Dec 9, 2017, Upper Marlboro
Maryland Brewery Challenge #52
Heading home from Calvert County, we entered Prince George’s County for the final leg of our Southern Maryland road trip. Calvert Brewery’s production facility is the 52nd brewery in the Maryland Brewery Challenge and the fifth brewery of our SoMD road trip.
Leaving Scorpion Brewing, we raced north in front of the snow storm. As we entered Upper Marlboro in PG County, we left the snow behind. We ducked into Calvert Brewing greeted by a friendly hello. We were surprised by the enormous taproom, quite a change from the other SoMD breweries. We found a seat at the bar and ordered a flight. Instead of collecting a credit card for a tab, the bartenders just asked for our first names. For the rest of the afternoon, they called us by name – a really nice touch.
I loved the keg tower that serves as a tap dispenser. Out of those taps we selected 4 beers to sample. Below are my notes about Calvert’s ales.
- Trinity – Nice caramel sweetness. Well-balanced scotch ale, surprisingly dark.
- Mortal Double IPA – Piney DIPA. Too much bitter pine for me.
- Calvert Cream Ale – Clean and refreshing. I could drink lots of these. Made with corn and rice as well as barley malt.
- Route 4 – Lots of pine and grapefruit flavors in this solid IPA.
In the middle of our flight tasting, we were lucky enough to tag along for a brewery tour led by John Burroughs. John is a partner of Calvert Brewing. I thought the tap-room was big until I saw the even bigger 28,000 square feet brewery – wow. Calvert Brewing has a unique mash system, which the brewers refer to as Lucille. They call her Lucille so they can sing “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucille” if their mash system ever fails.
Calvert’s webpage explains just how unusual their mash system is.
“We are one of 10 breweries in the world to utilize the American-made IDD mash filtration system. These systems allow us to brew more quickly and efficiently, using as much as 20% less grain and almost a third less water.”
There is quite a lot of room to grow in this brewery. Some of the fermenting vessels below can hold 100-barrels at a time. They expect to upgrade their canning line soon. This 2-year old brewery distributes their beer throughout Maryland.