The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Microbreweries
Maryland

 

 

 

 

Baltimore

Bel Air

Berlin

Brookeville

Brunswick

Cambridge

Columbia

Ellicott City

Frederick

Gaithersburg

 

 

 

Hampstead

Laurel

Mt. Airy

Ocean City

Owings

Prince Frederick

Silver Spring

St. Michaels

Upper Marlboro

 

 

Black Flag Brewing Company
9315 Snowden River Pkwy Columbia, MD 21046

Black Flag is a microbrewery located in an industrial strip, in the southeastern part of Columbia, MD.
The taproom interior is modern, spare, and clean.
The taproom is open and spacious...the motif is industrial, the focal point being the impressive 20-bbl brew works, gleaming behind large glass doors.
The bar seats about 12 patrons, with 2 community tables handling another 20.
About 30 more imbibers can sit at tables along two sides of the perimeter.
Black Flag had 10 beers on tap...5 flagship beers and 5 experimental brews.
They included a pale ale, IPA, double IPA, Belgians, stout, porter, and more.
Black Flag beer can be had at the brewery in pints, flights, and growlers.
The plans call for providing kegs for local drinking establishments, with bottling or canning in the future.
No food is served, but there will be a food truck during the busiest times.
Victuals can also be ordered and delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

Brookeville Beer Farm
20315 Georgia Ave
Brookeville, MD 20833
(301) 260-1000

The Brookeville Beer Farm opened in July, 2016 in rural eastern Montgomery County.
It is a farm brewery, and produces many of the hops and berries used in their beers.
The excess from the brewing process is fed back into the farm.
Brookeville's grounds are beautifully landscaped with lush greenery and intriguing water features, reflecting an appreciation for natural materials.
This motif continues as one walks inside the taproom, where wood and stone are effectively combined with a modern industrial look.
The large, multifaceted bar is the focal point of the taproom, and there are numerous tables as well as seating in smaller areas away from the bustle of the bar.
Brookeville had six of their beers on tap; the pils and the double IPA were very good and true-to-style, and the stout was outstanding.
The taproom and patio outside were extremely busy, and the clientele consisted of the Howard and Montgomery County beer intelligencia...upscale and comprised of all ages.
The 10 bbl. brewing system was visible adjoining the taproom.
BBF's beers are available at the taproom in pints, flights, and growlers.

Brookville does ship some kegs to local watering holes, but consuming it right here on the farm seems to be the most enjoyable way to go.

 

 

 

Scorpion Brewing
929 Skinners Turn Rd
Owings, MD 20736
(410) 279-9700

Scorpion Brewing is a Maryland microbrewery located in Owings, in the heart of Calvert County.
According to their mission statement, they pride themselves "on producing beer made with local ingredients and embrace the flexibility, adaptability and experimentation a small microbrewery allows."
At the time of our visit, Scorpion had 5 beers on tap...a blackberry sour, double IPA, light, Belgian Tripel, and a Wee Heavy.
At this time, Scorpion is open 4 days a week.
They provide tastes of their beer and fill growlers.
Once a month, they are liscensed to sell pints.
The taproom is kid-friendly, and provides games for them to play.

 

 

 

Calvert Brewing Company
Production Brewery & Tasting Room 15850 Commerce Ct. 
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
240.245.4609

The Calvert Brewing Company is a microbrewery in a large business park in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Follow your GPS, you will get there.
If you don't have a GPS...pretend it is 1976.

According to Calvert's mission statement, they are "... Maryland's first designated farm brewery. With a dedication to pride, loyalty and quality, we are committed to building a better beer."

The bar area is one large room dominated by a large U-shaped bar set perpendicular to your entrance.
The bar seats 25 or more and there are several tables scattered about.
To the left of the room is a hallway with their offices, rest rooms, and stacks of their six packs for sale.
There are large windows in the walls behind the bar letting one look into the fairly large production area.

Calvert Brewing has 10 of their beers on tap as well as several products that are available in cans.
There is no kitchen, but food trucks are there when the brewery is open to the public.

Aside from this production brewery and taproom, Calvert Brewing has a smaller brewery and beer garden on their farm in Prince Frederick.

