Road Trip to Monocacy Battlefield (June 19th – June 20th, 2020)

The Best Farm at the Battlefield of Monocacy, outside of Frederick Maryland

So this is the story of an impromptu two-day road trip / adventure in Frederick Maryland I had with my three daughters. It was originally planned as a quick five or so hour trip down to visit the Monocacy Battlefield, tour it, have lunch and dinner at breweries, and leave. Well…. none of that worked out. None of this went according to plan. And by none, I mean, legitimately, none of it.

As I said in part one of this – An Impromptu Two-Day Road Trip to Frederick Maryland – the original plan was simple; I would pick up the girls and leave the Harrisburg area around 10:30AM, we would arrive at Idiom Brewing at a little after noon (right when they open too), eat our lunch, view the canal / creek there a bit, then spend roughly four to five hours at the battlefield viewing everything, find another brewery (Midnight Run Brewing, Rockwell Brewing, Monocacy Brewing, or some other) for dinner, then head out, all in time to drop my oldest off in Lemoyne for a sleepover and even have time to take my younger two Mini Golfing at Indian Echo Caverns.

…..Well, none of that really happened.

Starting off, its not a bad trip from the Harrisburg area to Frederick Maryland and Monocacy Battlefield. Roughly an hour and a half (direct shot Google Maps said it was 1HR-36Min). We start off at Sam’s Club to get gas. Sam’s has three dual-sided pumps with two pumps at each for a total of twelve pumps. Nearly every car in line has the tank on the driver’s side, and of course, despite being in the shortest line, I somehow pick the line that ends up taking the longest.

A guy asks for a jump on his car, help him do so, and then on our way we are. The drive is luckily uneventful, its mostly taking RT15 the whole way there, skirting around Gettysburg and making it into Frederick. We see about six or seven patrol and state cop cars along RT15 so I keep speed limit and not venturing to much past the noted limit. We arrive in Frederick at Idiom Brewing at 12:30.

Entrance to Idiom Brewing from their parking lot.

Finding the Idiom Brewery was easy, turn here, turn there, boom you’re there. Pulled in, woke up the littlest one, and we masked up and headed inside. Got the gist of what their rules are during the pandemic / COVID-19 / coronavirus crisis, and got the girls to the outside dining area. We settled in, I grabbed a beer, took a sip, and then we went to the food truck and made our order and went back to the outdoor dining area.

Idiom Brewing – Moment In The Sun

I ordered ‘Moment in the Sun’ by Idiom Brewing. It is a Fruited Sour, using papaya, pineapple, and coconut cream. No IBU, and a 6.1% ABV. On Untappd I gave it a ****. The global average rating is 3.83 (as of 6.21.20).

We got our food back from the taco truck. My oldest – Olivia-Grace – got a fried chicken quesadilla, my middle child – Lily – got a fried brisket quesadilla, and my youngest – Mara – and I shared three chicken tacos. The food was very good, the girls loved it. It was more of a traditional Mexican taco using cilantro and no lettuce.

The view from the backporch dining area of Idiom Brewing is absolutely beautiful. It overlooks the Carroll Creek and some of the park that runs alongside the creek on both sides. Also, right by the brewery is several other businesses, fountains in the pond, and the train interchange for Frederick.

As we ate our food and then explored a little of the surrounding area, I then went back and got a second beer – Its The Berries. Another fruited sour, this one was only 5.8% ABV and no IBU. The Untappd description for it reads: “Juicy and slightly tart, this beer was kettle soured with a mix of lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus brevis, then fermented with Conan yeast for some stone fruit undertones. We then fermented the beer on top of over 300# of Raspberries, Blackberries and Boysenberries.” I gave it ****.25 on Untappd, and the average global rating (as of 6.21.20) was 4.1.

Idiom Brewing – Its the Berries

Before heading out, we packed up our stuff, threw away our trash, paid and tipped, and I tasted a sample of their White Stout which was very good. The girls hit the bathroom and then we were heading out to begin our actual visit of the Monocacy Battlefield.

First stop of the Monocacy Battlefield is the Best Farm.

