I can cross an item off of my life list: tour the Clipper City Brewing Company.
Beth and I visited the brewery in Baltimore, Maryland on October 17 (it has been way too long since I updated my blog!). Tours of the brewery are offered almost every Saturday at 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. You can purchase a souvenir pint glass for $5.00, which comes with tokens for beer samples in the tasting room before and after the tour.
When I went to the Clipper City web site to book a tour, I saw that Hugh Sisson himself was giving tours during Baltimore Beer Week, so I signed up right away. Our tour guide was the founder of the brewery!
Hugh is the Godfather of craft brewing in Baltimore, and he’s a real character. He successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly in 1987 to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland and he is the former manager of the state’s first brew pub, Sisson’s, located in Federal Hill. In 1994, he left Sisson’s to open Clipper City Brewing Company, which has become one of my favorite breweries of all time.
I really like their Heavy Seas line of beers, which are robust styles in excess of 7%. Beth loves the Oxford Organic Ales, particularly the Raspberry Wheat. And an Orioles game at Camden Yards would not be complete without a Clipper City Pale Ale or Gold Ale.
In the tasting room, I sampled the:
- Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale (7.3%), or hop-cubed ale, named for the the enormous amount of hops in this beer and because the beer is hopped 3 ways – in the kettle, in the hop back, and dry hopped. I love this beer.
- Peg Leg Stout (8%), a dry Imperial Stout
- Small Craft Warning Über Pils (7.3%), a strong Pilsner
- Clipper City Pale Ale (4.5%), a British Pale Ale
- Clipper City MärzHon (5.3%), a classic Märzen style lager
The beer was fantastic, the tour was informative and entertaining, and all of the Clipper City people were awesome. I left with a Heavy Seas Sunken Sampler, a 12-pack mix of the Heavy Seas beers which included one beer I didn’t try at the brewery: Winter Storm Category 5 Ale (7.5), an Imperial ESB. We also got a six pack of the Oxford Organic Raspberry Wheat to go.
I could have stayed in the tasting room all afternoon, but I did have something to look forward to at home: a bomber of Prosit!, an Imperial Octoberfest that is part of Clipper City’s Mutiny Fleet, which I found at Rodman’s. At 9%, I think it was one of the strongest märzen style lager’s that I’ve ever tried – definitely for sipping.