 

 

 

Manor Hill Brewing
4411 Manor Lane
Ellicott City, MD 21042
Phone: (410) 997-7771

On the way to Manor Hill Brewing, just off of Route 108 in Ellicott City, the thirsty Questor drives down scenic and tree-lined Manor Lane.
As he or she approaches the destination, a vast vista opens up, with the brewery in the distance...quite impressive.
This is the site of Manor Hill Brewing, a farm brewery that opened in 2015.
Manor Hill is owned by the same family that brought you Victoria Gastropub, a successful restaurant and beer venue close by.
The farm also produces beef cattle, corn, hops, and vegetables.
The tap room seats about a dozen drinkers at the bar, and another 40 or so at tables.
The brewery's 30-bbl system can be seen adjoining the tap room.
Manor Hill had eight of their beers on tap during our visit, and these could be purchased in pints, or in 3-beer flights.
Beers were also available to go in growlers or in 6-packs of cans.
Manor Hills beers are available around Maryland and in DC.
But perhaps the best way to enjoy these delicious and imaginative brews is right here at the brewery, in the heart of the beer-savvy Ellicott City/Columbia region.
Manor Hill Brewery is open Friday thru Sunday, but please call first...the place is so popular that a reservation may be needed.

 

 

 

 

Smoketown Brewing Station
223 W Potomac St
Brunswick, MD 21716
Phone: (443) 995-1516

In the quaint town of Brunswick, nestled on the banks of the Potomac River, a cavernous firehouse has been cleverly re-purposed into a craft brewery and tasting room...Smoketown Brewing Station.
The front part of the old Brunswick Volunteer Fire Company is nicely appointed with attractive black tables and chairs and a red tile floor.
Lots of brick and metal are visible, as is the 7-bbl. brewing system located to the left of the bar area and tasting room.
The large front room seats about 24 patrons, with some other tables for standing.
There is one unobtrusive TV and live music was being played during the time of our visit.
Smoketown had 6 of their own beers on tap...pale ale, hefeweizen, stout and others.
I had a pint of pale ale and one of hefeweizen and found them both to be clean, tasty, and true-to-style.
The barroom in the back seats approximately 20 more people, and the bartenders were kept busy serving pints, assembling flights, and filling growlers.
You can't get Smoketown beer anywhere else yet, only here.
So it would be a great idea to get on down to Smoketown.
It's a beautiful drive from whichever way you are coming.

 

 

 

Waredaca Brewing Company
4017 Damascus Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20882
Phone: (301) 774-2337

Waredaca Brewing Company is a farm brewery located in rural central Maryland.
It is situated in Gaithersburg in name only, actually being only a few miles removed from Howard County, and about 8 miles south of Route 70.
It is near the crossroads of Sunshine, MD.
Waredaca draws its name from a day camp that once occupied this beautiful rolling landscape.
Today, the farm has one of the area's best-known equistrian event barns, as well as Montgomery County's premier farm brewery.
The wooden bar in the attractive tap room seats about 10 patrons, with room for about 50 more at community tables and couches.
Just out back is seating for many more on the large patio overlooking the beautiful Maryland scenery.
Waredaca had 7 of their beers on tap during our visit, including a saison, wit, IPA, stout, and others.
All of the brews were clean-tasting, fresh, true-to-style, and easy to drink.
Waredaca uses a 10-bbl. system to brew their beer, and most of it is for consumption on the premises.
Their beer is exported to a small number of bars and restaurants in the region.
Thirsty patrons have several options while at the brewery.
They can purchase their beer by the pint, or buy a flight including one of each beer in a sampling glass.
They can also take beer home either in a growler, or a crowler...which is a 32-ounce pour drawn from the tap and canned right before your eyes!
Questors would be well advised to visit Waredaca Brewing at their earliest convenience.
The beers are delicious and reasonably priced...the view is free.

