Beautiful-good. This is the name ancient Sumerians gave to the delicious biochemical concoction we now call beer.
Beer brings people around a table, fosters conversation, and opens the opportunity for communal fellowship centered around the shared experience of enjoying refreshing, satiating beverages together. Not to mention, this bubbly brew releases the feel-good hormone, dopamine, which makes these gatherings all the more jovial.
I imagine the ancient beer-creators of old speechless after their first ceramic bowl full, dodging yeast clumps and particles with bamboo straws, then exclaiming the two most flattering, celebratory adjectives they could think up to describe their new boozy discovery: “Beautiful! ….Good!”
Many of today’s leading breweries across the country respectfully use beer’s rich history as a foundational stepping stool to launch themselves toward more creative, modern takes on traditional recipes. With craft beer on the rise, more and more entrepreneurs and beer connoisseurs are building their own breweries and pubs, positioning their take on this ancient creation from a different and unique angle.
Here at Bellhops, we are scanning the country, seeking out the best breweries that capture beer’s potential and provide delicious brews to happy patrons. City by city, we’re doing the work and investigation so that you can focus on enjoying your beer and the people around you (we’re a modern alternative to traditional moving companies in Baltimore, by the way).
For our next stop, we’re floating up the Inner Harbor smack-dab into Baltimore, MD. Grab yourself a crab cake and check out our list of the 7 best breweries in Baltimore.
Heavy Seas is the old, knowledgeable man in the room amidst many of Baltimore’s recent younger start-up breweries. Opening its doors in 1994, it has grown to a massive size, brewing 34,000 barrels a year. And as pioneers to the local craft beer scene in the city, Heavy Seas has the right to theme themselves however they want…even if they chose the theme of pirates, with brews named to-theme, like their Peg Leg imperial stout, Blackbeard’s Breakfast bourbon barrel aged Porter, Smooth Sail summer ale, and Treasure Fest oktoberfest lager.
Try this: Grand Crew
This Belgian Strong Dark ale has been aged in red wine barrels. Its robust, flavor-packed, and delicious on a cooler evening.
Brewing since 2012, Peabody Heights pumps out more than 2,000 barrels each month. They invite other craft-beer lovers to continue to join their brewers co-op, and lend out their space, equipment, and assistance to other breweries. Peabody Heights offers 20 taps in house, and their taproom is decked with memorabilia from Baltimore baseball history, as well as an old popcorn machine that’s available to the visitors. Feel free to bring the kids along for the fun, Peabody’s provides a kids room filled with toys as well as a few pool and foosball tables for the rest of the family.
Try this: Astrodon
Peabody’s tasty, hazy IPA is brewed year round to honor the many hop-hunters in the city. Its juicy and balanced with delicious fruity notes from start to finish.
Outgrowing its two previous breweries, DuClaw moved to a large production facility to keep up with the thirsty drinkers’ demands. They brew to-style beers and have won over 60 awards celebrating the quality and drinkability of their many brews. And now their beers have spread across state lines, reaching from Florida to Rhode Island. After many years in the beer scene, and success across the country, DuClaw doesn’t have to try so hard to be liked. They put effort into their brewing, but their beer names show the company’s heart of casual relaxation and content confidence.
Try this: Dirty Little Freak
This traditional American Brown Ale has been brewed with creamy, tropical coconut. Look for notes of roasted malt, caramel, and chocolate.
In The Brewer’s Art taproom, you’ll find three distinct floors – an open, airy dining floor, a darker, tighter drinkers floor, and a production floor. Literally built on the foundation of their brewing, The Brewer’s Art has successfully build their entire business and mission on the thoughtful, artful design of their quality beers. Their menu is carefully crafted, and most of their dishes incorporate beer or beer ingredients into the recipes. Enjoy a Porchetta Flatbread or their Grilled Pennsylvania Lamb Ribs with pomegranate bbq, delicata squash puree, warm brussels sprout slaw, pumpkin seeds, and pomegranate relish. And if you’d like some bubbly to go with it…
Try this: Beazly
This Belgian Strong Golden Ale is lighter in color and robust in flavor. The sweeter, deeper notes of this Belgian brew will compliment the caramelization of the lamb ribs and it’s sweet barbeque sauce. Its carbonation and dry finish will cleanse your palate between delicious bites.
If you can make the drive outside the city to Frederick, visiting Flying Dog, Maryland’s largest brewery, will not disappoint you. Its quirky, edgy style and can art by Hunter S. Thompson offers a unique brewery and drinking experience amidst its fellow crafters. The brewery was established in 1994 in Aspen, Colorado, but was later moved to Maryland in 1997. And the locals are thankful. In addition to making beer, Flying Dog also hosts concerts on their lawn and stacks up food trucks for a variety of beer-friendly grub to choose from. Their 20 beers on tap unabashedly boast abrasive names like Raging Bitch and Bloodline, but their beers are much more tasteful.
Try this: Numero Uno
This incredibly refreshing Cerveza has been brewed with agave nectar and lime peel. A light lager, this beer will drink clean with just the right amount of bubbling carbonation.
Built into an old Phillips Seafood and Coca-Cola plant, Diamondback designed their taproom around a massive smokestack of old, dark brick. The slow beginnings and steady persistence of this brewery have paid off. They now serve beer from their eight taps out of their rustic, Baltimore-classic taproom, which can seat about 50 visitors. In addition to beer, you can fill your belly with a variety of dishes from local food trucks, as well as build your own artisan sandwiches at the brewery.
Try this: Rod Riguez
This herbal beer has been brewed with Rooibos tea, creating a deliciously dry Pale Ale with complimentary bitterness from both the tea and hops.
Union Craft reopened the door to craft brewing in 2012 when they were the first brewery to open in the city in 30 years. Their move to a larger location, at the Union Collective in Medfield, has allowed Union Craft to ramp up their brewing (nearly triple the amount they could brew previously) and host live bands in their new music venue. Their drive to be inclusive and welcome everyone to their taproom is all the easier now with more taproom space, and they still love opening their doors and inviting people in the community to grab a pint, sing along with a local band, pull a board game off the shelf, or try their hand at a game of cornhole.
Try this: Duckpin
This highly bittered Pale Ale billows citrus and tropical aromas and flavors. It is balanced with strong maltiness, and rides the middle of the road in ABV at 5.5%.
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We've done the research and made our choices for the best places to live in Maryland for 2019. Enjoy.
Thinking about moving to Maryland in 2019? We're here to help. The Old Line State may not be the biggest in the union, but it sure has a lot of character. Check out our 2019 guide to decide if Maryland is the right spot for you.