Samantha Iacia's picture
March, 22nd 2013

The Brewer’s Art Releases Ozzy in a Can

Baltimore magazine

Starting this afternoon, the much-loved Ozzy Ale from The Brewer’s Art will be available for purchase in cans, giving Baltimore beer lovers a reason to cheer.

To celebrate, the Mount Vernon bar is hosting a ceremonial tapping of the can at 4 p.m. today. A second sampling will be held at The Wine Source in Hampden from 5 to 7 p.m.

“The response was a universal thumbs up,” said Volker Stewart, co-owner of The Brewer’s Art.

The beer comes packaged in a can designed by Mission Media and has unique graphics that Stewart said were inspired by singer Ozzy Osbourne’s knuckle tattoos.

Stewart said that the ale, which he describes as mostly dry Belgian golden ale, will be sold in singles and six-packs ($10) in most liquor stores throughout Maryland.

“It’s a great food-pairing ale,” he said.

The Brewer’s Art is known for its house brews. Its flagship beer, Resurrection Ale, was first sold in cans in 2010.

“I’m just excited about kicking off a new brand,” Stewart said.

2:44 pm Comment Count Tags: bars, beer, breweries
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 12th 2013

Ravens Super Bowl DVD Screening at The Lyric

Baltimore magazine

Last night, Ravens players, staff, and fans gathered (fittingly) at the The Patricia and Arthur Model Performing Arts Center at The Lyric to watch a screening of the NFL Films DVD Baltimore Ravens: Super Bowl XLVII Champions, available today on the Ravens website.

Players arrived at the Lyric around 5 p.m., all pausing on the purple carpet for photos and interviews. Of course, the big elephant in the room was the news that wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the day.

"Anquan was a great receiver for myself and for our football team for this whole organization," said Joe Flacco, who attended the event with his wife Dana. "It's sad to see a guy like that go, but at the same time you want what's best for him and you just wish him the best of luck . . . You lose a lot of things, you lose a leader, you lose that fire. Most importantly, you lose a really good player and a guy that's done it over and over again."

Defensive end Arthur Jones, who was all smiles for the camera, had more of a positive spin on the situation. "It's really unfortunate, but it's part of a business. Right now we're here to celebrate the time we did have with him. I wish him all the best in the future."

Ray Lewis and Torrey Smith arrived in a limo together and Lewis admitted he's felt a bit relieved in retirement. "Honestly, there's no pressure because every year is always a new year, every offseason is always a new offseason. You're always gearing up for something. But for me now, it's more gearing up for business, more gearing up for life, and more gearing up for the kids. The pressure meter is down a little bit and that's probably the biggest difference." As far as his future as an ESPN analyst, Lewis said that both sides are still working out the details. 

Fellow wide receiver Smith, predictably, had a disappointing reaction to Boldin's trade. "It's tough for everyone. Not just myself, obviously there might be a little more responsibility, but I had that last year and the year before that. It's definitely hard. The biggest thing is not so much about football, when you lose someone like that, a mentor, a big brother, someone you love like a brother and would do anything for him. It's tough."

Ray Rice attended the event with his adorable daughter Rayven, while Jacoby Jones arrived with his Dancing With The Stars partner Karina Smirnoff, who he's been doing a gaggle of promotions with this past week. On Boldin, Jones commented, "We learned a lot of routes from him, how he thinks, what he sees . . . He's always a Raven with me."

Once everyone filed into the theater, broadcasters Gerry Sandusky, Qadry Ismail, and Stan White brought out the Lombardi Trophy and introduced the two-hour Super Bowl film. Narrated by Baltimore native and actor Josh Charles, the film took viewers through the season game by game. The sideline snippets were definitely the highlights, something you'd expect if you kept up with NFL Sound FX all year. Bonus features include media day footage, post-game ceremonies, and Harbaugh family interviews.

Reliving the memorable season on a giant screen at The Lyric with players and coaches in attendance was a pretty neat experience. The biggest cheers came from Jones' punt returns, Smith's receptions, and Flacco's hail-mary throws. But, you couldn't help but notice hushes in the theater after the countless Boldin receptions on the highlight reel. Fans, like the players, are very sad to see Q go. 

