisis IPA as you go about your Holiday shopping… or even give a White Marsh Brewing crowler as a gift! Now that’s a good idea!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

November 18, 2016 – Winter Blonde Ale from Harpoon Brewery

A few days ago, I got together with Bruce Bickford and Danny Levine from Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon is an outstanding employee owned craft brewery in Boston with a great philosophy about craft beer: “Love Beer. Love Life.”

Bruce and Danny are fired up about their newest seasonal release, UFO Winter Blonde. UFO is a line of beer from Harpoon that is unfiltered.

Here’s Harpoon’s Bruce Bickford.

(Harpoon’s Bruce Bickford talks)

The beer brings a wonderful new taste and aroma profile to the craft beer world and is, plain and simple, really good. I asked Harpoon’s Danny Levine if there was a special event for the release of UFO Winter Blonde.

(Harpoon’s Danny Levine talks)

So do what you just heard us do: grab a UFO Winter Blonde and toast the season!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

November 11, 2016 – Fall Beers in Growlers & Crowlers

The leaves are changing, the air is a little cooler, and the Christmas and Holiday Season is just around the corner. These are fantastic Fall days. We are all able to enjoy the beauty of the season, the comfortable and brisk weather, and some of our last chances to savor some delicious craft beer brewed just for this time of year.

As you stop by your favorite pub or bar, or shop in your local liquor store, make sure you take advantage of the chance to try a Fall seasonal beer or drink one of your regular Autumn-only beers. Soon they will be gone, but for just a few more weeks, you can find Octoberfests, Pumpkin Ales and Harvest Beers.

One of the great ways to enjoy one of these limited release beers---and, actually any craft beer---is to take home the draft version of the beer in a growler or a crowler. Growlers are reusable glass, aluminum or ceramic containers and have twist or snap-top lids, allowing you to take fresh, draft craft beer home. The most common growler size is 64 ounces, but there are also 32 ounce and 128 ounce sizes. Unopened, growlers can last 2-3 weeks. But once they’re opened, the beer should be consumed within 12-24 hours. And, again, growlers are designed to be reusable.

Crowlers also allow us to take home fresh, draft craft beer, but are different in how the beer is sealed. Crowlers are aluminum cans, like a large beer can, that are filled with craft beer and then sealed by a special crowler sealing machine. The beer goes directly from the tap into the can and is filled to the rim. Then the completely filled can is placed on the crowler sealer and, magically, we have a 32 ounce can of draft craft beer! And while most beer is best at its freshest, beer in a crowler can be kept for months. When you’re done with your crowler, toss it in your recycling container; crowlers are not reusable containers.

So as we enjoy this time of the year, be sure to also enjoy an Octoberfest, Pumpkin Ale or Harvest Beer in a bottle, can, draft… or from a growler or a crowler!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

November 4, 2016 – Johansson’s Brewing Company

If you’ve never been to historic downtown Westminster, it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon. The streets are lined with mature trees, there are stores and shops to visit and then there’s Johansson’s Dining House. Located on Main Street, at the corner of Main and Railroad Avenue, Johansson’s is a place for food, drink and craft beer! If you stand on Railroad Avenue, you can see the brewhouse located inside Johansson’s, less than three feet from the still active railroad tracks.

I met with Johansson’s head brewer, Jay Lampart this week and, like every brewer, his story to brewing is an adventure. Just after starting college, Jay developed an interest in the food service business, changed direction, and headed off to cooking school in Baltimore. After graduating, he began cooking, but found a real love for making pastry. And along the way, the creativity that led him to cooking and becoming a pastry chef, got him started home brewing. Then in late 2005, Jay Lampart started at Johansson’s as a part-time brewer and in early 2006, Jay became the head brewer.

I asked Jay to talk about Johansson’s craft beers.

(Jay Lampart talks)

And then, just as we finished---timing is everything!---the train went by and, yes, it really is less than three feet away!

