At almost the last minute I was able to attend the Maryland Craft Beer Festival in Frederick Maryland. I wasn't sure what to expect. Here are some of my thoughts.
Frederick is a nice town in Western Maryland. I have had the occasion to spend some wonderful afternoons there with my wife and all have been quite memorable. So having a beer fest there was another reason to want to go.
The festival was at Carroll Creek Linear Park, right along the canal in downtown. Parking was a pain and I had to find a metered spot about a 10-minutes walk away. Not too bad but it only had a 2-hour limit and I had every intention of being there more than that.
As I walked up, I could see the crowd on the other side. it looked packed and after entering and walking about a bit, it was, but not to the point of frustration.
I had read in the Baltimore Sun that Pub Dog had a beer in the top 20 Maryland beers - Blond Dog. That fact caught my attention since I haven't seen any of their beers on the shelfs. I did try both the Belgian and Chocolate Stout. I liked both of them very much. As matter of fact I spent my last token on their stout and was not disappointed.
Another brewery I didn't know anything about was Brewer's Alley in Frederick. As I walked up and was looking over the selections and beer descriptions and young man told me to get the 1634. He was a local and that is his "go to beer". Again, he knew what he was talking about. I was so impressed I immediately tried their Riot Rye Pale Ale. It actually was bottled by Monocacy Brewing but I was told they are essentially the same people. This is a beer I would love to go back to again and again.
Another brewery that I wanted to try was Barley and Hops. I asked the man behind the tap, "Was is your best beer?" I was thinking he would know what one beer you must try with a limited number of tokens and bladder. He poured me the BOB IPA. It was a great, very hoppy beer. Again, not disappointed.
Some random thoughts about the festival and preparing for next year. - go to the bathroom before entering - eat before entering. Food was only okay $7 for pit beef which was dried out, not so good. - research parking places. - extra beer tokens are $1 each and well worth it. - the VIP pours were only about 8 others and probably not worth the $ - the park is crowded but not a big deal.
It was about 90-minute drive but worth it. I hope Stillwater is there next year. And that I am too.