Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 21st 2014

Brewmore beer documentary screens at MICA

Baltimore magazine

Last night we attended a screening of Brewmore, a documentary about the history and current landscape of craft beer in Baltimore. The film was made by Nick Kovacic, who founded local film production house Digital Cave Media.

The screening was held in MICA's Brown Center and, naturally, featured local craft beer, food from Joe Squared, and live music from Caleb Stine, who also provided the original soundtrack for the movie.

The film itself was fascinating for any self-proclaimed beer nerd and/or general lover of Baltimore City. Historian Maureen O'Prey and writer (and former Sun columnist) Ron Kasper chronicled Charm City's brewing history—from the influx of German immigrants to Prohibition to the empire that was National Brewing Company.

Interspersed between the historical timeline were profiles of current craft brewers in the city, including pioneers Hugh Sisson of Heavy Seas and Volker Stewart of The Brewer's Art, contract brewer Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Jon Zerivitz and Kevin Blodger of Union Craft Brewing, and home brewer Jed Jenny from The Wine Source.

The documentary included some beautiful shots of Baltimore (thanks to producer Matthew Riggieri and director of photography Mike O'Leary) and some special affection for the neon Natty Boh sign.

In general, the film extolled the virtues of craft beer and its positive relationship with the community, something that was mirrored in a Q&A with the brewers, filmmakers, and historians after the screening. As they discussed state legislation and beer trends on the horizon, there was a great sense of camaraderie on stage, which was a fitting finale for the night.

Brewmore will screen again at Heavy Seas Brewery on April 19. For more details and future screenings, check the documentary's website.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 20th 2014

Cocktails at Dylan's Oyster Cellar

Baltimore magazine

Pop-ups are all the rage these days—whether it's holiday shops or ramen nights—and we love the latest venture, Dylan's Oyster Cellar in Mt. Vernon. When Dooby's opened last year, the shop also opened an adjacent space called the Hatch, which is dedicated to six-to-eight-week pop-up shops. Dylan's Oyster Cellar is the current inhabitant. 

We love the simple concept: a basement space with a menu solely consisting of oysters on the half shell and a drink list with local beer, wine and champange, and craft cocktails. When we tried it out last week, we slurped on some delicious Rappahannock Rivers and Old Salts, with direction from Gilman grad and oyster expert Dylan Salmon. 

In addition, the cellar features a small but thoughtful drink menu with everything from $2 Natty Bohs to glasses of sparkling cava. We also tried the Cellar Sour, pictured, with vodka, egg whites, orange bitters, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice—which was an ideal, citrusy accompaniment for the oysters.

The cellar's bartender, named Slippy, has ordered new whiskeys, gins, cordials, and a Champagne, so expect new cocktails this coming week. We are looking forward to all the things Dylan's has to offer—whether it's a pop-up or a more permanent venture.

Dylan's Oyster Cellar is open Wednesday-Sunday, starting at 4 p.m.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 17th 2014

Papi's Taco Joint opens in Fells Point

Baltimore magazine

Alexander's Tavern owners Charlie Gjerde and Carrie Podles opened the Mexican-inspired Papi's Taco Joint in the old Bradley's/J.A. Murphy's/Lulu's space.

The business partners have done quite a makeover of the space, which was featured on Bar Rescue a few years back. All of the dark wood looks refinished, there are added stained-glass accents, a kitchen window was created for a more open feel, and an outside courtyard will open up later in the spring.

A bright and colorful chalkboard advertises the bar's happy hour (Monday-Friday, 4-7 p.m.), which was exactly the time we went last Friday. Specials include $3 house margaritas (50 cents more to add flavor), $3 draft beers, $6 sangria, and $1 tacos. I tried a traditional margarita, made with 100-percent blue agave Camarena tequila and house-made sour mix, which had a soft spice and ample amount of tart.

Also available are various margarita flavors (everything from prickly pear to bananas foster), mojitos, martinis, and both local and Mexican beers. You could even get a Coronita (mini Corona) dumped in your margarita, which we saw a few customers enjoying. 

As for the food, Papi's is inspired by "the antojitos of Mexican street food trucks, carts, and markets," so its menu features items like hominy and yucca frita. We sampled the elote esquites—corn on the cob dusted with lime, chile pequin, cotija, Mexican mayo, and lemony herb epazote—which was unique and delicious. We also appreciated the "build-your-own street taco" menus, in which you could choose your own tortilla, meat, salsa, and style. 

While it's still early for Papi's (and the poor space seems cursed), we have high hopes. Not only does it have successful business owners, but the concept is thoughtful and creative—albeit in a neighborhood with a lot of taco competition already.