[Photos by me]

Samantha Iacia's picture
March, 5th 2013

St. Patrick's Day round-up

Baltimore magazine

It seems that celebrations for St. Patrick's Day start earlier each year. With the holiday being less than two weeks away, it's time to finalize your plans (if you haven't already!) Luckily, there are plenty of options around town to suit whatever type of party you're looking for. Whether it's a week-long festival or a no-frills meal, here is a collection of ideas to get you started:

Sláinte Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1700 Thames St., 410-563-6600: The Fells Point pub is throwing a massive St. Patty’s Day event with 17 days of non-stop partying. The daily festivities began on Friday and go through Monday the 18th. On March 16, there will be a coundown to St. Patrick's Day, and a Jameson toast at midnight before the pub shuts down at 2 a.m. and re-opens at 6 a.m. Music from The New Brigade starts around 9 p.m.

An Pointin Stil, 2323 York Rd., Timonium, 410-560-7900: The Stil will be seeing green starting at 5 p.m. on March 10 when the first festivities kick off after the parade. On St. Patrick's Day, the pub opens at 9 a.m. with live music from Ed McBride. Beer tubs, hot dogs, corned beef, Irish stews, and more live music (Andy Belt & Friends, Change of Pace, Gaelic Mishap, and The ShamRogues) are in the parking lot tents starting at noon. Drink specials include $5 Jameson all day and $2.17 Guinness pints from 9 to 10 p.m.

Liam Flynn’s Ale House, 22 W. North Ave., 410-244-8447: Liam Flynn’s will begin its celebrations on March 10 with a post-parade party. On Wednesday the 13, there will be an Irish whiskey tasting ($20 per person), and the weekly traditional Irish music session (free) starting at 7:30 p.m.  On St. Patrick’s Day, Liam’s will open at 11 a.m. with drink specials including Irish and local craft ales, lagers, Ciders, and one that depends on how you order it: a "Bomb the Old Baily" is $8, a "Car Bomb" is $10, and an "Irish Car Bomb" is $12. Irish food like corned beef and cabbage, Colcannon, peas, and bangers will be free all day. 

Mick O'Shea's, 328 N. Charles St., 410-539-7504: Take it easy with Irish breakfast starting at 10 a.m. and traditional Irish food throughout the day. Irish folk band The Spalpeens will perform starting at 4 p.m. 

The Life of Reilly, 2031 E. Fairmount Ave., 410-327-6425: A weekend-long celebration starts on Friday, March 15 with bagpiper Duncan Moore kicking off happy hour at 5 p.m. All weekend, the pub will be offering a "Stew and Brew" special: for $10, you get a Guinness stew and a small Guinness or other Irish draft of your choice. Traditional Irish foods including Shepard's pie, fish and chips, and corned beef and cabbage will also be served. The Life of Reilly will open at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day with brunch and entrees. 

Victoria Gastro Pub, 8201 Snowden River Pkwy., Columbia, 410-750-1880: In addition to its regular menu, the pub will serve Irish beers on tap, and a corned beef and cabbage special for Saturday and Sunday night. On Saturday, live music from the Tommy Gann Duo starts at 9 p.m. and goes until midnight. 

Claddagh Pub, 2918 O'Donnell St., 410-522-4220: A wild, two-day party kicks off in Canton on Saturday, March 16 with the Claddagh Pub’s 18th annual Meet in the Street festival. Expect plenty of drink specials, heated outdoor tents, and non-stop live music including performances by the Amish Outlaws, Kristen and the Noise, and Hot Tub Limo

Dougherty’s Pub, 223 W. Chase St., 410-752-4059: Dougherty’s in Midtown will be partying on two occasions: after the parade and on St. Patrick’s Day. Specials for both days will be Killian’s Irish Red, Irish whiskeys, rail drinks and domestic bottles. Lamb stew, and corned beef and cabbage will be served. There will be giveaways for key chains, t-shirts, and more. 

Cat’s Eye Pub, 1730 Thames St., 410-276-9866Dogs Among the Bushes continue their St. Patrick’s Day tradition of playing at the Fells Point spot. Live music starts at 2 p.m. and doesn’t stop until closing time. Natty Boh, Miller Lite, and Bud Lite are $3 on draft all day. Cat’s Eye opens at 11 a.m. 

Power Plant Live! 34 Market Place, 410-752-5444: Power Plant is hosting a free two-day blowout. Shamrocks & Shenanigans kicks off on Saturday, March 16 at 7 p.m. with Irish food and a free concert featuring Better Than Ezra.  On Sunday, the St. Patio’s Day bash starts at 11 a.m. Come prepared to party hard—there will be a green ice luge, tricycle races, ticket giveaways for the Orioles’ opening day, and $3 green Miller Lites all day. Live music includes Charm City Saints, DJ Mebaa, and DJ Vibe Lime. 

