Beer Blog: Charm City Beer Wars
Sunday, April 22nd marked the first Charm City Beer Wars, which was held at Mother’s Federal Hill Grille. The festival was to be held outdoors, weather permitting, but the rainy afternoon forced it inside. Each attendee had the opportunity to sample beer from each of the ten participating local Maryland breweries and then vote for their favorite. Here is a list of the competing brewers and the beer that each entered in the competition:
- Baltimore-Washington Beer Works – The Raven Special Lager
- Brewer’s Alley – 1634 Ale
- Brewer’s Art – Resurrection
- DuClaw – X-1 Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter
- Flying Dog – Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA
- Heavy Seas – Loose Cannon IPA
- Oliver’s – Cherry Blossom Ale
- Pub Dog – Blue Corn Tripel
- Stillwater – Stateside Saison
- White Marsh – Something Red
Many of these selections are readily found on draft and/or in bottles around Baltimore. Here are a few I enjoyed that are seasonal or do not pop up around town as frequently:
Brewer’s Alley “1634 Ale” – This beer is brewed using ingredients that were available to brewers during the colonial period in Maryland. It is smooth brew with a strong flavors of caraway and spicy rye, a mild molasses taste, finishing with the distinct taste of pumpernickel.
Oliver’s “Cherry Blossom Ale” – Brewed for the spring season, this beer has a big, fresh cherry flavor. A little spiciness from the wheat used in the brew cuts through the strong cherry taste, bringing a nice balance to the beer. The freshness and balanced sweetness make this one of the best fruit beers I have sampled.
Pub Dog “Blue Corn Tripel” – This Belgian style ale is yeasty and grainy, giving it an almost chewy mouthfeel. The corn flavor in this beer is surprisingly noticeable, but not overwhelming. It drinks quite smoothly for its 7.2% abv and finishes with a mild sweetness.
In what was announced to be a very close competition, the winners were:
3rd Place: DuClaw – X-1 Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter
2nd Place: Oliver’s – Cherry Blossom Ale
1st Place: Heavy Seas – Loose Cannon
How do you feel about these results? I have a feeling the competition will be even more fierce next year!