Resurrection Ale is perhaps the most desired draft beer in Baltimore.
Everybody wants it. Only a few bars have it. But there's only so much to go around.
Resurrection is the signature beer of the Brewer's Art, which makes the popular ale in-house. About 50 bars and restaurants in the region serve Resurrection on tap: Everybody from Max's Taphouse in Fells Point to Idle Hour in South Baltimore to, oddly enough, Bill Bateman's in Towson.
Since Brewer's Art can only make so much Resurrection -- about 30 kegs a week get shipped out -- and they're already at capacity, it's almost impossible for a new bar or restaurant to start offering it.
"The folks who have it don't give it up," said co-owner Volker Stewart. "If the beer becomes available, it's usually because someone goes out of business." ...
When an account opens up, Brewer's Art and the wholesaler decide which bar or restaurant gets the suds. Bar owners are constantly calling Stewart, asking is they can get Resurrection on tap. It puts Stewart in an awkward position, he said.
"We're glad people enjoy the beer, but a lot of people get steamed when they hear 'No,'" he said. "After a while, it gets tiring to get those phone calls."
Stewart has thought about expanding the brewing operations in a new location, but said with the current liquor laws, it just isn't feasible.
"It would mean going out of state," he said.
Brewer's Art could make more Resurrection if they cut back on their seasonal drafts (such as their delicious St. Festivus holiday ale), but Stewart doesn't want to do that either.
"If I went to the brewery operations guy and said, 'Make less seasonals and make more Resurrection,' you'd see me hanging from the lamp post outside the place," he said.
For now, Resurrection will continue to be one of the region's most in-demand brews.
"On the one hand, it's a good complaint to have," Stewart said. "On the other hand, it causes us a little grief from time to time."
While we're on the subject of Brewer's Art, there are still a handful of tickets left for their annual holiday beer tasting Dec. 12. If you're a beer geek, you're going to want to check this out: About a dozen of the region's breweries will be on hand with their holiday beers. Call 410-547-6925 for more info.
(Baltimore Sun archive photo)