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.


7 Locks Brewing, Rockville, MD

I stopped in at 7 Locks Brewing in Rockville, Maryland.  My daughter recently moved in to a condo within a couple of blocks from this great brewery.  We stopped in so we could try their beers and so I could buy a couple of growlers for my daughter.  We had a great time.  The beers were tasty.  My wife even liked the Honey Ale and she doesn’t like beer.  My daughter and her boyfriend liked the IPA.  I really liked the Farmhouse Ale.  I also really liked the Coffee Stout.  The other brews were tasty as well, but these were our favorites.  We bought growlers of IPA and Farmhouse Ale.  The growler beers wend well with some Chinese takeout we brought back to her new place for dinner.  7 Locks Brewing has a great vibe – warehouse feel – and my wife, who isn’t as in to  breweries really liked it.  With our daughter now living close by we are looking forward to stopping in often.  A few other details.  The bartender that served us was really nice and really patient.  The brewery also had a feed truck outside – we didn’t try any of the food but it looked good.

Waredaca Brewing Company, Laytonsville, MD

I stopped in at Waredaca Brewing Company in Laytonsville, Maryland for a beer and had a wonderful time!  Waredaca is only twenty minutes from home and now I’m wishing I had stopped in sooner – although this could become a dangerous habit.  What a great place.  The farm setting is really beautiful and I’m sure this spring, summer and fall it will b a delightful place to visit.  The tap room is really neat; a bar, a number of tables and chairs, and a casual seating area.  It’s not cramped – has plenty of room for folks to hang out.  And, yesterday with the gorgeous weather, dozens of folks were hanging out on picnic tables outside.  I was not anticipating the roughly 50 cars in the parking lot when I got there.  And, I was concerned it may be crowded, but despite the numbers it felt easy to get a great seat at the bar.  And the enjoyment didn’t stop there.  The guys at the bar were so kind and friendly.  I had my brother with me who isn’t a beer drinker and he absolutely loved the homemade Lemongrass Ginger Soda.  For me, I had to try the Beecher IPA which was really nice.  Not too hoppy but hoppy enough.  And not too heavy.  Very drinkable.  Then I tried the Reveille Coffee Stout – WOW – delicious.  Smooth.  Coffee.  Delicious.  It was so good I wanted to bring some home.  I know my wife wouldn’t appreciate another growler.  So I asked for one of the custom 32 oz cans.  So Cool.  They filled the can right from the tap then used the machine to cap it.  See photo below.  Despite visiting hundreds of breweries, this is the first of those machines I’ve ever seen.  I’m looking forward to sharing that can with friends at home.  Waredaca has a number of other beers you can check out plus a small snack menu that looks worth checking out as well.  I hope to stop in again soon.  Maybe you should too!  Hope to see you there.

Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Mt. Airy, MD

2014-05-10 17.31.42     2014-05-10 15.19.24

2014-05-10 15.15.16     2014-05-10 15.06.13

I stopped in at the Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland with my wife and two couples who are good friends.  We had been planning this visit for several weeks and we had a great time.  Each couple enjoyed a flight of beers.  First I tried the Dollyhyde Petit Farmhouse Ale which was tasty and unusually spicy.  Next I tried Goldie’s Best Bitter which was a smooth English ale.  This beer was served on cask which added to the smoothness and creamy texture.  The third beer I tried was the Coppermine Creek Cry Stout which had a very enjoyable coffee taste to it.  And the final beer I tried was the 5th Step IPA.  I felt like I was saving the best for last.  Honestly, all four beers were very good quality.  The Milkhouse Brewery is in the Mt. Airy countryside, a beautiful location in the midst of many farms.  The Stillpoint Farm grows the hops used in making the beer at the brewery.  They also sell some hops to other local brewers.  The tap room is a cozy place with an outdoor patio and covered pavilion.  We spent some time inside and some time out in the pavilion.  We also enjoyed a explanation from one of the brewers of their brewing process – a mini-tour of sorts.  It was a great way to share an afternoon with friends.

Beer: I Stop for Hops 2 I Stop for Hops 2 I Stop for Hops 2 I Stop for Hops 2

Taproom: I Stop for Hops 2 I Stop for Hops 2 I Stop for Hops 2 I Stop for Hops 2


2014-05-10 15.17.39     2014-05-10 15.03.48

Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD

2013-12-19 19.10.29     2013-12-19 21.13.48


I stopped in at the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick Maryland with my daughter for a tour.  We had a great time together learning about the entire brewing process.  Sharing this interest of mine with her has been a joy.  The tour was informative and quirky but would you expect anything less from Flying Dog?  The tour guide had numerous jokes and snide remarks to accompany the serious stuff.  And, of course, the tour concluded with tastings.  You know I had Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA, Snake Dog IPA and The Truth Double IPA.  All great IPA’s that I enjoy regularly.  I also had The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout which were great.  I would have tried everything on tap if they would have let me.  Of course, I took some beer home including In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen which was a gift for a family member.  As with many craft breweries, Flying Dog doesn’t take themselves too seriously.  Check this out…

2013-12-19 18.46.11