Before leaving the Baltimore area for Maryland’s Eastern Shore, we felt it prudent to pay Clipper City Brewing Company (CCBC) a visit on 3/21/14. If you aren’t familiar with the brewery, perhaps you know the award winning line of beers they produce – Heavy Seas Beer. The Clipper City name comes from the historical construction of fast sailing Clipper ships locally in the Baltimore harbor and the Heavy Seas’ pyrate theme was a natural progression for their higher ABV beers that has since been used to envelope all beers made by CCBC. After all, as the company slogan reminds us: Sailors tell stories…Pyrates make legends. The company was founded in 1995 by Hugh Sisson whom in 1989 operated the first craft brewpub in MD since prohibition, Sisson’s, but wanted to get out of the restaurant business and focus on making quality beer. On this misty afternoon we were able to speak with Heavy Seas Beer Hospitality Manager, Dan Bueter, to discuss and tour the brewery.
We spent a few days off to celebrate my birthday in D.C. and for some much needed time catching up on our blog, not to mention avoiding the 6-8 inches of snow that fell overnight and shut down the government for a day. After the weather had cleared up and returned to its typical cold and gloomy self, we took to our sole brewery visit in the District of Columbia at Bluejacket on 3/19/14. High rent and limited warehouse space nearly drove them to the suburbs before they found an exciting space in 2008 and they have rented 7,000 sq. ft. of a nearly century old 73,000 sq. ft. boilermaker facility in the D.C. Navy Yard’s Annex. After several years of detailed planning, the brewery opened in late 2013. We met with Greg Engert, beer director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, an organization that is responsible for over 18 different businesses in the area including the popular craft beer destination ChurchKey/Birch & Barley.