There were nearly 300 folk aboard the USS Constellation, Thursday evening in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland. They, and I, were there to celebrate the onset of the first ever Baltimore Beer Week.
Past Baltimore Orioles baseball great Boog Powell tapped the ceremonial first cask, using a mallet hand-crafted especially for the event from remnants of Maryland's famous Wye Oak. Raising his arms, he announced "It's tapped, hon!", and a cannon blast went forth from the ship, reverberating throughout the harbor.
Seeing the crowd, seeing faces from Baltimore craft beer present and past, soaking in the atmosphere on a beautiful warm October evening (and having a few beers as well), I felt proud and humbled to have been part of that history.
Congratulations to Joe Gold and all the organizers. But most of all, congratulations to all the brewers, brewery owners, beer drinkers, bar owners, bartenders, beer writers, shop owners, distributors, salesmen, volunteers, and all who had the vision, enthusiasm, and skill to create a living, vibrant, good beer culture in Baltimore.
At one point, I was asked what I thought. I paused for a few seconds, and came up up with this eloquent summary: "Super cool." Indeed!
- Read more of my summary of the evening's events in the captions to my photos here.
- View two videos here.
- More photos and good stories can be viewed at Sandy Mitchell's blog and at Beer in Baltimore.com.
- Read earlier, related posts from YFGF here.
- USS Constellation is the last sail-only warship designed and built by the United States Navy, and is the last existing American Civil War-era naval vessel.