Annapolis On The Cheap is a series of posts where we, Nathan and Casey, attempt to have an evening of food and craft beer in Annapolis for less than $30. Our goal is to find the best happy hour deals across Naptown so that you don’t have to!
The best part about this happy hour series of posts is that it has forced us to branch out to places around Annapolis that we’ve never visited before. We’ve had lunch at Harry Browne’s once in the past, but we’ve never visited the bar upstairs. Once we saw their happy hour menu we couldn’t wait to check it out.
When we got to the bar I couldn’t help but notice that it’s a bit of a classier looking place. I’m not saying you have to get dressed up for Harry Browne’s, but you won’t feel out of place if you ditch the pajama pants and Ninja Turtles t-shirt for something you would wear on a casual date.
We also discovered another place that fills growlers in Annapolis!
The craft beer choices on draft are basically limited to Heavy Seas’ Loose Cannon IPA, Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, a Sam Adam’s Seasonal, and Yuengling, if you consider the last two to be craft beer. When we ordered we discovered that none of the craft beer is discounted for happy hour. So undeterred we went ahead and ordered full price ($6.19 each) Tank 7s along with the Annapolitan ($6) flat bread and the quesadilla ($6). We could already tell that were going to bust our $30 limit.
On a happier note the beers were excellent. The Tank 7 is from Boulevard Brewing out of Missouri, and is a Belgian farmhouse style ale. It has a light and ever-so-slightly sweet malt flavor, with both the aroma and flavor having peppery spice and fruit esters from the yeast, with both floral and citrusy hops. You can expect to taste bread, white pepper, a hint of banana, grapefruit and lemon zest. It is a beautifully complex beer.
The food also turned out to be pretty damn tasty, and the company at the bar was great. Our barman, Jamison, kept conversation and service flowing the whole time we were there, and even introduced us to some of the regulars. If you see the same person twice at Harry Brown’s then take a look behind the bar for a small, wobbly, and familiar face. Chances are that if the person beside you is a regular then they may have their own personalized bobble head on the shelf!
For round two we knew we would bust our $30 limit so Casey switched it up and went for a happy hour cocktail. This is where Harry Browne’s really shines at happy hour. Where the limited and full priced beer selection made me as sad as a blogger that can’t think of a sadness simile, the happy hour Bourbon Manhattan was done very well. At $$4.50 each we both would have switched to cocktails if this weren’t a beer blog.
I went for the Loose Cannon ($6) and this is where we hit a problem. Either something was wrong with this keg or the lines had not been cleaned in a while because the Loose Cannon had a distinct mushroom flavor. Now this wasn’t a disgusting mushroom flavor, but it was definitely not supposed to be in the beer. I brought the issue up to Jamison, and I contacted Heavy Seas. I still don’t know if it was the line or the beer, but I went back by a few days later and the Loose Cannon tasted fine. Harry Browne’s fixed this issue quickly and deserves credit for that.
It’s really disappointing that the craft beer selection is limited, and none are discounted at happy hour, because I really enjoyed hanging out at Harry Browne’s. The atmosphere, the people, and the food are enough reason to go back, but I’m a beer drinker and that’s where Harry Browne’s happy hour falls short for mer. If you’re in the mood for cocktails then check this place out. I will definitely be back, but only when I’m in the mood for a happy hour cocktail, or it’s after happy hour and I expect to pay full price for a beer anyway.
Want to plan your own Annapolis happy hour? I’ve created an Annapolis Happy Hour Calendar that you can use to find all the craft beer happy hour deals around Annapolis (I recommend agenda view). You can also sync this calendar on your phone via XML (Android), or iCal (iPhone). Just keep in mind that happy hours sometimes change. The calendar will change with them, so let me know if you spot a new happy hour in town.