Aug

26

BHR2015web

To decide on the lineup for our 2015 Brewhouse Rarities, our brewmaster Matt Brophy and his team had to narrow down 45 beer concepts to just eight. 

And there was just a little pressure from the rest of us. Why? Because they were all of our ideas. 

Each summer, our entire brewery congregates atop a historic overlook in the Catoctin Mountain Range and teams of our staff — from production to accounting to sales and marketing — pitch ideas for the next year’s Brewhouse Rarities. 

And once the beers are picked, each team is responsible for everything involved in that beers release, from sourcing ingredients to planning launch events outside of the brewery. 

Next year’s teams have some work to do for:

  • Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout 
  • Earl Grey Black Wheat
  • Sriracha Pale Ale
  • Maibock
  • Juniper White IPA
  • India Pale Lager
  • Spiced Pear Ale
  • Smoked Belgian Stout 

And new next year is that each beer will be available on draft AND in 6-packs. Look for the first to be on tap and on shelves in the mid-Atlantic by January 1. 

Aug

22

 

J Roddy

1. Will tickets be available at the door? 

Nope. The show is SOLD OUT. 

2. Is the show outside? Will it be held rain or shine?

Yes and yes. Only the stage is covered, but even if there are a few sprinkles, we think you’ll be just fine. There will also be no access to the brewery itself and no re-entry once you’ve been admitted. 

3. Is this an all-ages show?

NO. Only those 21 and older with a valid ID will be admitted. That’s the law. And that include babies and small children, even if they’re strapped to your chest and/or attached with a leash. 

4. Are all tickets general admission? 

Yes. All spots are first come, first serve.  

5. Where do I park?

Parking is on our brewery grounds. Attendants will be on-site all day to direct and showcase of an array of neon-colored vests. 

6. Can I bring chairs, blankets, and/or umbrellas?

Due to space constraints and the sake of those around you (umbrella ends in the eye are no fun), we have to say NOPE to all of the above. 

7. Is outside food or drink allowed? 

Again, NOPE AND NOPE. The only exception to this is unopened bottles of water. (But if you don’t BYOW, we’ll have free water stations throughout the area.) Aside from our delicious beers, no other alcoholic beverages can be consumed or served on our brewery grounds by law. Food and soda will be available for purchase from the kick ass food trucks we have lined up. 

8. So, what’s the deal with beer?

All beer is a la carte and available for purchase for $5 each. From the just-released Dogtoberfest Marzen to a cask of Raging Bitch with mango and habanero, our beer list is a doozy. There is a limit of two beers per person, just like stadiums, per transaction. 

9. Are pets allowed?

NO. Trust us, they will have a much better time sneaking onto your bed and taking a long nap than they will dodging beer bellies and beards.

10. Is photography and video allowed? 

Yes, as long as it is not professional. Amateur photos and footage for fun, shits (for, not of), and giggles are welcomed and encouraged. While you’re at it, share it with your friends and ours on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

11. I plan on drinking responsibly, but what if I need a cab? Hotel room?

We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of who to call and where to stay. Here’s a list of who to call and where to stay.

12. Are any other things prohibited? 

Funny you should ask:

  • Smoking
  • Weapons 
  • Illegal substances
  • Party poopers 

Aug

14

DC Beer Week

God bless America…and good beer. Another DC Beer Week is descending upon our Nation’s Capital next week and we’ve got a 5-restaurant tap takeover, food pairings, plenty of BrewHaHa, and more:

Monday, August 18

Oyster Happy Hour at Hanks Oyster Bar

The Craft of Comedy at The Big Hunt

Tuesday, August 19

Circa Flying Dog Tap Takeover at:

  • CIRCA at Dupont
  • CIRCA at Foggy Bottom 
  • CIRCA at Clarendon
  • TRIO Grill 
  • Open Road Grill and Icehouse

Wednesday, August 20

Beers and Bites at Clyde’s Gallery Place

Coast-to-Coast Tap Takeover at RFD

Thursday, August 21 

Blind and Bitter at Scion 

Late Night Rare Beer Tapping at Buffalo Billiards

Friday, August 22

Happy Hour at Elephant and Castle

BREWHAHA at Old Ebbitt Grill

Sunday, August 24

Patio Party at Dodge City

Breweries on the Block at Suburbia at Union Market 

Aug

7

O'Malley Caruso Foust

Photo courtesy of Jay Fleming Photography

On behalf of the 5,500 watermen working the Chesapeake Bay, Governor Martin O’Malley accepted a donation from yours truly and OLD BAY® to the True Blue program yesterday in our taproom.

