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June 16, 2011

Flying Dog Ales officially re-starts Frederick brewery tours

Flying Dog Ales will again allow visitors to tour its Frederick brewery starting July 1, the company said today.

It will be the fourth Maryland brewery to hold public tours, after Heavy Seas, DuClaw, and on the smaller side of things, Brewer's Art.

Brewery tours are commonplace in Delaware, which has a website dedicated to its wine and ale trail.

Though Flying Dog had been holding private tours since last Fall, the public tours have been suspended for over a year and a half.

The company originally ended the tours over a Maryland sampling law that many brewers disliked and lobbied to change.

Continue reading "Flying Dog Ales officially re-starts Frederick brewery tours" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:09 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Brewing News
        

June 9, 2011

Update: DuClaw beers now available in 12-ounce six-packs

DuClaw beers are now available in 12-ounce six packs.

The company announced Wednesday the launch of a 12-ounce line, which seems to already be available at liquor stores in the region. 

Sawtooth, Venom, Black Lightning and 13 Degrees are the first brews to be sold in six packs, though others are likely to join them in the future.

The company's press release said the six packs are available in liquor stores throughout Maryland, Washington D.C. and northern Delaware.

We'll have a list of those stores later today, as well as any restaurants that are selling them.

Update: Below are the restaurants that carry the six packs. A list of liquor stores that carry DuClaw is here

Continue reading "Update: DuClaw beers now available in 12-ounce six-packs " »

Posted by Erik Maza at 11:40 AM | | Comments (8)
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March 30, 2011

Natty Boh on draft confirmed at Camden Yards

Natty Boh will be served on draft at Camden Yards starting Monday, the home season opener, the Orioles confirmed Tuesday.

Pabst Brewing Company had made an announcement in early March, but the Orioles and its concessionaire, Delaware North Sportservice, hadn't confirmed the deal as late as March 18.

The new development came after the concessionaire announced a new menu for Camden Yards last week. 

Boh and the Orioles have a long history going back to 1954. 

It used to be the team's official beer. And the chairman of the brewery, Jerry Hoffberger, was a majority owner of the team from 1965 to 1979.

But the stadium's concessionaire stopped selling the beer in 1992 when the team moved from Memorial Stadium to Camden Yards.

A Sun story from 1994 announced the establishment of a microbrewery stand at Camden Yards that would also include Boh, but it's not clear if it was then sold on draft or by the bottle, or for how long it was available there. The Orioles and Pabst could not clarify.

Boh stopped being sold on kegs in 1996.

The return of the beer on draft is part of Pabst's attempt to revive the brand; the company has been under new ownership since last year.

Its first Boh shipment in January consisted of 900 kegs to some 80 locations in Maryland.

Continue reading "Natty Boh on draft confirmed at Camden Yards" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 11:56 AM | | Comments (11)
Categories: Brewing News, News
        

March 7, 2011

Natty Boh to be on tap at Camden Yards this season

The last time it happened, George Bush Sr. was at the White House and Justin Bieber hadn't been born.

National Bohemian hasn't been on tap at an Orioles stadium since 1992.

But that will change on April 4, the home season opener. Pabst Brewing Company has signed a deal that will bring the beer on draft to Camden Yards, Baltimore sales rep Rachel Warren said over the weekend.

Along with the return of Boh on draft to bars, the deal is part of the company's push to rejuvenate the old brand. 

Boh and the Orioles have a long history going back to 1954. 

It used to be the team's official beer. And the chairman of the brewery, Jerry Hoffberger, was a majority owner of the Orioles from 1965 to 1979.

The concessionaire stopped selling the beer in 1992 when the team moved from Memorial Stadium to Camden Yards.

A Sun story from 1994 announced the establishment of a microbrewery stand at Camden Yards that would also include Boh, but it's not clear if it was then sold on draft or by the bottle, or for how long it was available there.

The beer has not been available on draft since 1996.

In January, Pabst, under new ownership since last year, launched an effort to resuscitate the brand, shipping some 900 kegs to Maryland bars.

Boh fans like Nacho Mama's Patrick McCusker, were elated, saying the beer is part of the city's heritage.

