ST. MICHAELS, MARYLAND
Moving next door to its original small garage space to a red barn-doored, gable-roofed millhouse, EASTERN SHORE BREWING celebrated its 17th anniversary upon my second trip to romantic St. Michaels. Its old wood floor and plank wood topped bar provide splendid rusticity and sundry small tables and community tables get squeezed closely.
Tightening up its beer lineup with a rounded selection of fine elixirs, I discovered five previously untried brews upon my Friday eve January ’24 stopover.
Dry moderate-bodied flagship, Back Creek Blonde, let spritzy lemon musk soak up mild Columbus/ Chinook-hopped pining and wispy beechwood sear above crackery white wheat base.
Another current year-rounder, Situation Critical IPA, brought ‘copious’ West Coast-styled hops (Cascade, Citra, Centennial, Columbus) to the fore as lemony grapefruit, orange and pineapple tanginess gained subtle floral pining and tart dried currant nip.
An Orange Crush cocktail with bold 10% ABV, Summer Crush let its tangy orange-tangerine sugaring receive icy lemon-limed vodka briskness as well as latent grapefruit rind bittering.
Milkshake-styled New England IPA, Strawberry Shakedown, graced its bittersweet strawberry puree tartness with lactose-sugared oated wheat creaming.
A pleasant dessert-like nightcap, Midnight Eclipse Milk Stout contrasted its milk-sugared coffee creaming and mild maple molasses syruping with dark chocolate bittering.
ORIGINAL 2009 ARTICLE
Imagine, if you will, a small backstreet Key West brewhouse relocated on Chesapeake Bay’s inner harbor. Upon entering the heart of St. Michaels, a romantic retreat with antique shops, quaint eateries, and Old World charm, resides EASTERN SHORE BREWING, a tiny microbrew opened in ’09.
Along with delicious oysters, quaffed four pleasingly blue collar brews during April ’09 Food & Wine Festival. Head brewer Adrian Moritz and assistant Kurt Longenecker served tap versions of honey-soured, banana-clove-bubblegum-sweetened, lemon seed-embittered, grassy-hopped Magic Hefeweizen, mild lemony orange-embittered, Scotch-honeyed Lighthause Ale, molasses-spiced caramel-malted orange-soured astringency St. Michaels Amber Ale (a year round staple) and drier barnyard-wafted Cascade-hopped grapefruit-embittered wood-toned rye-dabbed Knot So Pale Ale. Bottled versions are better reviewed in Beer Index.
Within walking distance, Ava’s Pizza had delicious homestyle pizzas, such as Onion Tart, and 100 quality microbrews on tap or in bottle.