February 22, 2011

4th Annual Trip to Max's Belgian Beer Fest- Recapped to the Best of My Ability.

Starting in 2008- Lance and I would venture down to Charm city every Valentine's for the Max's Belgian Beer Fest.  Through  the years we've found some of our favorite spots to include Todd Conner's for Crab Cakes and One-Eyed Mikes, where Lance and I are part of the World's Largest (Only?) Grand Marnier Club.  We always try to make it to Brewer's Art and the OWL bar at the historical Belvedere Hotel.

ALEWIFE Baltimore, MD

This year we were joined by a bunch of our best buds and ventured outside our usual suspects to some of Fells point essential watering holes like Cat's Eye, the Wharf Rat, and Leadbetters (this would not include me).
We also made a trip across town to the new AleWife (opened Oct. 2010).
This is one dramatic space with lots of Cuisine de la biere and food and beer pairing.  The night before we left Tom Peters advised I must make it there. He was very impressed with the entire operation.  There are 40 beers on tap and artisan cocktails as well.

Daniel Lanigan is behind it (also behind the famed Lord Hobo outside of Boston in Cambridge, The moan and Dove (Amherst, MA), and the Dirty Truth (Northhampton, MA). It's got a nice story too- the actual gentleman running the show down there is his friend Brian- who was the carpenter behind some of this other locations. Him and his wife were a delight.  Unfortunately our visit was after drinking Belgian Beer for 10 hours so I have no photos of our eats.  This is the space from their website.
We drank plenty of beer. Perhaps too much. I've been overdosing on Milk Thistle ever since.
Here are a few photos. One of the higlights of the two day get-a-way was meeting Bob Shorts.  Quick story--Lance and I were at Todd Conners introducing our friend Megan (often seen on Beerlass.com as the local Ommegang Marketing manager) to our favorite crab cake while the tweets were coming in from pal Wendy that this fellow was talking about me (and Lance!)at the Cat's Eye referencing the blog and how I used to have a picture of me on it that said "This dress makes me look like a pea."  I thought it was just our Wendy's way of trying to get us to leave TC's and join them.  I mean we're in Baltimore-no one knows us outside TC's, Brewer's Art, and One-Eye Mike's...  But once we got there- we learned they were telling the truth. A great couple was there- Bob and Pat Shorts. We had a Dogfish 60 minute together and he had the nicest things to say.   I'll look forward to taking Bob and Pat to One-Eyed Mikes for a shot of Grand Marnier next year.

Leadbetters where Lance and Curt were the only straight guys in the spot
We're the newest member of Todd Conners Wine Club. This is the best crab cake!
400 People waited in line outside Max's on Friday
Lance makes this face in most photos
I don't even like Grand Marnier that much
Vintage Cans in the backroom of Max's upstairs
New addition to our annual B-more trip: a gelato place right across from MAXs!

On the way home- we cheated on Amtrak and took our Wendy up on her offer to drive us back.
She insisted that we stop at this place called Chaps Pit Beef as seen on TFN's "Diner's,
Drive-ins and Dives." Considering that three of my favorite Philly joints were featured on the program this year- I do have respect for the places Guy picks out (or has picked out for him) and decided that we should give it a shot.
It was about three miles outside the city on the highway.  It was the sort of place you stand in line and give your order- pick it up at another window where get your life-saving fountain soda as well then find your seats.  Wen described it as what you always wished Arby's could be growing up.
A great roast beef/turkey sandwich it was.
 You can even see from a distance in this here photo-I  can barely stand up straight. Belgium comes to Baltimore had taken its toll on me. Although Lance who was carousing in the Admiral Fell's Inn Lobby till the wee hours with company looks just fine.

Too bad we didn't make it to Mahaffey's or Brewer's Art this time around- two must hits.

One last quick note- next time you're in the Washington DC area- There's a new bar/restaurant called
"Smith Commons." We enjoyed a a few beers with one of the owners while we were at Max's and can't wait to visit ourselves. Take a looksie here.

1 comment:

  1. Madness! (but always fun)

    Good seeing you there again.