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Beer in Baltimore

Submitted by on September 15, 2009 – 10:13 AMNo Comment
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The season is upon us.  The weather grows cooler, the nights longer.  The need for good beer takes on a new dimension. Harvest time, an archaic and foreign concept to the modern urbanite, has been reinvented.  Welcome to Oktoberfest, the greatest German import this side of the VW Beetle.  In the state of Maryland, with its considerable German heritage, much is being done to mark the season.

Fort Meade Oktoberfest

Fort Meade starts things off with Bavarian-themed food and activities to compliment carnival-style rides and games.  Oktoberfest runs from September 23 to 27 at the Fort Meade Pavilion on Llewellyn Ave.  A keg-tapping ceremony is planned to kick things off, but, apart from a mention of “genuine German beer,” details about exactly what is being tapped were hard to come by.  Admission is free, though, so as long as they don’t think Busch is brewed in Augsburg, it should be worth a look.

Dressed Up Attendees at DAS Best Oktoberfest

Dressed Up Attendees at DAS Best Oktoberfest

Das Best Oktoberfest

Not so free, but in many ways more promising, Das Best Oktoberfest at National Harbor (Forest Heights, MD) offers over 100 beer varieties, which can only be accessed via a $25 admission fee.  Crowds have previously come dangerously close to polishing off all the suds and grub. The organizers have promised even more of everything this year, from food to beer to general revelry.  As it is a one-day event (September 26,12 PM to 8 PM), it is hoped that they will also provide doggy-steins.

Frederick’s Oktoberfest

The city of Frederick waits until October to commence its Oktoberfest, which takes place at the Frederick Fairgrounds from noon to 10 PM on Saturday, October 3, and 12 PM to 6 PM the next day.  It is unknown if overnight accommodations are legally available within the fairgrounds, although several park benches have been sighted in the area.  Admission is $5, and all your Teutonic culinary favorites will be available.

Germantown Oktoberfest

Also on the October 3, running from 11 AM “until dark,” Germantown holds its Oktoberfest (as required by town ordinance) at Ridge Road Park.  In addition to free admission, the ambiguous ending time suggests adventure.

Baltimore Beer Week

beerweekBut all this may merely be preamble to the inaugural Baltimore Beer Week, which, mysteriously, lasts 10 days.  From the October 8 through October 18, Baltimore will try to prove that it has the finest beer tradition in these United States.  Whether true or not, the attending public is likely to benefit from the effort.

Clipper City and other Stalwarts of the Baltimore brewing scene will naturally be present, as will many out-of-towners from far and wide.  A keg-tapping celebration on board the USS Constellation in Baltimore Harbor will set things in motion on October 8, with well over 100 events to follow over the next ten days throughout the city.

One of the highlights takes place on the October 10, at the Timonium Fairgrounds, where a dozen brewers from around Maryland will be pouring their wares from 12 PM to 8 PM at the Maryland Oktoberfest.  Additionally, the closing weekend includes the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival at the Pratt Street Ale House.  Most of the events come with a cover charge, so check ahead to see how much each will set you back.