If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that on our mini-moon, we returned to the Eastern Shore Brewing Co. and picked up a few growlers. I didn’t want to fill those with just any beer, and since Baltimore is in easy driving distance of a good deal of breweries and home to quite a few brew pubs in the area, I felt it was high time to do some experimenting/learning.

First place I went? Victoria Gastro Pub. Only a short drive from our house, I met with a few co-workers for some post-work beverages. While the lighting is a little dim for my taste, the beer selection is constantly changing and they just started to fill growlers. I haven’t eaten there for a meal, but have had the truffle popcorn (only available after 10p). If that’s any indication of the caliber of the food – watch out. It’s delicious!

Last week, we made our way over to Frisco Taphouse & Brewery. Upon joining their ‘club,’ you receive an empty booklet that you fill with the names of each new brew you try. The tender/waiter signs off on your book at the end of the evening to validate your entries. Once you fill the book, you become a member of their Mug Club – allowing you to get an extra few ounces at the same cost of regular size each time you go. I started this endeavor upon moving to the area, and have been pleasantly surprised with the selection. The atmosphere is definitely more ‘bar’ like – lots of TVs and long tables along the bar for those who aren’t there to eat. The bartenders are extremely knowledgeable and always ready to help you navigate their larger-than-life selction. (Not joking about this – their list extends over two large screens that can be seen from anywhere in the establishment.)

This weekend, I joined some friends at the Brew & Bourbon Classic at Laurel Park. For a small fee, you gain entry to the event along with a tasting glass. Many vendors are present with their seasonal selections as well as their more popular items. The tasting glass allows you to try each item without commitment of purchasing a full glass. I had been to Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (run by the same company) in years past and was expecting the same level of chaos from this event. However, I was pleasantly surprised. In general, it was a much less ‘let’s drink to get drunk’ type event and more of an actual tasting.

All in all, I feel like I’m starting to learn more of my likes/dislikes when it comes to craft beers and am able to speak some of the ‘lingo’ when describing my preferences to others. There are a lot more opportunities to expand upon the base that I’ve built and I’m excited to have found an activity that the JA and I are both interested in pursuing!

Any suggestions for favorite brews or places to try?


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