Friday, April 27, 2018

Adam Ant – "Goody Two Shoes" (1982)

You don't drink, don't smoke
What do you do?

Earlier this month – on Friday the 13th – I attended the grand opening of True Respite Brewing, which is located just a few miles from my Rockville home.

True Respite Brewing’s grand 
opening drew a big crowd
I wasn’t the only big shot there.  Maryland Governor Larry Hogan handled ribbon-cutting duties, and the event was also attended by Montgomery County Council President Hans Reimer, State Senator Roger Manno, and Delegate Bonnie Cullison.  (Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot – who is the Maryland craft brewing industry’s best friend – was traveling, but he sent his Chief of Staff, Len Foxwell, who is the Maryland craft brewing industry’s second-best friend, in his stead.)

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
at the True Respite ribbon-cutting
It was a great day for True Respite owners Brendan and Bailey O’Leary and head brewer Kenny Allen.

And it was a great day to drink a pint of Gude Two Shoes, a blonde ale with just a hint of mango that hit the spot on what turned out to be a very warm afternoon.  (Gude Two Shoes – the name was inspired by the title of today’s featured song – was a collaboration between True Respite and Saints Row Brewing, which opened in 2017 just a short distance from True Respite).

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Five days later, I was at another brand-new Maryland craft brewery – Crooked Crab Brewing in Odenton.

To work up a thirst, I first took a 90-minute bike ride along the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis trail, which follows the right of way of a long-defunct electric commuter railway.

The WB&A trail in Anne Arundel County
Unfortunately, I could only ride part of the trail.  That’s because the half of the trail that’s in Anne Arundel County isn’t connected to the half that’s in Prince George’s County.  The Patuxent River forms the dividing line between those counties, who haven’t been able to get their acts together to build a bridge over it to connect the two parts of the trail.  (The Patuxent is almost narrow enough to jump over, and should have been bridged years ago.)

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I went to Crooked Crab to listen to Comptroller Franchot discuss next steps in his efforts to reform Maryland’s antiquated and anticompetitive beer laws. 

Sadly, Franchot’s proposed “Reform on Tap” legislation – which would have repealed arbitrary and unjustified limits on the freedom of Maryland brewers to brew, distribute, and sell beer – didn’t get out of committee in the 2018 legislative session.

Crooked Crab co-owner Earl Holman
introduces Comptroller Franchot
It turns out that some of the members of the legislature’s leadership are exceedingly thin-skinned – so thin-skinned that they took serious umbrage with the Comptroller’s willingness to call a spade a spade when it came to the perverseness of current Maryland law, which blatantly favors the interests of beer distributors and retailers over those of brewers and consumers.

Too many legislators seem to believe that those who support the reform of Maryland’s antiquated and anticompetitive beer laws should appear hat in hand, humbly beg for the legislature’s indulgence, and be grateful for whatever legislative pittance that the lawmakers see fit to give them.

When the nine-year-old Oliver Twist famously said “I want some more” because he and his fellow workhouse orphans weren’t given enough gruel to satisfy their hunger, he was beaten for having the audacity to speak honestly.  

And when Maryland’s craft brewers – led by Franchot – appeared in Annapolis earlier this year and correctly told the powers-that-be in the Maryland General Assembly that “We deserve some more,” they were sent packing.  

Franchot – who was elected to his statewide office in 2006 by a wide margin, won by even larger margins in 2010 and 2014, and will no doubt roll up an even larger vote total this fall – isn’t going anywhere.  And he’s not about to give up the fight when it comes to bringing Maryland’s laws into line with the more reasonable ones in neighboring states.

The Crooked Crab Brewing logo
I listened to Franchot’s remarks while replenishing my precious bodily fluids with a pint of Crooked Crab’s Crooked Cream Ale.  To make sure that I was fully hydrated after all those miles riding the WB&A bike trail, I followed up with a pint of Rye-ders on the Storm, a hoppy but well-balanced rye beer.

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Two days later, I was back on my bike, riding the network of hiker-biker trails in Frederick, Maryland.

After an hour or so of riding, I took a break at one of my favorite Frederick craft breweries, Attaboy Beer.

Attaboy Beer in Frederick, MD
I was glad to have the chance to say hello to Attaboy co-owner Carly Ogden – a stalwart member of the “Reform on Tap” task force.  Carly is currently great with child, but is working as hard as ever in the unpretentious Attaboy tasting room, which she and her husband opened last year.

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After a pint of Attaboy’s Golden Fields Belgian-style saison, I got back on my bike and headed for my last stop of the day: Flying Dog Brewery, the largest craft brewery in Maryland.

The Flying Dog tasting room
Flying Dog is a large, bustling place that always offers a wide selection of beers on tap – several of which are usually one-of-a-kind recipes.

Last Friday, the featured beer was Puss ’N’ Boots, an unfiltered hoppy sour made with lime and cranberry that was conceived and brewed by Flying Dog’s female employees.

But I went for another limited-edition Flying Dog beer – the Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale, which is made with Maryland’s famous Old Bay seafood spice mix.  

The ST.EADman abbey ale label
I followed that up with a glass of ST.EADman abbey ale, which honors Flying Dog label artist (and close friend of Hunter S. Thompson) Ralph Steadman.

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I had made Flying Dog my destination last Friday so I could get a copy of the brand-new book, Beer in Maryland: A History of Breweries Since Colonial Times, from its author, historian and beer aficionado Maureen O’Prey, who was signing and selling her tome in the Flying Dog taproom that evening.

I’ve only had time to skim Beer in Maryland, but that was enough to demonstrate how remarkably comprehensive the book is.  (How does one come up with a list of Maryland’s pre-Revolutionary War breweries?  I don’t have the slightest idea how Maureen pulled that off.)

And while Beer in Maryland offers a detailed history of Maryland beermaking in the 18th and 19th centuries, it also tells the stories of many of the state’s newest craft breweries.  (I was particularly impressed with how much information Maureen had compiled about a small brewery that opened in my neighborhood not quite a decade ago, but has long since closed its doors.)

Click here to buy Beer in Maryland from Amazon. 

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Gude Drive in Rockville, Maryland, was named for the late Gilbert Gude, who represented the area in Congress from 1967 to 1977.  

You take Gude Drive to get from Saints Row Brewing to True Respite Brewing, so the two breweries decided to incorporate the name of the street in the name of their first collaborative beer, Gude Two Shoes.

Gude is often mispronounced.  (The word has two syllables, and the “u” is long – like the vowel sound in “chew” or “shoe.”)  But if you’re a fan of today’s featured song, you’ll at least come close to pronouncing the beer’s name correctly.

When I mentioned the song to Brendan O’Leary of True Respite, it quickly became apparent that he had never heard it.  Of course, Brendan is barely 30 years old – he wasn’t alive when Adam Ant released “Goody Two Shoes” in 1982.

Here’s “Goody Two Shoes”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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