Football inspires drinking behavior like no other sport does. Baseball and soccer move too slow, and basketball and hockey too fast, for any fan to set a logical drinking pace. Leave it to football to build unbearable tension before each snap and release it into catharsis or despair, depending on whether or not your team scores—and force fans to calm the nerves with a few drinks each quarter. Or a bunch at a tailgate.
Supporters of the National Football League’s 32 teams fell into a familiar pattern starting Thursday, when the Green Bay Packers played the Chicago Bears (and the Packers won 10-3), and continuing in earnest on Sunday, when far more teams (including the hometown Ravens) kick their own seasons off.
Whether you’re a card-carrying member of the Ravens Flock, a die-hard of another nearby team or a #sportsball novice, you’re guaranteed a good game day if you panic-drink through each play at any of these local bars:*
With nearly two dozen beers on draft, three bars (not including the Purple Patio) for every Ravens game and a recently renewed bill of good sanitation, Mother’s Federal Hill Grille boasts a raucous experience like no other. Just ask the masses that flooded the Fed Hill staple, as well as the street outside, with black and purple after the Ravens beat the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII.
Between their picturesque rowhouses, comparable accents and ability for football fans to cheer “Go birds,” Baltimore and Philadelphia share a lot of similarities. Eagles fans in the area, including transplants and locals who needed a team post-Colts and pre-Ravens, have a natural Sunday home at MaGerk’s Pub & Grille in Federal Hill, down Charles Street from Mother’s. You needn’t love these or any other birds to come through, but the signature cheesesteaks and litany of midnight green memorabilia says enough about who runs the show.
Not down with the Fed Hill scene? Head north on Charles Street to Mid-Town Belvedere’s Turp’s Sports Bar & Restaurant for nachos, Old Bay-seasoned shrimp, build-your-own burgers, piles of wings and more game-ready grub. Chow down while you catch the game on one of the bar’s several TVs.
Looking for something more divey, where the drinks are cheap and the patrons tell you life secrets unprompted? Chasers in Canton will fit the bill. With some drafts as cheap as $2/pint, two rooms with high-def televisions and a atmosphere for all teams’ fans, Chasers is perfect for the person who wants to get lit on a budget. They haven’t served food in years, but don’t let that stop you from bringing your own—just make sure you have enough to share.
If harbor views and brews are more your thing, then The Admiral’s Cup in Fells Point has your back. Just don’t fall into the harbor after drinking one of the many local beers on tap at this historic waterfront spot. We promise you: no amount of oysters on the half-shell will help you get over the trauma of falling into the harbor. None.
*No list of local bars can fully capture how hard Baltimoreans go for their NFL team of choice. If we forgot your favorite bar, let us know on social media.**