Brew at the Zoo Event Review

Steven Brady

This Sunday was absolutely gorgeous, and I treated my family to a day at the zoo. Fortunately, it was Memorial Day weekend, which means I was able to attend the Brew at the Zoo, an annual outdoor festival with more than 50 beers from more than 15 breweries. General admission entry began at 1:00, and I'm so glad we arrived a bit early to secure a spot in what turned out to be quite a lengthy line. We presented our two 21+ tickets and our one non-drinker ticket, received our armbands and glasses, and were set free to roam.

The very first thing we encountered was the Kid Zone. There was a giant bouncing inflatable, a craft and game area, and the Xtreme Snowball stand. While I knew that I'd be spending a decent amount of my visit here, now was not the time. Grabbed the munchkin a cotton candy marshmallow snowball, and then headed straight for the beer for us adults.

My love of craft beers blossomed while living in Colorado, prior to making the move to Maryland, so there were a couple breweries that immediately caught my eye. I knew that I had to seize this opportunity to try some new, unfamiliar beers from some of my favorite breweries. I tried to visit New Belgium every time I passed it, which turned out to be a very popular tent. I was also happy to see Tommyknocker Brewery represented, as well as see Flying Dog here. (I know, Flying Dog is now a Maryland brewery, but it still has a soft spot in my heart.)

As the day progressed, the event grew busier. There was still a constant line of beer lovers heading into the event at 2:30, as I could tell by the increasingly longer lines to get beer. It became utterly impossible to keep beer in my glass, as the wait times also grew. While my wife was picking up a sandwich from the Grilled Cheese & Co.'s tent, I picked the shortest line I could find to get myself a drink. It was the Samuel Adams tent, and I'll admit, it was a 10 minute wait for one of the less impressive beers of my day. Fortunately, there was a woman from the Angry Orchard tent making our wait easier by letting us sample the Twisted Tea. The tea was pretty good, and I certainly wouldn't have minded a whole can on a hot day like this. Once I got up to the Sam Adams tent I found out their Boston Lager and Ranger IPA were having issues, so my only choice was their Summer Ale.

I took my glass of Summer Ale and met my wife at the Kid Zone. Here we all enjoyed a tasting of the Crabby Melt, the Grilled Cheese & Co.'s crab dip and Monterey Jack sandwich. I must say that it was delicious. While I'd not been to their restaurant before, I have every intention of going to try some of their other sandwiches. After enjoying the shade for a little while and letting our niece play, we headed out to the zoo for a little bit. We had a little over an hour to see the animals, as the zoo closed at 4:00. I headed straight for the elephants, stopping briefly to see the warthogs (and to convince my niece they're called “wild bacon.”)

At the end of our zoo tour, we headed back to the event and were pleasantly surprised by the much shorter lines at each tent.  It was definitely time for round two of food and alcohol for us. My wife headed to the Boordy Vineyards tent for her second serving of her favorite wine of the day, JazzBerry. I opted for the Spaten Lager. We stayed around a while to enjoy the music, and it was great to try some more beers from Maryland breweries. It was certainly a great day, but next year I think I'll upgrade to the VIP tickets to enjoy some of the Famous Dave’s BBQ that I missed out on.

Click here to view additional exciting photos of the event


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