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Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis to be Held at B&O Brasserie

February 9, 2014
Photo by J.M. Giordano

Brendan Dorr (photo by J.M. Giordano)

Fun fact: before prohibition killed the industry, Baltimore was one of the epicenters of rye whiskey. We were kind of the Kentucky of the stuff. So it’s no surprise that the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild (profiled in CP‘s recent Booze Issue), an organization dedicated to the history and advancement of libations, is featuring the spirit for their Rye’s Up Against Cystic Fibrosis Fundraiser.

The third annual event is set take place at the B&O American Brasserie on Sunday, February 23rd from 6-9pm and will feature various rye cocktails specially created by guild members representing the best cocktail bars in the city. Food will be served from the likes of B&O, Woodberry Kitchen, and Ten Ten, to name a few.

Brendan Dorr, head bartender at B&O and BBG President (and also profiled in the Booze Issue), tells us that “after beginning the Baltimore Bartenders’ Guild in 2010 we decided to host an annual fundraiser that would benefit the BBG along with a local charity. The first year we were able to donate approximately $2,000 and this past year we donated $3,000. The BBG is a non-profit so we try to use the money we make to help charities.”

The event will center around a cocktail competition featuring 16 different “bars” where attendees will get to vote on their favorite Bulleit or Dickel rye-based concoction. There will also be a people’s choice award for best food along with a celebrity panel determining which bartender takes home the grand prize.

Dorr tells us that “one of the goals in creating the BBG was to expand the local community of bartenders and then expand that group to a national level.” In keeping with that, the people’s choice winner will score a trip to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic while the grand prize winner will take home a trip to New Orleans for the Tales of the Cocktail conference. That’s our kind of conference.

“It’s very exciting to think that just a couple of years ago a few of us met and talked about what could come of creating a guild for craft bartenders and bartenders eager to learn more.” Dorr says, “Now we are bringing in bar professionals from other states, able to send bartenders to other events and give back to our community.”

Attendees can also expect local wine, beer from Union Brewing (a rye ale), a spirits and cocktail table for those not into Rye, and live jazz. Tickets are on sale now for $65, with around 30% of the proceeds going towards the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Maryland.