To read more about Charlie Gjerde and his journey to Alexander's and Papi's, pick up a copy of our May issue.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
March, 12th 2014

New Tavern Room opens at Fleet Street Kitchen

Baltimore magazine

Fleet Street Kitchen—which is the most upscale of the Bagby Restaurant Group's operations—just got a little more casual with the opening of The Tavern Room. The front room, which eschews white tablecloths and plays more casual music, is adjacent to the restaurant's bar and offers a more relaxed vibe. 

While the menu options remain sophisticated with glazed sunchokes, bone marrow, and a pig face and pickles plate, the prices are much more reasonable than Fleet Street's dining room. At a media dinner last night, the restaurant group's director of marketing Dave Seel explained that The Tavern Room will focus on small plates and appetizers (which they call "tastes") rather than a full tasting menu.

Another exciting aspect of The Tavern Room are the punches that beverage director Tim Riley has whipped up exclusively for the space. Meant to be shared between 2-4 people, the punches include Cry of Delores (Crema de Mezcal, apple brandy, sherry, smoked tea, and citrus); Colonel Baldwin's Punch (Haitian rum, old cognac, Madeira, Cherry Heering, and lemons); and Kentucky Navy (bourbon, rye, spearmint tea, black walnut bitters, citrus, local cider). All of the punches—served in communal Mason jars—were lovely, but we especially loved the minty, aromatic flavors of the Kentucky Navy. 

Also new is The Tavern Room's happy hour, which is Monday-Friday 5-7 p.m. and features half-price small plates and tastes, as well as $5 beer, $6 cocktails, and $7 glasses of wine. 

All in all, the new space is a welcome addition to the restaurant concept, as it will make Fleet Street Kitchen, as a whole, feel less intimidating and more inviting. 

Eva Niessner's picture
March, 6th 2014

Full Tilt debuts baseball-themed release

Baltimore magazine

Full Tilt Brewing is no stranger to Baltimore-themed beers. The company created specialty brews like the Berger Cookie Chocolate Stout and the Fleet Street Raspberry Wheat to celebrate Charm City.

Now, they are debuting Camden Cream, which is “brewed with the light, creamy grain bill of two-row pale, bohemian pilsner, Vienna and Carahell malts” and “gently hopped with amarillo and Northern brewer hops.”

“The beer being associated with Camden Yards mostly stems from the light profile and smooth drinkability of the beer itself,” said Nick Fertig, co-owner of the brewery. He described Camden Cream as a warm-weather beer that could be enjoyed during baseball season.

“Our last couple releases have been bold heavy beers and we wanted to switch it up for those whose palates call for something a little lighter,” Fertig said. “We crafted this beer to be smooth enough for this new group of Full Tilt fans, but also complex and enjoyable enough for craft-beer lovers across the board.”

To fit the theme, the beer’s release event will be held this Saturday at Dempsey’s Brew Pub and Restaurant, located in the Camden Yards warehouse.

Guests can enjoy food and drink specials at Dempsey’s beginning at 6 p.m., followed by the first pouring and toast of the new release at 7. Pints of Camden Cream will be $4, plus live music by the Simon Pyles Trio and a cornhole tournament will also be part of the festivities.

Eva Niessner's picture
February, 27th 2014

St. Patrick's Day roundup

Baltimore magazine

Ireland is half a world away, but that doesn't mean the party is far from home. Get ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day Baltimore-style with events and specials at bars all around town—some starting as early as March 1.

Canton Irish Stroll, 301-652-7712: Not sure how to kick off your St. Patrick’s celebrations? The Canton Irish Stroll on March 1 offers specials at bars around the ’hood, including Looney’s Pub, Portside Tavern, Smaltimore, McGiddy’s, and Tavern on the Square. And your bar hopping can help benefit the less fortunate, as the event is partnered with the Maryland Food Bank, and anyone who brings two canned goods can get a $5 discount on their event ticket. Participants can enjoy Irish snacks and other happy hour-priced drinks while they stroll with bagpipers and leprechauns. 

Federal Hill Irish Stroll, 301-652-7712: If Canton’s Irish Stroll left you wanting more, and you can’t bear to wait for St. Patrick’s Day, head down to Federal Hill on Saturday, March 8. The leprechauns and bagpipers will be back for more fun at another round of bars, including Stalking Horse, McGerks, Rowhouse, and Ropewalk.

James Joyce Irish Pub and Restaurant, 616 S. President Street, 410-727-5107: Baltimore wouldn’t be the same without the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and the James Joyce Pub is holding its annual auction on Sunday, March 9 to help support that tradition. Funds from the sales, which will include a baseball bat signed by Cal Ripken Jr., will benefit the parade. You can also catch Irish folk-rock band The Shamrogues at the pub at 7 p.m. on March 16.

