Max’s 2018 Belgian Beer Fest Line-Up.

– once again with no plan.

It’s that time of year again for our annual pilgrimage down to Max’s Taphouse in Fell’s Point, Maryland to part take in their annual Belgian Beer Festival.

This three-day event brings people from all over to experience the best in Belgian Beerassery that one bar can manage to pull together. But with something like 140 taps, casks, plus more bottles than you can hold a tasting glass under, Max’s Taphouse is no ordinary bar.

We’ll be heading down on Thursday night as usual, to enjoy some of the other places the Point has to offer, plus enjoying a few beers a Max’s for what we’ve dubbed “the calm before the storm”, that time Thursday night when Max’s is switching over for the next day’s event and only has maybe 10-12 taps open for that night’s customers.

Friday will be the big day for us however, as we enjoy a little “line life” then (hopefully) get are normal seats at the back bar to drink our fill of beers that not only can’t we pronounce, but we’re not likely to see again anyways. Well until next year. And since you don’t know when a certain beer will be tapped, running down the list before hand looking for standouts can be hit or miss as well.

No, with Max’s the usual beer festival scheming just doesn’t seem to work for me. In fact, when it comes to the massive beer list at one of Max’s Belgian Festivals I believe Leonard Snart (AKA Captain Cold) from The Flash, has the best approach….

make the plan

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Below is all the info you need for the event. Some things to stress: There is no charge to get into the event, beers are pay as you go. It used to be that if you opened a tab (they will keep your card) at any bar it was good anywhere within the establishment. Last year they changed it so that you had to open a tab at each bar you bought a beer at. This was kind of inconvenient.

Also, the young man watching the stairs that lead to the upstairs bar was doing his job a little too well last year. When tDoB co-founder Chuck came down stairs to check things out, he was told he wasn’t allowed back upstairs until someone else came down. Since his party (including his wife) and all his things were upstairs, Chuck found this, in true DoB words – vexing.

Below is the general beer list. For more info including special offerings and tastings, head on over to Max’s website.

Feb 16th-19th

Feb 16-18, 2018
11am-2am each day
No Entrance Fee
Over 200 Beers on draft and over 250 bottles
Plus a full Belgian Inspired food menu

SOUR DAY 2018
Feb 19, 2018
11am-2am
Over 60 drafts and over 60 bottles
No Entrance Fee

SPECIAL POP UP BAR

Friday Feb 16-Sun Feb 18

Blackberry Farms & Friends

ON DRAFT
Blackberry farms Super Saison
Blackberry farms Classic
Blackberry farms Hoppy Wheat
Blackberry farms Steps to Nowhere
RAR-TBA
Cantillon Kriek

BOTTLES/CAN FOR SALE
RAR-TBA
Blackberry farms Brett Saison 18 2017
Blackberry farms Flanders 2017
Blackberry farms Brett Saison 2016
Blackberry farms Brett Saison 2017
Blackberry farms Triple 2016
Blackberry farms Brett Fruited Blend 2017
Blackberry farms Wild Classic
Blackberry farms/Stillwater Sensibility
Blackberry farms Blackberry Rye
Blackberry farms Noble Cuvee Dry Hopped Saison
Blackberry farms Peel Your face
Crooked Stave Surette Reserve raspberry
Crooked Stave Surette Reserve Blueberry
Crooked Stave L’Brett O’Blueberry
Crooked Stave L’Brett D’Sour Cherry
Crooked Stave Petite Sour Merionberry
Cantillon Gueuze 1.5 Liter- 1 per person
3 Fonteinen Armand & Gaston 1.5 Liter- 1 per person

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BELGIAN DRAFT LIST

ON CASK
Brewers Art ground Ling w/ Kumquat
Brewers Art Ground Ling w/ Yuzu & Meyer Lemon
Brewers Art Ground Ling w/ Mosaic & Idaho 7
Brewers Art Ground Ling w/ Halltertau

