Craft beer bar the Brass Tap set to open Monday in Baltimore

The Brass Tap, a craft beer bar chain, is set to open in Mid-Town Belvedere next week.

Maryland’s first Brass Tap, a chain bar and restaurant focusing on craft beer, will open 11 a.m. Monday inside the Fitzgerald apartment building in Mid-Town Belvedere, said franchisee Barry Lowenthal. 

Lowenthal, a Baltimore resident, originally hoped to open the nearly 3,200-square-foot operation in the fall, but permitting delayed the opening by two months, he said.

On Saturday, the Brass Tap will host an invitation-only event to prepare for Monday.

“It’s as much a test run for our staff as it is anything else,” said Lowenthal, who owns the location with two other Lowenthals — his wife, Pauline, and brother Michael.

While the Brass Tap serves cocktails and wine, the focus is craft beer, he said.

There are 60 draft lines, two casks and 118 bottles and cans. Lowenthal said 38 draft options come from within a “three-hour circle,” which goes as far north as Easton, Pa., and as south as Charlottesville, Va. Baltimore brands on tap include Union Craft Brewing, Heavy Seas Beers, DuClaw Brewing Co., Charm City Meadworks, Peabody Heights Brewing and Oliver Brewing Co. 

Beer will regularly cost between $6-$8 per pint, Lowenthal said. He’s contractually obligated to keep five specific beers on tap, though he said he was not able to say which ones. The rest are his choice. 

"I can safely say on the five prescribed lines, I would have had all of those on in one variation or another,” he said.

The first cask beers, which are unfiltered and unpasteurised, are from Maryland: Flying Dog's Mango Habanero IPA and a barrel-aged Winter Storm ale from Heavy Seas.

The food menu features sharable plates that will look familiar to sports bar haunts: chicken tacos, flatbreads, beer cheese, hot wings, French dip sliders and more. The items will be discounted during happy hour, which takes place 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Specials for drinks, like a $7 beer flight and $4 house wine, will also be available during that time.

The restaurant seats 95 people inside, and in the spring, it will add 32 seats when the patio opens. Lowenthal believes the Brass Tap, which has 15 flatscreen TVs, will appeal to customers looking to learn more about craft beer in a familiar setting.

“I think there are folks for whom a taproom is just not an attractive scene,” Lowenthal said. “Hopefully we can be the kind of place that is more comfortable for them.”

The Brass Tap is located at 1205 W. Mount Royal Avenue. Starting Monday, it will be open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily. Saturday and Sunday brunch service begins Jan. 14.

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