734 S. Broadway, berthas.com, (410) 327-5795
According to the Beer Institute, Maryland is seriously losing the beer-drinking competition and has been for some time now. In 2011, each drinking-age person in New Hampshire drank an average of 43 gallons of beer, yet Maryland boozehounds only guzzled 23.3 gallons-down from nearly 26 gallons in 2003, when the New Hampshire lushes drank almost 44 gallons of beer per legal-age person. We're pretty sure any one of us here at Baltimore's beer-drinkingest weekly drinks as much beer, each summer, as your average New Hampshirean drinks in a year, so it's time the rest of you catch up. And we can tell you where to do so: Bertha's. The Fells Point institution is one of the few places in the city where you can get cask-pulled ale-Oliver's Best Bitters-which is especially nice. But Bertha's is a small place with an 11-tap setup that includes something to sate the tastes of any serious beer-lover (including well-pulled Guinness, and, for those with the stomach for it, Dry Blackthorn cider). Macrobrews are available in cans (Natty Boh, Miller Lite, Coor's Light) and bottles (Miller High Life, Bud, Bud Light), as are microbrews (Resurrection and Dale's Pale Ale in cans). Plus, where else can you have delicious chicken livers and beer on a Sunday midday while live, unamplified jazz plays. If we Free Staters want to get anywhere close to New Hampshire's beer-drinking over-indulgence, our best bet is to spend more middays drinking beer and eating chicken livers at Bertha's. Every single one of us can make a difference.