ON DRAFT-80% complete
Achouffe La Chouffe
Abbaye De Rocs Brune
Abbaye De Rocs Grand Cru
Alvinne Berliner Framboos Weisse
Alvinne Cuvee De Mortagne
Alvinne Cuvee Freddy
Alvinne Gentleman’s Sour
Alvinne Kriek De Mortagne
Alvinne Kweeper
Alvinne Omega
Alvinne Sour’ire De Mortagne
Alvinne Wild West Cherry & Raspberry
Alvinne Wild West French Plum
Alvinne Wild West Primitivo Grapes
Bastogne Ardenne Saison
Bastogne Ardenne Stout
Blaugies Saison Epeature
Blaugies/Hill Farmstead- Le Vermontoise
BOM Bling Bling
BOM Wild & Funky
Boon Lambic
Brugse Zot Blonde
Cantillon Kriek
Cantillon Rose De Grambrinus
Cantillon St Lamvinus Grand Cru
Cantillon Vignerionne
Cantillon Gueuze
Chimay Blue
Chimay White
Chimay Red
De Brabandere Me’Lange
De Brabandere Petrus 40/40/20
De Brabandere Petrus 80/20
De Brabandere Petrus Quad Nitro
De Brabandere Petrus Sour Apricot
De Brabandere Sour Mango
De Brabandere Petrus Sour Quad
De Dolle Dulle Teve
De Dolle Special Export Stout
De Dolle Stille nacht
De Glazen Toren Canaster
De Glazen Toren Jan De Lichte
De Glazen Toren Saison De Epre mere
De La Senne Jambe De Bois
De La Senne Taras Boulba
De La Senne Zinnebier
De Leite Cuvee Mam’Selle
De Leite Cuvee Soeur’ise
De Leite Fils A Papa V
De Leite Ma Mere Speciale
De Meester Dubbel
De Meester Quadrupel
De Proef/New Glarus Abtsolution
De Ranke Hop Harvest
De Ranke Pere Noel
De Ranke Simplex
Den Hopperd Kameleon Saison Bio
Den Hopperd Kameleon Special Tripel Bio
Drie Fonteinen Beersel Blonde
Drie Fonteinen Beersel Lager
Dupont Saison
Duvel Single
Fantome Pissenlit
Fantome Saison
Hanssens Oudbeitje
Hanssens Experimental Cassis
Hanssens Oude Lambic
Het Anker Gouden Carolus Ambrio
Het Anker Gouden Carolus Classic
Het Anker Lucifer
Het Anker Lucifer Black
Het Nest BA Dead Mans Hand (Cognac)
Het Nest BA Dead Mans Hand (Whiskey)
Het Nest Schuppenbier Grand Cru (Cognac)
Huyghe Delirium Tremens
Huyghe Delirium Guillotine
Hof Ten Dormaal Dads Tea
Kerkom Adelardus Dubbel
Kerkom Adelardus Tripel
Kerkom Bink Bloesem
Kerlom Bink Blonde
Kerkom Bink Bruin
La Rulles Brune
La Rulles Cuvee Meilleurs Vouex
La Rulles Estivale
La Rulles Grand 10
La Rulles Triple
Oud Beersel Bersalis Sour Blend
Oud Beersel Still Lambic
Prearis BA Grand Cru
Rodenbach Alexander
Rodenbach Foederbier
Rodenbach Vintage 2015
Silly Barrel aged Scotch De Silly
Slaapmutske Flemish Old Style
Slaapmurtske Triple Night Cap
St Bernardus Abt 12
St Bernardus Wit
St Bernardus Baksteen Winkel
St Bernardus Prior 8
St Bernardus Tripel
St Feulillen Saison
St Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition
St Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition Kriek
Straffe Hendrick Heritage 2013 Cognac
Straffe Hendrick Heritage 2014 Brandy
Tilquin Gueuze
Tilquin Questche
Tilquin Rullquin
Troubadour Magma Hop Twist
Val Dieu Blonde
Val Dieu Brune
Van Eecke Kapittel Blonde
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Raspberry Bartista
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Rouge
Van Honsebrouck Kasteel Triple
Van Steenberge Blonde
Van Steenberge Ertvelds Wit
Van Steenberge Gulden Draak Calavados
Van Steenberge Gulden Draak Nitro
Van Steenberge Monks Cafe Grand Cru
Van Steenberge Piraat
Verhaeghe Barbe Ruby
Verhaeghe Duchesse De Bourgogne
Verzet Oud Bruin Vineyard
Verzet Golden Tricky
Verzet Moose Blues
Verzet Oud Bruin Cherry
Verzet Oud Bruin Oak Leaf
Verzet Super Noah
Viven IPA
Wittekerke Wit

