Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame


The Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame is dedicated to annually inducting individuals, institutions and icons based on outstanding innovation, achievement, influence and their contribution to the beer industry and culture in Baltimore and the surrounding Chesapeake region. The Baltimore Beer Legends Hall of Fame mission is to recognize and honor the history, iconic individuals, and institutions both past and present, who by their singular influence, innovation, achievement, and/or contribution, and by the example of their lives, personify the significant impact that beer has made to our way of life in the “Land of Pleasant Living”.

Listen to Craft Beer on the Bay (2016) »

2018 Inductees

2018’s Press Release »

Rob Kasper

Hard to believe now but not so long ago in the 1980s there was little ardor for craft beer in Baltimore. Rob Kasper, however, was interested and through his three decades of column writing for The Baltimore Sun fanned the fires of enthusiasm for local brews. He wrote about the then novel idea of pairing beers with food at some of the area’s first beer dinners.  Read more »

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Max’s Taphouse

Max’s Taphouse has been a fixture in Fells Point since 1985. Today, with 107 beers on tap, 5 beer engines, and a seemingly endless, smartly curated selection of over 2000 bottles, it is a destination for beer lovers from around the world. But it’s also a Baltimore neighborhood bar, run by beer enthusiasts, and that is exactly how owners Ron and Gail Furman planned it.  Read more »

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National Bohemian

National Bohemian is a premium Bohemian-style beer. As the name implies, this is a method of beer-making that originated in Europe in the 1800’s using Bavarian-style laagering techniques. Also known as Pilsner, this style of beer has the unique claim to being “the world’s first golden beer.” Today, Natty Boh is brewed according to the strict traditions that made it the beer of choice. Read more »


Crabs & Beer

Baltimoreans’ summertime food staple is crab. We gather friends and family around newspaper-covered tables and pick our way through piles of steamed Maryland blue crabs. A traditional crab feast includes corn-on-the-cob and of course beer! As noted by Michael Jackson the world-renowned author “One of the most memorable meals in my life was a salty, peppery crab feast, with crustaceans piled on brown paper on the table, and washed down with Guinness, at a pub called O’Brady’s in Baltimore… where feasts of crabs from the Chesapeake Bay are a seasonal ritual.”
Excerpt from Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion – Copyright 1993

2017 Inductees

2017’s Press Release »

Bill Oliver
Founder and Owner – Oliver Brewing Company

Bill Oliver comes from a long line of Canadian home brewers.  Bill’s fond memories of his father’s fellow fire fighters stopping by the house for a pint or two of his brew influenced him. Bill’s father Harry had a secret ingredient that made his ales better – actual brewer’s yeast from Taylor and Bate. The yeast was Bill’s first hint as to the benefit of using high quality ingredients in making ales. Read more »

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John Leonard Barnitz & Elias Daniel Barnitz
Founder Barnitz Brewery & Son

The odds were against John Leonard Barnitz when he got Baltimore into the beer business in 1748. He was 71 years old when he opened the city’s first commercial brewery near the corner of what is now Baltimore and Hanover streets. Moreover the economic outlook was not rosy.  Instead of a shining city perched on a bustling harbor, Baltimore was a muddy burg of about 60 ramshackle structures with roofs so likely to catch fire that residents were required to own a ladder so they could quickly climb up and battle flames from sparking chimneys. Read more »

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2016 Inductee

2016’s Press Release »

Hugh Sisson
Founder and Managing Partner – Heavy Seas Beer

A sixth generation Baltimorean, Hugh found himself thrust into the bar business in 1980 by his father. His original intent was to be an actor/director (which is what he did his college and graduate work in), but as the romance of poverty had worn thin by the end of grad school, he accepted a position running the family bar, Sisson’s. Read more »

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2015 Inductees


Thomas “Nelson” Carey III
Owner – Grand Cru Wine Bar

A true Baltimore boy, Thomas “Nelson” Carey III was raised in the Lake Falls neighborhood. He attended Loyola High School and Loyola College.He grew up surrounded by talented and animated home cooks who inspired his passion for culinary arts. Nelson embraced the idea that food and drink were at the heart of gatherings bringing friends and families together. After college, he moved to Newport, RI where he began his culinary career at the Mooring Restaurant, and he later worked in New York City. It was in these restaurant settings that he became excited about the art of food and wine pairing. Read more »
Photo Credit: Jim Burger

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Bob Footlick
President, Bond Distributing

With the passing of Bob Footlick in 2015, we lost a great friend and colleague.When describing Bob, people often used words like ‘brilliant,’ ‘visionary’ and ‘innovator.’ And for good reason. Bob drew on his tremendous work ethic, unbounded creativity, and positive attitude to build Bond Distributing Company, Baltimore’s third generation distributor, into an industry leader. Read more »

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Tim Hillman
Beer Manager, The Wine Source

Tim Hillman entered the beer industry as a young man with a humble stock position at Chadwick Liquors in Woodlawn. He dove in further after completing a business degree and taking on management responsibilities at Towson Plaza Liquors in the late 80’s. He briefly helped run Smile’s Liquors in Timonium which became Cranbrook Liquors, before moving on to Rotunda Wine and Spirits in Hampden. Read more »

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Mick Kipp (aka Mick T Pirate)
Owner, Whiskey Island Pirate Shop,
Bartender – Pickle’s Pub

Mick graced the Baltimore Stage with his colorful presence since the mid-eighties with his signature hand-made bandannas! Mick’s passions were his daughter Matoka, family, beer and food! His simple ways contributed to his great attitude about life. Mick’s positive influence rubbed off on you effortlessly if you wanted it or not.Mick loved all things beer, writing and publishing a book “Mick’s Beer Guide” in 1989 long before the craft movement became visible in the US. The book was his pride and joy to educate folks around him about beer. This became his avocation through bartending in various locations in Baltimore. Read more »

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