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April 30, 2009

Happy birthday, Mahaffey's

mahaffeysRemember 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, and see his blog at, and photo site at

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:30 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Thanks, Chuck! Have been by there before, but never ventured in. Next time I have a case of the Mondays, I am checking in for the happy hour and $1 sliders. Nice.

This is unrelated to anything, but if anyone's poking around on Facebook today, try this:

) Scroll to the bottom of your Facebook page.
2) On the bottom left corner, click English: US.
3) When the language selection appears, click English: Pirate.

You're welcome!

I wish I worked at Facebook and I spent my day translating things into Pirate. Next they should do Pig Latin...

Happy Birthday indeed. My "1b" bar in Baltimore (to Max's 1a). Great selection, love the neighborhood feel and the owner is a great guy. I drive down from the county at least once every other week, just for the beer.

And no one is nicer than Wayne, another reason to go.

Does Wayne still go off the knocker people and chew his fingers?

Matt, Mark, Wayne,....Ruben Sierra!

Someone tell Wayne to pull a Brewer's Art and have an official facebook personnae of his own for the bar. It would cut down on emails of his ramblings and allow him to do so much easier.

"go off the knocker people and chew his fingers"

uhh ... huh?

are the knocker people a bunch boobs or just have them?

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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