After much thought, I’ve decided that I’ll be running a semi-regular column here on Parkville-Overlea Patch about something that I’m super passionate about: craft beer.
It’s interesting — when I first came of age, my tastes never ran toward beer. Sure, I’d had a Miller Lite or a Budweiser before but they did nothing for me. I was anything but a beer drinker.
The very first craft brew I had was a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale — ever since that first sip more than five years ago, I’ve been hooked. (Not in bad way!) Since then, I’ve taken most of my time off to travel around tasting beer everywhere from Delaware to California and quite a few states in between.
In just one week’s time I’ll be headed to sunny, warm Charleston, SC to drink some of the South’s finest suds at a festival called Brewvival.
The point is: I really, really love everything about craft beer; from the darkest, chocolate-iest stout to the hoppiest India pale ale.
It’s truly an obsession, and there are few places for good craft brew than right here at home.
We’re fortunate in Parkville and Overlea to have so many bars and liquor stores who respect the art of brewing: Racer’s Café and Harford Beverage Company, Overlea Station, Skipjacks, and the Liquor Pump, just to name a few.
Anyway, enough chatter — let’s talk beer. Onward.
DuClaw Brewing at Racer’s
About a week ago the always-awesome crew from Harford County’s DuClaw Brewing Company stopped by neighborhood hangout Racer’s Café to premiere their new India Pale Ale called Hellrazer.
Made with Motueka hops imported from New Zealand, the 7.5 percent alcohol-by-volume beer has a unique, fresh citrus flavor balanced by caramel.
DuClaw brought an enormous number of kegs for the unveiling—a true sampling of their wares including Devil’s Milk (Barleywine ale that weighs in at 11 percent by volume), and Naked Fish (A chocolate raspberry stout; as decadent as it sounds).
Brewmaster Jim Wagner thanked Racer’s for their support over the years.
“The support they’ve given us is beyond appreciated,” he said. “They’ve been amazing.”
Check out Racer’s Thursday tap list on Twitter. You can follow @RacersCafe.
Max’s Belgian Beer Festival
What could I possibly say about the largest Belgian beer festival on the East Coast?
Running Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week at Max's on Broadway in Fells Point, the festival presents the opportunity to sip some of Belgium's finest: De Proef, De Dochter, and De Dolle will be among the 100 Belgian beers on draft at any given time.
The festival will also feature kegs from Baltimore’s own Stillwater Artisanal Ales — brewed in the Belgian style all over the world by a guy from Charm City.
I’m particularly excited for the Struise/Stillwater collaboration beer "Outblack" which is among the featured beers.
Heavy Seas, formerly Clipper City Brewing, recently opened this restaurant in the old Tack Factory at 1300 Bank Street in Baltimore.
Aside from a draft line-up of awesome, locally brewed beer from Heavy Seas, the restaurant offers a raw bar including oysters and smoked mussels and entrees that really highlight how beer can be used to cook.
I haven’t been yet, but I’m looking forward to going.
DuClaw H.E.R.O. Homebrewer’s Contest
Homebrewers: start planning your best recipe now, because Harford County’s DuClaw brewing will be taking submissions in their second-annual homebrewing contest beginning April 1.
Last year Kingsville’s Tony Huckestein and Rosedale’s Doug DeLeo wowed judges with their Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. This year it could be you, with anything you can dream up.
The winning beer will be brewed by DuClaw according to the winner’s recipe and sold on draft and in bottles with proceeds going to the winner’s charity of choice. Last years winners picked the Cool Kids Campaign's Learning Center.
"Through the H.E.R.O. Homebrew Contest more than $15,000 was donated by DuClaw to develop the Learning Center, an educational center that addresses the academic, social and emotional needs of young cancer patients and their families," DuClaw representatives said in a press release.
New This Week
This week I’m excited to try:
- Dogfish Head (Milton, DE) Noble Rot, a beer-wine hybrid that was offered exclusively at the company’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub last year.
- Stillwater Artisanal Ales (Baltimore, MD) Bronze Age, a Belgian farmhouse-style ale brewed with Belgian brewers Hof Ten Dormaal.
- Sixpoint Brewing Company (Brooklyn, NY) Resin, a full-flavored 9.1 percent alcohol-by-volume Imperial India Pale Ale.
Are you passionate about craft beer? Know of any upcoming events? Are you a homebrewer? Try anything awesome recently? These are all great reasons to leave a comment!