In 1983, "Beefalo" Bob DiMartino began a small-scale catering operation built around no-frills, classic recipes of pit-roasted barbecue, growing his business to include a carry-out joint, sports bar, and even an upscale banquet hall. Bob's process is simple: slow cooking beef, ham, turkey, slabs of ribs and morsels of pork and chicken over smoking hickory fires and not cutting corners with gas jets or heat vision. The sports bar garnishes these backyard-style feasts with plates of oysters, lump crab cakes, and strip steak, as well as sports games on 20 big-screen TVs and rivers of cold beer.
True to its roots as a catering outfit, Beefalo Bob's supplies parties of up to 10,000 with bull roasts, crab feasts, and roasted pigs, as well as rentals of tents, tables, and moon bounces. Fancy occasions find a home in the 250-person Reflections Hall, decked out with chandeliers, DJs, a fireplace, hints of sparkly gold, and a wide-open hardwood dance floor.
Perched on a hill overlooking northern Baltimore County's scenic valleys, Royal Rabbit Vineyards typically provides guests pleasing views throughout the year. It isn't until late spring and summer, however, that the landscape begins to change: heavy green and purple orbs crop up along 4 acres of climbing grapevines. By fall, the heavy, ripened grapes are ready for harvest—later on they’ll be turned into the winery’s award-winning wines or used as low-impact marbles. The small winery lies along the Piedmont Wine Trail and Mason-Dixie Wine Trail, which connects more than 20 small, family-owned wineries in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
In keeping with the Royal Rabbit Vineyards motto—"Treat yourself royally"—many of the wines have royal titles, including a cabernet franc blend dubbed “the duke.” Wine labels display a kingly rabbit holding a golden chalice.
Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
Scores of people walk the streets of Washington DC during the day of the Snow Day Bunny Hop Bar Crawl. This annual holiday-themed walking tour sends its participants to popular watering holes such as BlackFinn, The Front Page, Mighty Pint, and Sign of the Whale. Everyone in attendance receives drink specials at each participating establishment, plus a signature mug that's perfect for holding a frosty brew or all of the kids' Easter eggs you can find.
From April 18th to the 25th, lovers of fine brews gather at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds for Annapolis Beer Week?a celebration of local and craft beers, live music, and delicious food. Visitors sip suds from producers such as Yards Brewing Company, DuClaw, Flying Dog, and Port City after completing the 5K Beer Run or as they enjoy outdoor concerts.
Since its first event in 2008, the Chesapeake Bay Wine Festival has steadily added to its multisensory feast of libations, food, and live sounds. Originally conceived to highlight Maryland's wines, beers, and local delicacies, the festival now brings wines from around the world to its bayside location. White tents shield tasters from rain, sunburn, and any curious fish who might try to leap into their goblets. Each year, the festival benefits an array of community- and family-focused organizations.