Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trolling: A Recap of Baltimore Beer Week

Baltimore Beer Week ran for 10 days earlier this month, and it was an impressive mix of events that ran from the city out through Howard County.

I was shocked to see how many bars, how many breweries, and how many other folks got together to plan events that seemed to build on each other.  The organizers rallied a swath of people, and they created a lot of fun along the way.

If you want a report from 10 days of beer, I'm really not your guy.  But Brandon filled the gap with visits to many of the Howard County beer spots -- both the established joints like Judge's Bench and Victoria Gastro Pub and the new spots like Kloby's Smokehouse and T-Bonz.

Judge’s Bench in Ellicott City was host to eight BBW events. I stopped by two nights.  First, I made my way there for Heavy Seas Firkin Friday with Loose Cannon dry-hopped with local hops from Still Point Farms (Mt. Airy, MD), poured directly from an oak cask and six taps of their seasonal offerings including 2008 Below Decks Barley Wine and the bourbon-barrel-aged Great’r Pumpkin.  The next Tuesday, we stopped in for the "Judge your Java" event. They served Troegs Javahead Stout three ways -- on draft, a year-old aged keg, and in a firkin with vanilla beans. It was a great way to taste a beer in three different ways side by side.
Poutine & the beer flight
Victoria’s on Monday was Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Beers. They had a great selection of American as well as imported Oktoberfests and Fest biers. Favorites of our Oktoberfest flight were Harpoon’s Oktoberfest, Victory’s Festbier and Weihenstephaner Festbier. The pumpkin beers on tap ranged from subtle, Smuttynose, Saranac and Wolaver’s Organic Pumpkin beers, to strong spice and flavor with Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, Southern Tier’s Pumking, Schafley’s and The Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin and Great’r Pumpkin. All the beers were good and I had to see how they matched with the poutine.
Frisco Grille and Cantina had a BCS of their own (Beer Championship Series) that actually made sense, not like the college football version. Each night a brewery put up a 1/6th barrel of beer against another brewery and whosever keg kicked first moved on in the bracket. (1/6 barrel contains 5.16 gallons. There are roughly 53 servings in one 1/6 barrel, based on regular 12-oz. servings.)  Breweries that were represented were Dogfish Head, Oskar Blues, Southampton, Bear Republic, Harpoon, Troegs, Flying Dog and Heavy Seas. For the winner ,you need to go by and check the bracket.
T-Bonz and Flying Dog’s "Firkins and Fried Chicken" was among the better events in Howard County, offering fried chicken and chicken & waffles sandwiches along with firkins of Flying Dog beer. Kloby’s Smokehouse had four events of its own and is making a name for itself in the beer community hosting such breweries as Oskar Blues, Evolution and Flying Dog.
With Frisco Grille in construction at its new location and Kloby’s and T-Bonz both with plans of expanding, Howard County’s beer/pub scene is really good and is only going to better.
Trolling on Tuesday is my attempt at a series where readers would share three things with other HowChow readers -- favorite restaurant dishes, food to buy, food experiences, etc.  Click here for all the Trolling posts.  Click here for the explanation and the rules.  Anyone can submit.

1 comment:

K8teebug said...

Good recap! We went to Judge's Bench for their "crap beer tasting", which was tons of fun. Also went to Victoria for both German beer night and Hall of Fame night. Love Baltimore Beer Week!