Thursday, May 10, 2007


Hugh Sisson and John BatesSilhouetted, that's Hugh Sisson, owner of Clipper City Brewing Company , on the left and John Bates, owner of Growlers Pub of the Canton neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland, on the right.

Behind Hugh and John, note the '"No Dogs Allowed" sign on the front door. Dog friendly from the day it opened in 2004, Growlers had just two days earlier been warned by the Baltimore Health Department against allowing dogs on the premises (despite the fact that John serves no food).

Nevertheless, John still leaves a welcoming bowl of dog biscuits on Growler's front steps for the neighborhood dogs trotting by with their human companions.

The photo was taken Wednesday 9 May at Growlers. Hugh Sisson and most of the staff of Clipper City were there at Growlers to thank John and wife Kristen for their strong support of Clipper City - three of our beers were on tap that day. And it was a brewers' and staff night out, a chance to socialize outside the confines (albeit friendly) of the brewery.
What are you saying?
Jim McGinty, the new Beer Manager for National Distributing - the principal wholesaler for us in our home state of Maryland - stopped by to say hello and hoist a few pints with us.

Here's the review of Growlers I posted on in 2004, a few weeks after the pub opened:

If you've been to Baltimore's Racer's Cafe within the last 15 1/2 years, you may have noticed one constant - bartender John Bates. John began at this northern Baltimore beer destination (and it's still there, thriving) back in the heady days of the late '80s. Difficult to overlook behind the bar, he was the gentle giant, always informative about the goings-on of the the nascent and burgeoning local beer scene, and always a calming presence in the 'kettle'.

But past tense is inappropriate. Pushing the geographical boundaries of good beer in Bawlmer, a new beer friendly bar - Growlers Pub - has staked a claim to blue collar northern Canton. John Bates and his charming fiance, Kristen, have recently set up shop in a place of their own. They rehabbed an old neighborhood Patterson Park bar, rechristened it as Growlers Pub, and began serving at the end of February. There were two taps that day- Sierra Nevada and DeGroens Pils.

Since then, they've installed a sparkling new 10-tap system. Now there's Guinness, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, Anchor Liberty, Olivers Irish Red, Clipper City Small Craft Warning, Sierra Nevada Pale, Victory Hop Devil, Brewer's Art Resurrection, and Dogfish Head Indian Brown. Many of the selections change weekly.

On the 10th tap is a, well, N.A.I.L., North American Industrial Lager. John hopes to wean the long-time locals off of it. Bottles include Belgians and, of course, Natty Boh, hon.

There's no food as of yet, but John has plans to get the kitchen going by mid-summer. [He eventually decided not to do that.] There's a pool table in the back section. Hours are 2-2 every day. You'll find the pub one block south of Patterson Park at Potomac and Fleet Streets.

[UPDATE: 2007.09.02 Possible name change.]

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