Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hitting the Rapids in Search of Beer


As we mentioned last week, a couple us planned on going on a canoe paddle and brewery tour with River and Trail Outfitters.

We met near Frederick, MD, a town about an hour or less from Washington DC. The downtown is quite charming and even boasts some quality dining options. The surrounding area is filled with outdoor adventure and access to four historic rivers.

We gathered at 9:30 Saturday morning south of Buckeyestown, MD on the Monocacy River and were driven as a group upstream to the canoe launch place. It was a beautiful hot sunny day and we brought a few cans of beer with us. There were some rapids that would have been more fun if the river was a little higher. Half way through the canoe trip, our guide, Mike talked to the group about the importance of the river and the necessity to keep it clean.

When we were done with the three hour paddle, we were naturally parched. We caravanned to Barley & Hops Grill and Microbrewery. We were given five samples of their beer and got to choose our favorite to have a pint of. Larry, the brew master was our host and taught us a lot about beer and even gave some tips to the home brewers.

The five we have were all quality, I chose the stout, and my friends chose the Pale Ale. The seasonal Hefeweizen was the most popular among the group; of the 27 people in the group, 14 chose that as their pint.

Larry previously brewed for Flying Dog and his passion for brewing came out in his speech. He is responsible for their Raging Bitch Belgian India Pale Ale.

All in all, I would do each activity separate. Being on the river was great, but I didn’t feel that I got to sample the beers enough. Which is too bad, as the beer was very good.

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