Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beer in Howard County: The Sudsy Triangle

If you want to explore beer in Howard County, you need to know two things -- the Baltimore Beer Guy and the "Sudsy Triangle" of Columbia.

The Baltimore Beer Guy writes a blog all about local restaurants, bars and breweries. He lives in HoCo, and he knows more and drinks more than I'm ever going to offer. The Sudsy Triangle is eastern Columbia around the intersections of Rte 175 and Snowden River Parkway -- where you can check out Victoria Gastropub, the Frisco Grille and the Perfect Pour in a single afternoon.
  • The Beer Bars: (Updated: Victoria and Frisco along with Judges Bench and T-Bonz Grille & Pub stand out because they basically curate their bars, rotating craft and foreign beers from dozens of taps, according to the BBG.)  Victoria Gastropub at Rte 108 and Snowden has a beautiful bar and a high-end pub menu that makes it a casual, but classy place to eat and drink. It also has had beer dinners and hosts a "Beer Club" with specials like Monday night discounts and raffles. The Frisco Grille off Dobbin Road serves beer with a menu that mixes pub food and Southwestern cuisine. They have 19 taps and dozens more bottled, and their special night is Wednesday, when there are often free pint glasses and special brews. (As a bonus, check out Pub Dog -- a bar in the same shopping center as Frisco Grille. If you go, the Beer Guy recommends the pale (Hoppy Joe) and the no frills pizza.)  The Judges Bench and T-Bonz are in the same class, according to the BBG.  They sound great, but I haven't been to T-Bonz since it started this craft beer push and the BBG named it to his top list.
  • The Beer Store: When you want to take your beer home, you just go east on Rte 175 and stop at the Perfect Pour near the new Trader Joe's. It looks like any other liquor store on the outside, but opens wide and ends with a 50-foot-long wall of beers. Craft beers. Foreign beers. Old favorites. Rare varieties. (Heavens, they ran out of beers to offer and have an entire shelf of mead.) I know there are other options -- for example i.m. Wine or any of the places that the Baltimore Beer Guy lists on his site -- but my meager thirst could be filled at the Perfect Pour for years.
If you still want to know more, check out the Baltimore Beer Guy blog. He writes all about local haunts -- for example this post. He offers ideas of some little adventures like the tasting room at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick. He has a list of great liquor stores. He created beer maps for HoCo, DC and more. He reviews some beers and dashes off updates about special items on tap -- like Hoptimus Prime on tap at Frisco over Christmas. It is also a fun read if you want a window to life in Howard County.

(Update: Check out the comments below -- along with comments on my request for advice, which talk up places like Ram's Head Tavern, Ellicott Mills Brewing, the Judge's Bench and Phoenix Emporium. Also, check out the Baltimore Beer Guy's new list of places to stock up on beer.)

(Update: Also consider T-Bonz Grille & Pub in Ellicott City.  I didn't drink there, but the Baltimore Beer Guy blog posted in January 2010 about the beer selection at T-Bonz.  The BBG absolutely recommends the craft beer selection -- saying that the 10 taps and interesting bottles and seasonal offerings makes T-Bonz the best option after Frisco, Judges Bench and Victoria.)

This is part of the "What I Learned" series of posts. They're organized in rings. See below to continue on the ring of ideas about food in Howard County. Or click to switch to the posts about different cuisines or posts about shopping.

PREVIOUS: What I've Learned
NEXT: Cheese in Howard County


BeerGuy said...

Many thanks for the kind words!

Like you, I have fun with the blog, helps scratch an itch.

K8teebug said...

I will take the nice people at Perfect Pour over the snotty people at i.m. wine any day...

BeerGuy said...

BTW Howard County Restaurant Weeks Feb 23-March 8 allegedly.