EarIier this month, I went with Scarlet to Baltimore Beer Week, largely for the purpose of conducting research into whether a beer exists that I can stand to drink. We made it to two bars, Hudson Street Stackhouse and The Wharf Rat.
Hudson Street Stackhouse was in a great location with lots of potential. The bright sunlight and continual, fresh breeze coming through the open door made it really hard to not fall in love with the Canton neighborhood. Toss in a worn bar and the ability to buy beer samples for the win. Even the other patrons were neighborly. We weren't there 15 minutes, and Scarlet was letting a friendly stranger taste one of her beers. I tried the following five different Belgian samples: Dubuisson Scaldis de Noel, Scotch Silly Ale, Echt Kriekenbier, Achouffe la Chouffe, and Silly La Divine. I found I liked the non-Silly beers better than the others, since they weren't quite as dark.
Second stop was The Wharf Rat, which is much closer to Fells Point. TWR had really good specials (3 for $6) and a fun bartender. Can I just interject here how much I like sitting at the bar? If you do it right, it gives you a great opportunity to interact with others*. I added three new sample beers to my tally at TWR, including Kolsch Style, Blue Point Toasted Lager, and Manchester Cream Ale. Despite inclusion of the word 'cream' in the title, I couldn't drink the ale. I really need to stop thinking beers taste like the flavor in their title.
While I didn't find that beer I couldn't wait to drink, it did feel good to find beers I could nurse. The whole experience did make a little cocky about beer. TWR had run out of their pumpkin beers, so when I spotted a singled bottle of a pumpkin ale at Whole Foods a few days later I picked it up. Dudes, I ended up spitting it right out. So bad.
*Not that we met a lot of people. We went early in the day when the bars weren't exactly packed.