63324_4587244835273_1219311426_nJust in case you missed it, Frederick is one of the nominees in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s to be named best beer city in the Blue Ridge. There’s some stiff competition on the list – not the least of which is Asheville, NC, a city often cited as one of our nation’s beer capitals.

The case for Frederick: We live in a city with a rapidly growing craft beer scene which is host to a combined six breweries within 20 minutes of the heart of downtown (of course that includes two brewpubs and Maryland’s largest craft brewery); we have five hop farms within 20 minutes of downtown; we have Maryland’s largest homebrew club, and it is also one of the most decorated; we have a number of excellent pubs at which you can get both local and non-local brews; and we have our own beer week. Did I mention that there is one more brewery coming, and there’s a pizzeria/taphouse being built by the FSK Mall?

Last check we were lagging in the polls, so go on over there and vote for us as Best Beer City. We’re the only Maryland city on the list, so come on folks, represent!


Hot Summer Nights/Tapped and Uncapped

It was a hot summer night

And the beer was pouring…

There are some very different types of beer drinkers out there. There are those who drink the same beer day in, day out. Others it’s always the same style. Me? I’m something of a beer omnivore. I drink a broad variety of styles – pale ales, lambics, stouts, porters, lagers, steam beers, wits, hefes, alts, barley wines, etc – and there are plenty of those that I drink year round, but now?

It’s hot out there and it’s nice to have something light and crisp on occasion.

With humidity and 90 degree heat bearing down on us, this is Pilsner time. Yes, that clean, crisp style that draws its roots from the Czech Republic (although there are both Czech and German style Pilsners).

It’s not a favorite style of mine in part because too many brewers can’t quite get the subtle nuances of a beer in which every flaw shows. But when it’s done right, it’s a beautiful thing…particularly on a hot day.

Two of my favorites are produced on opposite ends of the country – Victory’s Prima Pils, and North Coast’s Scrimshaw Pilsner are both beautiful representations of the style. There are slight, subtle differences between the two, but both are crisp, clean, light, with a hint of spiciness from the hops and a tiny bit of sweetness in the finish. If you are a Pilsner fan and you haven’t had either, go out and treat yourself. Really.