Baltimore's Craft Beer and Microbrewery Scene

Craft beer is back in Baltimore, with the city's microbreweries offering tours and tasting rooms. Here's where to go for a taste:

Hollis Albert of Peabody Heights Brewery recalls nearly 100 corner bars in Baltimore making their own beer, but national names soon subsumed them. Today, inventive brewers are bringing it back, and crafted ales reign again.

Flying Dog's quality assurance lab

Flying Dog Brewery — "Good people drink good beer." Flying Dog Brewery’s matter-of-fact slogan fits the no-frills team that brought operations to Frederick, Maryland, six years ago for a state-of-the-art space and exporting to Europe from the Port of Baltimore. Favorites like the summery In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen or the Wildeman Farmhouse IPA may show up as free samples during two-hour brewery tours (Thurs.-Sat., $5).

Union Craft Brewing — With the recent cultural renaissance in Woodberry, the area was destined to have a craft brewery with the same creative energy. The Baltimorean trio behind Union Craft Brewing started brewing one year ago and has since experimented with 13 different beers, including an age-old German recipe. Union, of course, keeps its flagship Duckpin Pale Ale, bright with citrus and hops, and the Balt Altbier, a cream-headed German copper. 1700 Union Ave., 410.467.0290

Peabody Heights — A brewery “incubator,” this new 50,000-square-foot facility on the Orioles’ former home turf turns out beers by three local start-ups. Baltimore-Washington Beer Works moved its production of The Raven beer (with Poe-themed packaging) into Peabody Heights last November, when the co-op brewery opened. Other brews here include the Knuckle-Buster IPA from Public Works Ale and the quad-hopped Baltimore Pale Ale by Full Tilt. 401 E. 30th St., 410.467.7837

The Brewer's Art — This microbrewery with columns and a lounge fireplace in a Mount Vernon town house (Esquire’s “best bar in America” in 2009) adds a bit of class to the beloved “rough neck” bar scene. Brewed-on-site Resurrection (Abbey Brown-style) and Ozzy ales come on tap or in cans. 1106 N. Charles St., 410.547.6925

Ballpark brews at Dempsey's

Craft Brews at Camden Yards — Temperatures began to rise, and two classic symbols of Americana, beer and baseball, team up for the season. On tap at Camden Yards: the craft beer wave and "support local" mantra. The classic domestic pint meets its contenders with 20-plus local craft beers served at stadium kiosks, portables and in-house pubs during Orioles game days. Stadium-adjoining Dempsey's Restaurant & Brew Pub pours four of its own baseball-themed draft (take-away on gamedays), and Free State Pub on the third-base line serves local bottles, from Evolution Craft Brewing and Heavy Seas to The Raven. Flying Dog sets up shop in kiosks and at the rooftop bar, and on "Firkin Fridays" (every Friday home game), different cask-conditioned brews rotate for curious fans. Dempsey's manager Vince Vazquez says he appreciates "the Budweiser fan" but likes to offer alternatives to those who've never tried craft beer.

Kelsey Snell
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