SOUR DAY DRAFTS 90% Complete
Anchorage The Ghosts in their Eyes
Anchorage Easy Evil
Arcadia 21st Anniversary
Bells Wild One
Brooklyn Bel Air
Brewers Art Charb
Bullfrog Le Roar Grrrz Kriek
Bullfrog Le Roar Cocoa Framboise
Bullfrog Jong Bruin Kriek
Burley Oak Blackberry Mango JREAM
Burley Oak Blueberry Cobbler JREAM
Burley oak Double Berry Cherry JREAM
Burley oak Grape Quish Cabernet
Burley oak Grape Quish Chardonnay
Burley Oak Level
Burley oak Tangerine Cherry JREAM
Captain Lawrence Rosso Marron
Captain Lawrence Viola
Cascade Bourbonic Plague
Cascade Midnight Bramble
Council Broken Wand Boysenberry
Council Woofle Dust Apricot
Council/Modern Times-Modern Magic
Epic Oak & Orchard Pinot
Epic Oak & Orchard Syrah
Fegleys Gueuze
Firestone Walker Bretta Weisse 2016
Firestone Walker Krieky Bones
Free Will Saison Rose
Free Will Whit
Grimm Cherry raspberry Pop
Grimm Galaxy Pop
Grimm Pychokinesis
Grimm Rainbow Dome
Highway Manor Funky Prowler
Highway Manor Mr Strawberry
Highway Manor Mr Tea
Jester King Nocturn Chysalis
Jester King Viking Metal
Lost Rhino Exesus Sanctum Peach Sour
Manor Hill Oud Bruin w/ Figs
Monument City –TBA
New Belgium Felix Apple Whiskey $33
New Belgium Oscar Blackberry Whiskey $17
New Belgium Single Foeder Felix #61
New Belgium Single Foeder Oscar #1
New Belgium Oscar Worthy Coffee (Nitro)
OEC Pasca 2016
OEC Vetus
OEC Vindemia Blanc
OEC Brunneis
OEC Clavis Purpura
OEC Stramboolzed
Prairie Vous Francais
The Bruery Terreaux Train to Beersel
The Bruery Terreaux Melange #9
The Bruery Terreaux/Jester King-Bouffon
The Bruery Terreaux Filmishmish
The Bruery Terreaux Summa Vitis
Union Older Pro Apricot
Union Older Pro Gin BA
Union Older Pro Red raspberry
Union BA Midnight Maurder

SOUR DAY BOTTLES 90% Complete
Anchorage/Jolly Pumpkin-Matame Aherta
Avery Certatio Equestris 2016
Avery Lunctis Viribus 2016
Bullfrog Le Roar Grrrz Arandei
Bullfrog Le Roar Grrrz Blackberry
Bullfrog Le Roar Grrrz Blueberry
Bullfrog Le Roar Framboise
Bullfrog Oud Bruin
Bullfrog Rood Bruin Kriek
Captain Lawrence Hops & Roses
Cascade Vitis Noble
Cascade/The Bruery One Way or Another
Council Behind The Curtain
Council Vienne
Epic/The Commons-Common Interests
Draai Laag Black Briar
Draai Laag Razmata
Draai Laag Red Brair
Firestone Walker Sour Opal
Epic Brainless on Pineapple
Grassroots Artic Soiree
Green Bench Parallax
Green Bench/Brewski-Tiki Tack
Grimm Cherry Pop
Grimm Apricot Pop
Grimm Passionfruit Pop
Grimm Sunshine Pop
Grimm Super Spruce
Highway Manor Mr Blueberry
Jester King Das Wunderkind
Jester King Figlet
Jester King No Whalez Here
Jester King Buddha Brew
Jester King Simple Means
Jester King Mad Meg
Jolly Pumpkin la Vida Improvisacion
Jolly Pumpkin/Monkish Apocolocynposis
Jolly Pumpkin/Anchorage No Ka Ol
Libertine Board room #3
Libertine Framboise
Libertine Heard it through the Grapevine
Libertine Under My Plum
Libertine Pepe Le Pluot
New Belgium Geisha Grand Reserve
Prairie 4th Anniversary
Prairie Brett C
Prairie Apricot funk
Right Proper Astral Weeks
The Bruery Terreux Frucht: Raspberry
The Bruery Terreux/Garage Project-Ngongo
Victory Wisdom Hour

IN BOTTLES/SERVED BY THE GLASS
Cascade Sang Rouge
Cascade Noyaux
Cascade Strawberry
Cascade The Vibne
Cascade Kriek
Cascade Sang Noir
Cascade Figaro
Cascade Elderberry
Cascade Crazy navel
Cascade Tangerine Dream
Cascade Sang Du Chene

 

Tasters – A New Series in Blogtography

This post starts a new semi-regular series dedicated to blogtography, in which I will share photos I’ve taken, but never used in one of my posts.  It’s a series idea that I shamelessly admit to stealing from other bloggers, that I hope will become a regular feature here at tDoB.  How regular? To be honest, I don’t know.  I’m going free form on this one.  Maybe it will come down to when I think I have enough pictures to share.

