Midnight Sun Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene

Naptown Pint: FebBREWary arrives with plenty to drink

Here’s the thing about the holidays. Once they end, and we officially enter a new year, with renewed hopes and dreams for the future, all of the fun stuff goes away.

Instead of looking forward to memorable occasions with friends and family — punctuated with tacky, holiday-themed sweaters — I get to eagerly await the arrival of the gift of my W2s, so I can … file my taxes.

And since I’m one of those depressed, “I look like I just got picked last in kickball” Washington football fans, this time of year rarely gives me something to cheer about. I mean, I’m in the position of having to root for the Eagles this year. This truly is the darkest timeline.

Oh, worst of all, the foreboding return of icky warm weather feels more like a reality, with spring around the corner. Can’t we skip ahead to fall again? Asking for a friend.

But there is one beacon of hope that burns brightly in the darkness that is the first quarter of the year: the annual FeBREWary celebration of Maryland Craft Beer Lovers Month.

FeBREWary is a wonderful hybrid for local beer fans. On one hand, there are a collection of unique events across the state to help you make the most of the occasion.

For example, Love Thy Beer: Winter Warmer Showcase at the Silver Spring Civic Center on Feb. 16, presented by the Brewers Association of Maryland. It’s a chance for attendees to get up close and personal with big, bold, often exclusive beers and the brewers that make them, in an intimate setting.

Later, on Feb. 24, the third annual Love on Tap festival, where you can enjoy live music, unlimited tastings of more than 30 local craft beers and stunning bay views, right in the heart of Ocean City at Seacrets.

(Tickets for Love They Beer and Love on Tap can be found at www.marylandbeer.org and www.shorecraftbeer.com, respectively.)

In addition, a number of Maryland craft breweries have taken up the challenge of the Brewers Association of Maryland to brew a special beer to mark the occasion called Cupid’s Curse, including 7 Locks Brewing, Hysteria Brewing Company, Monocacy Brewing, Brewers Alley and others.

The recipe for each remains a secret until after Gov. Larry Hogan’s official toast to FeBREWary on the first of the month, and his own first pour of Cupid’s Curse.

On the other hand, beyond all of the official events and beers, FeBREWary is also a welcoming invitation to travel our state, visit new breweries and explore new destinations.

Personally, I know there are more than a handful of breweries in the Frederick area that I still need to visit. Like Rockwell Brewery, which knocked my socks off at last year’s Maryland Craft Beer Festival in Frederick.

Also, I need to show Montgomery County some love. Yes, I’ll make my usual stop at Denizens Brewing Co. — because I can’t get enough of their Southside Rye, their in-house macaroni and cheese or the inclusive atmosphere — but it is downright criminal that I’ve had (and loved) beers from both Brookeville Beer Farm and Waredaca, and I still haven’t made it out to either of the farm breweries.

I know, I know. I should just hand in my beer drinking card right now.

But, regardless of my own shortcomings as a Maryland beer lover, here’s my challenge to you.

Grab a couple of friends, and go to a new event — whether it’s an official FeBREWary throwdown or not — try a new beer and visit an unexplored brewery in a new community.

(Visitmaryland.org has a page dedicated to FeBREWary hotel packages and specials, featuring a number of fun vacation opportunities in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Ocean City and Silver Spring.)

Because the only thing that’s better than celebrating your love of Maryland beer with all of the beers and breweries you know is to explore new favorites that are just waiting for you to discover them.

Liz Murphy lives in Annapolis with her husband, Patrick, and their two lazy dogs, Horatio and Nugget. She runs her own Annapolis-based beer blog, Naptown Pint. You can reach her at liz@naptownpint.com.

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
32°