UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun posted an article on the Brew Tour that we took. If you look closely you can see us in the photos!
This weekend (with a bit of prior planning with my friend James) we (James, Jules, and I) visited and toured the Heavy Seas (formerly Clipper City) brewery in Baltimore, MD. I have heard of and tried Heavy Seas beer in the past but never realized how close the brewery is to my house in Baltimore- it’s practically in my backyard! You may have read how much I enjoy touring factory from my Jack Daniel’s tour as part of the Epic Road Trip 2010.
Our tour began in a large office like room with a small bar and several branded items for sale. This weekend tours were pretty large as they are being led by the founder Hugh Sisson. Hugh founded what is now known as Heavy Seas Beer in 1994 with a fellow friend and master brewmaster Ernesto Igot. (I overheard the woman in plaid behind the bar is actually Hugh’s daughter)
The types of beers they had on tap there were a choice across their three groups (or as they call it Fleets) of beers. Going with close friends made the trip made the trip even better as we talked about what beers we would buy in the future.
Jules found some beers that she liked!
Once you got a chance to sample one (or several) kinds of Heavy Seas beer, the tour began into what seems like a small brewhouse. Hugh took us through several stages of the brewing process which included sampling the hops and malt used to make some of the beers there.
We didn’t actually taste the hops (as the smell is more important to us) but did get to sample the malt which tastes surprisingly like Grape Nuts. That makes sense as Grape Nuts is made from malt.
Smelling the hops.
Jules sampling some of the malt.
Heavy Seas does most of their brewing in this location but they also have an offsite location that they ship beer from as well. They are located in an industrial park right off of I-695 and plan to expand their current location to support an increase in demand for their beer.
Hugh discussing their expansion plans.
One of the things I found so cool about Heavy Seas is the experimental process they use to discover new types of beer. They use new and old world processes to discover new flavors or add complexities to an existing type of beer. Once they decide on the recipe to use then they figure out how to upscale the output.
A common old world way of making beer.
The CO2 coming from a large batch of beer.
James and I both brought our Canon DSLR‘s along to capture the photos you are seeing now. We also got to see a press photographer on our tour as well shooting photos.
We were also lucky enough to actually speak with Hugh personally and ask him a few questions. He is a very nice and down to earth guy who has one of the coolest jobs I can think of.
Overall the tour was a blast to attend. I highly recommend you visit Heavy Seas if you are in the Baltimore, MD area- you won’t be disappointed!
Come try some Heavy Seas beer!
- Clipper City’s Winter Storm (grub.gunaxin.com)
- Clipper City Heavy Seas Winter Storm or Weyerbacher Winter Ale will help you celebrate, well, winter (cleveland.com)