Slainte Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1700 Thames Street, 410-563-6600: The tradition of celebrating the weeks leading up to St. Patrick’s Day continues at Slainte. Each night from March 1-17 will feature a different and vibrant attraction, from live music to Irish trivia to rugby match viewings. Slainte will open at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and keep the party moving all day with traditional music and Irish dancers.

Mick O’Shea’s, 328 N. Charles Street, 410-539-7504: Get started early with a traditional Irish breakfast at Mick O’Shea’s on March 16 and 17. The pub will open at 9 a.m., serving rasher, black and white pudding, eggs, and potatoes—the perfect cure for that St. Pat’s hangover. Live music will begin in the afternoon, featuring Gaelic Mishap following the parade on Sunday, and The Donegal X-Press at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Howl at the Moon, 22 Market Place, 410-783-5111: The Saint Paddy’s Bash at Baltimore’s piano bar starts at 4 p.m. on March 15, and admission is free until 10. Get into the spirit with green beers, Irish car bombs, and leprechaun bombs. The dueling pianos will keep the holiday spirit strong by playing rollicking Irish tunes.

Claddagh Pub, 2918 O'Donnell Street, 410-522-4220: “Meet in the Street,” Claddagh’s annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration, will take place over March 15 and 16, and will feature Kristen and the Noise. The event will be held rain or shine. Don’t forget to try the selection of Irish whiskeys, including Jameson, Black Bush and Bushmills.

PBR Baltimore, 2 Market Place, 443-680-9433: If you don’t want to miss out on the festivities, but feel more at home in Dallas than in Dublin, the Green Solo Cup party at PBR Baltimore is just the ticket. Starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 14, guests can get in and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the cowboy way.

Ryan’s Daughter Irish Pub & Restaurant, 600 E. Belvedere Ave., 410-464-1000: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Ryan’s Daughter with live music throughout the day. Guitarist Brendan Pelan and Irish folk band Maggie’s Leap will perform in the evening on March 17. Don’t forget to fill up on the pub’s house-brined and roasted corned beef or fish and chips before the shows.

Liam Flynn’s Ale House, 22 W. North Avenue, 410-244-8447: Thirsty for Irish whiskey? Head down to Liam Flynn’s, which will be hosting a Tullamore Dew whiskey tasting at 7:30 p.m. on March 17. A traditional Irish music session will take place that evening. The bar will also open early the weekend leading up to the holiday.

The Harp Restaurant,
 8706 Belair Road,
Nottingham, Maryland, 410-529-4277: Another weekend-long party will be held at the Harp, with events from March 14-17. Live music, including the Great Train Robbery and Ernie Fowler, can be heard both inside and in the party tents outdoors. Don’t miss Kegs and Eggs, a breakfast buffet on Sunday morning featuring Guinness and, of course, Harp Lager.

Tír na nÓg Baltimore, 201 E. Pratt Street, 410-483-8968: Want to help support the Baltimore St. Patrick’s Day parade and indulge in happy hour-priced drinks at the same time? Stop by Tír na nÓg’s parade fundraiser at 3 p.m. on March 2. A donation of $5 will get you in. The event will include live and silent auctions, a 50-50 raffle, and music by Danny Burns. Be sure to come back March 16 and 17, as the bar features Irish breakfast and $2.50 Guinness and Jameson.

To take a St. Patrick’s Day quiz, see our March issue, on newsstands Friday.

Eva Niessner's picture
February, 20th 2014

Rye’s Up gala at B&O Brasserie

Baltimore magazine

There’s a good reason to drink this Sunday—the Baltimore Bartender’s Guild (BBG) is hosting its third annual “Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis” event at the B&O American Brasserie at 6 p.m.

The gala raises funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland and for the guild itself, while promoting local bars and eateries.

“We have 17 Baltimore bars attending, all featuring their own version of a rye cocktail,” said BBG president Brendan Dorr.

Judges from New York, Chicago, D.C. (and Baltimore’s senior editor Jess Blumberg Mayhugh) will be selecting their favorite concoction made with either Bulleit Rye or George Dickel Rye. The creator of the winning cocktail will win a trip to nightlife Mecca New Orleans.

Guests can get in on the action, too, by casting votes for the winner of the People’s Choice Award for best cocktail and best restaurant. There will also be live music, a silent auction, and select wines, as well as beer from Union Craft Brewery.

Last year, Dorr said, the event had more than 200 guests and raised about $3,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “This year, we’re hoping to break $4,000,” he said.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
February, 14th 2014

10th annual Belgian Beer Fest at Max's

Baltimore magazine

Drink away your Snowpocalypse troubles this weekend at the 10th annual Belgian Beer Festival at Max's Taphouse. Starting today at 11 a.m. and going Monday, Max's will be showcasing 200 different Belgian drafts and nearly 300 bottles of imported specialty beers, some of which will be making their U.S. debut.