Continue reading "Natty Boh to be on tap at Camden Yards this season" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 10:44 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Brewing News
        

February 21, 2011

Days of Pikesville Rye may return with Sloop Betty

Pikesville Supreme Rye Whiskey hasn't been locally owned since the early 1980s. And many, if not all, of Maryland's distillers breathed their last gasp in the 70s. But, in March, two brothers, Christopher and Jon Cook, will become the state's first distillers in 40 years. That's when they plan to start making a premium wheat vodka called Sloop Betty, reporter Jill Rosen writes in today's paper. The vodka will also be unique nationwide:

Bill Owens, president of the American Distilling Institute, says only 254 companies, all of them small, are making craft spirits. Seven years ago, when the Cooks first thought of trying it, there were fewer than 100.

It's not clear yet who will carry the vodka - the brothers haven't signed their distributor agreement yet. But it's probably safe to say that some places that still carry Pikesville Rye - like Idle Hour and the Pinehurst Wine Shoppe in North Baltimore - will.

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:33 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Brewing News
        

February 2, 2011

Eastern Shore, Baltimore county bars that will carry National Bohemian on tap

Baltimore bars aren't the only ones that will start carrying Boh on draft within the month.

Though most of the orders are from here, there are about 20 bars and liquor stores outside the city proper that will also carry the kegs.

The only bar outside the city that will have a keg tapping party is Frisco Tap and Brew House. Beyond that, Boh owner Pabst Blue Ribbon anticipates most bars will have their kegs within two weeks. 

Here's the most recent list of bars outside the city that have ordered Boh on tap: 

Continue reading "Eastern Shore, Baltimore county bars that will carry National Bohemian on tap" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:03 PM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Brewing News
        

Baltimore bars that will carry Natty Boh on tap

On Thursday, Nacho Mamas's will tap the first keg of National Bohemian in over 15 years.

Soon after, Boh on tap will be available at least 80 locations in Maryland, a majority of them in the Baltimore metro area.

Of these, Sidebar, Brewer's, Ottobar, Frazier's, Hamilton Tavern, Idle Hour and Frisco Tap and Brewhouse in Columbia will also have keg tapping parties. (A schedule is below)

It's too early to tell if Boh on draft is here to stay for the long run - Pabst Brewing Company says it is - but this is at least a step in that direction.

Here's the most recent list of all the Baltimore bars that will start carrying Boh within the next two weeks*. They include the usual suspects - Mount Royal Tavern, Idle Hour - and some surprises.

(A list of bars outside the city will be posted later today.)

Plan your Superbowl accordingly: 

Continue reading "Baltimore bars that will carry Natty Boh on tap" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 10:49 AM | | Comments (34)
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January 6, 2011

Wild Goose production to resume in February; new owner Logan-Shaw Brewery relocates to Waldorf

wildgoose2.JPGLogan-Shaw Brewing company is seeking regional brewers to continue making the discontinued 21-year-old beer brand Wild Goose. 

The Waldorf-based company bought the brand in December from Flying Dog Ales for an undisclosed amount. 

But the so-called nano-brewery won't be up and running for another 18 months, president Jeff Harrison said. 

In the meantime, the company is seeking brewers in Maryland, Delaware or Virginia to continue making the brand's Amber Ale and its IPA starting as early as February or March, when the beer's last batches are expected to run out.

"It's a local beer so it would make no sense to brew it in upstate New York," he said.

Flying Dog, the brand's previous owner, began discussions to sell Wild Goose last summer, earlier than previously thought, according to Harrison.

His company is in conversations with a few regional brewers to take over production, Harrison said, but isn't ready to disclose names. 

 "An announcement has to come soon because we want to keep the beer flowing," he said.

Continue reading "Wild Goose production to resume in February; new owner Logan-Shaw Brewery relocates to Waldorf" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:49 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Brewing News
        

January 5, 2011

What should be the standard for craft breweries?

A couple of weeks ago, when I reported that Flying Dog had sold its Wild Goose brand to something that referred itself as a "nano-brewery," an incredulous reader snapped back on twitter, "WTF is a nano-brewery?" (Hi @ryan97ou!)

Who can blame him for the confusion. In the beer world, terms like nano-breweries and microbreweries and craft breweries are often interchangeable, so that's it's difficult to know exactly how macro some of these places really are.

According to the Brewers Association, the trade group that represents mostly small breweries, the standard for a craft brewery was the maximum production of 2 million barrels.

