Sunday, September 23, 2012

What are you doing September 29h and 30h?

All I can say is wow! Carroll and Frederick Counties have stacked the deck for the last weekend in September.

Since we will be right in the prime of Oktoberfest that weekend, there are four, yes, count them, four beer festivals between Frederick city and Westminster.

First on Saturday, 29 September, there is the 7th Maryland Microbrewery Festival at the Union Mills Homestead. We attended the first three, bailed out for the next two, and tried to go back last year - but it was rained out. It's a good time filled with live music and entertainment, but has grown by leaps and bounds every year. (Experience and reporting from friends have led us to this info.)

  • Time: 11 A - 7 P
  • Price: [In Advance] $18 for adults, $5 for non-drinkers, children 12 & under are free.
  • Price: [At the Door] $20 for adults, $5 for non-drinkers, children 12 & under are free.
  • Food: Hot dogs, pit beef/turkey/pork, crab cakes, cheese steaks, gyros, popcorn, etc.
  • Beer: [6 sampling tokens with your ticket, more available after the fact]
    • Heavy Seas Brewing Company - Baltimore, MD
    • Pub DOG Beverage Company - Westminster, MD
    • DuClaw Brewing Company - Abington, MD
    • Ellicott Mills Brewing Company - Ellicott City, MD
    • Flying Dog Brewery - Frederick, MD
    • Johanssons Brewing Company - Westminster, MD
    • Olivers Ales - Baltimore, MD

Also on Saturday, if there are too many people at the Microbrewery Festival, you can swing by the Carroll County Craft Beer Festival at the Shipley Arena.

  • Time: 12 P - 6 P
  • Price: [In Advance] $50 for adults, $40 for non-drinkers
  • Price: [At the Door] $60 for adults, $40 for non-drinkers
  • Food: Catered by Salerno's of Westminster.
  • Beer: [unlimited 2 - 3 oz pours]
    • Boston Beer Company - Boston, MA. (There looks to be a huge compliment of Sam Adams beers.)
    • DuClaw
    • Stoudts Brewing Company - Adamstown, PA
    • Harpoon Brewing Company - Boston, MA
    • New Belgium Brewery - Fort Collins, CO
    • Flying Dog Brewery
    • Tommyknocker Brewery - Idaho Springs, CO
    • Yards Brewing Company - Philadelphia, PA
    • Spoetzl Brewery - Shiner, TX
    • Baltimore-Washington Brewery - Baltimore, MD
    • Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company - Chippewa Falls, WI
    • Angry Orchard Cider Company - Cincinnati, OH
    • Blue Moon Brewing Co. - Golden, CO
    • The Brewers Art - Baltimore, MD
    • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Inc. - Lewes, DE
    • Evolution Craft Brewing Co. - Salisbury, MD
    • Lancaster Brewing Company - Lancaster, PA
    • Magic Hat Brewing Company - South Burlington, VT
    • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company - Chico, CA

It's a massive brewery list, but I don't know if the selection make the $50/$60 ticket worth it. Also, charging $40 for a designated driver's ticket is highway robbery. I though the $20ish that I laid down for the Harvest Beer Festival for a DD ticket was expensive, but $40, no way.

I honestly think that, although they expect a mass of people (1,000+), the price is going to turn them away.

The last event on Saturday is the Frederick Oktoberfest! The good news is, if you want to attend one of the other events (above), the Frederick Oktoberfest spills into Sunday.

  • Time: [Saturday] 11 A - 10 P, [Sunday] 11 A - 6 P
  • Price: $5 general admission for everyone including children 2 and older, $20 for a bag of tokens (1 token = 1 dollar) - note you can only get beer samples and food using tokens. [Admission is free if you wear your Dirndl or Lederhosen]
  • Food: Bratwurst, sauerbraten, pretzels, strudel, and so on.
  • Beer:
    • Brewer's Alley - Frederick, MD
    • Flying Dog
    • Miller Brewing Company - Milwaukee, WI [Miller Lite]
    • Hacker-Pschorr - Munich, Germany
    • Scottish & Newcastle - Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England [Newcastle Brown]
    • Pabst Brewing Co. - Eden, NC [National Bohemian]

Then, if you are visiting and stay through the night, on Sunday, 30 September, you can swing by the Rotary Oktoberfest of Carroll County. This festival is brought to you by the four Rotary Clubs of Carroll County. The pertinent details follow:

  • Time: 10 A - 6 P
  • Price: $5 general admission; designated drivers and children 10 & under, free. (If you show up in an Oktoberfest related costume (lederhosen, suspenders, etc.) you get in for free!)
  • Food: Catered by Old World Catering. There'll be bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerbraten, sauerkraut and a bunch of other German foods.
  • Beer: All brewed by Pub Dog. Hoppy Dog, Blond Dog, White Dog and Carroll Barrel Brau (a special beer for the event).
So, where are you going to be? It definitely has the making of an expensive weekend. I don't know where we will end up, but if you are around the area, I'm sure chances are high we'll run into each other! Prost!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Raise your Mas!

It's Oktoberfest! Today marks the opening of the annual pilgrimage to Munich for the greatest beer festival in the world.

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gem├╝tlichkeit
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit
Der Gem├╝tlichkeit

Prost! Prost!

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Congrats to Clipper City!

Fox News has declared Heavy Seas' Martzen one of the 10 Best Oktoberfest Beers, pulling even with the German classics: Ayinger, Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr and Weihenstephaner.

Congratulations, Hugh, you've genuinely earned it!

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Great Day For A Beer Festival

Today, my folks and I went to the first Maryland Harvest Beer Festival, held at Homestead Gardens. The weather was absolutely stunning, and the setup was tight but manageable.

Above is beer tent #1, where the throng lived; it also housed the most beer. Within was Bold Rock Cidery, Fordham Brewing, Old Dominion, New Belgium, Widmer Bros., Red Hook, Goose Island, Starr Hill, Kona Brewing and one more...darn if I can't remember.

This was the scene outside of the main tent. There was a small area for some live music (courtesy of The Colliders), a WRNR tent, the obligatory food stuff, and a smaller beer tent with more "macro craft".

By "macro" I mean Shock Top, Hoegaarden, Becks, Bass and Boddington's. By "craft", there was Omission (from the Widmer Brothers), a gluten free beer made _with_ barley. You'll have to grill them to determine how.

All in all, I'd say the Marionberry Hibiscus Gose, Oak Barrel Stout (first time having it on tap, and the Boxcar Pumpkin Porter were my favorites, in that order. Boxcar was so tasty I had to have a glass of it.

For next year, what would be nice for the organizers to allow you to print off paper tickets (tix handled via mobile phone this round), provide free water for designated drivers and better signage for glassware rinsing stations.

At the end of the day, the whole thing was very fun and I look forward to the next time!

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