The Baltimore area is a great place for finding craft beer. In fact, one might say that a visit to Baltimore wouldn’t be complete without sampling a fresh pint from a brewery itself. Should you find yourself staying in Baltimore, whether to catch an Oriole’s game or check out one of its many outstanding higher education institutions, make sure you sample at least one of the best Baltimore craft beers on your stay.
The Best Baltimore Craft Beers
Flying Dog Brewery
There’s more to Flying Dog Brewery than their unusual beer names or the colorful art placed on labels, though those two things surely helped get their brand recognized on shelves. But the truth is they really do make some of the best Baltimore craft beers. Good enough to make that hour-long drive to Frederick worth it. When the brewery decided to move their set up from Colorado to Maryland, the latter state welcomed it with open arms so here they are, 21 years later, and still flourishing. The brewery offers happy hour specials in their tasting room of the best Baltimore craft beers as well as hourly tours for beer enthusiast but if you want to take your curiosity to a new level, check out their recently formed Flying Dog University and sign up for one of their classes.
Address: 4607 Wedgewood Blvd, Frederick, MD 21703
What to Get: Bloodline Blood Orange Ale (7% ABV), Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA (8.30%)
Union Craft Brewing
If there’s one adjective to describe Union Craft Brewing, it’s innovative. The first brewery to open within the city confines in decades is only four years old, yet their products are already being lauded for setting trends with its crafty mix of flavors. Their signature beer, Duckpin, made waves with beer enthusiast (some even calling it one of the best Baltimore craft beers) amidst all the stiff competition in the area and its success led the small brewery to create a double version made with five different hops. Its taproom, which is open from Thursday through Saturday only, serves a dozen rotating drafts. It also offers complimentary brewing tours on Saturday from 1-5 p.m.
Address: 1700 Union Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211
What to Get: Double Duckpin (8.5 % ABV), Temple of Duck (8.5% ABV)
Heavy Seas Beer
Some might say that craft brewing wouldn’t have made it to Baltimore if it weren’t for Hugh Sisson who started the trend when he opened Heavy Seas Beer in 1994. In keeping up with the nautical theme, the brewery itself features pirates prominently in its walls and offers beer flights that are so cheap, even petty sailors can readily afford them. Producing over 34,000 barrels a year, Heavy Seas is one of the areas largest sources for the best Baltimore craft beers. If you can’t make it to the brewery itself, make sure you stop by the alehouse located in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood.
Brewery: 4615 Hollins Ferry Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21227
Alehouse: 1300 Bank St, Baltimore, MD 21231
What to Get: Loose Cannon IPA (7.25% ABV), Blackbeard’s Breakfast Barrel Aged Imperial Coffee Porter (10% ABV)
The Brewer’s Art
The Brewer’s Art combines two of my favorite things: a brewery and a restaurant, all in the same location. Each of its three floors has a distinct personality that caters to every type of guest. Diners flock to the top floor with its open space and abundance of natural light, while the floor below, with its large, yet intimate ambiance, welcomes those with a keen appreciation for carbonated libations. Its basement, however, is where the alchemy of brewing occurs and the results are often served exclusively on the tables and bars above. Belgian-style ales dominate the beers on tap, with the easy, yet full-bodied Resurrection considered its best seller. Tours are also available, usually on Saturdays.
Address: 1106 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
What to Get: Resurrection (7% ABV), Beazly (7.25 % ABV)
Oliver Brewing Company
Fans of English ales will tell you that the best ones come from Oliver Brewing Company, which got its start inside Pratt Street Ale House in 1993. For years, it only experimented with stouts, ales, and bitters until they got really good at it and their loyal customers started asking for more. As a result, the company decided to expand, both in space and production. Their new location sits just several miles northeast of downtown, with its own tasting room and space for special events.
Address: 4216 Shannon Dr, Baltimore, MD 21213
What to Get: Draft Punk English-Style IPA (7% ABV), 3 Lion’s Ale (7.5 % ABV)