James Joyce irish Pub and Restaurant, 616 S. President St., 410-727-5107: The Harbor East pub begins a six-day affair on Tuesday, March 12 with an Irish theme for its weekly trivia night. On Wednesday, March 13, there’s an Irish whiskey dinner and on Thursday, March 14, Irish band Barleyjuice plays starting at 10 p.m. The pub’s patios are heated and open from Friday to Sunday, and traditional Irish fare like Shepard’s pie and fish & chips will be served.  The usual Guinness, and Harp will be on draft. 

Tír Na NÓg, 201 E. Pratt St., 410-483-8968: Live music from The ShamRogues from 2 to 6 p.m.  From 8 p.m. until close, the Ernie Fowler Trio takes the stage. Guinness, Jameson and Fireball are $5 all day. There will be giveaways for St. Patrick’s Day beads, t-shirts, and more. 

[Image: courtesy of]


Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
February, 28th 2013

Moonshine Tavern in Canton

Baltimore magazine

Sometimes it seems that bars change hands in the blink of an eye. Such is the case for Moonshine Tavern, which replaced The Gin Mill on Boston Street in Canton. The owners of The Gin Mill closed down the bar in January after nearly 16 years of service in order to focus their attention on their full-time real estate work.

Less than a month later, Moonshine Tavern opened up and I got a chance to get to the bar last night. Thankfully, the layout remains pretty much the same with the dominating square-shaped bar in the center and exposed brick and chalkboards throughout. The booths by the window were replaced with high-top tables and the entrance to the back dining room is opened up.

Naturally, we wanted to check out the "moonshine" menu, which contains more than 20 concoctions of high-proof liquor infused with ingredients like brown sugar, cherries, and honey. For $18, you can get a moonshine sampler, pictured, with five shots to try.

We sampled the MBR Kentucky Black Dog and MBR Apple Pie (out of Pembroke, Kentucky). The Black Dog, at 90 proof, was a little too smoky for our taste, but scotch drinkers would like. The apple pie (a more modest 44 proof) was delicious with apple cider, brown sugar, and pie spice flavors. 

Additionally, we tried the Ole Smoky Peach and Ole Smoky Blackberry (both 40 proof) out of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The peach was a little on the sweet side, but the blackberry infusion was perfectly tart. If you're feeling adventurous, you could try High West Silver Oat, a 176-proof unaged oat whiskey out of Park City, Utah. We didn't push our luck.

Of course, there is also a full menu of cocktails and draft and bottled beers. On-tap selections included Racer 5 IPA, Allagash White, and Flying Dog's Raging Bitch. The food menu is distinctively New Orleans influenced and both the burger and catfish po'boy were excellent options.

All in all, we applaud the newest addition to Boston Street for thinking a bit outside the box. It's nice to see a creative new place instead of another cookie-cutter establishment. 

[Photo by me]

2:28 pm Comment Count Tags: bars, liquor
Samantha Iacia's picture
February, 22nd 2013

Baltimore Bartenders' Guild fundraises for Cystic Fibrosis

The Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild (BBG) hosts its 2nd annual “Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis” Gala this Sunday at B&O American Brasserie from 6 to 9 p.m. A cocktail competition and a rye whiskey seminar are two event highlights.

“We have the best craft bartenders in Baltimore coming together,” said Brendan Dorr, BBG president and bar manager at B&O. 

The BBG’s month-long celebration of rye concludes with Sunday’s fundraiser. Using Bulleit Rye, members of the BBG will each create a signature cocktail to be scored by patrons and a panel of guest judges, including WBAL radio’s Laurie Forster (also known as The Wine Coach).

For $50 per person, you can sample the featured cocktails in addition to beer, wine, and food from area restaurants. Live jazz music will play throughout the night.

Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland. Purchase tickets here or in person at B&O.

[Image: courtesy of] 

Samantha Iacia's picture
February, 15th 2013

Max's Taphouse hosts four-day Belgian Beer Festival

Max's Taphouse Rare beer lovers should head to Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point today through Monday, February 18 for the bar’s 9th annual Belgian Beer Festival

This year, the festival’s claim to fame is its selection of more than 200 Belgian beers on draft, and nearly 300 imported bottles. Anyone who goes to the festival has the opportunity to try authentic Belgian food from the special menu available all weekend.

