Beer list at John Steven's
Brewtopia Events LLC

Some of the Best Beer Places in
Baltimore, MD

Dart room at Max's

  Baltimore's Brewpubs | Beer Bars | Microbrews

This scrapbook is from Owen Ogletree, Kerri Allen, Lari Cowgill and Thel Melton's excursion to seek out the places for the best beer in the harbor town of Baltimore.  Please feel free to email Owen with any comments, corrections or additions.
Click here to view our downtown map that we marked with location numbers that correspond to the pub numbers on this page.

Photos and Text by Owen Ogletree - Posted January, 2006

Brewtopia Events
City Beer Guides



Brewer's Art
1106 N. Charles Street (#1 on map), ph: 410-547-6925
This elegant brewpub features Belgian-style house beer and food.  The front bar has big glass windows through which patrons can see the sights on Charles Street.  Check out the impressive chandelier and unique hand-carved tap handles.  The beer list includes: Ozzy (Belgian Strong Golden Ale), Resurrection (abbey-style brown ale), Proletary (Brussels-style dark ale), House Pale Ale and Cerberus Tripel.  The excellent brews are $3.75 per glass ($2.50 during happy hour).  The restaurant in back offers delicious, European-style, gourmet food items, and the basement bar has a cellar-like charm all its own.

32-36 E. Cross Street (#4 on map), ph: 410-539-2093
Pictured above is Thel, Kerri and Lari outside what used to be Sisson's brewpub.  Ryleigh's now contract brews some pleasant ales and offers satisfying pub grub (clams, oysters, crab cakes, sandwiches and burgers) and multiple TVs for sports viewing.  Beers include Marble Golden Ale, Hill's Dizzy Blonde, Ryleigh's Best Amber Ale and Ryleigh's Revenge IPA.  There are five other beers on tap and a range of bottled beers.

Capitol City Brewing Company
301 South Light St. in Harbor Place (#5 on map), ph: 410-539-PINT
The photo shows Capitol City's brewer Mike Morris in front of his serving tanks that are located in the main dining area of this pleasant brewpub that overlooks the harbor.  For two years Mike has produced some outstanding beers the likes of Capitol Kolsch, Amber Waves, Pale Rider Pale Ale, Prohibition Porter and flavorful seasonal selections.  The food menu consists of delicious sandwiches and local seafood items.

DuClaw Brewing Company
901 S. Bond Street (#6 on map), ph: 410-563-3400
DuClaw is an upscale brewpub in Fell's Point offering a very interesting and eclectic menu and house beers such as Kangaroo Love (light lager), Misfit Red (amber ale), Bare Ass Blonde Ale (golden ale with mild hop character), Bad Moon Porter, and Venom Pale Ale (People's Choice winner - 2001 Maryland Craft Beer Festival).

Wharf Rat Restaurant & Brewpub
206 W. Pratt Street (#8 on map), ph: 410-244-8900
Wharf Rat is perhaps the most famous brewpub in Baltimore, and has seen its ups and downs over the years.  When we visited in January of 2006 the beers were quite good for the most part, but the dining room was closed for "cleaning" and the bar staff was a bit flippant (we overheard one bartender tell a group of Coors Light drinkers not to worry about us - we were "just a bunch of beer snobs.")  Some of the cask ales were somewhat tart and oxidized, but most were pleasant.  Until 7 PM you may try three different half pints for only $4.  Select from Oliver Best Bitter, ESB, Irish Red, Ironman Pale Ale, Summer Light, Blonde Ale, Old Ale, Pagan Porter, Strong Pale Ale, Hot Monkey Love and regular seasonals. The crumbling brewery is very small and dungeon-like with an old style brick-clad brew kettle in the center. Steamed shrimp, oysters, crab cake, big sandwiches, and seafood soups highlight the menu.

734 South Broadway (#9 on map), ph: 410-327-5795
You will probably see bumper stickers all over Baltimore that tell you to "Eat Bertha's Mussels."  This tiny pub is located in Fell's Point and offers a decent beer selection, one or two cask-conditioned ales, a friendly local crowd and some really good seafood selections.

John Steven Ltd.
1800 Thames Street (#14 on map), ph: 410-327-5561
This is a very attractive, friendly, casual pub in Fells Point that stocks around 20 drafts and 20 bottled beers that include many local and regional brews from Oxford, Wharf Rat, Clipper City, Clay Pipe and Brewer's Art.  The front door opens into the main bar, and there is also a side dining room (with African art) and a heated patio.  Hungry?  Try the crab stuffed flounder, Mediterranean red snapper, broiled grouper, crab cake, sirloin steak, lobster roll, salmon BLT, chuck burger, fried oyster sandwich, rack of lamb, stuffed eggplant or even crab pizza. 

