The tequila post will come in time, but my recent adoption has been an old school option -- cans of beer.
Picnics, neighborhood cookouts, many, many evenings watching kids ride bikes, play light sabers and shoot arrows in our alley. Beer cans make much more sense, especially after I felt really self-conscious bringing a bottle of beer onto a playground.
A question in one of my final posts had been "Where can I find local beer in cans?" And the answer now is "Way more places."
Hysteria Brewing opened Saturday on Berger Road in Columbia and joined a brewery scene that has all opened in recent years. Black Flag in Columbia. Jailbreak in Laurel. Manor Hill in Ellicott City. Along with the brewing at Frisco Tap Room and Columbia Ale House.
Hysteria opened with a great-looking party. By which I mean that there were no open parking spaces when I tried to sneak a visit before taking Lil' Chow to a movie on Saturday. I just looked. Beer, food trucks. I had hoped we could each relax -- me with a beer, him with a Dragons: Race To The Edge show on my iPad. But I didn't have the window to find parking across the road and walk him through the heat.
Luckily, we went to dinner at Frisco, which the waitress told us was the former home of one of the Hysteria brewers. They served up a Trash Panda IPA. It tasted like a good, hoppy IPA. But I ended up picking a crisp alternative because my taste buds have turned against bitter after a multi-year fling with Flying Dog's Raging Bitch. I'll be excited to try the stouts, sours and other barrel-aged beers that Jess Mayhugh wrote up in a Baltimore Mag profile of Hysteria. I have my eye on the Farm Truck saison.
I'd love advice. What do people recommend from the local breweries? I have heard little bits of styles -- "culinary" ingredients at Jailbreak, this barrel-aging at Hysteria -- but I'd love to hear what people think when they think of the local lines. And what liquor stores carry the local beer? I saw that the new Maple Lawn liquor store bulked up in comparison to its i.m. Wine predecessor. Prior comments talked up Perfect Pour, Allview, Richburn and others.
You know what I'd really love? A sampler six-pack. I'll buy new beers, but I'm always torn about buying six of something that I've never tried where there are always old standards in the cooler. Oftne, I get introduced to new local beers at a friend's house. I'd love a sampler -- for example, six (or three in pairs) of Jailbreak's varieties aimed at a local who wants find his favorite.
My curiosity is really up about Lost Ark Distilling. They're making corn whiskey and other spirits right down from Hysteria on Berger Road. Bed time makes it difficult, but I want to get there to taste their stuff. On that note, does anyone know if Bulk Head Brewing Company will be around? There is Twitter from April, but I don't see anything current.