RAR Brewing

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One of the most popular and fastest growing breweries on the Maryland Eastern Shore is RAR Brewing. They have been brewing in downtown Cambridge, Maryland since 2013 and are continuing to grow. The owners and brewers are all native to Cambridge, Maryland who have boosted the community tourism majorly since they opened. With their multiple monthly releases of new brews they always have a line around their building waiting to try the new and limited releases!

About RAR Brewing

rar-brewing-brew-houseRight on Poplar Street RAR Brewing sits in an 80-year old building now turned into a 10 barrel brewhouse and popular hangout area for locals and out-of-state craft beer lovers! These local guys have created a brewing theme that always keeps craft beer lovers on their toes.

The experimentation of hops and fruits have really made them stand out along with their creative pop art which is all over their brewery and their cans. Take the popular items that Millennials have grown up with then mix it in with new technology 3D art of the 21st century and BAM you totally get RAR Brewing.

When visiting there are multiple niche type restaurants within walking distance of the brewery. Cambridge is definitely a town you can make a day time destination spot with the brewery, local niche restaurants, shopping, wine bars, and water views.

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The Atmosphere of RAR Brewing

Walking in you will see artwork everywhere of all their can logos, colors everywhere! They have a 12 tap system with flights and pints to try. In the center background, they have the brewhouse where you might be able to see the brewers at work earlier in the day during the week.

If you want to try all of their brews or have more than two pints, don’t worry they have a rar-brewing-pubsmall pub menu they make right there on site. We actually had some great panini’s with our pints while hanging out. There is a huge local vibe to the brewery but they receive many out-of-towners. Those who did not bring their growlers and want something to take home, they have a fridge where you can buy six packs and crowlers to go.

RAR’s Signature Brews

Nanticoke Nectar IPA is by the far the top-selling local beer I have seen going steady for years. I know this not only as a consumer and keeping up the local beer trends but also my last four years in the craft brewing business. I have been a craft beer distribution salesperson, a local craft beer supplier salesperson and now run the largest tap house in the county so I know what beers are best-sellers, on and off-premise.

rar-brewsI am not a fan of IPA’s at all but I will continue to try them because every brewery’s mainstream IPA is their taste profile and know what to expect from the rest of their lines. Nanticoke Nectar is not my favorite of course but it is consistent and I can see why IPA drinkers love it because they drink more than 2 at a time which is what every brewery wants.

They are also known for the limited release sours they put out every month such as Out of Order and their Inspired By, producing a new fruited flavor every time. Sours are huge right now but finding the right one is challenging, even for the craft beer lover.

Our Favorites

So I normally do not like IPA’s or real hoppy beers but Pulp is my absolute favorite! Pulp is a pale ale that is super juicy and tastes fresher than I ever expected a pale ale to taste. I also enjoy their 10 layer stouts which are stouts based on different flavors of the local legend Smith Island 16 layer cakes. Smith Island cakes are just as popular as Maryland Blue crabs and is always the dessert to try when coming to the Eastern Shore. This beer got so popular that RAR and Smith Island Cakes were both featured on an episode of “The Booze Traveler” which totally depicted how Eastern Shore of Maryland is portrayed.

JR’s favorite is the Nanticoke Nectar but also enjoys their juicy IPA’s and pale ales likerar-symbol Pulp. Like Dogfish Head JR will try every IPA that RAR puts out due to their creative consistency and their use of hops. We are both not the ones to stand in any lines for any beer no matter how much we show our passion for craft beer but we have been fortunate to know a lot of people in the local craft beer world to give us a sample of very limited release!

Whether you are taking a trip to Ocean City, Maryland or Rehoboth, Delaware RAR Brewing is definitely a good mid-day stop to either or a nice day trip from the many metropolitan cities that surround Cambridge area.

Eastern Shore Brewing Company

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If you want to experience the historic part of the Eastern Shore of Maryland then St Michael’s is the town! I was in awe a few years ago when I heard there was a brewery, winery, distillery, and cidery all in one town and all in walking distance of each other!

We finally got a full day to experience them all and it was quite busy as they were having their sea glass festival. Multiple little tents were full of great local crafts in between tours of the great local craft. They have wine festivals and big Christmas week festival of lights. St Michael’s is the one-stop town for shopping, eating, touring and drinking!

