Five with Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s & BAROAK

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One of the best things about the beer industry is the people. So last night, I met up with Chef Teddy Folkman (of the legendary Dr. Granville Moore’s) at DRY 85. He recently made local headlines with the announcement of his newest venture, BAROAK, a Belgian-inspired cookhouse and taproom opening up in the space currently occupied by West Kitchen & Tavern at the Loews Hotel in downtown Annapolis. As part of a larger interview, I also asked him five very important questions.

What beer trend are you over?
Over the top, super boozy IPAs. Actually, super boozy beers in general. Can I appreciate a super boozy beer? Absolutely. But now that I’m older and weaker, I want something more sessionable. You can quote me on that.

What’s your spirit animal?
I’m sorry, but I have to say my dog. She can be loving, and she’s such a fucking food snob. Seriously, she knows good food.

What was your first craft beer?
[Back in 2002], ahead of a trip, I packed the fridge with a cube – A CUBE – of Miller Lite. When I came home, my roommate (who was also my best friend) had swapped in Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. Then he said to me, “If you ever put Miller Lite in my fridge again, we will no longer be roommates.” So I said I would try his fancy, expensive beer… and once I did, that was it.

What’s your dream collaboration?
I’d love to collaborate on a beer with Ommegang. Such cool, talented brewers there. As for style? That’s tough. Probably a Belgian-style porter. It’s warm, and porters make you think of sweet memories.

What’s your favorite word?
Bubba. Anyone I love, I call Bubba.

Coming soon to The Capital, my full interview with Teddy Folkman. 

Five with Ryan Maloney of Mispillion River Brewing

Five with Ryan Maloney

One of the best things about the beer industry is the people. So on the night of Mispillion River Brewing‘s One Year Anniversary Party, I sat down with their assistant brewer turned head brewer, Ryan Maloney and asked him five questions. 

What’s your favorite beer that’s not your own?
Zombie Dust by 3 Floyds Brewing Company

What beer trend are you ready to be over?
I’m not big on the whole IPL (India Pale Lager) thing. It mixes something that is meant to be clean with something that’s a power punch. I’ve seen it done right, though.

What’s your spirit animal?
The river otter. Because reasons.

What’s your “white whale” beer style that you’d like to brew?
I’ve never attempted a Czech Pilsner. It’s a challenge, because you can’t hide the flaws. Everything has to be right – from the water to the hops.

One word of advice for people getting into brewing?
Perseverance. Or Patience is good, too.

Coming soon: More from the Mispillion team, as they look back on their first year and ahead to what’s next. 

The Greene Turtle Surprises with Heavy Seas’ Shell Raiser

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Let me clear the air here, because I know what you’re thinking: What the hell is a picture of mugs from The Greene Turtle doing on this blog?

I get it. The Greene Turtle brand doesn’t exactly call to the fore images of a craft beer oasis for you. And typically, it doesn’t for me either. (Delicious, gooey crabby melt sandwiches and my ability to heave endless tears of shame as the Redskins lose yet another game in private with my booth-side television, however, yes.) But hear me out; I promise there is a reason for this madness.

A few days ago, I saw they were throwing a release party for an exclusive English-style pale ale called Shell Raiser (brewed by Heavy Seas Beer). I was pretty surprised, but I figured, “Oh, another winner in the Heavy Seas cask program,” and went about my business with a modest mental high-five outstretched to The Greene Turtle team. Well, as it turned out, I was wrong: The Shell Raiser was going to be a legit, tapped beer. Not that cask beers aren’t legit – they totally are. In fact, cask ales have long, awesome history and are often very delicious.

I digress.

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“I am the turtle king! I can do anything!”

Intrigued by this newfound knowledge, I made my way to The Greene Turtle off West Street in Annapolis last night to see what all the buzz was about. And guess what, guys? They didn’t disappoint, and the Shell Raiser is really good.

It’s obvious they made a thoughtful style choice. English pale ales are mild-mannered, very approachable and go with almost everything. Also, they’re a good meet-in-the-middle style, bringing nerds and n00bs together in delicious, malt-based harmony. More importantly for me, however, I think this beer can help break craft beer’s undeserved reputation for those less familiar of being needlessly complex or always being “super hoppy.” A stereotype that big brands like Shock Top are actively trying to perpetuate. (Sorry, Shock Top. Craft beer isn’t really “confusing or intimidating.” And styles like pilsners and lagers are considered classics in the craft beer world.)

With its moderate, well-balanced malt and hop profile and an ABV of only 4.7 percent, it’s safe to say this is another great, classical showing from the Heavy Seas crew and an impressive win for The Greene Turtle.

What’s next? Well, a little birdie told me this is probably not the end of the line for their custom beer experiment, with other options probably to follow in future. And from what I saw last night, it seems like The Greene Turtle is in the midst of a small transformation, as they are making a concerted effort to make craft a part of what they do. Though admirably they are willing to admit they are a work in progress on that front.

So while they aren’t about to become the next Max’s Taproom or 1747 Pub – nor should they – I am always going to applaud those who help craft gain traction in unexpected places; especially somewhere like The Greene Turtle, where there is a great opportunity to introduce craft beer to an audience who may have never considered it before.

My only suggestion to The Greene Turtle is to invest in some branded (or unbranded!) tulips – that are NEVER served frosted – because I’ll admit I never got a chance to see this beer sparkle under the lights through my thick-walled ceramic mug, as I would have liked.