Whether you’re kicking back on the weekend or just visiting, there’s nothing so pleasant as traveling to the actual brewery or winery that produces the boozy goodness that flows through a city’s taps and glasses. We’re lucky in Baltimore, which claims both rich craft-brewing and viniculture scenes, and you don’t have to travel much more than half an hour, if that, to experience them.
Heavy Seas (4615 Hollins Ferry Road, Halethorpe,  247-7822, hsbeer.com) churns out a number of beers but are best known for their aromatic, triple-hopped Loose Cannon IPA. They offer tours nearly every Saturday and frequently throw all-you-can-drink events at the brewery, like their annual beer and bacon festival, held in September.
Peabody Heights Brewery (401 E. 30th St.,  467-7837, peabodyheightbrewery.com) houses four different breweries at the moment Raven Beer, Public Works Ale, Full Tilt Brewing, and Mountain State Brewing Co.—and a fifth is expected to join the co-op space soon. As of press time, they aren’t open for tours (as the youngest production brewery in the city, we’ll excuse them), but they’re just waiting to get their liquor license, so make sure to check their website for updates.
Union Craft Brewing (1700 Union Ave.,  467-0290, unioncraftbrewing.com) arrived on the Baltimore brewing circuit in June 2012 and has injected true diversity to the styles available from local breweries—in their first year of business, they made 13 styles, including a gose, a Berlinerweisse, and an award-winning altbier. Tours happen most every Saturday afternoon, unless there’s a special event, and the city’s best food trucks often show up outside.
Others: While it’s not a production brewery, The Brewer’s Art (1106 N. Charles St.,  547-6925,thebrewersart.com) makes some of the city’s best beers in its converted-mansion brewpub; also not to be overlooked in the brewpub scene is Pratt Street Ale House (206 W. Pratt St.,  244-8900, prattstreetalehouse.com), which operates Oliver Breweries, the longest-running brewpub in the city, in its facilities. Baltimore has received some international attention due to gypsy brewer Brian Strumke, whose Stillwater Artisanal Ales are brewed in breweries the world over, and in 2012 Strumke opened up the Brewer’s Hill restaurant/bar Of Love and Regret(1028 S. Conkling St.,  327-0760, ofloveandregret.com), which is as good a place as any to sample his wares. And finally, the chocolate-peanut butter porter that’s caused a frenzy among new-to-craft-brew drinkers, Sweet Baby Jesus, is made by local DuClaw Brewing Company, which has various outposts in the greater Baltimore area (see duclaw.com) and which recently moved its headquarters to Rosedale; alas, there is no tasting room as of yet.
Basignani Winery (15722 Falls Road, Sparks,  472-0703, basignani.com) is just north of Hunt Valley—a short trek up I-83—and has been around for 25 years, making everything from chardonnay to merlot. They offer a range of events there, from movie nights and holiday open houses to more wine-centric activities like their sweet-wines celebration, Swing into Spring, and harvest weekends where you can help collect the grapes.
Boordy Vineyards (12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes,  592-5015, boordy.com), in scenic Hydes, Md., is a mere 25 miles outside the city, but you’ll feel as if you had traveled further than that at its pastoral setting. Guided tastings and tours of the vineyard are given daily. Plus, they host a seasonal concert series and farmers market as well as productions by the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory.
Millstone Cellars (2029 Monkton Road, Monkton, millstonecellars.com) is more of a cidery—but we’re not fussy when it comes to their outstanding artisanal ciders and meads. They’re open for tours and tastings every Saturday, and the drive there is worth it for the views alone, but the smooth, apple-y array of products they offer makes it doubly worth the trip.
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