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Will Walk for Beer

Mixolo’s “Love the City You’re With” series continues with a brewery walk

Baltimore’s treasured spirits scribe Brennen Jensen, aka Omnibibulous, will guide us on a stroll through some of the city’s most exemplary craft breweries–in his own historic neighborhood.

Brennen, currently a contributor to Maryland Sip and Savor magazine, whose career highlights include interviewing Alice Cooper and David Lynch (not at the same time), writing about the city for City Paper and urban life for the Urbanite, has hefted hefeweizen in Germany and sipped whisky in Islay. The June 8 beer crawl will circle the Hampden-Woodberry ‘hood, sipping at every stop.

The event–held during HonFest weekend–will appeal to beer enthusiasts and novices alike, he says. Brewers will be on hand to tour each facility–Nepenthe Home Brew, Union Craft Brewing and Waverly Brewing–and describe each pour.

There’s a lot of beer to love in a few short blocks, Brennen points out. “I’ve got three breweries within walking distance of my house.” The Nepenthe tasting room is the most recent entry to the neighborhood lineup. It recently moved from its brewers’ supply store at Meadow Mill to a full-on tasting room–though beer-making supplies and advice can still be found in the new Falls Road space.

Brennen admits to sometimes quitting his writing work early to saunter over to Waverly before the crowds arrive, and has made friends with both regulars and workers at Union. In fact, one of the brewery’s employees lives nearby. “Sometimes when I’m walking my dog, he’s getting off his shift,” Brennen says. “He’ll ask me, ‘Hey, do you want a beer?’ and toss me a can.”

“Beer Unites Is more than just a slogan,” says Brennen, who has established friendships with fellow brewery denizens. “We hang out and go to each others’ houses. It all started over beer.”

Brennen tends to go for lower ABV (alcohol by volume) brews, and leans toward bitters, a preference established in the early 1990s as a pub crawler in the U.K. Last fall he visited Bamberg, Germany, in pursuit of another love: rauchbiers–or smoked beers, particularly the Schlenkerla line.

Union Craft Brewing, at Union Collective

Stateside, Brennen’s favorite experiences involve anything “on cask”– naturally carbonated ales served from unpressurized vessels. “It allows for the flavors to come through,” he says.

Brennen and his wife, artist Jill Orlov, have attended Mixolo events together, evidence that relationship status is no barrier to admission–or enjoyment.

The June 8 tour is part of Mixolo’s “Love the City You’re With” series, which included last year’s bike tour through Southwest Baltimore.

Click here for more information on the brew walk.

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