Really, this is going to be a less than focused column.

There are a few things I would like to address here. First, I would like to talk about Frederick’s Original Ale Makers, or FOAM…

1486911_10202185067324264_268604452_nThe local homebrew concern, FOAM, meets (typically) the first Monday evening of each month. I don’t make it anywhere near as often as I should, but it’s always a good time. A group of hard-core beer geeks gets together to chat life, the Universe, and everything….and by that, I mean craft beer, homebrew, and how things are going in general.

If you’re a local homebrewer and you’re not a member…Hell, even if you’re just a beer geek looking for an opportunity to sample a variety of beers, FOAM is the group. There’s a lot to be said for the social aspect of the group, which I enjoy, almost as much as I enjoy sampling the broad variety of beers and beer styles that appears at every meeting, but from my perspective, I also have a great appreciation for a group that is the driving force behind some of Frederick Beer Week’s premium events.

FOAM has been an important part of FBW’s success in the past, and I can’t imagine the week-long celebration of craft beer moving forward without this group of men and women. Without them, the week wouldn’t be nearly what it is.

Maximum Density

What is maximum density for the Frederick craft beer industry?

The roll call right now for the county?


Flying Dog Brewery

Frey’s Brewing Co.

Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm

Monocacy Brewing Co

Brew Pubs

Barley and Hops

Brewer’s Alley



Brew’d Pub




The Roasthouse

And we have others already here or on their way. What does this really mean? Is Frederick reaching maximum density for craft beer? Or is this a sign of things to come? Personally, I like to think of it as the latter. And here’s why –

Nation-wide (and I wrote about this last week), craft beer has become an engine of economic growth for restaurants. As such, until such time as that is no longer happening, there will be room for more and more craft beer taps in and around Frederick – not only those places above, but also places like Cafe Nola, Firestone’s, Lido, Buffalo Wild Wings and a legion of other places around the city and county have embraced craft beer. Even the Potomac Street Grill in Brunswick offers only craft beer on all five of their taps.

Personally, I think it’s here to stay.

Coincidence? I Think Not…

There are a handful of countries around the world in which you can’t, by law, have an alcoholic beverage (including beer). Included in those countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kuwait, and Brunei. There’s a lot of strife in those countries – a lot of religious anger which, in turn, seems to have turned into a lot of war…hotbeds of extremism.

These are complex issues which go back many years, attitudes which have been impacted by European imperialist ambitions from a century ago, and subsequent Western intervention since World War I.

But then there’s the one other thing common between all of these countries – no one is allowed to settle their differences over a beer. Sure, it’s trite, but it’s also true.

No beer? Lots of strife. Coincidence? I think not.

I’m not saying that beer is a cure-all. But I think it’s a start.

Tapped and Uncapped

This week’s recommendation comes from inside the walls of a brewery down in Salem, VA. Get Bent Mountain IPA from Parkway Brewing Company is a solid, high-end homage to the West Coast IPA. This one really delivers a floral and citrussy punch, with a hint of piny-ness in the nose.

It pours with a rich head, laces nicely, and has a nice, complementary maltiness that really works. For the hop-heads out there, this one’s really worth seeking out.

The BG Beer of the Week282885_4858012444294_629423952_n

This new section is, in the interest of full disclosure, sponsored. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to add, I would not do a sponsored section like this, if I did not believe in the product. That said, for those of you who listen to Key 103, as of Monday you have probably begun to hear my voice as I have become the radio voice for Barley and Hops.

Each week I am chatting up a Beer of the Week from Barley and Hops. I hope to see this evolve into a BoW from any number of Maryland breweries, as there are a lot of worthy brews being produced here in the Old Line State. But for now, the BoW is coming from Barley and Hops. Click on the media below to here the add, and some information about this week’s BoW, Snallygaster cascadian dark ale…

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.