Happy birthday, Mahaffey's
Remember a few weeks ago when I dropped by Mahaffey's but didn't write about it because I didn't have a peg? Wish I'd have known the place just turned 7. Sigh.
At least beer writer Chuck Cook is on top of things. Here are his thoughts on the place:
Canton's neighborhood beer bar, Mahaffey's (2706 Dillon St.), has been open for seven years now.
The pub marked the occasion on Saturday, April 18, to a packed house.
"I opened in February 2002, under the name of the previous bar, Canton Cabana," owner Wayne Mahaffey (pictured, right) said. "I changed the name to Mahaffey’s in April of that year. It’s been a great seven-year run, and I look forward to the next seven!”
It's places like Mahaffey's, Brewer's Art and Max's Taphouse that prompted me to move to Baltimore, after years of living in the suburbs of Raleigh-Durham and Richmond. Nothing beats living within walking-distance of several great beer bars, especially for a beer writer ...
Mahaffey's has one of the best happy hour deals in the city: Three 10-ounce beers for $4.25. The special is available all day on Mondays, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays and noon-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Let me be clear: I’m not talking about rice- or corn-infused brews from the mega-breweries, but beers such as hometown Clipper City Loose Cannon, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Southern Tier IPA and Victory Prima Pils. Some rare and more costly brews are not available as part of the special, but most of the beers among the 18 well-chosen taps at Mahaffey's are typically included.
There is usually a cask-conditioned beer on tap as well, something only seen at a few venues in Charm City. Such dedication to great beer is the mark of someone serious about promoting beer culture: flavor and quality over quantity.
Monday is also $1 chicken and burger sliders night. In the current economy, it’s the kind of deal everyone appreciates. Tuesday is steak night, and Thursdays now feature various special dishes.
I primarily specialize in writing about Belgian beer for a number of beer magazines, so I’m happy to say that Mahaffey's has a solid selection of Belgian brews. Usually there are one or two Belgian or Belgian-style beers on draft (like Chimay Triple and Clipper City Red Sky at Night).
The bottled list is as good as it gets in Canton, with Trappist brews such as Achel Brune 8; Rochefort 6, 8, and 10; Chimay Premiere, Cinq Cents, and Blue/Grand Reserve; Orval; and Westmalle Dubbel and Tripel in 33 cl bottles. Other excellent Belgian brews such as Duchess de Bourgogne, Duvel, McChouffe, and Moortgat 8 and 10 add extra choice.
Belgian-inspired beers such as Allagash White, Brewer’s Art Resurrection, and Ommegang Abbey ale are among the best in their respective styles.
Mahaffey’s is a friendly and welcoming place, as a neighborhood bar should be. With bartenders like Alice and Halena offering up great beers with a smile, you’ll feel right at home.
About the author: Charles D. “Chuck” Cook lives in Canton, and writes for publications such as All About Beer magazine, Ale Street News, Beers of the World magazine, Beer Northwest magazine and Celebrator Beer News, among others. He has visited nearly 90 Belgian breweries during 18 trips to Belgium. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and see his blog at belgianbeerspecialist.blogspot.com, and photo site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/belgianbeerspecialist/sets.