(Train whistle)

Next Thursday from 5pm-7pm, I’ll be at Johansson’s, at the corner of Main and Railroad in downtown Westminster, broadcasting live on 100.7 The Bay. If you’re in the area, stop by and enjoy one of Johansson’s craft beers. I’ll see you then and there!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

October 28, 2016 – RaR Brewing

A couple weeks ago, my wife and I took a drive to the Eastern Shore and stopped in Cambridge to visit with Chris Brohawn who, along with business partner and long-time friend, J.T. Merryweather, own Realerevival Brewing, better known as RaR Brewing.

In 2009, Chris and J.T. got together with some friends and built a better-than-average homebrewing system, set it up in a back room at a friend’s restaurant and started brewing all grain beer, with no extracts. What started as something that was simply fun to do quickly became a big part of their lives. Here’s Chris Brohawn.

(RaR’s Chris Brohawn talks)

That was 2012. And that plan helped them receive some money from a private investor, money that helped them get a small business loan from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. UMES had set up a program for small businesses that wanted to help revitalize downtown Cambridge. They then found an old pool hall and started building the brewery in January 2013. In August that year, they opened the doors to their taproom. And, in March of 2014, they hired Randy Mills as their brewmaster and became a fully operational craft brewery in downtown Cambridge.

RaR makes some great craft beer, including their flagship beer, Nanticoke Nectar.

(RaR’s Chris Brohawn talks)

Nanticoke Nectar is an awesome IPA and something you absolutely must try. It is… delicious!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

October 21, 2016 – Baltimore Craft Beer Festival

The tremendous development of craft brewing in Maryland is both a reflection of the incredible growth in the craft beer industry as a whole and the work of the Brewers Association of Maryland, or BAM. BAM’s mission statement “is to grow, promote and protect the Maryland craft beer industry.” Beyond putting on two outstanding craft beer festivals each year, BAM also does work that only a few see, working with our state legislator so that Maryland continues to be a state that embraces craft brewing.

I talked with Kevin Atticks, the Executive Director for the Brewer’s Association of Maryland, about the growth of BAM and the sense of community among craft brewers.

(BAM’s Kevin Atticks talks)

There are now over 60 breweries that are part of BAM and more are gearing up at this very moment. You can enjoy beer from some of the best and some of the newest Maryland craft breweries tomorrow at one of BAM’s two signature events: the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival, running from 12noon-6pm tomorrow at Canton Waterfront Park, on Boston Street, just a few blocks from downtown Canton. The VIP session runs from 12noon-2pm featuring many limited release beers. Then at 2pm, it’s General Admission. There will be music, food and, of course, lots of great craft beer throughout the festival. 100.7 The Bay will be there all day with reports from different breweries so you can get thirsty on your way to the event! I’ll see you there! 

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

October 14, 2016 – Frey’s Brewing Company

Another busy week, but there’s always time for beer!  I took a drive out to Frey’s Brewing Company, a farm brewery just outside Mt. Airy, and spent some time with Adam Frey, the owner and brewmaster.  We grabbed a couple of chairs and a few beers and walked out to a serene space next to the barn.  Adam then opened up a bottle of the latest creation from Frey’s Brewing, a golden Belgian-style ale.  The beer had just been pulled out of the bright tank and was soft and smooth.

(Adam Frey talks about How Infantry Defeated Frankenstein)

And you can now buy How Infantry Defeated Frankenstein in 750ml bottles!  This is a wonderful golden Belgian-style ale. 

As we enjoyed our beers, Adam Frey talked about a new venture for Frey’s Brewing.

(Adam Frey talks about his tasting room plans)

I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours---admiring the beauty of this world and enjoying a delicious craft beer.  Here’s to hoping that the Frey’s tasting room opens soon!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

October 7, 2016 – Baltimore Beer Week Featured Breweries 

 

Today’s the day---the kick-off of the 8th Baltimore Beer Week. This wonderful 10-day celebration of beer runs all the way through Sunday, October 16th and features a wide variety of events: beer and food pairings, tap take-overs, beer festivals, a beer stein holding competition, pint nights… and so many more. It’s a “week” of great beer and great fun!

