9105442112_220f0325a6_bI’ve been a busy camper lately, so I will keep this short and sweet.

I have moved around a fair amount in my life, and traveled enough through these United States to feel comfortable making the following statement. Every state I have been to has at least one absolutely, positively moronic law on the books dealing with the beer/alcohol industry. The vast majority have more than one. Maryland is no exception.

The Old Line State has a number of laws that I would like to see changed.

Let me start with direct shipping. Direct shipping for wine and beer exists in more than 30 states. The opponents (and you can draw your own conclusions as to who they are) like to utilize scare tactics to block this. The common argument is that direct shipping makes access to alcohol too easy for minors – never mind the fact that this is borne out in no way by statistics from the states in which direct shipping is legal, nor that when a minor is seeking alcohol for a party, they generally aren’t seeking a market for which they have to wait for shipping…I could go on with this, but I won’t. I will just reiterate that I think it’s ridiculous that we do not have direct shipping.

Second; am I the only one that has an issue with the fact that I can walk into just about any 7-11, or Sheetz and buy a six-pack (selection not withstanding), but the local supermarket can not sell beer? Let’s just say it – that doesn’t make a whit of sense. Why can one sort of chain carry beer, but not the other? Change it. Now.

Next: the three tier system needs to be reassessed. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t exist. But the fact that someplace like DuClaw or Brewer’s Alley needs to sell their own beer, ostensibly to a wholesaler, and then back to themselves, is the epitome of ridiculous. It just seems like an attempt at double dipping in regards to taxing the beer, and forcing one business to pay another one for a service that is not truly needed (in this particular case).

No offense to the local brewpubs, but why can’t I grab a growler at The Roasthouse, JoJo’s, Bushwaller’s or Madrones? Is there really a significant difference to the state in regards to the beer sales? Incidentally, my brother in New York can get growlers at the supermarket.

And while I understand the county wants to take their cut, the state would benefit from a uniform application of liquor laws rather than the county to county differences that exist now (this is a particularly long and involved rant that I won’t get into the specifics of at the moment).

I believe that an…ahem…adjustment to any or all of the above laws could stimulate growth, jobs and sales in the local beer industry.

Before I get to my weekly beer recommendation, I would like to again thank those who made it out for the public presentation of the checks to Frederick Beer Week’s beneficiaries. The non-profits, Team Rubicon and Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, each received a $3000.00 check as a result of FBW’s premier events during this year’s week.

It is the first year that FBW has had two beneficiaries. The board is looking forward to working with two more next year.

Tapped and Uncapped

972003_10200917483235454_1447311201_nThis week I’m heading out to our neighbors in Delaware as I chat up Old Dominion’s Monk Czech. Solid, pleasant, and mellow, this is a beer that is worth picking up. Most strongly characterized by its yeast esters, there is a pleasant fruitiness to it. If anything, I would actually like to try this pumped up to a dubbel.

Additionally, this beer has a nice color and pleasing mouth feel to it.

As part of Old Dominion’s re-branding campaign, this is just another step in the right direction as Dominion continues to provide better and better beers as the brewery moves farther out from under the shadow of the one-time Anheuser-Busch partnership. Definitely worth trying

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.