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December 2, 2009

Baltimore's most in-demand draft beer?

brewer's art resurrection aleResurrection Ale is perhaps the most desired draft beer in Baltimore. 

Everybody wants it. Only a few bars have it. But there's only so much to go around.

Resurrection is the signature beer of the Brewer's Art, which makes the popular ale in-house. About 50 bars and restaurants in the region serve Resurrection on tap: Everybody from Max's Taphouse in Fells Point to Idle Hour in South Baltimore to, oddly enough, Bill Bateman's in Towson.

Since Brewer's Art can only make so much Resurrection -- about 30 kegs a week get shipped out -- and they're already at capacity, it's almost impossible for a new bar or restaurant to start offering it.

"The folks who have it don't give it up," said co-owner Volker Stewart. "If the beer becomes available, it's usually because someone goes out of business." ...

When an account opens up, Brewer's Art and the wholesaler decide which bar or restaurant gets the suds. Bar owners are constantly calling Stewart, asking is they can get Resurrection on tap. It puts Stewart in an awkward position, he said.

"We're glad people enjoy the beer, but a lot of people get steamed when they hear 'No,'" he said. "After a while, it gets tiring to get those phone calls."

Stewart has thought about expanding the brewing operations in a new location, but said with the current liquor laws, it just isn't feasible.

"It would mean going out of state," he said.

Brewer's Art could make more Resurrection if they cut back on their seasonal drafts (such as their delicious St. Festivus holiday ale), but Stewart doesn't want to do that either.

"If I went to the brewery operations guy and said, 'Make less seasonals and make more Resurrection,' you'd see me hanging from the lamp post outside the place," he said.

For now, Resurrection will continue to be one of the region's most in-demand brews.

"On the one hand, it's a good complaint to have," Stewart said. "On the other hand, it causes us a little grief from time to time."

While we're on the subject of Brewer's Art, there are still a handful of tickets left for their annual holiday beer tasting Dec. 12. If you're a beer geek, you're going to want to check this out: About a dozen of the region's breweries will be on hand with their holiday beers. Call 410-547-6925 for more info.

(Baltimore Sun archive photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:01 PM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Interestingly enough, i have bought Resurrection Ale from The Wine Merchant @ Greenspring Station on Falls Road.. Think it was last year.. so, they must have bottled it at some point? i did have it on tap @ Brewer's Art, and of course it's a totally different experience. I think it's ok to keep it in demand..and not make it so available, but that's just my nature. Good things are usually hard to come by..

Im glad its not at every bar in baltimore, makes it more fun when a place has it, and it's more of a treat.

That said, If I opened a bar tommorow, I would want it, and I wouldnt be able to get it, and that would piss me off, no doubt.

So when do we get to see the Natty Boh sign in the sky replaced with a big neon Resurrection bottle?

C'mon Volker, let's make this happen!

love me some rezzie. i was surprised to find it on tap in philly at a bar in northern liberties called North 3rd.

especially considering how many local places are looking to get it on tap.

and yes, i believe they started bottling some of their beers (350ml) up in York, PA... only select styles though (resurrection, ozzy, and green peppercorn tripel)

"...oddly enough, Bill Bateman's in Towson."

Truly odd, you're right!!!

I just checked Brewer's Art website and it appears they are no longer selling their beers in Philly due to high demands locally..."We are sorry to say that we had to remove our brands from the Philly market due to extremely
high demand here in the Central MD area. Thanks
and apologies to our loyal Philly drinkers."

Sam, any additional info about the tasting on the 12th or do I really have to call? *sigh*

tickets for the beer tasting are online at

As for Philly... we stopped shipping there and to the Eastern Shore last year. Didn't want to short the loyal fans in Bmore.

the bottles are done by our brewers at Sly Fox in Royersford Pa and are 750ml size.


Ryan, shhh on the Philly. It's something LiquorBoarding could pass on, ya'dig?

They have been bottling for more than a year. I just opened the Canard, Reso, Ozzy, and Peppercorn after a year of cellaring back in September.

They also just released the Coup de Boule. That benefits youth soccer leagues.

Volker is the only guy I know who gets Premier League updates sent to his phone.

without a doubt, Resurrection is the most sought after beer. I have been on the "waiting list" for 4 1/2 years.

It's frustrating but at the same time, you have to respect what they do and how they do it.

I am just happy that I can get in bottles.

Count me among those relieved and reassured that Brewer's places priorities on quality, community, and loyalty.

Resurrection (among their many other fine brews) are no small part of my love of this city. For all the other reasons to hate it, Brewer's was some small part of my decision to relocate to Mt. Vernon eight years ago.

I've been a loyal customer of Brewer's for over a decade now, and I have to admit, I find each of my favorites as delicious as I first did way back in college.

Call it selfish, but I'm okay keeping this one in town. Philly can keep their cheesesteaks. I say this is the longer straw.

One of my fondest memories is taking my dogs to Lulu's for dollar Res, and ordering them both a cheeseburger; while i had wings.

Sam, can you do some follow up reporting to figure this out. Seems like Clipper City or Flying Dog would have the physical capacity to do some contract brewing for Brewer's Art, what's the legal holdup.

It's always been surprising to me that Baltimore has so few quality brewpubs, seems like the trend for good, locally-brewed beer never took hold here. I love Resurrection & Ozzy, but it would be nice to have more options like that (a la Denver, Portland, etc.)

I can't help but fear (and this is admittedly the worrywart in me) that increasing capacity is inherently tied to diluted quality.

I'm still nursing a longing for the early 90's, back when Snapple really still was made from the best stuff on earth, y'dig?

Brewer's increase in capacity, from my vantage point, has been looking pretty steadily upward throughout the past decade. Which tells me that they're working on that increased volume, but are insistent on doing it at their own pace, in a way that assures the quality we've come to expect from them.

Got to say, love it that they don't want to sacrifice what they do/who they are. I love their seasonals (petroluse anyone?).

If you can't get enough rezzie, do what i do: brew your own, and try and make a clone of it. I think i've gotten pretty close after a couple of batches.

Clearly not close enough though, cuz i keep going back for more of the real stuff.

More details on this issue here in my blog post:

I've been to one of Baltimore's famous beer contest. This beer is awesome. It blew the judges away in all rounds of voting. We’re very excited for this beer to “go live” and get released all over the state. It will be available on draft at all DuClaw Brewing Co. restaurant locations, at many good beer bars all over MD AND will be released in 22 oz. bottles.

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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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