Jailbreak. If you like beer and you’re anywhere near Baltimore or Washington, you should pay these guys a visit. So let’s set the scene. Nestled in Laurel and founded by Kasey Turner and Justin Bonner, Jailbreak is a relaxed, inviting and generally cool little bar. Actually, it’s rather spacious. Most importantly, it’s an awesome microbrewery producing knock-out beers.
I love the fact that the bar looks straight into the brewery through a huge glass wall. This place is clean, calculated and professional, yet laid back and unpretentious.
Now here’s something I found interesting: craft beers in the US are predominantly canned. Their cans are lined, keeping the beer in great condition and preventing the metallic, ‘tinny’ taste provided you drink it from a glass. Cans have a bad reputation in the UK, with consumers associating them with lower quality and ‘park-bench-drinkers’. It’s cheaper than buying beer in bottles, and without venturing into the BPA debate here, I’d say that I’m all for switching; surely it makes sense for everyone? The positives really do stack up – the beer stays fresher, as unlike bottles the cans prevent light getting to it. Shipping and environmental costs are reduced, as cans are much lighter and less bulky – we all know that cans are easier to carry… I’ve smashed plenty of bottles en-route to picnics and parties; so much safer on camping trips. Impatient? The thermodynamic properties mean your beer will chill quicker in the fridge/ice bucket.
Jailbreak’s beers are quirky and exciting. For me, it was all about the Dusk till Dawn, an imperial espresso stout packing a 10.6% punch in the face. Key Lime Pale Ale anyone? What about a basil infused Belgian style wheat beer: ‘Made Wit Basil’? Clever. Check out jailbreakbrewing.com for further info.
Right. So this is where it gets really interesting. Jailbreak stood out for me as their bar supports local food trucks. Now, in the UK, most people would turn their noses up at this point and conjure up images of dirty burger vans and the smell of fried onions. Think again. We’re talking the real deal. Jailbreak advertises which trucks are going to be parked up outside the front door each day, and even more astonishingly awesome, you place your order and they give you a pager to let you know when to pop outside and collect it. I’ve never known a pub to allow you to bring your dinner in and eat it at the bar.
As T & J Waffles had the prime spot, we went for Chicken Waffles (When in Rome…) and sampled the salmon for good measure. Good with beer? – how couldn’t it be.
To top off this visit, we got an impromptu brewery tour. I kid you not. Could this night get any better?
Did we hit a few beers and pick up a few more from the fridge to keep us going? You betcha.
Keep up the good work Jailbreak – I can’t wait to be back in town.