Naptown Pintcast: Kurt, Brian & Chris from Manor Hill Brewing

The past four months have been insane. We moved. Mama Pint relocated from Virginia to Annapolis. Of the first 2.5 months of this year, I spent 3+ weeks traveling for work and outside of the country.

But now I’m back. And so is the Naptown Pintcast. Welcome to season 2… ish.

On an unseasonably warm Tuesday this past winter, I spent the afternoon with Old Man Kurt Krol, Brian Delaney and young whippersnapper Chris Broome at Howard County’s first farm brewery, Manor Hill Brewing.

They are men. Manly men with surly expressions.

We ate hot dogs. Lots of ’em. Then we drank beer.

And then, through a very long conversation, in the back of their brewhouse, the guys confirmed a long-standing suspicion of mine.  There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the team behind the beer at Manor Hill — especially in terms of experience, personality, and industry expertise and understanding.

You just have to take the time to get to know them.

“Old Man” Kurt Krol (head brewer), Brian Delaney and Chris Broome (assistant brewers) of Manor Hill Brewing.

So, what did we talk about? Well, quite a bit…

  • The haze craze, and limited releases vs. core drinkers.
  • How demand impacts their ability to be creative.
  • The Golden Girls. Coffee Talk. Old people.
  • We have an awkward moment about Blazing Saddles.
  • Also, a few feelings about Untappd reviews leak into the conversation.
  • How the internet and beer trading has elevated regional styles and breweries.
  • How beers that started movements have faded into the background.
  • Reconciling the importance of replicating and consistency, with one-off success with recipes and limited releases.
  • Underappreciated styles, like smoked beers and barley wines.
  • How Kurt also does some of the label artwork for Manor Hill.
  • The dark side of Maryland beer — the legislative landscape.
  • How Guinness is influencing the Maryland beer scene and legislation.
  • The culture of beer in Maryland vs. Virginia.

Okay, Here’s the Episode

“Core brands become core brands for a reason. They’re the best beers you make.”

“I’ve always hated that word. It’s a toilet. If you call it a commode, you have too much money.”

“Why wouldn’t I choose cascade? It’s the old man hop nowadays.”

“That’s part of the fun of brewing on a farm. You can’t fill the hot water and flush the toilets at the same time.”

“We had an IPA at an event the other week, and somebody gave it 2 stars because it was ‘hoppy.’ It was a double IPA.”

“I think [reviews] are a necessary evil. I think they do end up dictating which way the industry goes — for better or for worse.”

“You can chase things, but you have to know what you’re doing. You have to be able to replicate.”

“Barley wines. I don’t know why every brewery is not doing one when it’s November. Every year.”

“The definition of local has changed so very much. It’s weird how that’s changed from, ‘Oh, Tröegs is only an hour-and-a-half away,’ to ‘I can’t go there because it’s in another state.’ I don’t think that’s a Maryland problem. That’s just how it’s come about.

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