Beer Blog: Charm City Beer Wars

| April 23, 2012 | 4 Comments

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!

About the Author:

I'm a South Baltimore resident that commutes and travels everywhere I can via bicycle. Craft beer used to be a hobby that grew into what might be considered an obsession. When I'm not sampling new beers, you can usually find me either running through the streets of Baltimore training for my next race, in the weight room, or playing with my dogs. Geotechnical engineering pays the bills.