Beer Blog: American Craft Beer Week – DuClaw Brewing

| May 16, 2012 | 1 Comments

Welcome to American Craft Beer Week!  The Brewers Association, a national non-profit association working on behalf of most of the breweries in the United States, celebrates American Craft Beer Week (ACBW) each May.  ACBW this year is May 14 – 20.  The week recognizes and celebrates the community that has developed around craft beer, the beers and the fans.

During this week, many breweries showcase their best beers, rare or experimental beers, or whatever they choose during special events.  Many breweries and craft beer bars and retailers across the country participate, and Baltimore is no exception.

On Tuesday, May 15, I attended my first event of the week at Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point.  DuClaw Brewing Company of Harford County, Maryland supplied Max’s with 15 different draft beer options for the event, including some special releases and rare versions of certain beers.  Several representatives from the brewery, including the owner, were on hand to talk about their beers.  Everyone was very receptive to comments and questions from fans in attendance.  This is one of my favorite aspects of craft beer – the community.  You don’t just enjoy a tasty beer, you have the opportunity to meet the people that brew, market and sell the product, interact with them and even make suggestions.

The beers that I sampled were all oak aged versions of DuClaw beers.  The barrel aging adds a layer of complexity to their already unique beers.

Exile 1 – Oak Aged Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter – Exile 1 boasts mingling flavors of spicy rye and chocolate.  The oak aging really highlights the chocolate and provides a pleasant oaky finish.

Cocoa Retribution – Retribution is a bourbon barrel aged beer with prominent vanilla and whiskey flavors.  With cocoa added, the beer is thick with sweet mouth-coating vanilla and chocolate flavors.  This is beer’s version of a hot fudge sundae.

Oak Aged Double Naked Fish – Double Naked Fish is a double chocolate raspberry stout that tastes sweet with flavors of coffee, chocolate and a sweet raspberry finish.  The oak aging countered some of the sweetness and fruit flavor, bringing a great balance to the beer.

Oak Aged Old Flame – Old Flame is and old ale style beer with a sweet, caramel flavor.  The oak aging added a strong taste of vanilla and also provided significant bitterness from the oak, transforming the beer into something new and quite interesting.

On Thursday, May 17, Heavy Seas Beer will be bringing some of their oak aged offerings to Max’s.  I plan to be there to sample some more of these unique, complex brews!

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.
Filed in: Dining