A check for $10,270, a portion of proceeds from sales of Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale, was presented to True Blue, which advocates on behalf of the Chesapeake Bay’s watermen and promotes sustainably harvested Maryland Blue Crab.

Now in its third year, the True Blue program created a $7 million increase in business for local crabbers since its inception.

Steve Vilnit, head of the True Blue program said: “We plan to increase public awareness campaigns for both consumers and the food service industry with this donation. Through True Blue, everyone can know where their crabs are coming from. And increasing this traceability not only helps the watermen, but also allows consumers who want to buy local know that their money is going back to their local fisheries.”

In order for a restaurant to be True Blue-certified, it must prove that at least 75 percent of the crabmeat it uses is sustainably harvested from and processed in the Chesapeake Bay region. True Blue also empowers the public to buy local through an interactive map of True Blue-certified establishments at marylandseafood.org.

Vilnit added: “Supporting local fishermen not only improves the local economy, but also helps to cut the carbon footprint of the seafood we eat. The average consumer can vote with their fork.”

Dead Rise will be available on draft and in 6-packs through mid-September in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia. 

Aug

6

Ravens Dog

What Baltimorean doesn’t love hanging out under a bridge?

Introducing the new Flying Dog Underpass on RavensWalk, where we’ll be serving beer and hosting live music before every Baltimore Ravens home game. 

Because who doesn’t need a Sunday Snake Dog or two before noon? 

The Ravens’ first preseason game is tomorrow against the San Francisco 49ers. Kickoff is at 7:30 pm, so RavensWalk, which opens 3 hours before each game and closes at kickoff, will open at 4:30 pm. It is located on the walkway between Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, between parking lots B and C.

What about inside the stadium, in the land of clear plastic bags? 

We’ll continue to be the only local, Maryland-brewed craft beer available throughout the 2014 season with Snake Dog IPA, Pale Ale, and seasonals like Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale and Dogtoberfest Marzen. Plus, you can get tallboys in your seats with stadium hawkers stocking 16-oz cans of Snake Dog.

Because no beer-and-sports partnership is complete without a t-shirt, we’ve brought back the Beer So Hard Tee, which is on sale now online and in our gift shop.

Jul

16

Lucero

1. Will tickets be available at the door? 

Tickets are $25 each and the show will sell out. Get yours now to guarantee you get in.

2. Is the show outside? Will it be held rain or shine?

Yes and yes. Only the stage is covered, but with the 0% chance of precipitation we’re praying for, we think you’ll be just fine. (Let’s all now collectively knock on wood, just to be safe.) There will also be no access to the brewery itself and no re-entry once you’ve been admitted. 

3. Is this an all-ages show?

NO. Only those 21 and older with a valid ID will be admitted. That’s the law. And that include babies and small children, even if they’re strapped to your chest and/or attached with a leash. 

4. Are all tickets general admission? 

Yes. All spots are first come, first serve.  

5. Where do I park?

Parking is on our brewery grounds. Attendants will be on-site all day to direct and showcase of an array of neon-colored vests. 

6. Can I bring chairs, blankets, and/or umbrellas?

Due to space constraints and the sake of those around you (umbrella ends in the eye are no fun), we have to say NOPE to all of the above. 

7. Is outside food or drink allowed? 

Again, NOPE AND NOPE. The only exception to this is unopened bottles of water. (But if you don’t BYOW, we’ll have free water stations throughout the area.) Aside from our delicious beers, no other alcoholic beverages can be consumed or served on our brewery grounds by law. Food and soda will be available for purchase from the kick ass food trucks we have lined up. 

8. So, what’s the deal with beer?

All beer is a la carte and available for purchase for $5 each. From Brewhouse Rarities Lemongrass Rice Ale to a cask of Easy IPA with pomegranate, our beer list is a doozy. There is a limit of two beers per person, just like stadiums, per transaction. 

