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The Friday Question

Last week’s Friday Question proved to be an interesting one. Mr. Mitchell’s confession that he had a record of when the first Oliver Ale was served narrowed the field for subsequent entrants who gleaned from his answer that the brew date was likely to be sometime in January (although he counted himself out of the running by posting the wrong year!) Indeed, January of 1993 it was, January 27th to be precise. It was a close run thing but Rick was closest with his guess of  January 23rd. Congratulations sir, you get a growler of Oliver Ale of your choice and a bottle of 2006 Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw from Brouwerij Het Anker (courtesy of  Dave G.)

This week we offer a growler of Oliver Ale and another excellent bottle, this time from local superstar brewer Brian of Stillwater Ales who has generously donated a bottle of the ridiculously limited “Of Love & Regret”. What I want to know is this … I relocated to the US at the tail end of ’99 after the sad demise of the Firkin Brewery in the UK and was fortunate enough to score a postion at Oliver’s with then head-brewer Barrett (now at The Chophouse in DC). Barrett was kind enough to let me add some of my own brews to the line-up of beers on tap … what was the first of my own brews to be served at The Wharf Rat (as it was then) and when was it brewed (month & year). Have at it & good luck.

Next week sees the brew day for this year’s Harvest Ale, an amber ale brewed with honey. This year I’m fortunate to have locally grown hops (Cascade & Chinook, harvested just last weekend at Stillpoint Farm) to use as the finishing hops. I’ll also be using the local hops to dry hop various casks over the next few weeks. The first, our Summer Light Ale were filled today, dry hopped with Cascade and will be going out to T-Bonz, Meridian Pint & ChurchKey next week.  I’ll also be dry hopping casks of Ironman Pale Ale, some with Chinook, some with Cascade and some with a mix of both early next week and these will be going to DC also, though I’ll probably keep one back to put on the beer engine at the Ale House sometime soon. Next week I’ll also be judging the entries for our homebrew competition, with a view to brewing the winning entry in early September. September also sees the brew day for Channel Crossing Vol. 2 which will be a Belgian take on an English Nut Brown Ale. We aim to have a  release party on the evening of Thursday October 7th at The Pratt Street Ale House, immediately following the opening tap party for Baltimore Beer Week (held at The Museum Of Industry). The beer will be served on draft and cask at a special price and limited edition souvenir glassware will be available on a first come first serve basis. If you don’t already know, DC Beer Week starts today and runs through Saturday 28th. I’ll be at The Big Hunt on Monday evening, Meridian Pint on Tuesday evening and at the firkin finale at RFD on Saturday. Come say hello and grab a beer and free Oliver’s pint glass.

Have a great weekend


  1. Peter says -

    Now I have to remember what was being served there over 10 years ago, and think what’s new? I’ll go with the Coventry Cream Ale in May of 2000.

  2. Alexander D. Mitchell IV says -

    No, I counted myself out of the running by being too damn generous with my estimate of how long they aged the first batch before serving it–all of [NUMBER REDACTED IN CASE THE FIRST SERVING DATE IS A FUTURE CONTEST}….. I mean, hey, you yourself said “18 years” or whatever, so everyone at least figured out the YEAR….. and I swear, that was a typo, because I can’t read what I’m writing when I type on Firefox Mozilla, because it shows up as black on dark blue…..

  3. Steve says -

    Hey Bill,
    the Bulldog was a “special”, I did 2 batches only … we have a couple of kegs left @ The Ale House but then it’s done until next year.