 

 

 

Independent Brewing Company
418 N. Main Street.
Bel Air, MD 21014
(410) 836-8313

Opening in October of 2015,
Independent Brewing has become a very popular beer destination in Bel Air, MD...that beer-centric town in Harford County.
Boasting 22 taps, with rotating house beers, as well as a few brews from a local farm brewery (can't find the name...), they are able to provide you with a nice selection of authentic beer styles.
Ample seating around the bar and several community tables, make the main bar area accommodating to groups of all sizes.
The brew works are visible behind large windows behind the bar.
There is an additional room with more seating and apparel for sale.
Food vendors set up outside and provide a varied supply of sustenance.
The place was hopping on a Saturday afternoon.


 

 

 

 

Olde Mother Brewing Co.
911 E. Patrick St.
Frederick, MD
301-624-1700

Olde Mother is a microbrewery on the eastern outskirts of Frederick, in what was once a diner.
The taproom has a friendly feel, and was jumping on a Sunday afternoon.
Olde Mother offered 6 taps of their own beer, including a pale ale that was outstanding.
The other subjects included 2 sours, an Irish red, an oatmeal stout, and an orange honey wheat.
The bar seated about 10 patrons, and four picnic tables had room for at least 32 more...most seats were occupied by clientele of all ages, whose only aspect in common seemed to be that they loved to consume great beer.
This great beer could be obtained in pints, tastes, flights, or growlers.
"So," you may ask, "where can I get this Olde Mother beer?"
Just right here.
Olde Mother's 1.5 bbl system puts out just enough to be enjoyed at this locale where it is brewed, at least for now.
The staff was friendly and informative, the crowd lively, and the beer excellent.
Need any more reasons to visit Olde Mother?

 

 

 

Monocacy Brewing Company
1781 N Market St
Frederick, MD 21701
(240) 457-4232

Monocacy Brewing Company is located in an old ice cream plant on the outskirts of historic downtown Frederick.
Monocacy is owned by the same folks as Brewers Alley, also in Frederick.
Arcane liquor license laws required that they brew under a different name, and with the Monocacy River very near by, Monocacy Brewing Company was a logical fit.

While the brewery has three flagship recipes, a rye pale ale, a session pale ale and an imperial coffee stout, they have the flexibility and creativity to branch out into many unique styles.
When these Questors visited a Thai Wit Bier and Dirty Chai Stout were options in the tasting room. This series of experimental and unique brews has been dubbed the "Blank Slate" beers, and is constantly being added to.

There is a quaint tasting room with 7+ beers on tap.
Tours are a reasonable $5, which includes 5 tastings, a souvenir glass and the tour itself. Tickets can be purchased online or at the brewery.

For the home-brewers out there, The Flying Barrel, a home brewers' shop and brew-on-premise facility, is located right next door.

 

 

 

 

Mully's Brewery
141 Schooner Ln
#15
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
(443) 968-9426

Mully's is a family-owned production brewery located in rural Southern Maryland.
Mully's brewer and owner, Jason, received his brewing education at the Seidel Institute and the World Brewing Academy.
He now brews Mully's 5 flagship beers as well as several seasonals in 15 or 30 bbl. batches.
Mully's attractive tasting room seats about 10 at the bar, and another 20 or so at tables.
Visitors to the pub can taste samples of Mully's beer, get growlers filled, and take home 6-packs.
Hopefully in the future, they will also be able to sell pints.
Mully's presents Firkin Fridays once per month, and hosts a "Small Batch Sunday" also once per month. Visitors can watch a small batch being made, ask questions, or even help.
Visitors interested in brewing can also take a tour of the brewery on Saturdays and Sundays.
Pairing dinners are presented several times a year.
Other than that, it's BYO food.
Mully's brewery is definitely a friendly stop for any Questor driving this peninsula in Maryland's Calvert County.

 

 

 

Denizens Brewing Company
1115 East-West Hwy
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 557-9818

Denizens Brewing is a stand alone microbrewery and tap room located a block from the newly developed area around the Silver Spring Metro.
Although it's brand new (as of 2014) with lots of windows, it is relatively small, almost like an European bar.
The bar itself sits six and the rest of the main room might seat 30 with lots of space around the variously sized tables.
There is a small room in the back and a downstairs area also, as well as a large patio by the front door.
Food is provided by a food truck which supplies Denizens' kitchen.
Denizens has six of their own beers on tap as well as one guest beer.
All the beers seem to be full-time, as there is no reference to seasonals.
Although it wasn't overly crowded, Saturday afternoon had a brisk business with the yuppie crowd.