You’ll notice it’s blogtography and not beertography, there’s a reason behind that.  Although a lot of my photographs center around activities concerning the main focus of my blog, some do not.  So from time to time some non-beer stuff will sneak in here as well.  After all, when I started this blog it wasn’t supposed to be just about beer, it just sorta…turned out that way.

That means photos of me right?

No Buddy, that does not mean photos of you.

Oh come on!  I think as photo editor I should appear in at least one photo in every post about photography.

We’re not turning this into Buddytography.  Now back off.  I got this.

Oh, you mean like you “got” the clogged toilet the other day.

Hey, I don’t want to know what the hell someone put down there, but that flood was not my fault!  Now if you don’t mind…

So why is it called “Tasters”?  Well, craft beer bars will sometimes have little pours of beer that your can buy, 6oz, 8oz, big enough to really experience the beer, but not so big that you end up drinking more beer than you want.  In several of the bars I go to, these are referred to as tasters.  And that’s what most of these pictures will be; photos I took for reviews that I never wrote, or ideas for posts that never coalesced, events that never got their own write up, or simply photos I shared on Facebook and Twitter (yes even with the new camera some of these with be phonetographs), but never used in on my blog.  Little ideas that never became big ones, but are still worthy of a sentence or two.

I think that’s all you need to know.  So let’s do this…

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A glass of Stumbling Monk at Stewart’s Brewery.  If you’re ever in Delaware and it’s on tap, I highly recommend you stopping by.  It took me a few tries to get the refractions in focus.

 

Swing!
Swing into Spring.

 

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Not a great photo with the focus point at the pile of empty glasses on the bar.  But I love the clutter and the blur of motion.  I think it captures the commotion of Max’s Belgian Fest pretty well.

How come I’ve never been there?

Because dogs aren’t allowed.

What?!?! There are places like that? Don’t people know?  Why isn’t something being done about this!?

 

Two Stones Mug
I wish the edges of the mug were a little sharper in this one. Still, I like the composition of this picture I took at Two Stones Pub.

 

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I love “down the bar” shots, and thought this one was nice.  I would have liked the head of the beer to be a little more in focus however.  I always find that I like pictures of beer better if the head is sharp. Tria’s in Philly.

 

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Not a really good picture, but one with a good lesson.  If you’re going to take wine photos, remember to remove the price label first.

BAH !!!!!!!!! You left the price tag on!  Slick move, Ansel Adams!

Shut up.

Champagne on Sunday.
Champagne on Sunday.

 

We had homemade egg rolls the other night and when we were done, we had two wrappers left.  So Tracey mixed bananas, peanut butter and a little chocolate sauce; froze the mixture a bit, wrapped, and deep fried it.  Scary good.
We had homemade egg rolls the other night and when we were done, we had two wrappers left. So Tracey mixed bananas, peanut butter and a little chocolate sauce; froze the mixture a bit, wrapped, and deep fried it. Scary good.

 

Sabon Estate's Zinfandel Port.  Sharon at Total Wine recommended it to us for a wine dinner when we were asked to bring something that would go good with chocolate cake.  Sharon says that Sabon pairs well with anything chocolate, and in a pinch, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
Sabon Estate’s Zinfandel Port. Sharon at Total Wine recommended it to us for a wine dinner when we were asked to bring something that would go good with chocolate cake. Sharon says that Sabon pairs well with anything chocolate, and in a pinch, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Highly recommended.

 

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Flying Dog teamed up with CAO cigars to release a “Pairing Pack“, four cigars that are each paired with a different Flying Dog beer.  And although I couldn’t get a hold of the pack, my cigar store does sell CAO.  This is CAO’s “Gold” which they suggest pairing with Raging Bitch.  Although I’m not an expert on cigar/beer pairings, I will say that cigar was really good, and didn’t fight with the beer at all.

 

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The required editor photo.

And the best picture of the bunch if I must say.

Shocking.  You’re just lucky I didn’t Photoshop a price sticker on your forehead.

Well that’s a good start I think.  Like I said, a majority of these are from “posts that could have been”, while others are just things I felt like taking a photo of.

He takes a lot of pictures of his food.

Shut up.

It’s REALLY embarrassing.

Go play.

Max’s 2012 Belgian Beer Fest

Lisa, Me and Tracey. Notice all the glasses in front of Tracey! And look at me being good with the water (Ok, I don't know where the water came from)

Finally getting around to posting a few words about Max’s Belgian Beer Fest (it was a month ago, man). Don’t know what Max’s Belgian Beer Fest is?  Over 100 Belgian and Belgian style inspired beers on draft.  Over 200 bottles.  Five hand pumped casks.  Three days.  Open to close.  No entrance fee.  Do I need to say more? Good!  See you there next year.  Let’s continue.

