Cheers! DrinkMaryland Makers Festival expands to 3 Bay Area spots

If you’ve noticed many more breweries, cider houses, and distilleries popping up in the Chesapeake Bay area, you wouldn’t expect a thing. With more drinks being made locally than ever before, wouldn’t it be great to sample a lot of them in one place?

The Maryland Wineries Association is hosting three events in three different towns across the bay for people to sip samples. DrinkMaryland is an outdoor market and happy hour event: think of a farmers market but for drinking.

At events in Centreville, North Beach and Gaithersburg (read on for details), you can learn about the local craft beverage industry from the wineries, breweries and distilleries themselves, organizers say. , and buy bottles and cans of your favorites to take home.

How did the idea for DrinkMaryland come about? In 2016, more than 20 Centerville Main Street volunteers developed an idea for a flagship event with a working title of Maryland-Made, hoping to attract people to Queen Anne County, Maryland.

“We were looking for an event to showcase our historic little town and attract visitors who may not have been there before,” says Carol D’Agostino, Centerville Main Street Manager. The intent of the event was also to shine a light on Maryland creators such as artisans, authors and musicians as well as wineries, breweries and distillers. In 2017, that vision became a reality when the City of Centerville was invited to collaborate on a similar event across the Bay Bridge in North Beach, Calvert County. Both cities have partnered with the Maryland Wineries Association to present the first Drink Maryland event. This year, the Maryland Makers event is back, with stops in Centerville, North Beach and the newest addition of Gaithersburg.

The first this summer is Centerville, which will be held on June 18, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Gathering at Courthouse Square, Lawyers Row, and Broadway, visitors can sip and purchase made-in-Maryland artisan goods, such as leather goods, handmade jewelry, fashion accessories, and coastal art. Wine Coach Laurie Foster, the main stage emcee, will lead a tasting featuring some of her own favorite Maryland wines and spirits. J. Coursey Willis and the Stone Authors and the Justin Taylor Band provide entertainment for the day.

More than 10 Maryland Makers will be in attendance, including Centerville’s Bull and Goat Brewery and Old Courthouse Distillery, Queen Anne County’s Cult Classic and St. Michaels’ Lyon Distillery in neighboring Talbot County. Visit DrinkMaryland: Centerville to purchase a tasting pass and for more information about Drink Maryland Centreville.

The following Saturday in North Beach, Southern Maryland has the chance to sample locally made drinks, food and handmade gifts. On June 25, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on 5th and Bay Avenue, the self-proclaimed jewel of the Chesapeake hosts the second DrinkMaryland event.

“There will surely be a drink for everyone!” organizers say. The list of more than ten Makers already signed up includes Baltimore’s Philosophy Winery, the first African-American woman-owned winery in the state; Gypsy Brewing, veteran-owned and “brewing great beer in Calvert County”, Urban and Olney Wineries and Tenth Ward Distillery.

On Bay Avenue, in an open-air market setting with views of the Chesapeake, customers can purchase creations such as decorative glassware, specialty food items and delicious soulful flavors from Myra’s Taste of New Orleans. Dog Pound Pedigree provides live music. Organizers advise us to check back often for more additions to the day’s lineup of artisans and entertainment.

Go to DrinkMaryland: North Beach to purchase a tasting pass and for more information about DrinkMaryland North Beach.

Finally, there will be a last chance DrinkMaryland event to be held in September in Gaithersburg, MD. This Montgomery County market will be held September 9, from 4-8 p.m., at the Gaithersburg Community Museum.

New to DrinkMaryland’s participating cities, Gaithersburg will feature Maryland makers like Loveton Farms Distillery in Middle River, Tenth Ward Distilleries in Baltimore and Twin Valley Distilleries in Rockville. Additions to the roster of artisans, musicians, and food trucks are coming soon.

Visit DrinkMaryland: Gaithersburg Tickets for more information.

This summer’s DrinkMaryland events provide an opportunity to take a day trip, explore the area, buy local produce and support Maryland Makers. Let’s drink to that.

-Niambi Davis