Warriors…come out to play-yay….

So, for you weekend warriors who are planning to come out to play, there’s a lot going on this weekend. In Northern Virginia there’s the NOVA Beerfest, Baltimore is kicking off Baltimore Beer Week, tours at Monocacy and Flying Dog (which, by the way, brought home a bronze medal for their Dogtoberfest – congrats to the kennel), but the weekend starts on Thursday at Barley and Hops with their first beer dinner with their new chef, Kevin Barnette….rockfish, lamb, duck, sweet potato fritters, creme brulee, all paired with beer…what’s not to like?

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Tickets are still available, but they are moving, so don’t wait too long.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, “crafty” typically refers to those breweries that are either wholly owned subsidiaries of the macros (AB-InBev, Miller Coors, etc), or smaller breweries who have sold out to the big boys. It’s a term that those big boys aren’t fond of. They view it as derisive.

There is an opinion from the parent companies that the attaching of the term “crafty” to the beers like Shocktop and Blue Moon stigmatizes the beers. I wrote something on this previously – a response to their pride in this product that they refuse to put their names on. But that’s not what I’m writing about here.

No, this is about what makes a craft brewery…or how it gets classified if the brewery gets acquired by one of the big boys. It was a question asked at The Street.

Here’s my personal philosophy on the matter;¬†Here’s the thing about beer for me, the company is unimportant as long as the beer is a quality product. My problem with the Shocktops and Blue Moons of the world isn’t that they’re bad beers. They’re not. They tend to be better than those produced by their parent companies, but they’re still, at best, mediocre (also, not something I have an inherent problem with, although, if you’re going to try to make good beer…then make GOOD beer, don’t “dumb it down,” so to speak).

No, my problem is that the parent companies claim to be proud of these products, but are still unwilling to put their names on them. I firmly believe that if you brew it (good product), they (beer geeks) will come, regardless of label. If anything, if I start reading reviews for a spectacular AB beer, I’ll try it out of curiosity. If it’s good, I will keep drinking it – regardless of what company produces it.

Tapped and Uncapped

If you’re going to be going to the Cornucopia Beer Dinner at Barley and Hops, I can tell you, having had a preview, look forward to the lemon creme brulee paired with the Catoctain Clear Lager (formerly the Dirty Little Blonde). It’s really a perfect pairing – the lager is a crisp, lightly malty beer with a hint of sweetness that pairs beautifully with the custardy desert – actually even acting a bit as a palate cleanser between bites. Sure, I know that I don’t often talk food pairings in this section…or…ever, nor do I often go into lager-land, but this was a special pairing, one that has me looking forward to Thursday.

Hope to see some of you there.

Until then, or next week, be well and drink good beer.