On The Town

First-Ever Baltimore Craft Beer Festival in October

More than 30 Maryland breweries will be featured at Canton Waterfront Park.

By Jess Mayhugh | September 9, 2015, 8:30 am

-Courtesy of the Brewers Association of Maryland
On The Town

First-Ever Baltimore Craft Beer Festival in October

More than 30 Maryland breweries will be featured at Canton Waterfront Park.

By Jess Mayhugh | September 9, 2015, 8:30 am

-Courtesy of the Brewers Association of Maryland

While it seems kind of crazy, given the sky-rocketing popularity of microbrews, October 24 will mark the first-ever Baltimore Craft Beer Festival. Not technically apart of Baltimore Beer Week (which is a week earlier), the festival will be put on by the Brewers Association of Maryland (BAM) and have very a similar mission—to spread the word about the region's best local breweries and home brewers.

"There have been a number of small events that have been very focused on specific bars or breweries," says Kevin Atticks, BAM's newly hired executive director. "But we felt compelled to kick it up a notch."

In fact, with 33 regional brew houses and counting, this will be the highest amount of Maryland craft brewers at one event in the state's history. Of course, there will be old standbys like Heavy Seas, Flying Dog, and Brewer's Art, but the organizers are also excited for up-and-coming outfits, like the Waverly Brewing Company and Suspended Brewing in Rockville, to be making their debut at the festival.

"Our whole goal as an organization is to help new breweries with zoning, permits, and figuring out who they should be getting to know," Atticks says. "We've heard too many horror stories about breweries giving up because something didn't turn out. We help them find a way through it."

The festival will also feature a home-brew competition sponsored by Woodberry-based Nepenthe. Roughly 40 different home brewers will submit their recipes for a harvest ale to be reviewed by a panel of local experts, and the crowd can even buy a $10-ticket upgrade to submit their votes, too.

"That's a cool aspect you don't see at many other festivals," Atticks says. "This gives the average Joe a chance to taste all these experimental brews."

Of course, there will be plenty of ways to soak up all that beer with local food options from BricknFire Pizza, Kooper’s Chowhound, Smoking Swine, Gypsy Queen, and Pie Time. The live music is also all Baltimore-based with the acoustic stylings of Chris Diller, rising folk stars Big Hoax, and rock/funk group Greasy Hands.

A general admission ticket gets you unlimited samples in a five-ounce tasting glass, while VIPs can sample out of a Belgian-style mug and be let into the festival two hours early. This will also be the time when breweries will showcase their version of harvest ales made exclusively for the festival.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Strong City Baltimore, which was formerly the Greater Homewood Community Corporation, whose mission is to strengthen city neighborhoods through safe streets, desirable housing, quality schools, a robust workforce, and community engagement.

"The idea is to embody all things Baltimore," says event assistant Pete Brock. "People have so much pride for this city in general and this festival gives them a way to support so many local people all at once."

Meet The Author

Jess Mayhugh is the digital editor for Baltimore, where she covers nightlife, sports, food, and events.

You May Also Like

On The Town

Ministry of Brewing to Open Inside St. Michael’s Church in Fells Point

The 19th-century landmark will soon transform into a brewery and beer hall, set to open in early fall.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Water for Chocolate; With Love Company; Entré Amigos

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Food & Drink

A-Z Guide to Crabs

The ultimate hardshell Bible.

The Chatter

Ten of Many Reasons Why We Love Charm City

We revisit stories that make us proud to call ourselves Baltimoreans.

In Good Taste

Summer Restaurant Week Offers Diners a Culinary Trip Around the World

Enjoy global eats without leaving the city, or overspending, during the annual summer promotion.

Connect With Us

Most Read

What is the Likelihood of President Trump Coming to Baltimore?: With a House Republican conference and an invitation from Elijah Cummings, a presidential visit might be imminent.

Decades Night Club Documents Baltimore Club Music History at the Peale Center: We speak with curator Mia Loving about her latest exhibit, on view through this week.

Greektown’s Yard 56 Mixed-Use Development to Open by 2020: Project on former Pemco industrial site will be anchored by Streets Market & Cafe and LA Fitness.

Relics of Baltimore's Forgotten Punk Scene Showcased in New Metro Gallery Exhibit: Celebrated Summer Records owner Tony Pence curates fliers, photos, and music from 1977 to 1989.