An Expert’s Guide to @MDBrewers Baltimore Craft Beer Festival Today
Steve Fogleman, Baltimore Beer Baron
Less than four hours until the lines start to form at the Canton Waterfront for the VIP opening of the 2nd Annual Baltimore Craft Beer Festival presented by the Brewer’s Association of Maryland. On the festival website, there’s currently 185 beers listed.
That number will grow, as I expect a few more will be added. For example, Jailbreak Brewing (with the tent labeled #1) has no beers on the list, but I spoke to their social events coordinator on Thursday night who assured me that they just hadn’t figured out what they would bringing to the Festival yet.
How do you drink ’em all? You don’t, silly. You turn to a logistics coordinator: in this case, home brew aficionado and President of the Chesapeake Bay branch of The Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood Jason Black. I was lucky enough to run into him at his favorite watering hole yesterday as he was drinking his 4268-ish different beer at the bar.
Black’s advice? Hit the western side of the festival first, where there are over 40 different beers and brewers that most Baltimoreans haven’t tasted yet. That’s the right side of the map.
Here you’ll find names like Cushwa, Falling Branch, Independent, Barley & Hops, Push, Calvert, Steinhardt, Seven Locks and Scorpion Brewing. Not exactly household names in Charm City…yet.
And on the eastern side of the grounds, there’s plenty of out-of-town beers, too, but the numbers are less concentrated. Start with brewers like Franklins, Mully’s, Milkhouse Farm, Backshore, Mad Science, Smoketwon, Denizens, Antietam and Ruhlman.
These events are always daunting as a beer enthusiast wants to try them all. Jason Black loves a challenge, and he’s done a fine job of breaking it all down to maximize your fun. But please, let him cut in line if you see him today. That’s the least you can do since we published his festival secrets!