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Explore the many ways to celebrate American Craft Beer Week

May 13, 2013

acbwThis week marks the celebration of a made-up marketing gimmick, but one that’s a little easier to swallow than many: American Craft Beer Week, from May 13-19. High-end beer-drinking opportunities abound.

Old standby Max’s Taphouse highlights a different style of beer every day this week. Today, May 13, it’s mouth-puckering sours, including Allagash’s oak tank-aged FV 13 in bottles as well as The Bruery’s tart and wheaty Hottenroth Berliner Weisse on draft; many others available. Tuesday features a lengthy list of hoppy brews. Look for Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on nitro, Elysian’s Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale Ale on draft, and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid on cask. Wednesday is dedicated to Belgians and Belgian-styles (saisons, quads, etc.). Thursday showcases the bar’s barrel-aged stash, with lots of bourbon and oak represented. There are stouts aplenty in Friday’s dark ales selection. Max’s breaks out the experimental offerings on Saturday, with Stillwater’s brettanomyces-fermented malt liquor, Forty Faave, and Berlin, Maryland’s Burley Oak brewery’s Rude Boy red ale with added marshmallows, parsnips, and tangelos on cask. Sunday is a bit of a mishmash, with a wheats/wits/ales/lagers roundup.

The sister joint to Pratt Street Ale House in Columbia, The Ale House hosts a beer dinner tonight, featuring beers from Oliver Breweries and Flying Dog. The Ale House also pits DuClaw against Oliver in a cask-ale showdown on May 17; whoever’s casks kick first wins.

Towson’s Charles Village Pub makes room for 12 Heavy Seas drafts on Tuesday, including high-gravity beers like Big DIPA (a double IPA aged on oak) and Holy Sheet (brandy barrel-aged abbey ale). You can also grab Holy Sheet on Wednesday at the Heavy Seas Ale House, where they’re giving out snifter glasses till they run out.

The week is rounded out by the Maryland Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, in Frederick. Almost every brewery and brewpub in the state will be pouring, including lesser-knowns like Westminster’s Johansson’s and Hampstead’s Ruhlman Brewing. (Drunk) Buses sponsored and hosted by Heavy Seas and the new Baltimore County-based DuClaw are shuttling people to and from Frederick.

As all the beer salesmen around town say, cheers!