Long before the explosion of craft brews, Brewer’s Art, located in Baltimore, Maryland, was churning out exceptional beer. For the longest time, it was consumed in Baltimore, with not a drop of beer making its way past its local following. In the last few years, that has changed, and at least in Maryland, you can find six packs of some of it’s popular Resurrection, a believable Belgian style Abbey Dubbel.
My brother lives in Charles village, a bit up the street, so he knows the best spots, where the bars and restaurants are crowded with locals, and a few well informed foodies or beer afficionados. It is an insiders place, that doesn’t broadly advertise it is #2 on Gayot’s Best Pubs in the US. That is ok, it is one of many Bal’mer hidden gems, that the locals just assume keep to themselves. The beer and food are both an art form here.
For those of you not familiar with Baltimore, once you make your way past Inner Harbour, and the tourist section, you have small enclaves of restaurants, and businesses, not unlike a city of villages. It is the city of Babe Ruth, Edgar Allen Poe, and John Waters (e.g. Hairspray). Each small neighborhood will have it’s own personality in terms of food, people, and architecture, with Brewer’s Art located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, perhaps the cross roads of hipster and professionally suited patrons.
Much of the city’s neighborhoods reflect architecture of Baltimore’s hay day, now reclaimed / rehabbed Victorian brown stones, with a lingering hint of the delapidated state, in the form of well worn wood floors, and wavy walls due to it’s retained plaster on lathe 19th century walls.
Downstairs Dive Bar
Elbow your way to the downstairs bar, with paint worn concrete floors, to one of the few seats, among the hipsters and suits, gathered to worship at the alter of well brewed beer. The beer is brewed on premise, and is one of the few outlets where you’ll find their best beer on tap. The furniture looks a bit of reclaimed furniture intercepted on the way to the dump, with bar goers unified in knowing they are drinking the best beer in the city, and enjoying artisan bar food that includes Lamb Leg pita, and Skate Snitchzel sandwich, or hard to find She Crab Dip. If you want a full meal, make your way upstairs.
Upstairs Formal Dining
In a room that doesn’t look like it changed much since 1902, indulge in a pint, and inventive farm to table fare. Recent offerings tantalize, leaving hard choices for a foodie. Pork Cheek Pierogies, with horseradish, turnip kraut, Resurrection gastrique. Or try the trendy Grilled Bone Marrow, fennel & bacon mostarda, radish, pickled ramps, truffle aioli toast. They have food to for the less adventurous such as the Berkshire Pork Shank, with Spring panzanella with asparagus, spring onion, Benton’s ham, romesco sauce. Finish with a beer infused sweet, such as Chocolate Proletary Torte rich dark chocolate, a hint of Proletary Ale, chocolate ganache. Always a memorable meal. Not particularly cheap, but worth it.
Brewer’s Art Resurrection Beer
Rating: Beer Advocate gives it an 86 out of 100.
My Rating: 4.6 out of 5.0.
Alcohol By Volume: 7.0%