Friday, October 28, 2016

Hiking and Maryland Beer at Sugarloaf Mountain

Normally after a nice climb up Sugarloaf Mountain we descend and head directly to one of the top wineries in Maryland, Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard. However, this past weekend we decided to investigate a nearby year-old brewery: Mad Science Brewing Company.

theCompass Winery, Brewery, Distillery Locator Mobile App showed us that the brewery is located north of the mountain on a route to Frederick. It is located in Thanksgiving Farm; grows Columbus/Zeus, Nugget, Centennial, Cascade, and Magnum hops; and is as nano as possible. On our visit there were four beers available: Helles Belles lager, Rye-Sin Amber IPA, Antidote Pale Ale, and Hemophilia, an Imperial Stout on draft and nitro. This was very tasty, even refreshing after the hike. More refreshing was the Helles Belles. This is a fantastic beer, light but flavorful with the right amount of minerality and hops. Well done. And a fellow hiker raved about the Antidote so there are good things coming out of this nano brewery.

After a round, hunger set in so we headed into Frederick to the long running restaurant-brewpub Barley & Hops. In fact, the brewery has been operating since 1999 producing a wide range of beer styles.  Over bratwurst I chose a sampler of the Catoctin Clear Blonde Lager, Vinz Clortho Gose, Gore'd Pumpkin Duppel, and Drunk Dial Porter.  The lager was very good, flavorful, just not the minerality and hop balance as the Mad Science version. The gose was very interesting, tart and smokey. The last two were my favorites with the pumpkin duppel showcasing the squash and ,alt as opposed to the dreaded holiday flavors. And the porter was spot on. Nicely done and a highly recommended spot to eat. Cheers.


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