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Baltimore’s Exploding Craft Beer Scene

May 13, 2017 Beverage No Comments Email Email

Charm City’s storied brewing history dates back to 1748, when a German immigrant, John Leonard Barnitz, established the city’s first brewery. That’s 28 years before America became, America. Speaking of, Baltimore beer was there in an iconic  moment of American history—Mary Pickersgill sewed stars upon the Star Spangled Banner on the floor of Brown’s Brewery. The city’s beer scene thrived into a golden age of German beer production during the 19th century, when beers carrying names such as Seeger’s, Bauernschmidt & Marr, Wiessner’s, Odenwald & Joh’s, F. Schneider, August Beck, Brehm’s, W. Auer’s, Darley Park, Eigenbrot, Globe Brewery and Maryland Brewing Co. decorated the city’s landscape.

Union Craft Brewing

Today, the winking, mustachioed mascot of National Bohemian beer, lovingly called “Natty Boh” by the locals, still sits atop the historic Natty Boh Tower in Baltimore’s Brewers Hill neighborhood overlooking dozens of local breweries and brewpubs. Baltimore continues to redefine its beer offerings, while always staying true to its local quality roots.  The city was recently voted one of the “Top 10 Best Beer Scenes” in USA Today’s 2016 Reader’s Choice awards, and named one of “America’s Most Criminally Overlooked Beer Cities” byThrillist in 2015. Local brewers have also received individual recognition over the years with Paste Magazine naming Union Craft’s Duckpin one of the “best American Pale Ales in the country,” and Esquire named Brewer’s Art the “Country’s Best Bar in 2009.

Iconic Brew-Houses

Heavy Seas Brewing
Since Hugh Sisson founded the brewery in 1995, Heavy Seas has remained in the same facility just outside of Baltimore City, in Halethorpe. Heavy Seas brews more than 20 styles of beer, and is continually exploring different treatments, including cask conditioning and barrel aging. They produce over 40,000 barrels of beer per year, and distribute in 18 states and Washington, DC. The brewery host several large festivals each year and offer brewery tours nearly every Saturday.

The Brewer’s Art

After more than 20 years in Baltimore, the Brewer’s Art has become a beer staple. Recognized in 2009 by Esquire as the country’s best bar, they are best known for Resurrection, a seven percent ABV full-bodied yet easy to drink abbey brown ale. It features a 10 hectoliter, steam-jacketed, two-vessel brewhouse that had to be taken apart. The copper kettles severed from the skid, the pipes removed, and the whole thing was reassembled inside the restaurant behind the first-floor dining room, where it’s been ever since.!/page_housebeer


Union Craft

Situated along the Jones Falls river, in the historic Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore, Union Craft Brewing Company makes good beer and good company. With reverence for tradition and place they brew beers that unite old and new ideas, the science and craft of brewing, and boldness and balance of flavor. Founded in the fall of 2011 by Kevin Blodger, Adam Benesch and Jon Zerivitz, brewing operations officially began in the spring of 2012 with the installation of a 20 barrel brewhouse and the initial launch of Duckpin Pale Ale. The brewery is open to the public for free tours and tastings in the tasting room, and often hosts public events.

Waverly Brewing

Waverly Brewing Co. (WBC) is located in the Hampden-Woodberry area of Baltimore. WBC was conceived amidst a table of beers (as many great ideas are), when some friends new and old gathered to sample brewer Roy Fisher’s storied homebrews. Waverly Brewing Co.’s beers strive to be honest and hard-working while remaining playful and experiential. Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer veteran or a curious casual beer drinker looking for new taste adventures, you’ll find sanctuary with Waverly Brewing Co.

Wet City

Why are they called Wet City? When the rest of the nation went dry during Prohibition, Maryland was the only state that refused to pass an enforcement act to support the federal restrictions. Instead, Maryland was determined to keep on drinking, despite pressure from the feds and other states. Thanks to stubborn, free-thinking Maryland rule-breakers, the Chesapeake Bay became the prime port of call for the nation’s bootleggers, making Maryland the wettest state in the union. Baltimore served as the nation’s center of resistance to Prohibition, and the sale and consumption of alcohol continued right up until the rest of the nation repealed Prohibition. The owners love calling Baltimore their home, and think this wet city’s history is worth bragging

Diamondback Brewing Co.

Longtime friends and Baltimore natives Colin Marshall, Francis Smith and Tom Foster founded Diamondback Brewing Company in 2013 at University of Maryland where they brewed their first batch. The company has now expanded with a brewery and tasting room in Federal Hill, Baltimore that’s allowed for more beer production and more variety.

City Brew Tour

Visitors can now get an exclusive behind the scenes tour of Baltimore’s exploding craft beer scene with the newest City Brew Tour. Launched Oct. 8, 2016, the five-hour tour includes four brewery stops and tastings of approximately 15 brews.

Beer photos – more available upon request

Baltimore Craft Beer Video

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