One of the pint nights happens this Tuesday, the 11th, at Duda’s Tavern at 1600 Thames Street in Fells Point. It’s a Flying Dog Pint Night, featuring Raging Bitch on draft. I talked with Flying Dog’s Brewmaster, Ben Clark, about the story behind Raging Bitch.

(Flying Dog’s Ben Clark talks) 

So many beers, so many breweries at Baltimore Beer Week! RavenBeer, Heavy Seas, Oliver, Milkhouse, Full Tilt, Union, Key, Waverly, Manor Hill, The Brewers Art, Evolution, Diamondback, DuClaw and Monument---all from Maryland; Yards and Victory from Pennsylvania, Dogfish Head from Delaware; DC Brau from Washington D.C.; Devil’s Backbone from Virginia; Flying Fish from New Jersey; Sam Adams and Harpoon from Massachusetts; Sierra Nevada, Stone and Ballast Point from California; Oskar Blues and New Belgium from Colorado; Bells and Founders from Michigan… and more!

Go to baltimorebeerweek.com for a complete listing of events… and have a blast!

Until next week…

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

September 30, 2016 – Baltimore Beer Week

 

Well, we are one week away from one of the best weeks of the year. Next Friday, October 7 th, is the start of Baltimore Beer Week! This 10-day “week” was started in 2009 by two deeply passionate beer guys: Joe Gold and Dominic Cantalupo.

I sat down with Joe Gold a few days ago and talked about this year’s Baltimore Beer Week.

(Baltimore Beer Week Founder, Joe Gold, talks)

And this year’s Baltimore Beer Week features a new event to start this 10-day celebration of great beer.

(Baltimore Beer Week Founder, Joe Gold, talks)

A complete listing of official Baltimore Beer Week events can be found at baltimorebeerweek.com. The countdown is on!  We are just seven days away from the 8th Annual Baltimore Beer Week! 

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

September 23, 2016 – Maryland Breweries at the GABF!

The year was 1982 and a bunch of beer enthusiasts decided to stage what was, at the time, one of the very first beer festivals that celebrated American beer, only. 24 breweries were part of that inaugural event, now known as the Great American Beer Festival. How times have changed! Now, in its 35th year, this year’s Great American Beer Festival will feature more than 800 breweries! It happens October 6 th -8 th in Denver and more than 60,000 people will be there to celebrate American beer!

Although most American breweries submit beer for the massive Great American Beer Festival, or GABF, competition, the breweries that are actually at the event are selected via a lottery. And Maryland is well represented! Jailbreak, Flying Dog, Denizens, Oliver, Union and Waverly will all be at this year’s GABF!
 
I caught up with Roy Fisher, the head brewer at Waverly Brewing and asked him about the beers they have entered into competition. This is Waverly’s first year of operation, having just opened in November 2015, so this is also the first year they’ve been able to enter beers into the GABF competition.
 
(Waverly Brewing’s Roy Fisher talks)
 
I also stopped by Union Craft Brewing and talked with Jon Zerivitz about their GABF competition beers.
 
(Union Craft Brewing’s Jon Zerivitz talks)
 
And, like you, I wish I could be there with them and drink some amazing beers. The problem is… the GABF is sold out! But we can drink beer with all of these craft breweries and more Maryland craft breweries at the Baltimore Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, October 22nd . I’ll see you there, for sure!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 
 
September 16, 2016 – The Hops & Harvest Festival

Wow­­­ mid­September already!  This is such a great time of the year.  The Orioles are  chasing the American League East title; the Ravens are off to a great start; the weather is a  little cooler; pumpkin ales are everywhere; Baltimore Beer Week is almost here and the  Baltimore Craft Beer Festival is just around the corner!

