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Do We Hate Maryland?, Bad Beer Lines, and Oktoberfests – The Grain Bag, Volume 2

Welcome back to DCBeer.com's The Grain Bag. Not as many submissions this week. What's the deal? You don't have pressing questions about craft beer and craft beer resources that you want answered by a bunch of guys with a website? Pfft. Remember to submit your questions below or email editor@dcbeer.com – Remember, all questions are kept anonymous!

Thanks for the tips, keep 'em coming!

This is not a question, but you're welcome, and we will if you will!

Do you discriminate against Maryland? For good places to get beer, you missed Village Pump (College Park) and Chevy Chase Wine and Liquor (Guess where?). I can see not including Perfect Pour (Columbia), but their selection blows everyone else away.

DCBeer tries its very best to be an equal opportunity site. We occasionally report on cool happenings in Maryland. It sounds like you already have a good list going. When you see an event or venue, you want us to talk about, send it our way. We would check it out and post about it if we can at that time. In the meantime, I have a few favorites in Maryland: Mussel Bar in Bethesda and The Brewer's Art in Baltimore. Editor's Note: David is correct, we're always happy to hear your events. We're actually working on a Bethesda guide right now, and we're always working on adding more venues to the site. If you have venues we haven't added that you think should be on our map, or if you'd like to help us write descriptions for these venues, be sure to email us! We'll get Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits back up soon, they haven't made the migration to the new site yet. Thanks for reading! – Bill

What should I do when I go to a bar and am served a beer that I'm familiar with that tastes off? What's the best/most effective way to get the staff to understand that I know what the beer tastes like and this isn't it?

With the exception of Brett beers/sours and aged beers, most beers should taste the way you remember them. If you bring this up at a quality craft beer bar, most places (I think), would pour you a different pint. IPAs should taste fresh. If it doesn't…say something. If you're mistreated as a result, vote with your wallet, and don't return to that place.

What are some of your writers' favorite Oktoberfest beers?

Drinking seasonally. Good work! As you may or may not know, Oktoberfest beers are also occasionally marketed as Marzen style. This style originated before the times of refrigeration, and the summer was too hot for lagering at low enough temperatures. As a result, the beer was brewed in Marzen (March in German) and kept in cold storage until the festivities in September. Voila, we have Oktoberfest/Marzen. With that in mind, I will offer a few of my favorites in the style. On the classic side, I enjoy Hofbrau Oktoberfest. It is a clean drinking lager with light hopping, a clean finish, and easy pairing to all your grilled meats. It is a little soapy on the nose and is a touch over the oft style-accepted 6% ABV. It's a good way to pretend you are in Munich, under the big tents, enjoying the company of your favorite beer maid. On the micro side, I really enjoy The Kaiser from Avery. This one is on the imperial level at over 10% but the caramel backbone makes it rather drinkable. It is available only in single bombers. Enjoy this one with a friend or two. It is not strictly in the Oktoberfest world but it is close enough for my purposes. Great Lakes Oktoberfest is one of GLBC's flagship beers and it is always worth a six pack. You could also do a lot worse than Bell's Octoberfest. Locally, I enjoy Port City Oktoberfest, Heavy Seas Prosit!, and Gordon Biersch Oktoberfest (for your next happy hour). I hope this gives you a good shopping list. Readers, let us know your favorites in the comments!

We'll see you later this week for the next edition of The Grain Bag. Be sure to submit your questions below!

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