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. He argued that Baltimoreans should be as proud of their local beers as they are of their local dishes. He reacquainted the community with the practice of brewing beers for seasonal holidays such as Oktoberfest and Christmas, convincing his audience that not only was drinking well-made beer good fun, it was also good taste.
In addition to his newspaper columns, many of which were reprinted in newspapers throughout the country, he carried the message of the joys of drinking good beer to appearances before community groups as varied as the Women’s Club of Roland Park, the Knights of Columbus, and of course to home brewers. Along with Joe Gold and Dominic Cantalupo he championed the establishment of Baltimore Beer Week.
After a 33-year career at The Baltimore Sun, he left the newspaper in 2011 to write a definitive history of local brewing “Baltimore Beer: A Satisfying History of Charm City Brewing” tracing the story of Baltimore beer makers from 1748 to 2012. He also shared this history by being a commentator, along with Maureen O’Prey, in Nick Kovic’s 2012 documentary film, Brewmore. A theme of Rob’s work has been that a sense of civic engagement—displayed by brewers from the early days of the city’s German brewers, to the 1960s barons at Gunther and National , to the energetic craft brewers of modern day Baltimore—has been a vital part of city life.
Over many years and through many mediums Rob Kasper communicated a passion for good beer and an appreciation of the good works that members of brewing community bestowed on Baltimore. In short he has spread the word that brewers have made Baltimore a better place to live .