The first stop of the tour was the Best Farm and property. We walked about it, checked it out, and then we went over to the Visitor Center. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 / coronavirus the visitor center is closed, but there is still a trail to hike behind it, and some things to see, so we still stopped to check it out.

This is when things started going ‘horribly awry’. As we started the Juncture Trail, I begin noting that my stomach was cramping severely and was hurting pretty bad, but not too bad that I couldn’t walk. The girls were also starting to do little complaints; “Its too hot”, “I’m tired”, “My legs hurt”, “its waaaaaaaaaaay toooooo hooooot”, etc. So we get back to the car, and take note of how its starting to look ominous in the distance.

We start making our way along the road towards Gambril’s Mill, the next stop of the tour. We cross the bridge over the train-tracks that ran along and through the battlefield (as you can see in the pictures, and make up part of the Juncture). We get out at what I thought was the trailhead for the Gambril Mill (it wasn’t), and start walking, and a few drops of rain begin to hit us… its also when I re-look at the map and realize we are not in the correct spot, so we start heading back to the car…. when the heavens above unleash and it just becomes a torrential rainfall.

So we get back in the car and begin to weather out the thunderstorm. Important thing to note here – my car’s AC has not been working recently (it needs recharged). So, its getting a bit hot in the car, thus I then roll down the windows and keep the defroster on, and work a delicate balance of things to try and maintain some form of cooling in the vehicle. Which is definitely needed when you have three youngsters in the car who have been complaining about how hot its been all day. About five-ten minutes into this storm…. the violently ill feeling overcomes me and I rush out of the car towards the bridge and into the trees.

As you might have guessed; in the thunderstorm and downpour, within sight and view of the pretty scenic bridge, I began to retch and vomit. I had a full on stomach upheaval. But sadly, it wasn’t enough. It became mostly dry heaving, and not enough for me to overcome the sickness and sickening feeling. After some time of this, I got back in the car, and we finished out the storm, once the storm abated we decided we could further our trip. Me thinking that my stomach could hold off, the girls probably just wanting this all to be over.

….It was far from over. Towards driving to Gambril Mil, the stomach pain increased, and I made an emergency finding of a Dunkin Donuts. Where a beleaguered (and probably quickly horrified) teenager encountered me all but rushing through the store on my way to the bathroom. Thirty minutes later, and a few “Are you still alive in there?” check-ins from my daughters as well as the terrified teenage Dunkin Donuts employee, I emerge, and get back in the car.

By this point its about 4:45-5PM, and I tell the girls, I don’t think there’s anyway we can finish the tour, we’ll make the drive to Lemoyne (Google Maps estimating it at 1 hour), to drop off my oldest at her sleepover and then proceed to home (another 20-30 minutes from there). At this point, she’d get to her sleepover at about 6PM (we were originally aiming for 6:30PM) and we would be home at 6:30-6:45PM. Not too bad, and albeit a miserable trip, at least not the worst possible outcome….

….Until it was the worst possible outcome. I get onto the highway, and its immediately, completely, bumper, to bumper, to bumper, to bumper, to bumper traffic for as far as the eye can see. If I was Noah sending off a dove, it wouldn’t be able to find land, only cars. So, I sadly, internally crying to myself, and hoping my intestines, guts, stomach, lungs, and whatever other organs can hold together, like Han Solo, “Hear me baby… hold together…” I grit and get into this mob-scene of traffic. After about 15-2o minutes of waiting, we edge closer and closer, and I can see an off-ramp exit. And thats when Wave 2 of this all hit me, and I peel out and down the ramp, having no idea where I’m at. My co-pilot next to me – my oldest; not Chewbacca – is passed out, my youngest in the back – likewise sound asleep, just me and Lily awake and completely clueless on where we at. I see an empty parking lot and I swerve in. I fling the door open and fall to the ground as it begins to storm and rain again, and my stomach unloads upon the poor pavement that never did anything to it. Much to the horror of a shocked worker standing outside on their smoke break. I find myself in a near-empty parking lot for a Wellness Salon and Spa. Ironic I suppose. After a horrific five minutes, I crawl back in, and Google Maps for a hotel. I find an Econo Lodge, and I find myself going back through the town of Frederick Maryland for about the third time that day. (As becomes apparent, I will pass through the town of Frederick all told about twenty times on this trip, crossing the same bridge, passing over the same road, back and forth, back and forth.)

