When I was a kid growing up on the edges of the Patapsco River, one of our favorite things to do was go hiking along the railroad tracks. While out we would find lots of interesting areas that hadn’t seen too many people since the turn of the 20th Century, when the tunnels were completed for the B&O railroad. Sometimes we would come across the areas where the workers would have their camps. These areas would have things like old stoves, and inevitably piles of garbage. Of course by the time we got to them, 80+ years later all that was left were bottles. Mostly bottles from GBS Brewing in Baltimore, MD.
It was a long time before I realized the significance of these GBS bottles, and why GBS wasn’t around today. GBS, or ‘Gottleib, Bauernschmidt and Straus’ was THE beer in Baltimore from 1873 until its demise due to prohibition. While GBS had business tactics that weren’t exactly noble, their demise is representative of how local brewing in the United States disappeared due to prohibition.
While in college I worked at an Irish pub in Ellicott City, MD. I was able to sample things like Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada, and Samuel Adams, instead of the usual college selection of Milwaukee’s Best or other extremely cheap American Light Lagers. Having this exposure really helped shape my love for beer and all of the different flavors it can create. This was also my first exposure to home brewing. Brewing a batch of IPA in my parents kitchen. It was actually pretty good beer.
It was official. I was in love with beer. But I still didn’t appreciate the way I do now. There were two events that triggered my current level of love. First, was a meeting with an old co-worker, Chris Gough, who gave me a Tupper’s Hop Pocket. The other, was while visiting a friend, I went to pick up some beer, and saw a 22oz “Bomber” of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA on the end cap of a bodega in Silver Spring. Both of these beers at the time blew my mind.
This was the beginning of something much bigger. I started being able to find more and more craft beers at more and more stores. Some were just okay, some were downright horrible, but some were fantastic. And the best thing was I had choices.
These choices were the inspiration for this site. While retail outlets may carry a few craft breweries, many still don’t give the consumer enough options outside of the Big 2 breweries. And I have found that restaurants tend to be even worse. So with this site I hope to create enough conversation about those places and beers that we love that retailers and restaurateurs will see the benefit in carrying more than Bud, Coors, and Miller.
I really hope that everyone enjoys the content that I put up on this site, and can contribute some of your own in the forum.