J.M. Giordano


10 beers to try at Belgian Beer Fest at Max’s Taphouse

Beer lovers line up at the start of the fest in 2017. Photo by J.M. Giordano.

If there’s a holy calendar for the local disciples of Gambrinus, god of beer, Belgian Beer Fest at Max’s Taphouse is a high holiday.

Every February, for 16 years, the Fells Point staple hosts beer nerds, who line up starting at 6 a.m. along the sidewalk out front, for several days of Belgian brews.

“We get people from all over the place,” says general manager and beer master Casey Hard during a quiet period a few days before the festival. “I never get tired of working it.”

Photos: Hopkins engineering students test their skills in glider design contest

Photo by J.M. Giordano

On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University engineering students gathered in Levering Hall to put their design and construction skills to the test.

Led by mechanical engineering professor Steven Marra, the annual contest challenges students to make a glider that is propelled by a falling weight. The goal is to shoot the glider from one end of the room to the other, while also flying over a suspended string.

Photo gallery: Trump protesters and supporters greet the president in Harbor East

Activist Claude Taylor of Mad Dog PAC brought an inflatable rat resembling the president to the protest, along with “baby” Trump balloons. Photo by J.M. Giordano.

With Donald Trump and GOP members of Congress in town for the House Republican Conference on Thursday, about 150 anti-Trump protesters gathered at the corner of President Street and Eastern Avenue to “welcome” the president.

What We Make Now: G. Krug & Son Ironworks

Welding a piece in the shop.

The mills are long gone. The furnaces produced steel and iron for the last time around 2012, when the Bethlehem Steel mill in Sparrows Point shuttered for good and was torn down. But the art of making things with those metals is still alive in the city.

G. Krug & Son, which has been operating continuously from its W. Saratoga Street shop since 1810, still maintains a forge, crafting everything from fences to memorials–basically all things made with iron.

What We Make Now: Monument City Brewing Co.


If you were living on Baltimore’s Eastside 60 years ago, you would have woken up and smelled yeast from one of the city’s big breweries nearby: Gunther, National Premium and, of course, National Bohemian. Those places are now long gone and have been replaced with condos and chain retail space.

But over the past three years, beer-making in East Baltimore has been making a comeback. Monument, and more recently, Mobtown Brewing Company, have set up shop near the area where those massive breweries churned out beer.

What We Make Now: Old Line Spirits


It’s been about three years since Arch Watkins and Mark McLaughlin opened Old Line Spirits in East Baltimore, an area rich in distilling history with Seagram’s in nearby Dundalk and Standard Distillers on Lombard operating back in the day.

Baltimore’s distilling industry is now bouncing back, as Baltimore Spirits Co. and Sagamore Spirit are populating local shelves and bars along with Old Line.

But unlike those operations, Old Line is creating something entirely new to Baltimore: an American single-malt whiskey.

What We Make Now: Samuelson’s Diamonds

Master jeweler Eric Sanchez inspects a diamond ring before beginning repairs. Photo by J.M. Giordano.

Baltimore to Saratoga streets. Park Avenue to Howard Street. Names of jewelers like Samuelson’s, Fetting, Arminger’s and Booke used to pepper the Midtown area. Today they’re just empty storefronts, with a few newer jewelry shops thrown in.

Photos: The 2019 One Caribbean Carnival parade to Clifton Park


Hundreds from around the area came out to Northeast Baltimore this weekend for the Baltimore/Washington One Carnival, an annual celebration of Caribbean music, dancing, food and culture for the Baltimore and D.C. region.

What We Make Now: Silversmith Henry ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins III


Henry “Hoppy” Hopkins III is a second generation silversmith. He’s also one of the last in a city where names like Stieff, Kirk and Schofield used to be known throughout the country as makers and maintainers of the silver trade. Some, like Stieff, remain only as words on the building the company once occupied.

“I’m the only one left in Baltimore City, that I’m aware of,” says Hopkins from the workbench of his shop hidden away in a 130-year-old carriage house in Mt. Vernon. “I’ve had a few apprentices, but they usually leave when they learn how much time they’ll have to spend in the buffing room.”

What We Make Now: Pure Chocolate by Jinji


Welcome to the photo series What We Make Now. If you live in Baltimore, you may hear people on social media say “Baltimore used to make things” or “The city doesn’t make things any more.”

This series was created to show that nothing could be further from the truth. Baltimore’s traditional industries–iron working, steel fabrication, candy-making, silversmithing, brewing, distilling, textiles–are all still here and, in some cases, thriving. In this series, I’ll be looking at the modern-day factories and industrial spaces in the city where things are still made, with some guidance from the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Look for a new gallery twice a month until Labor Day.