But as of December, the new standard is 6 million barrels, which means that Boston Beer Company, makers of Samuel Adams, can continue to be considered a craft brewer. This is, in part, a case of boosterism by the craft beer industry, says trade writer Andy Crouch.

By expanding the standard, the Boston Beer Company's sales can still be included in the annual count of craft brewers' total sales. 

But Crouch says, though the new definition is a welcome step, it's not as important as technique or taste. He writes the new definition continues to exclude breweries like Goose Island Brewing that have corporate ties (to Anheuser-Busch InBev, in this case), even though it is indisputably as innovative as any artisinal, or entirely independent microbrewery.

"I can honestly say that I have visited few breweries with such a dedicated passion for producing great, flavorful beers and to pushing the edge of brewing. The brewery simply puts many other regional breweries, with all of their independent, craft brewer puffery, to shame," he writes of Goose Island. 

It seems that despite the new definition, the jury is still out on what constitutes craft. What do you think should be important, innovation, quantity, or independence?

Continue reading "What should be the standard for craft breweries?" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:52 PM | | Comments (9)
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January 4, 2011

Old Dominion's Victory Amber Lager to be released at Rams Head restaurants

Old Dominion's seasonal Victory Amber Lager will be released at several Rams Head restaurants Thursday, the Rams Head Group announced.

In a unique marketing partnership between the brewer and Rams Head, the beer will receive a simultaneous release at four of the group's restaurant locations. 

The restaurants that will hold the release are the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, the Tavern Savage Mill, Rams Head Roadhouse in Annapolis, and the Rams Head Shore House in Stevensville.  

The beer is  described as a "full-bodied and unfiltered steam beer" that is "reminiscent of a beer our country's forefathers drank in colonial taverns."

It currently has an overall 38 rating at ratebeer.com.

The event will last from 4 to 6 p.m. at all locations. (via)

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:30 PM | | Comments (10)
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January 3, 2011

Stillwater Ales and Mikkeller to debut new ale at Max's Taphouse Tuesday

Baltimore's Brian Strumke and Denmark's Mikkeller brewery will debut a new collaboration at Max's Taphouse Tuesday.

Called "Our Side," the ale will also be released at three other locations in the country, Washington D.C., Virginia, and New York.

"Our Side," which the brewers are calling a collaborative gypsy ale, is a mix of Stillwater Artisanal Ales' Stateside Saison and Mikkeller Stateside IPA.

According to Max's, it is packed with "piney, resinous hops, and backed by the esters of a farmhouse yeast strain." 

"Our Side" was brewed at Strumke's home base brewery, DOG Brewing Co. in Westminster, MD. It the brewers' second collaboration, is called a collaborative gypsy ale because Mikkeller is Denmark's answer to Strumke. The local brewer is regularly called a gypsy brewer because he doesn't have his own brewery and instead rents space and equipment to make his product.

Strumke said in a follow-up e-mail he will head to Denmark soon to work on another collaboration, but that it won't surface in the United States until late Spring. 

Strumke won't be at Max's for the tasting; he will be at D.C.'s ChurchKey.

The tasting at Max's begins at 6 p.m. (via)

(Post updated) 

Posted by Erik Maza at 4:40 PM | | Comments (5)
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December 23, 2010

Flying Dog sells Wild Goose brand to DC brewery

Flying Dog Ales has sold the Wild Goose brand for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today.

The buyer is the DC-based Logan Shaw Brewing Company.

Flying Dog, which inherited the popular 21-year-old Wild Goose brand in 2006 when it purchased its Frederick brewery, discontinued the line earlier this year as it made more room at the brewery for Flying Dog product.

Ben Savage, vice president of marketing, said in November there was no room at the brewery to produce both brands.

"The bottom line is we only have so much capacity here at the brewery and the market is demanding Flying Dog as our main push," he said. "There's no room to produce Wild Goose anymore."

Savage said then the company was looking into ways of keeping the brand alive somehow, and would even consider reviving it if there was a demand.

But it won't have to. Today it convinced start-up brewery Logan Shaw Brewing Company to purchase the brand.

It's not clear how much Logan paid, but it couldn't have been much. The start-up doesn't even describe itself as a microbrewery, but as a "nano-brewery."

Continue reading "Flying Dog sells Wild Goose brand to DC brewery" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 4:14 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Brewing News
        

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.

