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April 14, 2009

Touring Clipper City brewery

hugh sisson at clipper city breweryLast month, I toured Clipper City brewery with a bunch of my buddies. And for some reason, I never got around to writing about it.

Until now, that is.

Clipper City offers tours at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. most Saturdays. Tours cost a whopping $5 (sweet!), which gets you a commemorative glass and five beer samples.

That ain't bad at all.

Each "tasting" is about a half glass of beer, depending on the alcohol content of the suds you're drinking. The bartenders pour you less of the Heavy Seas Holy Sheet because it's 9 percent alcohol. YEEE HAW!

The tour itself was fairly interesting ...

I was surprised at how nondescript Clipper City's brewery is from the outside. It's in a nearly unmarked warehouse near the beltway. The tour starts and ends in the lobby area, which has a bar set up. With its drop ceilings, the lobby doesn't look like it's changed much in the past 10 or 15 years.

From the lobby, you head back to the warehouse, where the beer is made. I'm not going to get into all the details, because, well, that's their job.

Our guide did a pretty kicking imitation of the honorable and esteemed Rev. Jesse Jackson. But he did tend to be long-winded when describing each step of the beer-making process. Between stops on the brewery tour, my friends and I would occasionally slip back to the bar for another sample. Sneaky sneaky, you know?

All told, I'd gladly recommend a group outing to Clipper City -- especially if you've never toured a brewery before. It's certainly worth the money, and you get to taste some delicious local brews while you're at it.

(Sun archive photo of Hugh Sisson)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:54 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


I liked the Clipper City tour. It was free when I went a few years ago. (Which is probably why they now charge $5.00 - but I did buy 2 cases of fresh beer)

I would also recommend taking the Troegs tour which is in Southern PA.

weird, me and my neighbors were thinking about doing that sometime soon.

this should be where are next soiree is?

With the 1st Annual Clipper City "Real Ale and BBQ Fest" - May 16th at the brewery, I'm wondering if I can kill two birds with one stone that day (brew tour and the Beer/BBQ fest). Hmmmmm!

I once went on the Budweiser brewery tour in Saint Louis. It was like the Wonka tour for alcoholics. They had to pry me out of mash tanks.

I can't go back to Saint Louis anymore.

So Hugh didn't lead the tour? I love to take people to the brewery. Although, every time I go, I seem to get less and less beer! But whatever, it's still more than I can drink before driving.

There's plenty of parking.

Hugh does a great tour.
The Flying Dog tour in Frederick is a sudsy day trip worth taking too.

If you want to have Hugh provide your tour, you can call ahead and find out when he is scheduled to lead tours that month.

It is a lot of fun and a great way to support your local brewery!

I haven't done Clipper City, but Flying Dog has a fun enough tour and a great tasting room.

You don't have to do the tour (all beer tours end up being about the same in my mind although the one time I did Flying Dog's the host appeared to be some combination of jovial, high and buzzed so that was fun) and can just stop in between 130 and 4 and for $5 get a glass and tokens for about five or six 6-oz pours (often more like half pours).

Its lively, tons of people, always a great time but a bit of a hike especially for those locked into the city, and not recommended if you don't have a driver.

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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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