About Eastern Shore Brewing Company

Due to the festival happening that day they were super busy and had a band playing so we were not able to do our norm and buy flights to share to try all their beers. We have tried some of their mainstays in the past at previous beer festivals so it wasn’t a total loss. We also like to get the full brewery experience by touring their brew house as well but again were too packed for tours.

The vibe we received was basically an old town Eastern shore bar where the locals definitely hang out. We saw the bartenders constantly give high fives and know a person by names even with the out of towners for the Sea Glass festival.

Asked for a flight of all beers but they had a rule of not serving flights during bands playing which is understandable as it takes a lot of time to pour flights. We thought we would hang out and get their vibe and just come back later. They closed early that day and we were an hour from home so we didn’t get to experience their taste profile. They are definitely a laid back brewery while you are in town for the weekend or an after lunch beer.

The Atmosphere Eastern Shore Brewery

Walking in there was a small bar with about 10 taps. The bar area is small and quaint with very few seats but the rest of the bar had a bunch of high tops to enjoy a pint at. There was a small door heading into their brew house but no window to see their actual system like we are used to seeing.

Their brewery used to be the old flour mill called Just Right Flour Mill. They have huge red barn doors walking in up the stairs with an old mill look. There is no food available as they are strictly a brewhouse but they do serve cheese and meat boards to pair with their ales.

The best thing about this brewery is that it’s located right next door to St Michael’s Winery, across the street from the Great Shoals Cidery and in front of Lyon Distillery!  Walking distance from all local craft liquor!

Eastern Shore Brewery’s Signature Brews

eastern-shore-brewing-beersSt Michael s Ale is their flagship brew filled with blended American hops which we have had previously at past local beer fests.

Duck Duck Goose is their signature Porter which reflects a traditional English Style Porter.

Situation Critical IPA is their signature IPA full of West Coast hops dry hopped with over two pounds of hops per barrel.

Our Favorites

We didn’t try there on site but I have enjoyed their St Michaels ale in the past because it is a nice light ale that is not overly hoppy.

JR likes the IPA’s so he has had their Situation Critical IPA in the past.

We were both very curious about their newest seasonals they had available while were there but did not want to commit to a full pint.

I wanted to try their El Pepe which is a light lager that reflects a traditional Mexican lager. JR wanted to try their Strawberry Shakedown which is a New England Style IPA and is all the craze right now!

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Weekend Visit

If you live around the regional area of Maryland, Delaware or Virginia (or traveling these parts) it’s a definite stop to see a pastime town in a historic building. The Eastern Shore of Maryland has more history than I ever expected!

The very small town of St Michaels, the population of a little over a thousand, has done a great job making their town a full experience. Their creative local business’ minds make sure they create festivals and historic learning a priority. They count on travelers and local tourism to make their town what it is today. We always try to give back to small towns that try really hard and leave footprints that capture our happy experiences.

Learn more about the history of Maryland Breweries here!

Rubber Soul Brewing Company

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You know that first place you met your special someone where your eyes locked and all you hoped for was for them to sit next to you or even say hello?  Rubber Soul Brewing Company is that place for JR and I.

We had both been to Rubber Soul Taproom before separately but throughout all these years living in close proximity of each other, within the same circle we had never met.  I was there for my almost 10th time, the taproom manager was a close friend of mine, and after 3 hours of sitting there, I knew it was time to leave but thank goodness I did not!

Enough of the love stuff though and let’s get back to the beer and where it all began!

About Rubber Soul Brewing Company

If you can guess what the niche theme of this brewery is then you must really be into themed breweries like us!  Rubber Soul is based on the love of craft beer and cycling by the Owner and Head Brewer, Jesse Prall.

Jesse got his start at Appalachian Brewing in his hometown in PA and then moved to Dogfish Head Brewing.  After 10 years and many promotions/awards, he created his own niche theme based on his second passion of cycling.  Craft beer drinking and cycling actually do go hand in hand based on making breweries stops for the cyclists to break from the heavy winded exercise.