9. Are pets allowed?

NO. Trust us, they will have a much better time sneaking onto your bed and taking a long nap than they will dodging beer bellies and beards.

10. Is photography and video allowed? 

Yes, as long as it is not professional. Amateur photos and footage for fun, shits (for, not of), and giggles are welcomed and encouraged. While you’re at it, share it with your friends and ours on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

11. I plan on drinking responsibly, but what if I need a cab? Hotel room?

We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of who to call and where to stay. Here’s a list of who to call and where to stay.

12. Are any other things prohibited? 

Funny you should ask:

  • Smoking
  • Weapons 
  • Illegal substances
  • Party poopers 

Jul

9

CAO blog

When Dan Dunn, The Imbiber himself, sends you tips on how to host a cigar and beer pairing, you read…and repeat as soon as possible: 

One of the only thrills that can top sparking up a fine cigar is sparking one up with a group of friends. Maybe it’s the ancient call to the campfire lodged in our cerebellum, maybe it’s the care you know went into a quality stick from a great producer, but something about gathering and sharing both fellowship and great tobacco with friends is inherently gratifying. All that’s left then for the smart host is to throw in some precisely chosen beverages and some stimulating conversation. It’s a sure-fire recipe for a night that will win you the enduring gratitude of all those that attend.

But before I continue, a word about those beverages. For centuries, friends have been enjoying their stogies accompanied by various varieties of liquor. But over the last few years we’ve been experimenting with something a bit different: cigar-beer pairings. With the results of our research in hand, I’d like to make an official proposal that beer be admitted into the international brotherhood of cigar-pairing beverages. Besides, CAO has never been a cigar-maker to hold with convention. If you’re smoking a maverick stick, it only makes sense to continue the experimentation by choosing a craft beer to go with it instead of a snifter of something.

With those things in mind I’d like to offer a few tips for ensuring your next gathering is one for the history books.

Venue

With summer weather coming on strong, consider holding your next smoke-a-thon outdoors in the backyard where the night sky stimulates conversation. If, however, the weather’s not cooperating, there’s nothing cozier than drawing on a stogie while you watch the rain come down outside.

Equipment 

Guests don’t typically bring their own ashtrays, so make sure you’re fully stocked. For something simple, I like Stinky Cigars’ line of high utility, low cost options. I presume you’ll have some experienced smokers in your group who will bring their own cutters and lighters, but for the newbies (and the forgetful), make sure you keep some extras on hand. I like the Cuban Crafters Revolucion Cigar Scissors for easy slicing and the Xikar Executive for torching up afterwards.

Beer

The key to pairings is variety, and no drink makes variety easier to achieve than beer. Like cigars, beer ranges from mild to robust on the palate, so having a selection of beers on hand makes it easy for your guests to experiment and fine tune their gustatory odyssey. Flying Dog has you covered, no matter what you’re puffing, from the rich malty notes of Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout to the snappy bite of the Gonzo Imperial Porter.

Food

What you set out for your pals to munch on is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Rumbling stomachs are no good for smoking. Still, you’re not trying to stuff them full either. The idea is to give your guests some interesting things to bounce off the smoke on their palates.

  • Cheese: Stick with the hard cheeses such as a bright sharp cheddar or gruyere. Avoid anything too creamy or rich.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts and pecans all provide interesting accompaniment to a fine cigar.
  • Fruit: You can try dried fruits such as raisins or cherries, or experiment with juicy fresh pineapple, orange or melon.
  • Chocolate: Make it dark, and ideally with a high cocoa percentage.

Cigars

Tell each guest to bring one of their favorite sticks to trade. In addition, make sure you have at least two smokes per guest. Make one mild, like the CAO Brazilia. That’s how you’ll open the evening. The other should be robust, like the OSA Sol. You’ll use that to close out the night. As your guests arrive, hand them a Brazilia and tell them to put their mystery stogie in the “grab humidor.” Make a list of everyone who drops one in, then offer them their pick, starting at the top of the list. (Nothing like a little incentive to make sure a party starts on time.) After everyone has enjoyed their mystery smoke, break out the Sols and finish the night off with a bang. The primary thing to remember is that your palate will fare best if you sequence move from mild smokes to robust ones as the night progresses.

