Over the summer, I wrote a 7-part series about my summer 2011 tour of Maryland brewpubs. In that same spirit, I offer my Winter 2011-12 DC Brewpub Tour, another multi-part series featuring even more local places to get great beer. I hope these posts encourage you to support the awesome DC-area beer community and visit more of our local breweries and brewpubs.
Part 2: Baying Hound Aleworks, Rockville, Maryland
When Visited: December 22, 2011
Occasion: Hockey Practice. Let me explain.
In mid-December, I attended the Annual Multiple Guest Brewmaster Winter Holidaze Extravaganzee at RFD and Longsnout Stout from Baying Hound Aleworks was on the beer menu. The Baying Hound founder and head brewer, Paul Rinehart, talked about his small brewery and mentioned that he was open for tours, tastings, and growler fills Thursday through Saturday. Benjamin had a hockey practice on a Thursday night about a week later and Baying Hound is a hop, skip, and a jump from the Rockville Ice Arena. So after Benjamin got on the ice for practice, I made a quick trip to Baying Hound.
The brewery is located in an industrial warehouse. I pulled into the warehouse driveway and it was obvious which garage door in the long row belonged to Baying Hound. The door was wide open and the warehouse was brightly lit. I walked up with growler in hand and Paul invited me to have a seat at the bar and sample his beers.
Paul had joked at the RFD winter beer tasting that you could take the tour of his brewery from your bar stool, and he wasn’t joking. I looked around the small working brewery and admired the operation. You could tell this was a labor of love.
Beers Sampled: I wish I could have sat for a while but I only had time to taste the beers and get a growler fill. There were five house brews on tap:
- Lord Wimsey’s Mild Pale Ale, “brewed for people who don’t want a hop bomb”
- Long Snout Stout, smooth and roasty
- Mole Winter Warmer, a spicy winter brew
- Smoky Multi Grain, a brew with a pleasant smoky finish
- Nocturnal Barley Wine, strong and tasty
I filled my growler with the Mild Pale Ale, a easy-drinking session beer. In addition to the draft line-up, there was a list of 22-ounce bottles available, and I also brought home a bottle of Śarvara Black India Pale Ale, which is “devilishly hopped at over 80 IBUs, black as night and ready to be devoured.”
Quick aside, in early December I also found bombers of Baying Hound at Corridor Wine and Spirits in Laurel, Maryland. I bought bottles of the Stout and Mild Pale Ale, two of Baying Hound’s year-round offerings.
Best Beer: The Baying Hound line-up features some interesting brews, no doubt. But my favorite was Lord Wimsey’s Mild Pale Ale. Baying Hound says that the Mild Pale Ale is “brewed to have a gentle balance, not quite a session, but damn close.” It was sessionable enough for me!
I was most impressed with: The nano-brewery operation. Walking in the warehouse was like walking into a homebrewer’s garage. You walk in, take a quick look around, make yourself comfortable, and talk about beer. With a beer in hand, of course. It’s all very unpretentious and approachable at Baying Hound, made so by brewmaster Paul.
The labels on Baying Hound bottles include a quote: “Brewed by the people you’d like to drink with.” After my quick visit to Baying Hound and tour through their beers by brewmaster Paul, I won’t dispute the quote – I’m really looking forward to a return visit!