 

 

Assawoman Bay Brewing Company
4435 Coastal Hwy
Ocean City, MD 21842
phone: (410) 524-4100

As of the end of summer, 2014, Maryland's newest brewery was Assawoman Bay Brewing Company.
Brewer Jason Weissberg, who presides over the 15-bbl. system, was helpful and informative in giving me an impromptu tour on a sunny October morning.
The craft brewery takes its name from the body of tidal water that separates Ocean City from the mainland of the Delmarva peninsula.
Assawoman Bay shares a building with Shallow Waters restaurant, and their beer can be enjoyed on tap there.
Assawoman Bay beers can also be had at 45th Street Taphouse and O. C. Steamers which are also located near the brewery in the 45th Street Village.
Additionally, the beers can be found at the 9th Street Taphouse in lower Ocean City.
Anywhere you can drink them, Assawoman Bay beers are worth the drinking.
I enjoyed a Pony Swim IPA and a Sunsationale Belgian Pale Ale next door at 45th Street Taphouse (tap handles shown at left).
Both were excellent.
Any Questor or craft beer lover in general should try to procure a few Assawoman Bay drafts while in sunny Ocean City.

 

 

Jailbreak Brewing Company
9445 Washington Blvd. N
Laurel, MD 20723
443-345-9699

Jailbreak Brewing is located inside a strip center just off of Route 1 in North Laurel.
It is slightly south of Savage.
At the time of our visit, Jailbreak had 9 of their beers on tap.
Jailbreak's tasting room is large, spacious, and attractive.

The U-shaped bar seats about 20 patrons, with room for many more at the 6 community tables and 3 picnic tables.
To the left is a large "living room" area with leather chairs, coffee tables, and couches.
The venue was very busy at about 7:00 PM on a Thursday night.
There is often a food truck outside for patrons who become hungry, and shuffleboard and live music inside for entertainment.
Jailbreak's beers definitely get a passing grade, although there were 2 stouts and a porter, and 4 of their beers were fruited.
I would have liked to see a Pils, or a cream ale, or perhaps an unfruited hefeweizen.
Still...I'd go back.

 

 

 

 

Diamondback Brewing Company
1215 E Fort Ave #008
McHenry Row
Baltimore, MD 21230
(443) 388-9626

Diamondback Brewing Company is located in Locust Point's McHenry Row neighborhood.
The brewery and tap room is housed on an old brick building that used to be a mattress factory.
A large sickle-shaped bar seats about 20 drinkers, a community table seats 10, and stools at leaning tables can accomodate many more.
In the rear is a small game area, and downstairs is a large rec room with ping-pong and the 8.5 bbl. brewery.
Francis, one of the proprietors, was accomodating and answered all of our questions whilst drawing beers for a thirsty crowd of young professional-type patrons on a Sunday afternoon.

Diamondback's decor is industrial yet cozy, and the tap room is dominated by the lower portion of a tall brick smokestack.
Diamondback will usually have 4-7 different beers on tap, and the selection during our visit included a blonde, and IPA, a coffee IPA, and a black gose.
The barkeeps at the tap room sell their beers in pints, and cheerfully give samples.
Diamondback beer can also be taken home in growlers.
You may have trouble finding the place, but just keep asking...your perseverence will pay off.

 

 

Waverly Brewing Company
1625 Union Ave
Baltimore, MD 21211
443-438-5765

Waverly Brewing Company is tucked off of Union Avenue, just to the east side of the Jones Falls Expressway.
Waverly is the second craft brewer to set up shop in the Hampden-Woodberry neighborhood, it being just a coupla short blocks from Union Craft Brewing.
The tap room is fairly spacious; the angular bar seats about a dozen patrons, and there is a leaners shelf that can accomodate many more.
A second room is off to the side with a communal table and a few couches and chairs.
At the time of our visit, Waverly had 7 beers on tap from their 5-bbl system.
The list included a blonde, a brown, saison, helles, IPA and more.
The crowd seemed young, local, hip, and artsy...then again, compared to me, almost everyone is young, hip, and artsy.
If you want to try some Waverly beer, there is only one place to go...right here!
So far, all of the beers are brewed for consumption right here in the tap room.
Be sure you check the website, or call for the hours.
During our stay, the Kommie Pig food truck was parked outside dishing out delectibles.

