In the hilly Mount Vernon section of Baltimore, fabulous BREWER’S ART served buoyant handcrafted Belgian-style ales and a great international selection on initial family visitation for dinner, February ‘05.
Its inconspicuous frontage makes it appear as a private residence, but upon entering, first floor bar features beautiful federalist design and mahogany-carved columns leading to upscale dining area and rear copper kettle tanks. Basement level bar recalls ancient dungeons with its dank cement floors, cryptic wine cellar, and fermentation tanks.
Besides the fabulously hand-crafted Brewer’s Art fare, a hand-picked crop of Belgian (Chimay, DeRanke, Dupont, Duvel, Lindeman’s) and German brews (Aecht, Kostritzer, Schneider) crowd the variegated menu.
Symbolic Abbey-styled dubbel, Resurrection, conceals orange rind bittering below phenol candi-sugared raisin-pureed plum-ripe tangerine-cherry sweetness.
Dry-bodied Proletary Dark Ale gains smoky chocolate roast to resin-hopped raisin-fig finish. Mildly carbonated coriander-clove-speckled nectar-apricot-beckoned Cerberus Tripel proved to be acute crossover.
Lemony banana-bruised peppercorn-etched Ozzy, diacetyl herbal-hopped citron-perfumed House Pale Ale, and bubblegummy banana-pineapple-fronted floral-doused peat-backed La Petroleuse suitably introduce lighter thirsts to richer, fruitier Belgian fare.
During January 2011 dinnertime sojourn with old pal, Dennis Flubacher, sat at graffiti-covered back table in dank catacomb-like cellar consuming terrific upscale cuisine (Duck Condit and Utz Crusted Cod) while quaffing one untried Belgian-inspired libation and two great flagship standards. Dingily appealing dark-lit backroom was perfectly contraire setting for absolutely delightful beer-food pairings.
Mild Belgian-styled pale ale, Zodiac, defined as a ‘session beer,’ integrates herbal chamomile-rosemary conflux, black-peppered hop bittering, earthen barnyard funk, and perfumed spices with sweet crystal malting.
Musk-y fungi-molded orange-peppered La Petroleuse, an uncommon Biere De Garde previously quaffed ’05, saddles creamy caramel malting with hop-spiced dark floral potpourri.
Truly reminiscent of Duvel, also retried Ozzy, a musty herb-fettered black-peppered citric-dried Belgian strong pale ale with candi-sugared apple-peach-pear perk, briny rosemary-sage-thyme lurk, and mild orange compote slurp razing earthen barnyard funk.