Coffee

It’s no coincidence that cigars and coffee come from the same places, which is why I always recommend capping your evening with this classic combination. Match your most robust smokes with the bold flavors of a Nicaraguan coffee. If possible, brew using a pour-over method to preserve the lighter top notes of your favorite beans.

Dan Dunn

Writer Dan Dunn’s work on wine, spirits, beer, and countless other vices can be found on Food Republic, Playboy, GQ, USA Today, Maxim, The Los Angeles Times, and more. Check out The Imbiber’s review of The Art of Craft, our cigar pairing pack collaboration with CAO Cigars. 

Then, find a Total Wine location near you to discover The Art of Craft.

Jul

2

Dan DunnWriter Dan Dunn’s work on wine, spirits, beer, and countless other vices can be found on Food Republic, Playboy, GQ, USA Today, Maxim, The Los Angeles Times, and more. So we thought who better than “The Imbiber” himself to review The Art of Craft, our cigar pairing pack collaboration with CAO Cigars. 

Check out his thoughts below and find a Total Wine location near you to discover The Art of Craft.

 OSA Sol and Snake Dog IPA

The Snake Dog has some serious bite to it, making it an ideal match for an easygoing smoke like the OSA Sol. When it comes to successful beer and cigar pairings, it’s all about balance. Resist the urge to gulp and swallow the Snake Dog, and instead allow the first sip to linger in your mouth, exploring all areas of your palate. You’ll find its strong citrusy flavor quickly gives way to a resinous hop bitterness. And, oh my, how that zest meshes tantalizingly with the earthy goodness of the OSA which, by the way, is short for Olancho, San Augustin — the lush valley valley in Honduras that yields the one-of-a-kind wrappers for this multi award-winning cigar.

CAO Brazilia and Gonzo Imperial Porter

What better to pair with a smoke as deep, rich, and satisfying as the CAO Brazilia than the most robust brew in the Flying Dog portfolio. The Brazilia blend is made with the finest Nicaraguan leaves, brimming with bitter chocolate and coffee flavor complemented by hints of clove and black pepper spice. The Gonzo is a heavy hops lover’s dream, as big and bold as the legendary writer who inspired it, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Try holding the glass with two hands to help warm up the beer. The Gonzo Imperial Porter, like most craft beers, is not meant to be served ice cold, as extreme cold actually masks flavor… but you already knew that, right? This is a perfect pairing for winding down after a hearty meal, a long day on the slopes, or sun and fun at the beach.

CAO Gold and Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA

The cigar burns slow and steady, imparting a beguiling combination of creaminess and spice along the way. As for the beer, well, as the name suggests, she’s a wild one. Exhale through your mouth while tasting, and the Raging Bitch will release a torrent of flavors, from crisp grapefruit to woodsy pine to exotic mango. The Gold is a far subtler, yet certainly no less enjoyable gustatory experience. This is a premium cigar, recognized as one of the best in the world, one that reveals its complexity over time. Among the more pronounced flavor components are caramel, vanilla, and even barnyard hay. Don’t expect the CAO Gold to tame the IPA, but count on its complementing it.

CAO Mx2 and Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout

The Mx2 is made with two types of wrappers that deliver double the delish. The outermost leaf is an ultra dark, super oily Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro, while the inner wrapper is a fuller-flavored Brazilian Maduro. The provocatively named stout is brewed with Rappahannock River oysters, which help to impart a dark, roasted, dry, and slightly bitter flavor. Don’t worry; there’s nothing fishy going on. What is happening here, though, is so powerful your taste buds aren’t going to know what hit ‘em. Prepare to be bowled over by what may very well be the most audacious pairing of the bunch.

Next week, we’ll have tips from Dan on hosting a cigar and beer pairing party (because trust us, it takes more than a few pint glasses and ashtrays). 

 

Jun

18

JJ Grey and Mofro FACEBOOK

We’re going 99 Shades of Crazy preparing for our first Summer Sessions concert — featuring JJ Grey and Mofro with Thomas Wynn and the Believers opening.