Prices for the rare beers will range from $3.50-12 for drafts and in sample size and some of the beers featured are from breweries such as Bastogne, Lupus, Verzet, Fantome, Cantillon, De Dolle, and Alvinee—all located in Belgium

Another exciting element this year is a bit more local, as Max's will offer homemade beers and collaborations with local breweries. Today, Max's will release their beer called 10 (a collaboration with Maryland-based Burley Oak and Dawson Liquors); Tomorrow, Max's and Stillwater Artisanal Ales release their beer called Decade (a crimson farmhouse ale); Sunday, Max's will feature special kegs from Oxbow Brewery (Maine) and Perennial Ales (Missouri); and on Monday, the bar will feature its collaboration with The Brewer's Art called 72 Hour Sour.

For the second year in a row, on Monday the bar will focus on sour beers, which are becoming increasingly popular with clientele—especially women—according to Max's cellarman and general manager Casey Hard. In general, the staff at Max's gets inundated with questions about these rare brews all year round.

"It is amazing how many requests we get for our unique Belgian beers," Hard said in a press release. "Unfortunately, we are unable to inventory these beers all year long because the Belgian breweries only brew a small amount. We are very fortunate to get what we receive."

Additionally, to wash down all of the delicious beer, customers can indulge in Belgian chocolates and frites on Max's menu.

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
February, 7th 2014

Winter Olympic drink specials

Heavy Seas Gold Ale

Though the first few days in Sochi have been rough, bar owners in Baltimore are still excited to cheer on Team USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics, officially starting today. Check out these partriotic parties, drink discounts, and cocktail creations. 

Power Plant Live is hosting an “Around The World” bar crawl tonight from 9 p.m.-midnight, with beer games, a torch run, and the opening ceremonies featured on their 20-foot LED screen. All 10 bars will be featuring drink specials including $3 Miller Lites, $5 UV, Jack Daniels, and El Jimador cocktails, and $5 specialty cocktails at each venue.

The folks at Alexander’s Tavern are getting clever with ring-shaped food (we’re thinking onion rings) and drink specials throughout the games—like $3 Heavy Seas Gold Ale, $2 Silver Bullet (Coors Light) and $3 Bronze Monkey drinks (vodka, spiced rum, and orange juice).

Magerk’s Pub is proclaiming “the Skyy is the limit for Team USA!” as the bar features $5 Skyy Vodka drinks, $4 Goldschlager, and $3 Coors Light bottles from tonight through February 23.

Red Brick Station in White Marsh is getting in on the fun, too, with food items (including a bobsled sub, curl-ing fries, and golden onion rings) and drink specials, like $3 Team USA shots (cherry vodka, Blue Curaco, and grenadine) and $5 White Russians, as well as beer specials every night during the Olympics.

Both Woody’s Rum Bar & Grill and Slàinte Irish Pub will be great spots to watch the best of hockey, snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, and the rest of the Winter Olympic Games. Drink specials include $4 Finlandia vodka cocktails, like Bloody Marys, gold medal crushes, and Team USA breezes. 

11:44 am Comment Count Tags: bars, parties, sports
Eva Niessner's picture
February, 5th 2014

Canton comes together after tragedy

Canton Square

Tonight local bars and restaurants will be doing their part for the community by donating a portion of their proceeds to Jon Fogg, a sports editor at The Sunwho was robbed and assaulted in the neighborhood last month.

The "Count on Canton" event was organized by Stephanie Moore and Jasmine Touton, creators of neighborhood blog Stay Classy Canton. This fundraiser was a "natural extension" of last summer's Stoop Nights, which were meant to encourage neighborhood familiarity and fellowship, Grocott said.

"Canton was shocked when Jon Fogg was so brutally attacked and, through our participation in online communities, we realized that neighbors needed a way to collectively acknowledge the injustice, support Fogg, and move forward," she said. "We wanted to be the voice for that effort and decided to spearhead getting local businesses involved. The Canton community is full of passionate and caring people who want to look out for each other."

"Count on Canton" is encouraging residents to leave their porch lights on, gather together, and visit one of the participating locations to help Jon Fogg and his family.

Just some examples of tonight's specials include Smaltimore offering a free sushi roll with the purchase of a bottle of wine, Shiso Tavern offering $15 fishbowls all night, Sauté featuring a burger and a beer for $10, and Nacho Mama's boasting $1 off margaritas all night. Those going out with their kids might want to stop by Verde, where children under 10 can get a free Margherita pizza.

See Stay Classy Canton's blog for a complete list of participating bars and restaurants, and if you can't make it out tonight, you can donate to Fogg's recovery fund.

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