By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(Feb. 25, 2021) Berlin is competing in a USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2021 contest for the best small town beer scene against 19 other nominations, including Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Each nomination has a population less than 30,000 and were chosen by a panel of beer experts as having the best beer scenes in the U.S. for their size.
Although Berlin’s population is less than 5,000 people, the craft beer selection is quite large.
Burley Oak Brewing Company, 10016 Old Ocean City Boulevard, offers 20 beers at all times with new can releases every month.
For February, beer lovers can purchase Warehouse Graffiti Double IPA, Search and Destroy Triple IPA, Pear Coconut Crumble J.R.E.A.M. fruited sour with lactose, Berry Crumble Cake J.R.E.A.M. fruited sour with lactose and Strawberry Raspberry Vanilla Whipped Icing J.R.E.A.M. fruited sour with lactose online at https://burleyoak.com/canrelease/ and pick up at Burley Oak on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the order confirmation and a valid I.D.
Owner Bryan Brushmiller got his start in the craft beer business by making beer in his garage as a creative outlet. He went on to open Burley Oak in 2011, which instills sustainable practices and uses local materials and craftsmen.
Brushmiller said he and his employees “understand the tourism behind craft beer and the economic impact” it has on the town. A lot of people visit his brewery from all over the country, which allows him to promote the shops downtown, he said.
Brushmiller also owns The Globe Gastro Theatre, 12 Broad St., which has 10 Burley Oak beers on tap, and the Lost Pantry, 17 Jefferson St., which has four Burley Oak beers on tap.
He added that “it’s an honor” to be a part of Berlin’s beer industry and be nominated for the best small town beer scene. He encourages his customers to vote for Berlin daily.
Brushmiller recently opened a small brewery in Delmar called Loakal Branch Brewing Company.
“I’m excited to bring what we brought to Berlin to Delmar,” he said.
Burley Oak is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., while The Globe is open Monday through Wednesday from 4-10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Lost Pantry is currently closed for the season and is expected to reopen May 1.
Fins Ale House and Raw Bar, 119 N. Main St., is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Happy Hour on Wednesday and Thursday takes place from 3:30-7 p.m. On Friday, it starts at 11:30 a.m. and goes until 6 p.m. Although Happy Hour is not offered on Saturday, Fins has Happy Hour deals on Sunday from open to close.
“The menu not only features Big Oyster Beers at discount but rail drinks and house wines as well as local oysters, shrimp, clams, tacos, and other bar bites,” said Molly McEvoy, bar manager.
Fins has 12 beers on tap.
“Big Oyster in Lewes, Delaware, is our house brewery,” McEvoy said. “On any given day you’re likely to find four to five Big Oyster Brewery beers on tap. We feature local beers from Evolution, Backshore Brewing, Duclaw, Flying Dog and Key Brewing among others in rotation any given week.”
She added that she is excited about the town being nominated for the best small town beer scene.
“Berlin is … a great scene for local people who have so much to offer on the food and beverage front. To be nominated as the best small town beer scene makes perfect sense,” McEvoy said, who has worked at Fins since 2016 as a server, bartender and bar manager. “Being surrounded by great breweries has sparked an interest in craft beer and all that comes with it. We are a Delaware-based family business lucky enough to have become a part of the Berlin beer scene. It makes for a lot of fun!”
Fins also has locations in Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach.
In addition, Pitt Stop Beer & Wine, 9040 Worcester Highway, carries more than 850 different beers.
The liquor store and bar is open Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Currently, Berlin is in the top five of the contest.
Fans of Berlin’s beer scene can vote once per day until March 16 at noon.
To vote, visit https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-beer-scene/berlin-maryland/.
Winners will be announced on March 26.