Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pic(k) of the Week: Beer history, refilled

Mad DeGroens (01)

DeGroens was the brand name for beers once brewed by the Baltimore Brewing Company, located in Baltimore, Maryland, just off its Inner Harbor.

Opened in 1989 by Dutchman Theo DeGroen, the brewpub was well known for its German beer hall atmosphere, and for its German-style beers. Fans remember its Weizen (fresh yeast would be flown in annually from Weihenstephan Brewery in Freising, Germany), for its smoky Rauchbier (unique for its time in the US), its Marzen (many considered it a US benchmark for the Oktoberfest style), its Doppelbock (which garnered a gold medal at the 1995 Great American Beer Festival), and for its Pils (whose hop-drenched aroma and bracing bitterness was a revelation for many area drinkers). The brewery closed in late March of 2004.

In the photo, taken in February of 2011, a customer at Mad Fox Brewing Company —a brewpub in Falls Church, Virginia— ponders what beer to fill his growler with.

A growler is a resealable container, filled with fresh beer at a brewery or brewpub for customers to take home with them. In the US, many growlers are simple 2 quart jugs with screwcaps.

The Baltimore Brewing Company was one of the first brewpubs in the US to use 2-liter growlers —importing them from Germany— sealed with a much more secure enclosure: a swing-top cap, gasket, and metal brace (similar to a Grolsch bottle). Not only could customers refill their growlers at the pub, they could exchange their empties for freshly filled growlers at 'DeGroens filling stations': select retail shops in Maryland. The brewery eventually added bottling facilities.

Several years has passed since the brewery's demise, but the growler, above, still sports a DeGroens Pils label.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of images posted on Saturdays, occasionally (as is the case today) with a good fermentable as the subject.

1 comment:

  1. I still have my Marzen growler from DeGroens. Thanks for the flash-back memory!



Comment here ...