Hey check out this article I wrote for my Feature Writing class at Hood College. I submitted it to the Frederick News Post and it recently got published! I’m super pumped I got to interview an awesome dude and get it published. I hope I can write more articles about beer because it’s always better when you get to write about something you love. Cheers!
Getting crafty with beer is my element. I love seeing all the out of the box creations people create with beer. Why throw away the remains of that six pack you bought when you can recycle it into something rad?! I have seen tons of great crafts for sale on Etsy and at breweries. Here are some great gifts for the holidays and ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
A bubbly way to get clean! There are tons of breweries that offer beer soap on their websites or at their breweries. You can purchase handmade beer soap from etsy as well. Savage Soaps in downtown Frederick sells a Beersud soap year round. They use Brewer’s Alley’s Nut Brown Ale to make spicy smelling soap.
Beer may be bad for dogs but the spent grain from the brewing process is not! While visiting Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, I picked up some doggie treats in the gift shop for my Boston Terrier. He loved them! They make dog treats using the spent grain, apples, cinnamon, bananas, and oats. Such a cool way to recycle beer for mans best friend. Pick some up on Dogfish Head’s website.
An eco-friendly way to express yourself. The possibilities are endless. Personally, I have decorated picture frames and mirrors with recycled bottle caps. My friend saves all his six packs and has a beer wall in his apartment. My brother has a beer shelf in his kitchen filled with bottles with cool labels and such. It is a fun, personal way to create something and gift it to a friend! I have seen wind chimes, coasters, jewelry, and candle holders on etsy! Check out the handmade beer crafts selection here!
Cask conditioned may or may not be a term you are familiar with in the beer world.
The process is very similar to the regular brewing process. Cask conditioned is really another way to package and serve beer. Here are a few of the main differences:
- Instead of aging in a fermentor, the young beer is matured in a cask.
- Beer matured in a cask produces unfiltered beer.
- The matured beer is kept in the cask and ready to serve.
The process of dispensing the cask conditioned beer is the main difference. The cask beer is kept at cellar temperature (between 50 °F to 55 °F). The beer is served at cellar temperature making the beer less cold than regular dispensed beer (typically being in the mid-30’s °F). The beer is served directly from the cask. There is no use of carbon dioxide or other chemicals; the beer is hand-pumped out of the cask.
So what does this mean for the flavor of the beer? The beer is more delicately carbonated due to the pulling method. Cask beer is also unique because of the aging process. The cask tends to create a unique, bitter flavor. Any regular beers like stouts, IPA’s, and lagers can be aged in casks. The aging, temperature and pulling technique will change the flavor of a beer.
For example, if Flying Dog Brewery cask conditioned their In Wheat Heat Hefeweizen, it would taste very different from the normally brewed batch.
Brewer’s Alley is a local restaurant/brewery that serves cask conditioned beer. They tend to take their own beers and cask condition them so costumers can taste the difference. The cask changes weekly. The brewery is constantly cask conditioning different beers. Stop by and see what’s on cask this week!
Homebrewing is a trendy hobby. People have been attempting to brew their own delicious beers in their kitchens. With several recipes and how-to’s on the internet, there is tons of easily accessible information for beginners. Here are some useful links and tips for all homebrewer’s.
- American Homebrewers Association (AHA): A website dedicated to educating homebrewers! This website promotes the hobby through their posts about events, recipes, and references. Founded in 1978 by Charlie Papazian, AHA has more than 36,000 members. The AHA also produces the largest national home brewing competition. This website is loaded with videos, and tons of useful information for homebrewers.
- Frederick’s Original Ale Maker’s (FOAM): Organized by locals in 1980, FOAM is a homebrew club that meets monthly in Frederick. FOAM gathers to discuss recipes and techniques. This is a great way to get very personal advice. Members also keep up to date on near by competitions. This is a great way to get involved in your local homebrewing community. The website contains news updates, advice from the masters, and more.
“There is something very communal about the process when multiple people are involved and can say, “together, we made this,” over a pint and a good meal.” JIm Bauckman, the Marketing and Sales Manager of Monocacy Brewing Company and Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, Md., gives advice on homebrewing, “Practice as often as you can. Homebrewers in this area are surrounded by skilled professional brewers and hombrewers alike.”
Downtown Frederick has an awesome range of bars downtown. Happy hour is happiest at these two bars with some of the best deals.
Brewer’s Alley: Frederick’s first original brewpub with a great location. Since 1996, Brewer’s has been brewing and serving craft beers to all the thirsty tricks. Backed by a full menu and amazing food, Brewer’s is one of Frederick’s most popular restaurants and bars. Brewer’s also has two patios, one out front on market street and one out back. The location, food and beer is a local and tourist attraction.
Brewer’s has all their own beer on tap. They have their year rounds like the Kolsch, Oatmeal Stout, Hefeweizen, India Pale Ale, and Nut Brown Ale. They also have seasonal beers such as the Blueberry Wheat and Oktoberfest. The guest beers they offer on draft are Monocacy Brewing Company’s Raspberry Brown Ale and Red All Over an American red ale.
Heather Kio has been bartending at Brewer’s Alley for seven years. Kio comments on their happy hour “It’s laid back, not crazy, the best happy hour is Wednesday night because we have a cajun buffet and extended happy hour ’til 9.”
Happy Hour: Mon.-Fri. 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
- $2.75 all draft beer
- Live Music Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
- Sunday happy hour: 9 p.m.-close
- Cajun buffet Wednesday 8 p.m.-close
Cellar Door: Frederick’s best dive bar around town. A lounge style pub with tons of weekly events and happy hour deals going on. Located on the corner of Church St. and Market St. down in the downstairs part of the building, Cellar door truly has a cellar atmosphere.
Kenny Bromfield has been bartending for five months at Cellar Door “The nightlife is the best in Frederick. Even on our slow nights, the nature is still great because of the music.” Bromfield knows about nightlife, having been in the bartending industry for 12 years. Bromfield comments on his favorite night, trivia night, at Cellar Door “It’s entertaining to me to see how much I know and to see people play.”
Happy Hour: Mon.-Fri. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Sat. 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 6 p.m.-Close
- $2.50 domestic bottles
- $3.50 pints
- $5 select wines by the glass
- $3 rail
- $15 bottles of FlipFlop Wine
- $6 martini’s
- Open Mic Night Tuesday
- Trivia Night Wednesday
- Live Music Thurs.-Sun.
- Comedy Show every other Sunday.
Brewer’s Alley will be providing live music, food and beer at their 2013 Oysterfest, Friday, October 11th. The event will be hosted by Monocacy Brewing Company located at 1781 N. Market St. Frederick, MD 21701. Tickets for the event are $65, you can grab your tickets here. The event will be held outside the brewery under tents from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The event will feature oysters from Barren Island in Maryland, Toby Island in Virginia, Hollywood Oysters in Maryland, select oysters from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Prince Edwards Island, Canada.
Other condiments and good eats will be provided by Brewer’s Alley such as tomato basil relish, cucumber mignonette sauce, pulled pork, jalapeno corn bread and brownies.
Selected beer from Brewer’s Alley and Monocacy Brewing Co. will be available on draft.
For the full event menu, please visit Brewer’s Alley Event Page.