We’ve also compiled this handy list of FAQs for the show:

1. Will tickets be available at the door? 

Tickets are $25 each and the show will sell out. Get yours now to guarantee you get in.

2. Is the show outside? Will it be held rain or shine?

Yes and yes. Only the stage is covered, but with the 0% chance of precipitation we’re praying for, we think you’ll be just fine. (Let’s all now collectively knock on wood, just to be safe.) There will also be no access to the brewery itself and no re-entry once you’ve been admitted. 

3. Is this an all-ages show?

NO. Only those 21 and older with a valid ID will be admitted. That’s the law. And that include babies and small children, even if they’re strapped to your chest and/or attached with a leash. 

4. Are all tickets general admission? 

Yes. All spots are first come, first serve.  

5. Where do I park?

Parking is on our brewery grounds. Attendants will be on-site all day to direct and showcase of an array of neon-colored vests. 

6. Can I bring chairs, blankets, and/or umbrellas?

Due to space constraints and the sake of those around you (umbrella ends in the eye are no fun), we have to say NOPE to all of the above. 

7. Is outside food or drink allowed? 

Again, NOPE AND NOPE. The only exception to this is unopened bottles of water. (But if you don’t BYOW, we’ll have free water stations throughout the area.) Aside from our delicious beers, no other alcoholic beverages can be consumed or served on our brewery grounds by law. Food and soda will be available for purchase from the kick ass food trucks we have lined up. 

8. So, what’s the deal with beer?

All beer is a la carte and available for purchase for $5 each. From Dead Rise OLD BAY Summer Ale to a cask of Bloodline Blood Orange Ale with cocoa and vanilla, our beer list is a doozy.

9. Are pets allowed?

NO. Trust us, they will have a much better time sneaking onto your bed and taking a long nap than they will dodging beer bellies and beards.

10. Is photography and video allowed? 

Yes, as long as it is not professional. Amateur photos and footage for fun, shits (for, not of), and giggles are welcomed and encouraged. While you’re at it, share it with your friends and ours on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. 

11. I plan on drinking responsibly, but what if I need a cab? Hotel room?

We’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of who to call and where to stay. Here’s a list of who to call and where to stay.

12. Are any other things prohibited? 

Funny you should ask:

  • Smoking
  • Weapons 
  • Illegal substances
  • Party poopers 

Jun

13

ArtOfCraft_WEB_800x800

For craft beer enthusiasts who want to drink their beer and smoke it too, we’ve partnered with CAO Cigars to pair four of their world-class cigars with four of our most iconic beers.

Gone are the days of old dudes sipping from snifters and smoking in their studies. Just as craft beer is defined by a unique blend of malt, hops, and yeast, a cigar’s wrapper, binder and filler determines its flavor profile and aroma, making for rich and complex pairings. 

The CAO “Art of Craft” cigar pack will be available alongside each corresponding beer exclusively at 46 Total Wine stores throughout Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and California beginning July 1. The pack features the following cigars and suggested beer pairings:

  • OSA Sol and Snake Dog IPA: The zesty spice of OSA Sol meets its match with the citrus and resinous hop aromas and flavors of Snake Dog.
  • CAO Brazilia and Gonzo Imperial Porter: Both big and bold, the bitter coffee and chocolate flavors in CAO Brazilia are mimicked by the same robust notes in Gonzo.
  • CAO Gold and Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA: The wildly complex hop bitterness and fruity sweet Belgian yeast notes in Raging Bitch are soothed by CAO Gold’s caramel creaminess.
  • CAO Mx2 and Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout: Dark and dry is the name of this pairing’s game with Mx2’s rich notes of earth and Pearl Necklace’s dry, roast, and slightly bitter character.

Our CEO Jim Caruso and and CAO Cigar blender Rick Rodriguez will host the “Art of Craft” launch on Wednesday, June 25 at the brewery. From 6 to 9 pm, guests will learn about both the beer and cigar making process from the experts themselves and experience the pairings on the brewery’s patio. Tickets are $35 and include the cigar pack, beer samples, and appetizers.

And click here for a complete list of Total Wine locations.

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