2706 Dillon Street (#15 on map), ph: 410-276-9899
You may have to grab a taxi to make the short trip just east of Fells Point to Mahaffey's, but it will definitely be worth the trip.  Owner Wayne Mahaffey works hard to make sure that this is one of the most enjoyable and friendly neighborhood pubs in the entire city.  The pub is filled with beer memorabilia and now has an upstairs lounge.  Mahaffey's stocks a big, intelligent beer selection and has the only cask-conditioned beer engine in the gentrified neighborhood of Canton.  Wayne organizes five beer tastings a year that are very popular and also offers a "100 Beer Club" that awards a t-shirt, mug and name on a plaque to any loyal customer who tries 100 different beers. even has a list of all members and the beers they've consumed!  Chef Brian creates some flavorful Caribbean/Latin type foods items and house-made sauces at his tiny grill behind the bar.  Mahaffey's has been open since 2002.

Max's Taphouse
737 South Broadway (#17 on map), ph: 410-675-MAXS
Pictured above is general manager and cellarman for Max's on Broadway - Casey Hard.  If you are a huge beer fan and your time in Baltimore is short, then head straight to MAX'S for the BEST beer selection in the city.  Casey stocks all the gourmet microbrewed and imported beers that are available, and the beer list of 70 drafts, two hand pumps, many special reserve aged beers, and over 300 bottles is immensely impressive.  The draft lines at Max's are kept extremely clean, and nothing stays on tap longer than a month.  Two cask ales are imported from England in the winter and locally produced cask selections are offered in the summer months.  Owner Ron Furman says "Casey is fanatical about beer, does a terrific job and is very serious about making sure every customer has great beer and a fun experience at Max's.

The draft "prescriptions" board at Max's Taphouse

There are many employees at Max's that have multiple year tenures, and their customers are loyal lovers of craft beer.  Max's holds a 72 hour Belgian beer fest in February that features $3 samples of 35 drafts and 120 bottles along with Belgian food items.  The beer list is updated on a daily basis, and the vintage cooler (pictured with Casey above/right) boasts several years of certain strong beers.  Popular beer dinners are held every three months with 5-7 beers and a variety of foods and guest speakers.  Max's regular menu is filled with tasty items such as wings, nachos, mussels, chili, burgers, grilled chicken and wraps.  The popular "Monday Sucks" happy hour offers $1 off most drafts from open to close.

One Eyed Mike's
708 South Bond Street (#16 on map), ph: 410-327-9823
One Eyed Mike's pub/restaurant has some of the very best crab cakes in Baltimore, and the entire menu is filled with great seafood entrees.  The bar is up front and the dining room with white table cloths is in the rear.  The beer selection is respectable, but we couldn't quite figure out the pub's obsession with Grand Marnier.  Closed on Sunday.

Other Baltimore Pubs & Beer Spots to Visit...
  • Clipper City Brewing Company (microbrewery), 4615 Hollins Ferry Road (a ten minute drive from downtown out near the airport), ph: 410-247-7822.   Fantastic beers and tours on occasion - call ahead.
  • Cat's Eye Pub, 1730 Thames Street - Fells Point (#10 on map), ph: 410-276-9085.   Small beer selection and live music.
  • Duda's Tavern, 1600 Thames Street - Fells Point (#11 on map), ph: 410-276-9719.
  • Growler's Pub, 600 S. Potomac Street (#12 on map - east of Fells Point), ph: 410-276-7553.
  • Horse You Came In On, 1626 Thames Street (#13 on map), ph: 410-327-8111.   Very average beer list.
  • Mick O'Shea's Irish Pub, 328 N. Charles Street (#17.5 on map), ph: 410-539-7504.   Fresh Guinness and hearty food.
  • Owl Bar, 1 E. Chase Street (#18 on map - near Brewer's Art), ph: 410-347-0888.   Nice old bar in a hotel.
  • Thirsty Dog Pub, 20 E. Cross Street (#22 on map), ph: 410-727-6077.
  • Wharf Rat at Fells Point, 801 South Ann Street (#23 on map), ph: 410-276-9034.   Sister pub for the downtown brewpub location.

"Cooking and great beer often go together, which is definitely true in Baltimore as it is in the rest of the worldBarbecues and grills here can often be found cooking delicious things like fresh crab."

2006 Brewtopia Events LLC
Classic City Brew Fest - Athens, GA | Baltimore Pub Map | Beer Guides to Selected Cities | Evaluations of Commercial Beers
E-mail us with your questions or comments.Beer and Cheese Pairings
E-mail us to subscribe to our Electronic Brewsletter