As the interest and passion for craft beer keeps growing, so does the number of craft beer  events.  This year, a brand new beer festival is happening in Columbia, at the visually  stunning Columbia Lakefront.  On Saturday, October 8th, The Hops & Harvest Festival kicks  off for the very first time and features over 20 Maryland craft breweries and cideries and  more than 20 artisans and crafters!  

I met with Chad D’Amore at the Columbia Lakefront this week and talked about the event.   Chad D’Amore is the founder of The Hops & Harvest Festival.

(Chad D’Amore talks)

And it does go on.  Oliver, RAR, Calvert, Monocacy, Smoketown and Mad Science, to name  just a few more.  It’s a great setting for a craft beer festival.

(Chad D’Amore talks)

And then there’s all that good beer!  The Hops & Harvest Festival, Saturday October 8th at  the Columbia Lakefront, on Wincopin Circle in Columbia.  It’s going to be a good day!

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

September 9, 2016 – Hops Effect on Beer – Part II

Last week, Heavy Seas Brewmaster and Operations Manager, Chris Leonard, described the  importance of finding just the right hops in brewing a truly great craft beer.  The process  involves deciding on the types of hops to use­­­bittering, flavoring, dual purpose and aroma  hops­­­and then selecting the specific variety within each hop type.

I asked Chris Leonard to talk about the range of flavors available from the many varieties of  hops. 

(Chris Leonard talks)

But from talking to Chris and many other outstanding Maryland brewers, I’ve learned that  they all enjoy the adventure.  The development of each craft beer recipe has an element of  experimentation: what if we blended these hops?  Or changed the malt this time?  Or if we  introduce this strain of yeast?  What if we made a single hop IPA?

This weekend, take a look at the beer you’re drinking and jump online and find out what  kind of hops the brewer used to make it taste so good!  

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

September 2, 2016 – Hops Effect on Beer – Part I

Although most craft beers are made with malted barley, hops, yeast and water, each brewer  finds ways to take these four critical ingredients and find unique recipes.  The water, the  strain of yeast, the specific grain, and the kind of hops all affect the aroma, flavor and  appearance of beer.

I got together with Chris Leonard this week and talked about some of the ways hops affect  beer.  Chris is the Brewmaster and Operations Manager at Heavy Seas Beer.

(Chris Leonard talks)

And Warrior and Simcoe are just two of many hop varieties.  Chris, and his fellow brewers  across America, are especially excited about brewing possibilities right now!  It’s the time of  year when hop growers are harvesting their 2016 crop and this has been a big year, with a  17% increase in plantings over last year and an expected increase in crop yield of about  20%!  More hops for great brewers like Heavy Seas’ Chris Leonard mean more amazing  craft beer for you and me!

Next week, Chris will share some of the hop varieties that brewers use and some of the  characteristics that each bring to the beer.  Until then, pick up a Loose Cannon and taste  the clean bitterness of the Warrior hop and the citrus flavor and aroma of the Simcoe hop  that combine to make this such an incredible craft beer.

Cheers!

Jefferson The Craft Beer Guy

Email: jward@thebayonline.com

Twitter: @jwcraftbeerguy

 

August 26, 2016 – Max’s Taphouse – The Festivals Bob Simko is one of the managers at Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point.  Bob has a wonderful  enthusiasm for great beer and especially American craft beer.  When I met with Bob a few  weeks ago, he was already anticipating one of Max’s special beer celebrations; one that just  took place this past weekend: Hopfest.  I asked Bob about these events.

(Bob Simko talks)

Well, like Bob, I am also a “hop­head”, and knew then I would be visiting Max’s Taphouse  for Hopfest!  So last Friday afternoon, I left work a little early and stopped by Max’s.  As  soon as I arrived, Bob had a tremendous cask­conditioned IPA from Ellicott City’s Manor Hill  Brewing ready for me.  He then introduced be to a long­time, loyal Max’s Taphouse  customer, Bruce Baldwin.  As soon as&nb

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