We reach the Econo Lodge, where I somehow maintain a semblance of sanity and don’t look like a man who is about to divulge all of his stomach’s secrets upon the nearest person, I make it through the check-in and rush the girls into the room….. or attempt to rush the girls into the room… for the door doesn’t work. I try it again, still nothing, …one more try, leaning my shoulder in, and blam-o, we’re in. The girls get comfortable, turn on the TV, and start to watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2, while I rush off to get a shower and try to resort to normalcy.

Quick shower, some more throwing up, and I’m soon sound asleep in the bed. Except its a fitful, feverish sleep, where the girls said I snored and huffed and puffed like the Wolf trying to destroy a village of pig homes. After the feverish, hellish, hallucinatory nap, where I apparently sweated out a small pond’s worth of sweat, I’m back to normal. To the point where my stomach is even growling and letting me know its hungry. But oh no, not so fast Mr. Stomach, I ain’t falling for that one.

I get another quick shower (hey, why not), and get the girls over to the Sheetz right next to the motel for some food, and we then find a nice playground park to eat. The park is a nice little playground, dog park, and some athletic fields, called Bellenger Creek Park. The girls eat and play, and I rest and get back to feeling like normal.

Following this, we returned back to Carroll Creek and started walking both sides of the creek. Which looks like basically a long canal that runs through Frederick, it gives a beautiful view on both sides of it. At one end is Idiom Brewing and other businesses and the Frederick train station, at this area a short hop and skip over is also Smoketown Brewery and Attaboy Beer. We parked somewhere in the middle at a parking garage and walked all over it.

We walked the entire path, at about 9:15-9:30PM we found ourselves near some of the restaurants that were still open, and the girls saying they were hungry (again). Seeing where we were (near Idiom Brewing) but that they were closed, and seeing a few places open, we decided to go over. I will say here, that I was a bit unaware of how the locations looked. The Attaboy beer, Attaboy Barrel House, and Smoketown Brewery are all right next to each other (physically touching) in part of an old warehouse like complex. That night, I had looked at the Google Map and it didn’t list the barrel house or the Smoketown Brewery, but instead just listed Attaboy Beer, so thats where I thought it was when we talked to the hostesses at the restaurant. (When we went back then Saturday, I realized they were three distinct locations.) Talked to the hostesses, and they said due to having children, that we would be unable to be seated. That they were too busy for children at the time. We said ok, finished our walk, and got food elsewhere then before hitting the motel and going to sleep.

The next morning came early with me waking up around 5:30AM, after falling asleep sometime around 11:30PM to Futurama on the SyFy channel. Apparently at 5:30AM theres nothing much to put on TV in Frederick Maryland other than Home Alone, so me and my youngest watched that until the others woke up and we decided on breakfast. The girls voted Waffle House… so at 9:30AM I found myself at a Waffle House in Frederick Maryland, on day two of a trip that was only meant to be five hours. Like Gilligan and the Skipper and all of them, it was only supposed to be a three hour tour.

Following the Waffle House, we revisited the Monocacy Battlefield, starting with the Gambril Mill and Gambril House. The Mill area had a nice trail down by the Monocacy River, and the girls enjoyed this early morning hike, we got there around 10:15-10:30 and stayed until 11-11:20AM.

Next up on our journey through the Monocacy Battlefield was the Thomas Farm. Which also included a large hike, leading down along the river, and basically just circumnavigating the farm fields. While at the farmhouse Olivia-Grace found a snake skin, and then down along the river trail section we encountered a snake (not sure what type, so if anyone knows, feel free to say so in the comments).

Our next and final stop of our tour through the Monocacy Battlefield was the Worthington Farm and family house. There was also a long (several long) hike trail here, but my daughters didn’t want to do it, so we ended up skipping out on that.