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

December 8, 2010

DuClaw Brewing Company schedules second beer lunch

If you were one of the beer geeks who missed out on the first DuClaw beer lunch - and there were a bunch - you're in luck. The brewing company has scheduled a second for January 9, this time at its Bowie storefront. Tickets  go on sale December 15 on the company's online store. And, at $45, they're cheaper than for the Arundel Mills lunch, which will take place next Sunday. Again, there are only 50 seats available. The menu is after the jump:

Continue reading "DuClaw Brewing Company schedules second beer lunch" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 3:31 PM | | Comments (0)
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December 7, 2010

Flying Dog Ales plans film festival

flying%20dog.JPGFlying Dog Ales wants to launch its own film festival next year.

The company has been sponsoring movie screenings lately - the second one is Thursday - but hopes they will lead to a full-fledged festival next Fall. 

"We are doing these monthly screenings to build momentum and a fan base of local filmmakers, artists," said vice president of marketing Ben Savage.

The screenings and the festival would serve to promote the brand, and also, Savage noted, "local creativity."

The festival would focus on independent films, he said. 

"Mostly local work if there is enough, but I would like to have others be able to submit as well. It should serve as both an outlet for expression and inspiration - so non-local has value." 

I asked Savage if it wouldn't be wiser to direct the money towards money-starved existing festivals, like the comatose MicroCineFest, or even a retrospective series like Gunky's Basement, which depends on sponsoring from non-profits. 

He said that's under consideration too.

Continue reading "Flying Dog Ales plans film festival" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:38 PM | | Comments (3)
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December 2, 2010

Hudson Street Stackhouse adds 12 new draft lines, including 4 new Belgian beers

Hudson Street Stackhouse doubled its existing 12 draft lines this week.

The new drafts total puts it two ahead of nearby Mahaffey's, which has long boasted of being Canton's best beer bar.

Stackhouse has been known for its long bottled beer list since it opened two years ago. It now exceeds 100, said manager Dominic DeSantis

But, DeSantis also said "there was a lot of demand for direct beer."

The bar owners have been planning on adding new draft lines for a year.

They were finally installed on Monday, and started pouring Tuesday.

Among the new draft lines: Allagash Curieux , Dogfish Head Burton Baton, and Loose Cannon.

And there are also four new Belgian beers: Dupont Saison, Duvel Green, Palm, and Scaldis Noel.

A full list of drafts is here.  Prices range from $4.50 to $6 (a lot of the Belgians).

DeSantis also said the bar is hoping to add cask-conditioned beer within the next few weeks.

Two years ago when Stackhouse first opened, Sam Sessa wondered if it would give Mahaffey's a run for its money in terms of quality, if not quantity. It looks like now they might have caught up in terms of quantity as well. 

(via)

Posted by Erik Maza at 12:46 PM | | Comments (10)
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December 1, 2010

DuClaw Brewing beer brunch is sold out

Wanted to go to DuClaw Brewing Company's first beer brunch? Too bad. Tickets sold out today, publicist Caitlin Mills just confirmed. The company put up all 50 tickets for sale this morning, and they sold out within 15 minutes, Mills said. Tickets cost $45 for the six-course meal. The brunch, which DuClaw announced last week, will be held December 19 at its Arundel Mills location.

Posted by Erik Maza at 2:04 PM | | Comments (20)
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November 26, 2010

DuClaw Brewing to host its first beer brunch at Arundel Mills

Because you didn't go to enough of them during Baltimore Beer Week, DuClaw Brewing Company will throw its first beer brunch in December.

DuClaw's Arundel Mills location will host a six-course brunch December 19 at 9 a.m. Tickets for the event, which cost $45, will go on sale December 1.

There are only 50 seats available. 

That location has nine DuClaw beers on tap, including Mad Bishop. The company has four locations in the metropolitan area; it closed its Fells Point store December 2009.

Both Beer in Baltimore blogs have posted the menu for the brunch: 

Sweet Potato Pancakes with a Vanilla Almond Syrup topped with Fresh Homemade Cream paired with Sawtooth Belgian Wit

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles topped with a Cinnamon Cream paired with 31 Spiced Munich Dunkel.

Beer Marinated Steak and Eggs paired with Devil’s Milk Barleywine

Cherry Strata paired with Cherry Black Jack Stout

Beer Biscuits and Maple Sausage Gravy with Euphoria Toffee Nut Brown Ale

Banana Crepes with a Chocolate Drizzle with 13 Degrees Hefeweizen

Tickets are sold DuClaw's online store.

