The Booze Issue

There are always reasons to drink, but the start of this year, with lots of worry about our incoming president and the creeping cold of winter (which sometimes concedes and suddenly it’s nearly 70 degrees outside—also troubling!), boozing is particularly appealing this month. So we've got a Booze Issue, a quick guide to—as poets Prodigy and Havoc of Mobb Deep once said—"drink away the pain.” This week, Casey Embert chronicles a few nights of running around the city in search of cheap shots, cheap beer, and a Baltimore boozing scene separate from the dance parties and cocktail-spots most of our readers and staff usually check out; City Paper photo editor J.M. Giordano gives a glimpse of Baltimore Whiskey Company's whiskey- and gin-making processes; our movie critics recommend off-the-beaten path booze films; I review the recent novel “Suite For Barbara Loden” about cult director and actor Barbara Loden, best known for 1970's “Wanda,” a movie where the titular character's fate is sealed and where she is possibly saved in a bar; and Lisa Snowden-McCray celebrates Applebee's karaoke in White Marsh, where the food and booze are well, “acceptable,” but where the cast of characters are heroes of un-self-conscious crooning. Then there are the news-y reasons to drink: the aforementioned presidency of Donald Trump and the city's seeming cluelessness on how to properly handle its arts scene, particularly its DIY spots. And you can consider plenty of elements in this issue as things to read up on and then declare, “cheers to that”: the signed consent decree between Baltimore and the Department of Justice—a vital step toward police reform; the push to radically reform our screwed up bail system; and the opening of Press Press' brick-and-mortar publication workshop and reading library. Drink to all of that—not that you, dear reader, need a reason. (Brandon Soderberg)

  • A tour of some of the best bars for affordable booze and priceless conversation

    A tour of some of the best bars for affordable booze and priceless conversation

    In search of a more adventurous night out in Baltimore, I skipped my usual weekend dance parties in favor of Baltimore's storied neighborhood bars. Over a whirlwind of a week, I dragged along a few friends to visit a bunch of Baltimore's dive bars, corner joints, and neighborhood watering holes....

  • Boozy Movies: Three liquor-fueled flicks you maybe haven't seen

    Boozy Movies: Three liquor-fueled flicks you maybe haven't seen

    "Mean Streets" Currently streaming on Amazon Instant and iTunes Of all the films that explore director Martin Scorsese's wounded Catholicism, the story of Charlie (Harvey Keitel) and his self-flagellating friendship with perennial fuck-up Johnny Boy (Robert DeNiro) is perhaps the most iconic and...

  • Contact Sheet: Baltimore Whiskey Company

    Contact Sheet: Baltimore Whiskey Company

    Baltimore is a brewery town with a rich history of making beer that goes back 100-plus years, at least. More recently though, the city's creative brewers are shifting their sights on distilling. Baltimore Whiskey Company, Old Line Spirits, and further down the state, Lyon's Distilling, have dedicated...

  • Booze, pathos, and passivity in 'Suite For Barbara Loden'

    Booze, pathos, and passivity in 'Suite For Barbara Loden'

    Toward the end of Nathalie Léger's discursive, frequently fictional essay-novel, "Suite For Barbara Loden" (first published in 2012 but translated into English for the first time late last year), the author meets famous baseball player and infamous boozer Mickey Mantle, who possibly dated or slept...

  • Crunk-A-Bee's: In praise of Applebee's in White Marsh

    Crunk-A-Bee's: In praise of Applebee's in White Marsh

    Parenthood, especially when it's coupled with the energy-draining stressors of work responsibilities, and marriage, makes you do strange things—things that the single, childless version of you might have turned your nose up at. For me, it means that about once a week, my husband and I slip off...

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