So now it was time for lunch, and the girls were hungry, as was I, so we looked up several breweries in the area to see where to eat. Remembering that Attaboy Beer, and having been recommended it before, I decided we would try them out. At this point I was still under the impression that the Smoketown Brewery was the Attaboy Beer, so I was hoping since it was day time, they’d let us in. Google Mapped our way there, got there and there is a large parking lot area for the complex of breweries and other businesses. Parked, and realized my mistake, that there was the Attaboy Beer AND the Smoketown Brewery. We decided to stop at the Smoketown Brewery first. They once again denied us entry because of the girls, saying that I had no way to properly maintain them and that they could become a hindrance to all around due to the COVID-19 restrictions. That I had no way to ensure that they would remain in their seats; despite them being 12, 11, and 7 years old. As well as very well behaved young ladies. I didn’t make a scene, just said ok, and we headed over to the Attaboy Beer. But, I will take this moment to point out, that when passing their outdoor beer garden, which was visible from the hostess location, there was a family with a small child running around. Legitimately running around. And small enough, to what looked like he was in just a diaper and t-shirt, so toddler age, at best three years old. Either way, once we got to Attaboy Beer, I definitely don’t feel like I missed out on anything with the Smoketown Brewery, and from what I’ve been told, I didn’t miss out either.

At Attaboy Beer, the bartenders were super nice, as well as the host. Accommodating and very nice and talkative and helpful to my daughters as well. Even giving us a free Sprite because they didn’t have any root beer left and they felt bad. I ordered their Galaxy Maid, which was a delicious NE-IPA.

Galaxy Maid by Attaboy Beer

Galaxy Maid is a NE-IPA by Attaboy Beer, its 20 IBU, and 6.9% ABV. The Untappd description reads: “Grapefruit, Hazy, Juicy. For people who can’t decide if they want a glass of orange juice or a beer. Our hazy New England IPA is thick and lush, bursting with citrus flavor. So of the moment. Hops: Galaxy, Horizon, Malts: 2 Row, Oats, Wheat, Carapils, Caravienne, Starting Gravity 14.4, Final Gravity 4.2” I gave it ****.25 on Untappd and as of 6.21.20 the global average rating was 3.89.

At these breweries, there were two food trucks, the traditional taco truck from Idiom the day before, and a Peruvian food truck. Now, I want to emphasize that I did not get sick because of the taco truck. That was just a fluke stomach bug that hit me at just at that time. Would have happened if I was at home, or California, or Vermont, or Michigan, or Frederick Maryland. But, despite all that, I did not feel up to retrying my luck with the taco truck and we ordered Peruvian instead. Never had Peruvian before, never had Yucca Fries before, but all in all it wasn’t bad. Not my huge cup of tea, but not bad.

While at Attaboy Beer, before we left, I purchased a four-pack of Fredhead Red IPA to take home, as well as one more beer myself as we finished our lunch. My second beer was….

Creek Life (Citra) by Attaboy Beer

Creek Life (Citra) is a pale ale, by Attaboy Beer, it is 5.6% ABV and 30 IBU. The Untappd description reads: “Tropical, Citrus, Bright. Bursting with citrus and mango, Creek Life is a beer for all days. Especially sunny ones. Hops: Citra, Simcoe, Horizon, Malts: 2 Row, CaraVienna, Starting Gravity 13, Final Gravity 2.7” My Untappd rating was ****.25 and the global average rating (as of 6.21.20) was 3.64.

After paying, tipping, and cleaning up to leave, the bartender told me if I wanted to try flights that the barrel house next door was doing flights. Most of the breweries I’ve been to since we’ve been allowed back out, have not been. Desperate Times was in Carlisle, PA; and later on this trip Rockwell Brewing in Frederick, MD; but most of the other places (like Idiom Brewing, Midnight Run Brewing, Molly Pitcher, etc.) have not been. Since I was with my daughters and just had two at the main brewhouse, I decided not to, and we then went to our next stop. Which was the Francis Scott Key memorial.

