During a recent family event I surprisingly found myself imbibing on an unfamiliar craft beer with a baseball image on the can. Upon further inspection, I discovered I was drinking a pint of Old Oriole Park Beer from Peabody Heights Brewery, based in downtown Baltimore, Maryland.
Old Oriole Park Beer was named Maryland’s top beer at the 2015 Maryland Craft Beer Competition. Furthermore, the brewery location is located at the former home of the minor league Baltimore Orioles franchise from 1916-1944. Peabody Heights produced their first beer in 2012 and now makes more than 24,000 barrels per year according to their website.
Due to the obvious baseball theme and the fact we proudly support local craft breweries, I thought we should revisit a recurring column and scout this craft beer. Using an adjusted 20-80 scouting scale, this past weekend Mrs. NatsGM and I held a tasting in order to thoroughly evaluate this offering. Below are our grades and some thoughts on this Bohemian Pilsner.
1) Marketing and Presentation
NatsGM – 70 / Mrs. NatsGM – 75
The front of the can features a classic black-and-white picture of a tag play at home plate between a runner and the catcher, with the umpire staring intently at the two men. The image is fantastic, as it leaves some interpretation as to what happened before and the eventual outcome. In addition the side of the can features factoids about the brewery and their historic location in Baltimore.
The only negative is the picture and colors are somewhat subdued, so I fear people could overlook it while browsing the shelves. That said the can should be pleasing to most individuals and particularly baseball fans.
2) Appearance and Aroma
NatsGM – 55 / Mrs. NatsGM – 50
This lager looks fantastic poured into a pint glass, with a medium-sized white head. It has a clear light-golden, almost straw color which is rather see-through. Further, the mild aroma is pleasant, with some floral notes and a malty scent.
3) Flavor and Taste
NatsGM – 60 / Mrs. NatsGM – 70
Both of us thoroughly enjoyed this, as it possesses a crisp flavor on the palate and a light aftertaste. It is very smooth, well-balanced and enjoyable to drink. In addition, it tastes like you are enjoying a quality beverage, something far superior to a comparable Miller Lite. This beer is ideal for someone one looking for a lighter option on a warm day. Finally, it does a nice job providing a bigger flavor than the mainstream beers, but is more subtle than the typical craft beer.
NatsGM – 65 / Mrs. NatsGM – 70
Mrs. NatsGM and I were both extremely impressed by the quality of Peabody Heights Old Orioles Park Beer, especially since we generally prefer heavier beer options. I would recommend this to anyone, but particularly to those who typically shy away from crafts. This product tastes far superior to the more popular options and provides a nice first step to those new to craft beers.
It is on the lighter side in terms of alcohol with only 4.5% ABV and costs about $7-8 dollars per 6-pack, relatively inexpensive compared to their competitors. In fact, considering the unique exterior, superior taste and reasonable price, there is no doubt Old Orioles Park Beer is a worthwhile purchase. And if you are a baseball fan, consider making a day trip to the Peabody Heights Brewery, followed by a game at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.