Hugh Sisson, the previous operator of Maryland's first brewpub Sissons, started Clipper City Brewing Company in 1995. Since then the company has rebranded (although the brewery remains under the Clipper City name), and now offers two-dozen beers under three different "fleets" -- Clipper, Pyrate, and Mutiny. You can try all the brand's current varieties at the Heavy Seas Alehouse, a restaurant located in Little Italy and other locations around town. Heavy Seas also hosts tours every Saturday at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. at Clipper City Brewing Company on the Halethorpe section of Baltimore.
Baltimore-Washington Beer Works is best known for The Raven, a lager named after Edgar Allan Poe. Originally produced in the Black Forest region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, it has been brewed in Baltimore since 1998. Look for a tap featuring Poe himself and you've found The Raven!
Located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, The Brewer's Art (1106 N. Charles St.; 410-547-6925) is a microbrewery and restaurant. Their most well-known brew is Resurrection, an abbey brown ale with a 7% ABV. The drink is so popular in Baltimore that The Brewer's Art sells it on draft and in cans at many other bars in Baltimore. Of course, that's not all the brewpub has on tap: they also regularly brew a Belgian-style beer, a dark beer, and several seasonal beers -- including one that changes every zodiac sign. As if that isn't enough to reel you in, keep in mind that Esquire magazine ranked this the best bar in America. Cheers to that!
DuClaw Brewing Company
This Maryland craft brewery has nine staple beers and more than a dozen seasonal selections. Each has an over-the-top masculine name, such as Venom, Serum, HellRzer, and Bare Ass Brown Ale. The company has five brewpubs around town at Arundel Mills Mall (7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Suite R4, Hanover; 410-799-1166), Bel Air (16 A Bel Air South Pkwy., Bel Air, 410-515-3222), Bowie Town Center (4000 Town Center Blvd.; 301-809-6943), and BWI Airport (Southwest Terminal; 410-850-4846, ext. 2).
An up and coming brewery on the Baltimore scene, Union Craft Brewing began selling Duckin Pale Ale and Balt Altbier in 2012. Although these brews are more difficult to find than those by Heavy Seas or DuClaw, these suds are definitely worth a taste. The brewery opens its doors to the public for tour and tastings pm Satirdaus at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.
First brewed in 1885 in Baltimore, National Bohemian remains the beer of choice for many people in Baltimore -- even though the brand is now owned by Pabst Brewing Company and is brewed out of state. Still, it makes for a great light beer to drink while you're picking crabs and is sold at bars throughout the city (and at Oriole Park at Camden Yards). In fact, 90 percent of beer sales for the company are here in Baltimore, and the handlebar-mustachioed caricature who graces the cans can be spotted winking throughout the city. In 2011, National Bohemian was reintroduced on tap. Order it up by asking for either a "Natty Boh" or a "Bohemian." Also, be on the lookout for Natty Boh's slightly more refined relative, National Premium, available in 6-packs.