Baltimore Brew, founded three and a half years ago by Washington Post alum Fern Shen, has become a must-read owing mainly to its close coverage of the city Board of Estimates and the ongoing drama at the steel mill. Much of the most interesting stuff is done by Mark Reutter, a Baltimorean and former Sun reporter (and union rep) from way back in the day. Reutter has long memory, a strong network of sources, and an unfailing eye for the important absurdity, and he writes like a demon. Along with other well-respected city journalists like Joan Jacobson and Deborah Rudacille, Shen has offered exclusive reports on matters large and small, such as the rain falling through the convention center’s roof at the recent Comic-Con. The site has also broken news about the mayoral campaign, including Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s receipt of $16,000 in campaign contributions from David Cordish, who is asking the city to forgo some $3 million in rent payments on the garage attached to his Power Plant Live. Stuff like that is no mere blogging; it’s hard work and smart analysis.