Rubber Soul has been around for three years now and is the newest brewery to pop up on the eastern shore.  They work on a small barrel system but are moving up quickly to expanding their brewery, keg room and into canning!

CraftBeerClub.com-Flavorful, High-Quality, Independent Brews Delivered Monthly, Quarterly, or Every Other Month! Click here!

The Atmosphere of Rubber Soul Brewing

prost-at-rubber-soul-brewingThe Brewery is in the industrial area of Salisbury where it had a small tap room for one to come in and drink a few pints or tasters to try all of their 8 beers on tap.  The tap room had a rustic feeling with stained pallet walls and a beautiful bar top.  Some extra space was filled with bicycles and a huge “Prost” sign, which is German for “Cheers”.

I know I keep saying words like “had” and that’s because they have recently closed their tap room due to needing more space for production.  When you buy a canning line plus have your brewhouse, storage, and keg room then space becomes very limited.

So for those who really like seeing where the liquid is made unfortunately you cannot with this one.  They worked together with another local Salisbury bar called Roadie Joes where they built a tap room just for Rubber Soul beers.

So if you are traveling to the Eastern Shore to have a brewery day then make Roadie Joe’s a stop to try everything Rubber Soul has to offer.

 

Rubber Soul’s Signature Brews

Rubber Soul is very IPA heavy and for one who does not favor IPA’s very much I was pleasantly surprised with how well I responded to their selection.

The beers they came out with first that I remember are:

  1. Paceline Session IPA
  2. High Wheel IPA
  3. Dropout Double IPA
  4. Urban Style Honey Ale

Paceline Session and Dropout are definitely in 16oz cans which you can find locally and in the state of PA and part of Delaware.

Our Favorites

If you are very hop forward like JR is then you will love this brewery!

Traci’s Favorite:  Urban Style Honey Ale

JR’s Favorite:  High Wheel IPA

This is not our favorite brewery but Rubber Soul Brewing will always hold a special place in our hearts and we will never forget this brewery based on it being the first place we met.

I not only met JR but I have met a lot of people at Rubber Soul based on it being the newest and hottest brewery at the time.  Breweries are not only amazing to travel to and taste new creations but also finding those that share the love of craft beer and understand how interesting every style and region makes it.

If anyone else has a cool brewery memory please share in comments below as it is so fun to hear these stories!

Prost!

UPDATE 2/18/2019:  This brewery has closed at this location and will not be reopening in Maryland.  It’s sad to see the place we met not be around anymore but that is the risk in the craft beer business.

Evolution Craft Brewing Company

Evolution Craft Brewing Company was the first brewery to ever start in Wicomico County, Maryland is Evolution Craft Brewing company and boy was it exciting!  2008 (WOW ten years ago) was the first year I was mystified by the beginning boom of the craft beer industry.

I had just turned 22 and already had a huge interest in the alcohol industry just based on the creation and amazing process.  I have to say Evolution Craft Brewing Company definitely got a great head start and due to that they soared in popularity, soon everyone followed.

About Evolution Craft Brewing Company

They didn’t start on the eastern shore of Maryland like they wanted to because the city of Salisbury did not allow it, not realizing that breweries bring in tourism money.  EVO (what most of us call the local brewery) opened in Delmar, Delaware in a small warehouse building that used to be a grocery store back in the day.

There is nothing in Delmar, Delaware still to this day besides 3rd Wave Brewing that bought the brewery from EVO back in 2012 when EVO finally moved to Salisbury, Maryland.  Delmar has definitely been put on the map now based on these two breweries alone.

Two brothers started the brewery who also owned a few restaurants in the Salisbury area.  They created a very cultural concept that caught on very quickly and finally gave this town some class!

Once Salisbury realized they were missing out on this popular booming business they let them get a permit to brew in the city.  There they found a large warehouse that used to be an Ice making company.  This building is right across from the local hospital right in the hub of the city.

This move made them boom even more by not only creating a larger area to brew beer but also a side room for their tasting room and a large brewpub with inside and outside seating called “The Public House”.

The Atmosphere of Evolution Craft Brewing Company

EVO is definitely the place to be in this town if you like good craft beer and ever-changing crafty food!  It is your one-stop shop for any couple who loves draft beer to have a full afternoon into the evening date.

