An international beer heavyweight and one of Baltimore’s best homegrown breweries have forged an unlikely bond with a planned two-brewery, two-beer keg-tapping event this Friday.
That day, the recently opened Guinness Test Tap Room in Halethorpe will tap a keg of a beer dubbed “The Longest Way Round.” Ninety minutes later, Heavy Seas Beer, located just down the road, will tap a keg of its inversely titled brew, ”The Shortest Way Home.”
Both beers share the same base ingredients: water from the same source, kettle hops and yeast. Guinness, however, has decided to use its own recipe of grain malts and other ingredients, known as the “malt bill,” while Heavy Seas has opted to dry hop – typically used for beers like pale ales and IPAs – to achieve its own unique taste.
The theme is proverbial in nature, reaching back to James Joyce, who wrote in his 1922 modernist classic Ulysses: “Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.” (The quote actually derives from a mid-17th century saying; it means not taking a shortcut is actually oftentimes the most effective way to accomplish a task, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.)
Sarah West, director of marketing and hospitality for Heavy Sees, said in an email that the the event is intended to welcome Guinness to Baltimore County.
“To quote our founder Hugh Sisson, this is our way of saying ‘Welcome to the neighborhood Hon,’” she said.
Guinness is opening its first stateside brewery in 60 years here in Maryland, and has opened the taproom as a temporary attraction for eager customers while the company finishes work on its future American outpost in nearby Relay.
The event page says beer will be in very limited supply at both sites, so be sure to get there early if you can. Guinness will tap its keg at 3:30 p.m., while Heavy Seas will open its supply at 5 p.m. Pieces of Eight food truck will be on-site serving grub.
The Guinness Test Tap Room is located at 5001 Washington Boulevard. Heavy Seas is two miles down the street, at 4615 Hollins Ferry Road.
This story has been updated with comment from Heavy Seas Beer.