Waverly Brewing is just what we need more of...a place where neighborhood denizens can drink freshly-brewed craft beer in a bar-like atmosphere, along with friends who are looking to do the same thing.
I wish there were one in Catonsville.

 

 

 

Union Craft Brewing
1700 Union Ave
Baltimore, MD 21211
410-467-0290

Union Craft Brewing is a microbrewery located in the Woodberry neighborhood just west of Hampden.
The bar in Union's taproom seats about a dozen patrons, and 2 communal tables can accomodate about 18 more.
The taproom is mid-size...industrial, functional, and friendly.
Union Craft distributes their beer to Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.
During our visit, there were 9 different beers available on tap.
There were also growlers, bombers, and six-packs to go.
Beer styles were diverse and covered all the bases.
The taproom occupies a corner of the brewery itself, and evidence of the 20-bbl system could be seen through glass.
Check the website for schedules of when the taproom is open, brewery tours, and food trucks.

 

 

 

Heavy Seas Tap Room
4615 Hollins Ferry Road, Halethorpe, MD 21227
(410) 247-7822

Heavy Seas Tap Room adjoins the Heavy Seas brewery just off of the Beltway on the cusp of Halethorpe and Landsdowne.
The bar seats 10 or 12 folks, and tables accomodate another 32 or so.
There are always 8 Heavy Seas beers on tap, with another two dispensed from hand engines.
The Tap Room also sells bombers and six-packs, and fills growlers.
Although all they purvey is beer, there is usually a food truck outside offering Brick Oven Pizza.
The staff was knowledgeable and friendly, and represented their brewery well.
Heavy Seas produces 45,000 bbl of brew per year, and may be the craft beer world's leading producer of cask beers.

 

 

 

 

Realerevival
504-506 Poplar St
Cambridge, MD 21613
(410) 463-3064

Realerevival is a microbrewery in quaint downtown Cambridge, on the banks of the Choptank River.
The barroom is spacious and the brew works are readily visible.
The wide, attractive bar seats 13 drinkers, and is constructed from Dorchester County Cedar.
Two large picture windows can be rolled up garage-door style in warm weather.
Realerevival currently has about 6 of their own beers on tap, including something for most ranges in beer preference.
Prices are between $5 and $7 for a pint. They also fill growlers.
The Nanticoke Nectar IPA, Bucktown Brown, Bottom Feeder Farmhouse, and Nanticoke Shandy were all delicious and worth trying.
There were a few guest beers on tap.
Realarevival sells no beer in bottles, just fresh from the tap.
Our bartender, J.T., was helpful in explaining the brewery's philosophy and offerings.
Realerevival offers off-premise kitchen food, or carry-in, for those who want a snack.
This Questor wanted to spend more time here, but the road called.
Hopefully we will return.


 

 

 

Red Shedman
Farm Brewery & Hop Yard
13601 Glissans Mill Rd
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
301-831-5889
or 410-795-6432

The rural community of Mt Airy, MD now boasts its third brewery...
Red Shedman.
Red Shedman opened on November 15, 2014, with a huge crowd on hand to socialize and sample the beer.
Not so crowded, though, that the staff could not take time to explain to us the story of Red Shedman, their philosophy, and any other questions we may have had.

Vic Aellen, proprietor and brewmaster, explained how he would not make any beer that he wouldn't drink himself.
I'm not sure what this rules out, but Red Shedman, for their Grand Opening, had on tap a Golden Ale, Oktoberfest, Honey Rye, IPA, Porter, and a Stout.
All the beers were clean-tasting, easy to drink, and true to style.
Red Shedman boasts a large taproom with a long bar, tables, and ample leaning counters.
One can sip their beer and view the 15-bbl brew works through windows looking down into the lower level.
Red Shedman, which is on the grounds with Linganore Winecellars, is in a beautiful pastoral setting and certainly is a great place in which to enjoy craft beer, eat some lite fare, watch the big-screen TVs.
The dedicated Questor may also wish to take home a growler.



