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December 15, 2010

Heavy Seas offering free brewery tours

Flying Dog Ales* hasn't yet decided if they'll re-start public tours. But here's something I found out about yesterday: Heavy Seas Beer does public tours every weekend.

The tours of the company's Halethorpe brewery are free and open to all ages, though samples are, obviously, only for those over 21. Usually, there are 50 spots open.

It's a shame, though, I only found out about this Tuesday because all four tours for this Saturday are full. And the brewery won't be doing them over the next couple of holiday weekends. 

The tours should start again January 8, the brewery says. To participate, keep an eye on Heavy Seas' website.

*In related news: I'll be going on a tour of Flying Dog's Frederick brewery later this month for an upcoming column. Will report back with notes soon.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 10:32 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Brewing News


It isn't like Heavy Seas has been keeping their brewery tours a secret you just never looked.

The tours are not free if you want to drink! I've done the tour a year ago, it was great. Hugh Sisson takes you around the brewery and talks about past, present, and future. He will talk about the hops and barley in good detail and discusses the process which his beer goes through to become distilled, bottled, and shipped. Definitely worthy. If you read carefully on the page, those who DO wish to sample the beer pay $5 for the the glass and samples (which is a good amount of beer), I have tokens left over from my tour. If you do not drink or under 21 the tour is indeed free.

distilled beer?

Which heavy seas beer is distilled?

perhaps filtered, but distilled?

pretty sure ATF (er BATT) would like to see a distilled alcoholic beverage sold as a beer.

Sorry- just came from a bourbon tour a week ago in Kentucky, I apologize, Anders. I believe you are referring to BATFE anyway...

Sorry- just came from a bourbon tour a week ago in Kentucky, I apologize, Anders. I believe you are referring to BATFE anyway...

I don't mean to jump on the hater bandwagon but on this one I have to agree with them - it seems like an easy and obvious piece of research when writing about Flying Dog's tours to check out what other local breweries do...

Piling on here... but Erik, I'm pretty sure you're the last one in Baltimore who just realized this. Not very news-worthy. Clipper City Brewing Co. tours have been going on for years.

P.S: and while Clipper City's owner Hugh Sisson will occasionally host a tour here and there... it's not nearly as often as previously (the man is just insanely busy these days.) Though the tours are still just as fun and educational.

I love the tours and have been telling people for ages. Maybe if Maza came out once in awhile he could of heard me sing my praises.

The problem with a lot of these "free brewery tours," as many such breweries have discovered, is that far too many of them turned into "free-for-all" drink-fests where some folks would come repeatedly just to drink up "free" beer before and after the tour. This got out of hand at more than a few breweries across the nation, with some telling particular "repeat customers" to stop showing up every week/month. Thus, the "buy the glass" and tokens. Let's face it, after a couple dozen brewery tours, they're all the same anyway, as with winery tours. It's not like anybody's making beer from rutabagas and saffron, not even Dogfish Head.........

I would like to know how Heavy Seas gets away with serving beer during their tours. Why is the state not allowing Flying Dog to server beer during their tours, but Heavy Seas is allowed? Something is not right here!


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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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