Saturday, April 06, 2013

Beer Madness

In yet another play on the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament  The Washington Post has been running its 7th annual Beer Madness, a blind tasting of 32 regional craft brews to determine a loco king of beers. A panel of nine has been “sipping, spitting and scribbling their way through 32 brews from the Chesapeake region.”

This is the first year the competition has focused solely on Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

“In previous years we've gone mass-market, global (in honor of the Olympics) and all-American. In this, the seventh annual Beer Madness, we decided to celebrate the local renaissance and showcase the best this region has to offer. All 32 entries come from breweries in the Chesapeake Bay area. We included some local brewpubs whose distribution doesn't stretch outside their front door, and a few small newcomers, such as Wild Wolf Brewing in Nellysford, Va., and Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore, that are just poking their noses into Washington and suburbs. But you can find all of these beers, on tap or in bottles or cans, within the confines of the Beltway.”

We are truly experiencing a beer renaissance in this country. In 1980 there were fewer than ninety breweries in the US. Today there are over 2,400, the highest number ever.

It’s beginning to get a little overwhelming. Earlier this week, To2C reader and occasional contributor Andy Liberman sent me a note about a new wine bar coming to Turf Valley. He wrote that it was purportedly backed by the folks at Perfect Pour in the Gateway Exchange shopping center. It had been some time since I was last in Perfect Pour so I decided to drop in and see what I could find out. While I didn't discover anything new about the Turf Valley venture, I was bowled over by the craft beer selection in the store. They have one of the most extensive offerings of craft beer in HoCo. There’s a pretty good chance that you will find most, if not all the 32 beers in the WAPO Beer Madness tournament in the store.
Andy later informed me that the name of the Turf Valley place is Petite Cellars. Yesterday I dropped by the new shopping center and saw that work was well underway. He also thinks the new place will be similar to Liquid Assets in Ocean City.
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