Rustic bohemian village, Elliott City, an old milling and manufacturing community,  featured Old World charm, unrefined antiquity, and the B&O Railroad Museum. Along steep hillside in gray-stone green-trimmed building, ELLICOTT MILLS BREWING (opened 1997) was originally visited November ’06. Interior had windowed brew tanks, exposed ducts, and copper-top wooden tables. Left bar featured huge wood-column mantle and twin TV’s. Catacomb-like lower-level Batskellar offered single malt Scotch, cigars, and bar specials while loft dining space served family-office parties.

Appetizers, salads, pasta, seafood, and wild game went well with wort-nosed sour-fruited mineral-grained vegetal-oiled rye-finishing Alpenhof Kolsch, dry-hopped fruit-soured cereal-biscuit-y Illchester Ale, earthen rye-breaded fig-dipped caramel-nutty Redrum Ale, and phenol chocolate-malted date-dried Semper Fi Strong Ale. Best bet: Scotch whiskey-fronted raisin-fig-dried toffee-lingered Bock Of The Bat.

Upon January 2011 revisit, sat at copper-topped stainless-steeled left side bar to sample a few goodies while the lunchtime crowd rolled in. It seemed as if each brew’s flavor profile led nicely right into the next.

Best-selling hop-spiced sugar-malted Marzen attained buttery walnut resolve above orange-soured finish. Australian-styled lager, Boomerang, brought sour butterscotch-malted orange-rotted candi-sugared fig-cherry spurt to musty fungi yeast. Buttery fig-date-soured caramel-toffee-malted hazelnut-pecan-backed Dunkel gained murky fungi funk and cellar mustiness.

Even better was nut-roasted crystal-sugared Brown Ale, with its careening honeyed walnut, pecan, chestnut, macadamia, and butternut illusions. Not far behind, soft coffee-burnt toffee-malted German-styled Dopplebock gained apple-bruised pear-browned fig spicing.


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