If you know me (and by default, my husband too), then you know we love beer…craft beer to be exact.
In fact, every vacation we go on, we typically like to locate a brewery nearby so we can stop by for a tour, a tasting, and the experience. This tradition started a few years back with, in my opinion, one of the best craft breweries around…Cisco Brewery on Nantucket. We happened to be on the island for a wedding and it didn’t take us long to find the one and only local brewery. It was awesome! So awesome in fact, that we returned for happy hour everyday for the rest of our trip.
Since then, we’ve gone to a few Long Island breweries, a Virginia brewery, a few Florida breweries, a South Carolina brewery, a Massachusetts brewery, and some nearby Maryland breweries just to name a few. And if by chance we find ourselves with time to spare in a random place, we always hunt down a brewery.
So we weren’t surprised when some friends called us up a few months ago and told us that they’d purchased some tickets for St. Michaels BrewFest. We were undoubtedly in.
In case you aren’t from around here, St. Michaels is a quaint little Eastern Shore town that calls itself the “Town that fooled the British” from back in the War of 1812. So, it’s pretty historic and really cute.
This year marked the first year of the annual (I hope) Brewfest. What an experience! The day was beautiful…think 70’s and sunny. Not a cloud in the sky! It was the perfect day for some beer.
The event was spread out in three venues around town, so after arriving via boat, we set out to get our badges and glasses. First stop…Eastern Shore Brewing.
Once we had our glasses, we sampled a variety of beers. The breweries present at this stop were Devil’s Back Bone, Victory, Heavy Seas, Duclaw, Flying Dog, Terrapin, Boulevard, Yards, and Eastern Shore Brewing. They all had a few varieties to choose from but my favorites included the Devil’s Back Bone Striped Bass Pale Ale and their Pear Lager, The Duclaw Blueberry Wheat Beer, and Victory’s Hop Ticket.
We were off to a great start!
Next stop: Foxy’s where we sampled from the following breweries: Dogfish Head, Boston Beer Co, 16 Mile, Tall Tales, Burley Oak, Union, Brewer’s Art, Southern Tier, Allagash, and Lagunitas. My favorites included the Brewer’s Art Birdhouse beer, the Laqunitas IPA, and the Boston Beer Co Rebel IPA.
By the time we finished at this stop, we need to refuel. Can you blame us? We swung into Ava’s pizzeria for some pies. Check out their awesome fountain!
The last stop of the day was the Crab Claw where beers from DC Brau, National Premium, Fordham, Third Wave, Stone, Troegs, Real Ale Revival, and Evolution were being poured.
By this point, we’d been sampling and standing for about 3 hours and we were losing steam. I sampled two beers here and I have to admit that I shared them. The Real Ale Revival Nanicoke Nectar was a fruit infused beer and it was good. My favorite was the Evolution Summer Ale. We are huge fans of their Sprung Spring seasonal, so I was anxious to try their Summer blend and it did not disappoint.
All in all, I loved the BrewFest and I can’t wait to attend it next year. I see great things for this festival. One, the location cannot be matched and if you happen to have the luxury of arriving by boat, you can avoid beach traffic. The town of St. Michaels makes a great backdrop for this festival (see below photo where we were casually strolling down a beautiful shaded street). And, the beer! The beer was great. Not only were old favorites available, but it was also an excellent opportunity to experience some of the off-the-wall brews without committing to a whole pint. Oh, and did I mention, all of this cost only $30 and we got to save the glasses so we can savor the memory. Pretty cool!
See you next year, St. Michaels BrewFest!