Brewery: Johanssons Dining House
Beer: Whistle Stop Amber
Bottle, Can, or Draft: Draft
Price: $3.25 (during Happy Hour)
A lot of people wouldn’t take me as a beer girl. They would look at me, in my over-sized pink sweater and Audrey Hepburn cigarette pants and think, “Oh, she’s a vodka-and-soda girl,” or “Oh, she’s a gin fizz girl.” And honestly, I’m all of those girls. However, I became a beer bunny while abroad in Dublin, Ireland. One small sip of Guinness and I was a goner. I started looking for interesting brews everywhere I went, the darker the better. So, imagine my enjoyment when I found out there was a local brewery in the small sneeze of a college town that is Westminster, Maryland. Johanssons Dining House is all dark wood, rounds of darts, and amber mood lighting. It’s as if someone picked up an English pub and plopped it stateside. It’s a great place for a nervous first date, to watch the ball game (whatever ball that may be), or to unwind after a stressful final. During my four years at McDaniel College, I have experienced all three of these, enjoying a special house brew at each. The three speciality brews they offer include Honest Ale and Hoddlehead Pale Ale. And while an ale will cure what ails you, I opt for the third draft, the Whistle Stop Amber. The house describes it as a “deep ruby red beer brewed with generous amounts of cascade hops that balance a complex malty sweetness.” It’s rich and hoppy, but not as heavy as the dark coloring would cause a person to assume. While I normally pair my beer with simply more beer, this brew can hold up to the best of all bar fare. I paired mine with a sky-high Reuben sandwich, onion rings, and a nice conversation with a fellow bar patron. He told me about two microbreweries in Colorado that I should take some time and check out. With my spirit of adventure, love of beer, and current unemployed status, nothing sounds more tempting.
BONUS! It was one of those Happy Hours and with me being the pink sweater-ed Pollyanna that I am, I simply could not pass up the Fruli Strawberry beer. With its watermelon hue, it made the perfect accessory for a night out. It tastes like every strawberry candy ever made, which also makes it extremely addictive. Proceed with caution; it’s not called Hammered Hour, ladies and gentlemen.
Johanna Caruthers is a senior English major at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She likes unicorns, baking, poetry, and roller skating.