|Jailbreak's tasting glasses -- four on a key-shaped plate|
Jailbreak Brewery in Laurel has kicked into business with both retail and bar sales. Those bar sales are going to 40+ places like White Oak Tavern, where you can often find Jailbreak on tap. Although it is the retail tap room just off U.S. 1 that seems like a new opportunity.
The front part of the brewery is set up like a modern bar. A bar, long tables, huge televisions. You can try all kinds of Jailbreak brews, including sometimes experimental ones that haven't made it yet into kegs. You can eat from food trucks that they've recruited to work the parking lot. You can even hear music many weeks.
Jailbreak is pushing a niche of culinary beers. Chocolate and coffee in a stout. Basil in a wheat beer. Jalapeños and cilantro in an IPA. Generally, I skip flavored beers because I came of age in the wretched Cranberry Lambic Era of microbrews. But Jailbreak's beers are smart and delicious. Hints of unique flavors if you're looking, but just good flavor if you just want to drink a beer.
George Berkheimer from the Business Monthly touted that Basil Wit -- saying that there was huge basil nose and flavor at the start, but it mellowed a bit in the growler. He recommends it with pizza.
I went to a Jailbreak's opening with a beer-loving friend Satellite Dann, but I haven't had a chance to go back for regular business. What have you thought if you tried Jailbreak beers on site or on tap? How is the scene in the tap room? What food trucks are they getting?
At least two more people have talked about opening breweries. Manor Hill Brewing will open in on a farm in Ellicott City. These are the same folks who created Victoria Gastro Pub, a terrific place for both beer and food. Black-Eyed Susan Brewing had talked about opening in Columbia. After initial articles over the winter, I hadn't heard anything since spring.
Anyone know the story about either? Manor Hill has an active Twitter feed, and I eagerly await details. Black-Eyed Susan hasn't updated its Facebook page since April, and some folks had left comments saying that their Berger Road space is empty. I need to drive past when I'm in the area.