As usual Tracey and I arrived Thursday night to enjoy our customary “calm before the storm” night on Fell’s Point. A nice tapas dinner at Adela’s (we’d recommend it although some of the serving sizes would work better for four people than two), and a little bar hopping.

The next morning it begins.  Doors open at 11, but you have to get there a little early because the line to get in can get long.  I woke up and found out via Twitter that the first guy got in line at 6:45.  Yeah, that’s a little TO early.  For most people, standing in line waiting for the doors to open would seem like hell.  But to me after doing it for 5 years it’s actually become a nice time to catch up with fellow beer lovers (DOB Co-founder Chuck was on hand with his group) and make some new friends.  After all it’s a group of beer lovers, it’s pretty easy.

Brian Strumke (right) from Stillwater with his 9L bottle of As Follows.

Not long after securing our place in line we were greeted with a nice surprise.  Some of the staff members came out before opening and handed out a packet to everyone in line.  Each packet contained a draft and bottle list for the three bars, a postcard and a pen.  I almost tossed the card, until the guy explained to me what it was.  On the back was six lines, and next to each line were three boxes you could check; one for sampler, one for glass, one for bottle.  Write the beers you want, check the box for the size you want and hand them to the bartender.  For those of you who might be wondering why this is great, let me paint you a picture of beer ordering in the past.  You’re in a crowded bar, very  crowded, Pamplona running of the bulls crowded and you need to get a beer.  So you wait patiently 5 people deep from the bar until you finally get a bartender’s attention.  “What do you want?” he screams over the drone.  You shout out the beer you want across the masses.  He nods, turns and in a minute brings you your beer.  Easy right?  Yeah, maybe if you’re ordering a Bud but try it with a T’gaverhopke Koerseklakske!  Ummmmm, can I have a few more of those cards, please?

Once the doors opened we were greeted with a second surprise.  Stillwater Artisanal Brewing was there at the door handing out samples of their As Follows poured from a 9L bottle.  With beer in hand we made our way back to our usual spot, the back bar.  It’s actually to the side as you walk in, but whatever.  Surprise three…it’s gone.  Wait..not gone, moved.  We hadn’t really noticed when we were in line, but Max’s got a hold of the small tobacco store next to it and pushed the bar one room back from where it was.  So we got our place at the back bar and let the fun begin….almost….

The only problem with Max’s overall game plan was they didn’t label which bar list was for the upstairs bar and which one was for the back bar (the length of the one for the main bar makes that one obvious even for someone like me).  Add on top of that the fact that there was some overlap between the beers on the two lists and it made for a few rounds of confusion on our bartender Norris’ part.  But once he finally got us all on the same page (see what I did there?) it was indeed time to begin, and the cards worked great – especially at the main bar.

Now for those who have been playing along at home, you know that I do not take detailed notes at beer festivals.  That goes double for a beer festival where I’m not familiar with the beers, don’t have a shot at pronouncing their names and probably won’t see many of them again until next year at Max’s.  Running down my notes and checking out my Untappd feed I can tell you that I enjoyed beers with weird names like: Canaster Winter Scotch by Kleinbrouwerij de Glazen Toren, Zeezuiper by Scheldebrouwerij, Belle-Fleur india pale ale by Brouwerij De Dochter van de Korenaar, Tsjeeses Reserva by De Struise Brouwers, DeGlazen Toren Jan De Lichte, Oud Beersel Framboise, and Noel de Silenrieux.  The only two that I had that I knew were Draak 9000 Quad and Delirium Tremens.  As a side note, Delirium is the beer I always get first when I’m in Max’s while I figure out what my first beer is going to be.  And no, I didn’t type that wrong.

After spending a good portion of the afternoon in Max’s it was time to get out of the crowd and enjoy Fell’s Point.  Bars like Cat’s Eye, Leadbetters, and The Horse You Came In On awaited.  Random fact: the header photograph for this blog was taken by Tracey that day outside the Cat’s Eye.  I’m standing on a set of stairs just outside of a dutch door that you can’t enter the bar through.  I’m enjoying the sights and sounds (and an Acid Marado Maduro cigar) of Fells Point while  my beer is perched on a ledge on the inside of the door for easy convenience.

So if  crowds and unpronounceable beer names don’t scare you, come down to Baltimore next  year for President’s Day weekend and join us.  We’ll be there Friday morning at the back bar.  If you’d like to get a better idea of what to expect, you can check out pictures from this year’s event on Max’s facebook page where the two photos above came from.

Time for another beer…one I can pronounce…

The new card system.