A must visit for any beer appreciator is Max’s Tap Room in Baltimore in the Fells Point area. Does it in the Beer Bar Pantheon of Monks, the Falling Rock in Denver or Toronado in San Francisco? Well, the evening I arrived there with some thirsty friends the day after the conclusion of Baltimore’s “Beer Week” I was delighted to find 17 different Boulder Brewery Beers available alone! Boulder Mojo on nitro was just the thing to start with, while my cohorts favored the Allagash Bourbon Black (9.5% ABV) or Stone’s luscious black IPA “Sublimely Self Righteous”.
After a brief self guided foray through the some 100 beers on the beer list, I gladly put myself in the capable hands of Jason the barman for the rest of the evening. As I asked him for an “unusual” recommendation I was pleasantly surprised to see Spanky of Philly’s own Nodding Head fame sampling an exotic brew at the bar. He said he liked Max’s a great deal, though commented “a bit too much Coors Light going over the bar for my taste”.
Jason’s recommendation for me was a special “Old Engine Oil” English porter fermented in a Balvenie Scotch cask from Scotland’s Harviestoun Brewery Ltd (8% ABV). It was a warming, complex brew reeking of nutty espresso flavors with the comforting smoky tang of peated malt. After a couple of these from Jason’s stash, I was feeling well lubricated by Old Engine Oil indeed.
We all had a great time, and the beer selection was really outrageous. Any beer appreciator would have an amazing time at Max’s, next time you are in Baltimore – forget the waterfront – head to the Tap House!