You can start with a tour which you can find more info about tour times here.

Then head to the tasting room and try their many beers and different styles for every palate.  After getting the full knowledge of their beers and finding one to your liking head over to the Public House right next door and grab some great eats!  I mostly enjoy their ever-changing cheese boards and pair them with a beer flight, just a suggestion.

Signature Brews of EVO

In my opinion, they are a little IPA heavy for me but IPA is the most popular style and evo-lot-3-ipapeople love the bitterness.  They do have a great array of barrel aged beers if you hit them up at the right time!

Their signature beer is EVO Lot 3 IPA which is literally seen in almost every single bar or restaurant on Delmarva.  I am not sure what the big appeal is but Lot 3 is most people’s go to around here.

The next popular beer I would say that you will also see everywhere is Primal Pale Ale which is a nice light American pale ale that goes well with almost anything.  It is not overly hoppy like some of their others.

Our Favorites

Traci’s Favorite:  Lucky #7 Porter or their Rise Up Coffee Stout

JR’s Favorite:  Lot 3 IPA or Lot 6 Double IPA

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Backshore Brewing Company

Rainy Sunday did not get us down when wanting to do our weekend ritual and visit a new brewery or taste a new product.  We chose to hit up Backshore Brewing Company because they had two new products we saw on social media that we were dying to try!

Backshore Brewing started a new series called Pulped and Pressed which is a fruited saison.  The first one to come out this past week is Raspberry and Peach at 8% ABV so I was dying to try that.  They also made an experimental Sparkling Mango Hoop Tea in cans so we, of course, had to try that!

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About Backshore Brewing Company

This is the ultimate microbrewery!  They brew in very small batches and only have six taps which mean more experimentation and an ever-changing brew menu for you to always try something new!

There are very few seats inside the tasting room so there is more room for them to brew but why would you want to sit inside when this is the only brewery on the boardwalk!  Drinking local craft beer on the boardwalk while overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and so many people watching, you would never get bored.

They are also home to the makers of Hoop Tea!  Hoop Tea is a summertime phenomenon that has gotten so big in the past few years that they have to make and package in Baltimore, Maryland due to its high demand.  Think Twisted Tea but way tastier and more refreshing!

The Atmosphere of Backshore Brewing Companybackshore-vw-vanagon

The atmosphere at Backshore Brewing is very beach casual!  When walking the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk you will walk by the legendary VW Vanagon where you will see almost ten to 20 people an hour stop and take a picture with it or in it.

You feel as if you stepped back into the ’70s when young hippies would pull up to the beach in their VW van and take in the salty beach air sending out positive vibes.  That is how Backshore makes you feel so definitely check it out and step back in time!

Backshore Brewing Signature Brews

Backshore Brewing only has two signature brews that are always available since they only have six taps and a small batch brewing system.  You can try all six beers on their handmade skateboard beer flight boards which are so retro and a fun presentation that you are just going to want to another one!

Boardwalk Blonde is their most popular brew which is an easy drinking blonde ale that’s 4.3% ABV so it’s light in alcohol for you to drink all day in the summertime heat!

Downtown Sugar Brown is their second most popular which is an English Brown Ale that is 6% ABV.  This beer has just a slight sweetness from the brown sugar but is known for how smooth it goes down.

 

Our Favorites

We have had a lot of their beers overtime due to them always brewing something newsparkling-hoop-tea but I have to admit we enjoy their Hoop Tea the most!  Hoop Tea is made with natural ingredients and no artificial colors or ingredients.  Being born and raised in Ocean City, Maryland I am very proud of a product like this one to have been created here and hope to see the brand expand as much as possible.

J.R.’s Favorite:  Hoop Tea White Mango

Traci’s Favorite:  Hoop Tea Sweet Lemon

Brookeville Beer Farm

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Brookeville Beer Farm

Ever since I knew JR he has always spoken about his childhood home that he unfortunately had to leave due to the loss of his parents in the same year at a very young age. He is 34 now and had to move 250 miles away from his many friends at the age of 14 about to start high school.

brookeville-farm-brewingWe were heading to DC area anyway for our valentines weekend and I thought as my gift to him I would track down the current owner and see if they would let us tour his childhood home. With the help of JR’s sister in law, who is in real estate, she looked up the tax records and got the name of the current owner. I already knew address from JR so I wrote a 2 page letter explaining the reason for this letter.