Photo: DuClaw's Bel Air location, from Dave's Blog.

Posted by Erik Maza at 9:58 AM | | Comments (0)
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November 16, 2010

Not so fast with those Flying Dog brewery tours

After I followed up on a Washington City Paper blog post reporting Flying Dog Ales was getting ready to start public tours of the brewery again, CEO Jim Caruso reached out to me: not yet.

Caruso said there was a tour of the facility last week, but that it was only an experiment to see if it would be possible to start the tours in the future. 

"We’re studying how we might organize tours if we did open the brewery to the public," Caruso said. But, "No decision has been made to open the brewery to the public."

Flying Dog closed its tap room and ended tours a year ago over a Maryland law that allows licensed breweries to offer only 6-ounce beer samples to visitors who've completed public tours. 

State breweries, including Flying Dog, have protested the law in the past, and expressed interest in bringing the tours back.

To explore that possibility, Caruso said, the brewery invited two groups of around 30 people - retailers, journalists like the writers from City Paper, and "friends of the brewery" - to tour their Frederick brewery last Thursday.

After the tour, City Paper reported the brewery would be able to bypass the Maryland law by simply dividing the brewery into parts, and offering samples after visitors have toured each section instead of after one seamless tour. But Caruso said it's still to early to reach that conclusion. 

"We’re evaluating what we learned from that experience," he said. "We have no specific plan to open the brewery to the public at this time."

Photo: Flying Dog's Frederick brewery, via The Lagerheads' Facebook.  They got a tour last week.
Posted by Erik Maza at 11:42 AM | | Comments (0)
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November 15, 2010

Flying Dog Ales to re-start public tours at Frederick brewery

Flying Dog Ales will resume public tours at its Frederick brewery  starting this Winter.

The manufacturer closed the tap room of its brewery a year ago over Maryland liquor laws that prevented them from freely dispensing samples to visitors. 

But Washington City Paper reports CEO Jim Caruso has found a loophole that will allow the company to bring back sampling Saturdays and do tours of the facility.

The news comes after last week's announcement the company has more or less discontinued the 21-year-old brand Wild Goose, which they had owned since 2006. 

Maryland law stipulates a brewery may only serve one sample of up to 6 ounces to anyone of legal drinking age who has taken a tour of its licensed facility.

Flying Dog and other breweries have protested the law in the past. But this Winter, they will bypass the law by simply breaking up their tour into different sections. This will allow visitors to take their 6-ounce samples after each section they complete, rather than after one seamless tour, and to get blotto way faster. 

City Paper doesn't say how many tour sections there will be, and Ben Savage, vice president of marketing, hasn't gotten back to me for comment. Will update when I know that information, the start date of the tours, if there will be a cost, and if the company is already taking reservations.

Continue reading "Flying Dog Ales to re-start public tours at Frederick brewery" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 4:05 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Brewing News
        

October 25, 2010

Stillwater Artisanal Ales' Brian Strumke gets national attention, last keg of new brew now at Pratt Street Ale House

During Baltimore Beer Week, Brian Strumke unveiled a new "imperialistic" stout at Max's Taphouse that was only available for that night and only at that bar.

Stillwater Artisanal Ale's "Requisite" has long been gone. But, Strumke also unveiled another new ale that same week.

Called The Channel Crossing, Volume 2, it was a collaboration with Pratt Street Ale House's Steven Jones. And that, it turns out, is still on tap. On its last keg, in fact, the Ale House says.

Strumke has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. He's part of a growing number of "gypsy brewers," beer-makers who eschew big start-up capital and instead rent equipment, space, and manpower to make their product.

In August, Strumke was profiled by NPR. And last week, Clay Risen at The Atlantic blogged about the new trend, listing Stillwater and Cambridge's Pretty Things as examples.

In its beer issue, Washington City Paper also placed Stillwater among an existing group of metro breweries that are making the area a mecca for the craft beer industry.

Continue reading "Stillwater Artisanal Ales' Brian Strumke gets national attention, last keg of new brew now at Pratt Street Ale House" »

Posted by Erik Maza at 1:52 PM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Brewing News
        
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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 erik.maza@baltsun.com. 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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