When we think can beers, we usually think Natty Boh or Miller Lite. But there's more to cans than mass-produced light lagers, and we tried them ourselves last night at Wine Market Bistro's can beer tasting.
In a room nestled off of the Locust Point restaurant's main dining area, 13 canned beers sat in a line along a makeshift bar on one end of the room. With so many choices, we grabbed our tumblers and decided to work our way from left to right.
The event was casual, with no formal introduction of the beers, but we got a chance to chat with The Wine Market's owner, Chris Spann, and beer manager, Brendan Kirlin, with each refill.
We were first offered a generous three-ounce pour of Blanche de Bruxelles, a coriander and orange peel infused witbier from Belgium. The only imported beer, it gave a special authority to the idea of canned beer—if a Belgian brewery established in 1876 cans its beer, why not everyone?
One thing to note: Many craft beer enthusiasts dislike cans because of the aluminum taste drinking from the can adds to the beer's flavor. This was thoughtfully avoided because our samples were poured into glasses. And that’s what you should do anyway with a good beer—pour it into a glass.
We overheard a lot of home-brewing conversation from the crowd of about 50 people standing around tables, but not everyone is a beer expert, and the hosts were happy to explain the types of beers available. Small menus listing the cans, and tasting notes for each, were scattered on the tables with pens included so we could keep track of the beers.
There were a wide range of styles, from 21st Amendment's light and fruity wheat beer Hell or High Watermelon to Oskar Blues’s dark and chocolaty Scottish strong ale Old Chub. Of course, Resurrection, the local favorite from Brewer's Art, made the list as well.
The best part—because The Wine Market is part-bistro and part-shop—was grabbing a six-pack of our favorites to take home on the way out.
—Rebecca Kirkman, Baltimore magazine intern
[Image by Rebecca Kirkman]