“People are blown away,” said owner Ron Furman. “It’s a great selection. We have beers here that have never been to the U.S. before.”

Some of the imported beers include Malheur 12, Geuze Tilquin, De Glazen Toren Cuvee Angelique, Alvinne Morpheus Wild Undressed, and Struise Pannepot Grand Reserva. Sample size and full draft beers range from $3.50 to $10, and bottles start at $6, with the highest price being $75 for a 750-milliliter bottle.

Furman said that the draft beers will be in constant rotation throughout the weekend.

Max’s is adding new domestic beers into the mix for the remaining three days of the festival. On Saturday, local brewer Stillwater Artisanal Ales will debut its third anniversary beer. On Sunday, Max’s will become the first bar in Maryland to serve beer from the Oxbow Brewing Company based in Newcastle, Maine. And on Monday—which Max’s is calling “Sour and Wild Day”—more than 20 American sour beers will be showcased.

So far, the imported brews are drawing a huge crowd. At 6 a.m. this morning, one man was already waiting to get inside, Furman said. And by the time the bar opened its doors at 11 a.m., Furman said that more than 400 people were standing in line—two of them had come from San Diego and Seattle.

Furman, who said he has been selling craft and imported beers for more than 25 years, said he has recently noticed a change in the patrons who come to the festival. “People are much more open to trying new things,” he said. “It’s going to be a wonderful weekend.”

[Image: courtesy of Facebook]

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
February, 13th 2013

New Remington bar takes patrons to another era

W.C. Harlan—located in the old Kitty Kat Bar space on West 23rd Street in Remington—has only been open for two-and-a-half weeks. But I was hearing so much buzz about the place, from industry insiders and casual drinkers alike, that I wanted to check it out.

The space itself is well transformed from the divey Kitty Kat. The layout and bar are the same, but new wallpaper and reclaimed furniture (like an upright piano next to the bar) are new additions. The entire place is lit with candles and dim chandeliers, Billie Holiday plays on the stereo, and the owner walks around in a vintage floral dress. After a few drinks, you feel like you might actually be in the 1940s.

W.C. Harlan is a cocktail bar, to be sure, and the drinks are top-notch. We had an exteremely well-crafted Old Fashioned with James E. Pepper 1776 Rye, a cinnamon cherry, and the usual sugar cube and Angostura bitters. They also had a cocktail du jour that was on the sweeter side: gin, Belle Paire, crème de cacao, and lemon. The bar only has two rotating taps (light and dark beer), but an impressive bottle list that focuses on European imports like Bitburger and Schneider Weisse.

We were also pleased with the reasonable prices ($6.50 for an outstanding cocktail, $3.50 for a 16-ounce beer), all the more reason to sit back, relax, and enjoy our new favorite haven in the city.

[Image: courtesy of Facebook]

10:53 am Comment Count Tags: bars, cocktails
Samantha Iacia's picture
February, 11th 2013

Six ideas for a non-traditional Valentine's Day

Whether you are single or happily taken, there isn't much debate about it: Valentine's Day can sometimes feel a little daunting. The high expectations, the gifts, and all of those gushy cards can make even the world's biggest hopeless romantic go a little cross-eyed. Instead of hiding at home away from all the lovey-dovey fuss, get out and try a scene that won't be so typical.

• "Love Sux" anti-Valentine’s Day party hosted by Howl at the Moon at Power Plant Live! This is a strictly no-romance-allowed party. Go the extra mile and bring a shredded or mutilated picture of an ex and you’ll be granted free admission and entered into a drawing for a $50 Howl at the Moon gift card. 

• Looking for laughs? Comedian Greg Morton puts on a Valentine-themed show at the Baltimore Comedy Factory. Tickets are $17. For $60, upgrade to the SweetHearts package, which includes drinks throughout the show, or the VIP package for $68. 

• Comedian Brian Scott McFadden performs at Magooby's Joke House in Timonium at 8 p.m. Most recently seen on The Late Show with David Letterman, McFadden is also known as the voice of the sheep from the Serta Mattress commercials and has done voice-overs for animated films including Ice Age II and Robots. Expect some relationship-themed comedy as he's currently recording material for his upcoming comedy CD What A Woman WantsTickets are $17. 

