Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Perfect Pour in Elkridge

The Perfect Pour is the Ali Baba's cave of beer. A liquor store with a more extensive -- and more interesting -- selection of beer than I have ever seen before.

Fifty feet of beer -- most of it six shelves high. The selection runs heavily to craft and foreign beers, and it's breathtaking. Entire shelves of brews that I have heard of, then entire shelves that are completely new. Entire sections from hotspots like Germany and England. Rarities from Russia. Beers that cost $25 a bottle. My favorite Shiner Bock, plus four other Shiner varieties that I have never seen before. There must be 1,000 different beers, and the Perfect Pour invites you to discover something new, find something rare, or just amuse yourself by picking by type, country or wacky label art.

But you could easily miss it all. The sign outside doesn't even say "Perfect Pour." Just a door with "Spirits Beer Wine" overhead stuck between a running store and the soon-to-open Fatburger in the new shopping center with Trader Joe's and Costco east of Columbia on Rte 175. Step inside, and the stock seems to go forever off to the right. The light wood shelves of a store trying to separate itself from the shopping center joints decorated with Coors Light posters. Friendly people. And what a selection! The wine and the liquors would be notable on their own. Somehow, they paled as I walked the beer section and passed old favorites (Red Stripe from my years in Miami, Singha from my honeymoon, etc.) and fascinating new options (a mead, a gaggle of Belgian beers, an entire shelving area of hard ciders, etc.) This is a perfect pair with Trader Joe's -- absolutely worth a long drive and a place to fill a cart with a few month's supplies at once.

The Perfect Pour does offer "make-your-own" six-packs like I enjoy at i.m. Wine. I'd also suggest that you ask for advice. After enjoying "cristal weis" beer in Germany, I have found the filtered wheat beer only twice in the U.S. in the last decade. The Perfect Pour had two German
brands and an American variety as well. One of the workers had taste-tested it a few weeks before and gave me his personal reviews.

Go taste test on your own. The Perfect Pour will host a gala tasting this Saturday -- 3 to 7 pm, September 6, 2008 with discounts, plus food by Mamma Lucia. Plus, there is a calendar just inside the door that lists dinners that they're coordinating with restaurants like Victoria Gastro Pub.

Thanks to reader Kate for the tip!  For more beer news, check out The Baltimore Beer Guy or Greg' s post from A Food and Wine Blog on The Perfect Pour or his post about Spanish beer.  The Beer Guy post some more photos of The Perfect Pour.  I still like i.m. Wine for "make-you-own-six-packs" and honest advice.

If you're at The Perfect Pour, you're also near Parsa Kabob and just across I-95 from the empanadas at El Patio or the seafood at Frank's.

The Perfect Pour
6610 Marie Curie Dr. #E
Elkridge, MD 21075

NEAR: This is in the same shopping center as Trader Joe's. You enter from Rte 108 just north of Rte 175. It's easy access from I-95 or Rte 175.


JNU3 said...

The gala tasting was great---the only downside was how crowded it was. It was hard to navigate through the aisles.

I signed up for their e-mail list and it looks like there was another tasting this past weekend. Fun! The staff are really nice and the selection is fantastic.

I will defintiely be going back...

Anonymous said...

I wish I could be positive about this place. But, unfortunately, after a year of patronage, the owner informed me that he no longer wanted my service. The strange thing is, for the life of me, I can't figure out what I could have done for him to find this action necessary. I can't recommend a business that would treat customers in this way without any cause or reason whatsoever.

Jon V said...

Nothing but good things to say about this place. The beer selection is completely overwhelming. However, the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. They've never steered me wrong when it comes to beer on a whim. I'm a many time repeat customer.