JR went to my childhood home when I was 30 where I also had to leavebrookeville-farm-brewing-flights when I was 14 but not for the terrible circumstances he had to. It was very special to have him there to see the home I grew up in and I just had to do the same for him. I gave the new owner all my personal info and my social media pages so she knew I was not being creepy but for a genuine reason. She called me a week and half later of when I sent the letter. We spoke for a while and she said she would honor my request and we set up a time and date.

outside-of-brookeville-farm-breweryAnyways this has nothing to do with the brewery but she let us know about this cute little beer farm right around the corner so we had to go. Such a great spot to have great pizza and beer. The space is very cozy with an overlook of the brewery from the bar. There were 13 beers and 1 cider on tap of theirs so we tried all of course. The pizza was made in a Brick oven and was perfectly crispy! There was another spot off to the side where you could order seafood and shucked oysters so it was the best of all Maryland. The staff was very friendly and they have a cool grocery style section where you can buy 6 packs to go and their farms cheese and eggs.

JR’s favorite:  Hop Envy NE IPA

Traci’s favorite:  Lost Barrels: Lot #3 Stout

Waredaca Brewing Co.

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Waredaca Brewing Co.

Another brewery right around the corner from JR’s childhood home which was very cool and convenient. This place was a little smaller and had fewer brews on tap but it was cozy and definitely had some regulars.

waredaca-brewingWaredaca Brewing is placed on a horse farm where there are a lot of horse riding competitions and Horse/Foxhunt! We met a Scottish man who frequents there and for me, he was the most interesting thing about that brewery. All three of us have traveled to similar places so we connected a lot!

We ended up purchasing crowlers of our favorites to take home for us and friends.

JR’s Favorite: The Golden Ticket Chocolate Porter with Lactose

Traci’s Favorite:  Geedie Belgian Tripel

Red Shedman Farm Brewery

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Red Shedman Farm Brewery

Red Shedman Farm Brewery is located in Mt Airy, Maryland.

red-shedman-breweryThis brewery is literally 25 feet from Linganore Wine Cellars which was a very convenient outing! This place is quaint and specialized in all styles. We were able to have our lunch while trying a huge flight.

The beers were not overly impressive but the atmosphere of being around ared-shedman-flights huge vineyard and able to look down onto the brewery from an inside window (due to being on a hill) was entertaining.

My favorite: Disgruntled Runt Tangerine Belgian Blonde (say that 5 times fast lol)

J.R.’s favorite: Lunatic Fringe Belgian IPA

Burley Oak Brewing

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Burley Oak Brewing is a local brewery we frequent just because it’s only 5 minutes from our stationed home. This local brewery has blown up in the past few years by constantly expanding not only their brewery/taproom but other businesses as well. They just opened Burley Café in one of America’s Coolest Smallest Towns; Berlin, Maryland; which sells breakfast and lunch options paired with great local brews.

Got to Have a JREAM

I have to admit I was not a huge fan of their beers when they first opened due to being very IPA heavy, which is my least favorite style, but they have really expanded on styles to please everyone. I am going to explain J.R.E.A.M. to you…WHAT is this style I am talking about??

Well it is a sour ale with lactose conditioned and various fruits blended with their multiple flavors they produce monthly! This beer has been a game changer for me in sours. I am not lactose intolerant but grew up not drinking milk on a weekly basis so it tends to cramp up my stomach but this beer is worth the lactose!

I just became a sour fan two years ago because of 3rd Wave Brewing barrel-aged sours but J.R.E.A.M. has just blown my mind. J.R. is not a sour fan but he too will allow some stomach cramps to enjoy these bad boys! Our favorite J.R.E.A.M. has been the Bay Breeze, almost like the original cocktail but in beer form. Definitely, a cool spot to hang out and feel like one of the locals.

My favorite: Fruits of our Labor and the J.R.E.A.M.’s

J.R.’s favorite: Lost IPA and the J.R.E.A.M.’s