Archive for the ‘North Coast’ tag

Scrapple and Beer – Our Best of Baltimore

with 2 comments

We recently paid a visit to Baltimore for the second time in the last few years. The first was to see a baseball game and go on a The Wire inspired tour. Well, it wasn’t so much a tour as it was us making a few wrong turns out of our hotel and seeing terrified cops on every street corner. But among the crabs, crack houses (just kidding…) and coastline we also found a ridiculous amount of craft beer. Though the city of Baltimore doesn’t really have any major breweries, it is full of unassuming looking bars that boast some of the more impressive tap lists we have ever run into. So when we saw that Neutral Milk Hotel was touring and playing shows in both Brooklyn and Baltimore, we decided to roll the dice and go to the Charm City stop for a weekend indie rock and beer extravaganza.

Like we said, Baltimore is full of awesome bars and at the top of the list is Max’s Taphouse. Max’s doesn’t look like anything special on the inside, with a bit of a “bro bar” vibe,  until you notice the 100+ taps along the wall. And just in case there is nothing to your liking on tap, they have a bottle menu that is the size of a small novel. We were able to sample a few rarities here and even though we were only in the area for a short amount of time we made three or four trips to Max’s. Oh, and it is located in the heart of Fell’s Point which means it is walking distance from Stuggy’s; the spot where we were able to obtain a crab mac and cheese hot dog after perhaps one too many The Bruery Smoking Wood’s. And by we, we mean Alicia. Also nearby is the Thames Street Oyster House which is a great place for a bit of a classier seafood dinner. If you can, sit upstairs and try the clam cakes which are basically delicious hush puppies that come in their own little paper bag. Or get wild with it and sample the blood clams from the raw bar. Yes, they are exactly what they sound like. On the other end of the spectrum is Bad Decisions, a bar we stumbled upon before noon on a Monday. A bar that has changed hands many times, the main attraction here is their extensive liquor selection. Seriously, it was the most liquor we have ever seen in a bar. Due to our off time visit, we were the only patrons so we had the pleasure of chatting with the owner who was eager to present us his handwritten menu which read more like a drink journal. After intently studying it we finally just said, “make us something good,” and we were not disappointed. keep reading...

Written by A+K

August 4th, 2014 at 10:36 am

Old Rasputin – North Coast Brewing Company (2010)


BLC Says:
For the first brew of Christmas, a true love it turned out to be, North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout sans a pear tree (first and last play on that tune, promise). So, technically speaking, we obtained this bottle in June of 2010 and have been aging it in the BLC cellar ever since. We felt that after two and a half years it was time to give this a try and what better time to break out a special stout than around the holidays? Having tried current versions of this beer both on tap and in a bottle dozens of times, 2010 Old(er) Rasputin held quite an allure. Much like its modern day counterpart, it pours thick and black with a moderate sized tan head. The aroma is creamy, almost reminscent of a milk stout, and there are hints of chocolate and vanilla throughout. A slight bready, malty note mixes with dark fruit to round out the scent. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth and age did in fact change the flavor profile of this beer. The sip begins with a balance of roasted coffee and fruity, sweet flavors that give way to a mild, slightly bitter finish with hints of chocolate and vanilla peppered in. The 9% alcohol by volume comes in as a slight warming presence, but it is quite subtle and mellow for a higher alcohol beer. When savored and allowed to come to room temperature more coffee, roast, and even some wood-like notes emerge. So aging this bottle of Old Rasputin definitely had an effect and we here at BLC enjoyed it throughly. We are eager to see how it continues to evolve and develop in the remaining bottle we have (if we can keep from opening it). If you can put a few bottles away and let us know what you think! keep reading...

Written by A+K

January 4th, 2013 at 12:43 am