 

 

Milkhouse Brewery
at Stillpoint Farm

8253 Dollyhyde Rd
Mt. Airy, Maryland 21771
301-829-6950

Amid the verdant, sprawling farmland of rural Frederick County sits Stillpoint Farm...home of Milkhouse Brewery.
Tom Barse and Carolann McConaughy built Milkhouse Brewery " to help sustain small farming in Maryland.? "
According to their mission statement, they believe "that by offering a wide variety of products, activities and services on our small farm, we can help others maintain the family farm tradition that is disappearing so rapidly in our State and across the country. "
Milkhouse, by law, is the first Farm Brewery in Maryland.
The brewery is housed in a barn-style structure, and adjoining that is a lovely wood-appointed tasting room where thirsty visitors can enjoy a sample or a pint of Milkhouse beer.
There is also a patio where one can drink their beer and admire the scenery.
During our visit, Milkhouse had 3 beers on tap, and one in a cask. All are brewed in Milkhouse's 10-bbl system from ingredients grown on the farm.
Growlers can also be taken home.
As of this time, the tasting room is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Check their website for hours.
Milkhouse Brewery is a great place to visit and down a few fresh farm-brewed beers in an attractive and convivial atmosphere.



 

Burley Oak Brewery
10016 Old Ocean City Rd
Berlin , MD 21811
phone: (443) 513-4647

Burley Oak is a microbrewery located in the sleepy town of Berlin, MD, just about 10 minutes west of Ocean City.
Albeit a microbrewery, they have generous hours, and are open from 11:00 AM until late most nights.
The smooth wood-topped bar seats about 15 patrons, and the barroom is spacious enough for several tables.
Although no food is served, the place had a nice crowd on a Saturday morn at 11:30, and management encourages drinkers to bring in food.
The brew works, which produce 1600 barrels per year, is visible through a large window behind the bar.
Burley Oak beers are brewed with locally grown ingredients.
I had three pints of Burley Oak while in town and found all three to be excellent.
Questors would certainly welcome Burley Oak Beer in Central Maryland.

 

Our Ales
Ruhlman Brewery on Creeping Creek Farm

2300 Harvey Grummel Rd
Hampstead MD 21074

Ruhlman Brewery is one of the new wave of farm breweries opening in Maryland due to 2012 legislation.
The law states that if a brewery uses a locally grown ingredient, they may open the brewery to the public and sell beer for on- or off-premise consumption.

Ruhlman Brewing has a 10 barrel all-grain system. The brewing equipment was brought to the States in January of 2012 with brewing beginning several months later.
They purchase their grains from the U.S., Canada and the UK and they grow many varieties of hops on Creeping Creek Farm, including Centennial, Cascade, Saaz, Nugget, as well as a few others. These hops are used in their various recipes.
Ruhlman currently offers 4 different brews (Milk Stout, IPA,Tavern Pale Ale, Red Ale) that are available for purchase in bottles and growlers at the brewery as well at local retailers.
Recyclable kegs of Our Ales are also sold; drink the beer and discard the keg with your everyday recycling.
The rest room is clean and well-lit.
The Brewmaster, Henry Ruhlman, offers personal tours and a set of samples for $5.

Look for more of these farm breweries just over the horizon, cropping up in the Free State.



 

Eastern Shore Brewing
Tasting Room & Brewery are located at:
605 S. Talbot St., St Michaels, MD 21663

Set on Scenic Talbot St in beautiful St. Michael's, MD, Eastern Shore Brewing has several regular brews with seasonals in the works.  The tasting room is small, but with all of their varieties on tap at reasonable prices this is a stop you should make when on the Eastern Shore.  Oh... be sure to ask about Big Blue.
They had 4 beers on tap while we were there.  They had their Knot So Pale Ale, their St. Michael's Amber, and also 2 versions of the Lighthouse Ale.  They're also working on an Espresso Stout and a Hefeweizen for the spring.


 

 

 

 

"They who drink beer will think beer ." ....Washington Irving