The next time you’re heading to the Eastern Shore for the weekend, consider adding a brewery tour to your list of things to do. At the expanded tasting room at Eastern Shore Brewing in St. Michaels, you’ll learn all about the brews they produce and, also, have a chance to taste them.
Rustic but inviting, the decor reflects an Eastern Shore heritage: tablecloths made from sailcloth and walls hung with maps of sailing routes. Local residents also have donated mementos of their hunting conquests— moose heads, bull horns and ducks— which add “flavor” to the tasting room.
This microbrewery was founded in 2008 by husband-and-wife team Adrian and Lori Moritz, who agreed with friends from St. Michaels Winery (just steps away and also worth a visit) that the shore needed a great micro-brewery that would welcome visitors as well as local beer enthusiasts. So the Moritzes combined their passion for beer and their entrepreneurial spirit to create Eastern Shore Brewing. “Our vision was to open a small craft brewery that makes beer people would love. We feel we have achieved that and now continue to expand our production to serve the growing demand for our beers,” says Adrian. “Eventually we would like to add a restaurant to the tasting room, but for now our focus is on making great beer.”
In 2009, they hired head brew master Randall Marquis, an undergraduate of Franklin & Marshall College, and a brewing certificate holder from UC Davis in California. Their combined efforts earned them three medals at the most recent Maryland Governor’s Cup competition.
Here’s a sampling of brews to be found at Eastern Shore Brewing, or you can request them at your local retailer or restaurant.
Lighthaus Ale: A light-bodied ale with aromas of fruit, lightly hopped with a dry finish and only 4.7 percent alcohol. The Lighthaus Ale was a bronze medal winner in the Governor’s Cup competition.
Duck Duck Goose German Brown Porter: A dry, medium-bodied brown porter that tastes lighter than its color lets on, with about 6 percent alcohol. It has flavors of coffee and chocolate, balanced by a slight spiciness from special Saaz hops. This porter was a silver medalist in the Governor’s Cup competition.
St. Michaels Ale: A dark amber, medium-bodied ale with distinctive malt flavors, a spicy finish and 5 percent alcohol. Aromas of toffee and caramel make this a winner. Judges at the Governor’s Cup awarded it a silver medal.
Tours can be arranged by appointment. For tasting flights or to purchase six-packs, swing by the tasting room at 605 S. Talbot St. in St Michaels. Visit http://www.EasternShoreBrewing.com for hours of operation and details.
Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach®, is a wine educator and author of the book “The Sipping Point: A Crash Course in Wine.” Her specialty is providing wine expertise for corporate events, group tastings and team-building seminars. She is also a frequent guest expert on radio shows, including Martha Stewart Radio. Visit http://www.thewinecoach.com