• Young Jaguars, Black Shades, and Robert Mitchell rock out at the Windup Space. Gather some friends and sing your worries away. Tickets are $10 for couples and $7 for singles. Doors at 8:30 p.m., music at 9:30 p.m. 

• Live music and dancing at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia. The restaurant is offering a pre-set menu on Valentine’s Day, but the real party is on Saturday, February 16. Shelli and Kurt from the band NightLife will play from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. and special appetizers will be served on the dance floor. 

• Mom always has your back and this Valentine's Day is no exception. Singles and couples are welcome at Mothers Federal Hill Grille for drink specials and a $12.95 steak dinner. 

[Image: courtesy of Baltimore Comedy Factory]

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
February, 1st 2013

Super Bowl punch recipe!

A big trend I've been noticing on cocktails menus has been the revival of the punch bowl. No longer reserved for school dances or holiday parties, the punch bowl is making a comeback at local bars and restaurants.

B&O American Brasserie has the Chesapeake Punch (Maker's Mark, Appleton rum, Cointreau, orange, lime, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters) and the Gangland Courage (Hennessy VS, Batavia Arrack, apricot cordial, ginger syrup, lemon, and sparkling brut).

Additionally, Hersh's Pizza & Drinks (one of our "Best Bars") introduced rotating punches to their menu. Right now, bar manager Jamaal Green is offering the "Brandy and Bubbly" punch, which would make for a perfect Super Bowl party drink. Or, as Green says, "I want everyone to drink themselves into oblivion with this!" Here's the recipe:

19 oz. brandy (Vecchia Romagna)
11.5 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice, house-made grenadine, and simple syrup...equal parts
7.6 oz. of squeezed lemon juice
750 ml of prosecco or cava
.5 liter of club soda
Garnish with two lemons sliced into wheels, one orange into half wheels. Can serve 30 per four-ounce serving. Add two egg-shaped ice blocks or one large. 

[Image: courtesy of]

11:05 am Comment Count Tags: parties, ravens, recipes
Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
January, 29th 2013

Best New Orleans bars to watch the Super Bowl

You couldn't ask for a better nightlife city than New Orleans. Just read my piece from when I was there when the Saints won the championship in 2010. So there is no shortage of amazing bars and restaurants to catch the big game. Here are our particular favorites:

The spot where I watched the Saints win the Lombardi was Lucy's in the Central Business District. Not only is this bar close to the Superdome, but it's a well-known hang out for Saints players. The scene two years ago was a giant tailgate party and the game was projected onto the side of a building. Specials this Sunday include $3 mimosas, $4 Bloody Marys, $15 buckets of beer, $5 well drinks, and $5 house margaritas.

Again just steps away from the Superdome is Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar, which is offering an entire weekend's worth of events. Starting with a party on Saturday, the bar will be partnered with Baltimore radio station 105.7 the Fan. The tailgate party will feature autograph and photo opportunities with Lardarius Webb and other players, as well as New Orleans food and drink (jambalaya, gumbo, hurricanes); admission is $40. On Sunday, there's a VIP tailgate party sponsored by ESPN with all-inclusive food and drink, live entertainment, and access to a post-game party. All-inclusive VIP admission for that is $400.

If craft beer and raw oysters are more your scene, head Uptown to Cooter Brown's Tavern, which features 38 beers on tap including a bunch of local favorites and tons of international rarities. The place has 17 flat screens and two eight-foot drop down screens. The menu includes New Orleans classics like raw oysters, po'boys, and crawfish. Plus, the bar is located on the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, if you want to fit in something touristy.

 Tracey's was the original bar in the Irish Channel neighborhood (across from the beautiful Garden District). This Irish sports bar is pretty huge, and has a beer hall type feel with 20 TVs. Though Tracey's is known for its Irish classics and po'boys, the chef said they'll probably put crabcakes on the menu for Baltimore fans on Sunday. 

But if you're looking to party closer to the French Quarter (where most revelers will end up anyway), the Jimani Lounge is a divey sports bar known for its excellent food (hamburgers and crawfish pasta), as well as its juke-box entertainment. Above all, the Jimani is a great place to catch a football game and, in fact, has officially banned NFL commissioner Roger Goodell from the establishment, like the Saints' loyalists they are.

[Image: courtesy of]

5:30 pm Comment Count Tags: bars, ravens, travel
12 issues for $18!