Crooked Crab Brewing Company, Odenton, MD

I stopped into the Crooked Crab Brewing Company in Odenton, Maryland, on the way home from a business meeting.  The flight of beers and the pork belly from the food truck were a wonderful accompaniment after a tiring day.  I enjoyed all of the beers.  My favorites were A Raspberry & Peach Walked Into A Bar, their delicious fruity sour, and A Mango & Key Lime Get Salty, their refreshing gose.  Both of these beers had great flavors.

Astro Lab Brewing, Silver Spring, MD

I stopped in at Astro Lab Brewing in Silver Spring, Maryland.  What a cool place in revitalized Silver Spring.  The tap room was filled with young families on an early Saturday evening.  With several tables and games it’s conducive to families hanging out.  At the bar, I decided to try a few beers and reached the conclusion that Jupiter, one of their IPAs, is my favorite.  It’s juicy and bitter and balanced and delicious.  My only regret is that I didn’t bring any home with me.

Black Flag Brewing Company, Columbia, MD

What do Black Flag Brewing Company, Fathers Day and Kidnapping have in common?  This past Sunday, Fathers Day, my family kidnapped me following church and took me to Black Flag Brewing Company in Columbia, Maryland.  If you’re gonna be kidnapped, this is the place to be held hostage.  We had a great time.  Family members brought snacks.  We also stopped and brought in food from a local restaurant.  We spent several hours there relaxing and enjoying.

The beers I enjoyed were very good.  I tasted a few, but started off with Spell Czech.  The Czech Pilsner is crisp and clean and was very nice paired with the food we had.  It didn’t last long.  Other family members had pints of various beers and some even tried flights.  Every one of the Black Flag beer styles was consumed and shared at our tables Sunday afternoon.  My wife even ordered a beer – King Kolsch – and she doesn’t drink beer.  The second full beer I ordered was Maple Bacon Porter – it’s everything the name suggests.  Rich, sweet, slightly savory, delicious.  I finished with a small pour of Café Cruiser – and I’m regretting not coming home with a four-pack.  With a beer like this you never need dessert.

If we lived closer I’d spend more time at Black Flag Brewing Company.  It’s a neat space.  Great energy.  Nice people.  Friendly for families and dogs.  Wonderful beers.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House, Baltimore, MD

I stopped in at Guinness Open Gate and Brewery and Barrel House with my son for a beer.  This was the first beer with my youngest son since he turned 21 and could order in public.  We enjoyed the drive to the Baltimore suburbs near BWI airport.  The brewery was quite busy on Saturday afternoon.  This was our first visit, having recommendations from close family friends.  Although we had not planned in advance and were unable to take a guided tour we did walk through a number of the exhibits self-guided.  We enjoyed sharing a burger and a flatbread in the restaurant and each had a flight of beers.  There’s nothing like Guinness draft and that was clearly my favorite.  Velvety smooth, easy to drink and easy to pair with any food.  Having one at the only US Guinness brewery was a delight.  Hopefully some day I’ll have one in Ireland.

Attaboy Beer, Frederick, MD

My son and I stopped in at Attaboy Beer in Frederick, Maryland.  It’s great to have kids old enough to enjoy beer and breweries with me.  Hopefully this is one of several brewery visits we chronicle together while he’s home on break from  school this summer.  We enjoyed Attaboy Beer.  Their flight was tasty.  A.C.E. Double IPA was hoppy and tropical.  Golden Fields Saison was fruity.  I enjoyed hints of pineapple in Pina Fresca Hoppy Saison.  My son liked the Simple Belgian House Beers.  We agreed that Galaxy Maid New England IPA was best – in our opinion – and we purchased a crowler to take home.

The brewery tap room had a great vibe.  The brewery, observable through the glass windows, is cool to check out.

Adding to the experience, our stop at Attaboy Beer was following the 2017 Maryland Craft Beer Festival.  We volunteered during the festival and also enjoyed checking out Maryland brewers both before and after our volunteer slot.  So many beers to try – every imaginable style.  Frederick is such a great location for this.  I recommend you check out this great Maryland craft beer lover’s event next year.

Jailbreak Brewing Company, Laurel, MD

I stopped in at Jailbreak Brewing Company in Laurel, Maryland for lunch and a beer.  I  enjoyed a cheesesteak and fries from Jeno’s Steaks tent in the parking lot.  In terms of the beers, Imperial Carrot Cake was tasty and true to its name. Maple Ridge amber ale was also sweet, smooth and malty.  White Russian coffee cream ale is a delight.  Although there are many coffee stouts there are few coffee cream ales.  This is light and tasty.  Welcome to Scoville Jalapeno IPA is spicy and hoppy – a great mix – and paired perfectly with the heavy cheesesteak and fries.  Jailbreak is a great place to stop.

I also recently enjoyed Poor Righeous IPA with dinner at a restaurant and really enjoyed it.  And this evening I enjoyed The Infinite amber ale with dinner at a restaurant and enjoyed it as well.

Denizens Brewing Company, Silver Spring, MD

I stopped in at Denizens Brewing Company in Silver Spring, Maryland with my daughter to enjoy some beer and dinner.  I have been seeking a brewery local to my home that I could call “my brewery”.  I’ve found it!  Denizens has the best beers of all the nearby breweries.  In fact, I’d put Denizens beers head to head with most of the 500 breweries I’ve visited.  I’ll give some tasting notes on beers we sampled last night.  I loved the Born Bohemian Pilsner and I’m not even a big pilsner fan.  The beer tasted great, was light enough to drink easily, but flavorful and had a delicious finish.  Their Bocho Gose was true to the salty taste of a gose but not too salty.  It was also hoppy with a hint of lime and very refreshing.  Southside Rye IPA is also delicious.  Personally I didn’t get a lot of rye taste in the beer.  Tasted like a very drinkable, fresh IPA to me.  Not too hoppy but hoppy enough.  My daughter was keen on the Summer Jam Mix DIPA.  I thought it was good but this was not as outstanding as the previous beers – in my opinion.  Lowest Lord ESB was so  malty and delicious that I bought a four-pack to bring home.  Can’t wait to have it again.  Need I say more?  We tried the Third Party Tripel.  I need to appreciate Belgian beers more.  Big Red Norm Red Ale was malty and hoppy – a good balance – and delicious. When I noticed that the Chapless Horseman Russian Imperial Stout was aged on bourbon barrels – I love anything with bourbon – I was excited.  This beer did not overly impress me.  It felt weak.  HOWEVER.  There was an experimental ‘A Petit For $400’ petit sour aged on bourbon barrels that was so good that we had to have another pour of this deliciousness.  All of these beers helped wash down their pretzel and beer cheese appetizer and a burger/salad for me and a chicken sandwich/fries for my daughter.  All the food was also delicious.  I can’t wait to crack those ESB’s at home and to head back to Denizens with friends and family.

Brookeville Beer Farm, Brookeville, MD

I stopped in at the newest brewery in the Maryland area where I live, Brookeville Beer Farm in Brookeville, Maryland.  I ordered a flight and enjoyed their beers.  The Philsner Pilsner was tasty and very drinkable with good flavor.  Road Dust is a solid brown ale.  Their IPA and Double IPA were both very good.  I really enjoyed the Ridiculous Stout, it was smooth, rich, flavorful with coffee, chocolate maltiness.  I hope to stop here frequently.  The bar area is beautiful with a large outdoor seating area as well.