I understand our current climate, politically, etc, and I understand that Francis Scott Key was a slave owner. As per wikipedia on him:

Key purchased his first slave in 1800 or 1801 and owned six slaves in 1820.[29] He freed seven slaves in the 1830s, one of whom continued to work for him for wages as his farm’s foreman, supervising several slaves.[30] Key also represented several slaves seeking their freedom, as well as several slave-owners seeking return of their runaway slaves.[10][31] Key was one of the executors of John Randolph of Roanoke‘s will, which freed his 400 slaves, and Key fought to enforce the will for the next decade and to provide the freed slaves with land to support themselves.[32]

Key is known to have publicly criticized slavery’s cruelties, and a newspaper editorial stated that “he often volunteered to defend the downtrodden sons and daughters of Africa.” The editor said that Key “convinced me that slavery was wrong—radically wrong”.[33] However, in spite of his anti-slavery position, Key expressed white supremacist points of view. During the War of 1812, after seeing the Second Corps of the Colonial Marines—a British military corps composed of fugitive slaves from the U.S.—fight against American soldiers, Key said that blacks were “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community”, according to Snow-Storm in August (Knopf Doubleday, 2013) by Jefferson Morley.[34][35]

Key was a founding member and active leader of the American Colonization Society (ACS), whose primary goal was to send free blacks to Africa.[10] Though many free blacks were born in the United States by this time, historians argue that upper-class American society, of which Key was a part, could never “envision a multiracial society”.[36] The ACS was not supported by most abolitionists or free blacks of the time, but the organization’s work would eventually lead to the creation of Liberia in 1847.[27][36]

Francis Scott Key – Key and Slavery (Wikipedia)

I was sure to discuss these things with my daughters. We discussed his slavery, we discussed his story, his life. We read the signs and posts there at the cemetery. We also discussed The Star Spangled Banner, its meaning, its impact, etc. We did go and visit his memorial, statute, and burial site at the cemetery of Mt. Olivet. I think, in light of how statues of slave owners, slavers, racists, etc, are being pulled down, I will not post the pictures of his memorial. I have taken pictures of the memorial, we were there, but I don’t see the need to post them here, in light of the political climate, and given that this is still just a beer blog. I’m not making claims, I’m not looking to engender fights, I just think its unnecessary, unneeded, and not worth posting those pictures. I’ve posted tons of other pictures in this blog article alone, of the Monocacy Battlefield, of the Civil War, etc. At the end of the day, this is still a beer, brewery, craft beer, hops, home brewing, etc, blog, and so I don’t see the need for that here. This post is long enough as it is, and I’ve probably lost most of you by this point anyway, especially those just looking to read up on beer, breweries visited, etc. (Not that I have that huge of a following or anything anyway.)

I do enjoy visiting Civil War battlefields and learning. I have gone to Gettysburg, Antietam, and several other smaller sites, and looking to go to many more in the upcoming future. I like to tie them in with brewery visits, and now with the blog, I write a bit of it as a travelogue. I like to think that this blog does a lot of things; beer reviews, brewery news, brewery reviews, brewery tours, visits, etc, as well as act as a bit of a travelogue, especially for those reading vicariously and might not get to visit these places. I hope people can be respectful here reading, and this does not become a fight or politically charged thing. So having said all this – and continuing as the faithful narrator, and recounting my travels, I am listing them and continuing, just for this section, I am not providing pictures. That is all. Moving on.

While in the cemetery, we saw several KLINE tombstones. So we drove throughout the cemetery and saw numerous KLINEs which I found interesting. I have done a fair bit of genealogical research after my oldest was born and even made a rather large Family Tree website, that my middle child (Lily) loves checking out. While doing all that, I have done a lot of past research on KLINEs and where my family came from and traveled and gotten to America, etc. But most of the branches I’ve seen stayed in the Pennsylvania area. So I am looking forward to researching these KLINEs and seeing what the relationship is to my family. KLINE, KLEIN, and CLINE is a somewhat common last name, not massively common, but somewhat, especially in the farming areas of Pennsylvania and such. And I’m not going to breakdown the full history of KLINE, KLEIN, and / or CLINE, but it is common throughout the groups that it would be. My daughters and I just thought it was interesting to see all of the KLINE names. My oldest, who was born in August (like myself), thought it was interesting that most of the dates on the tombstones for the KLINEs either had a birthdate or a deathdate in August. Side trivia note for you all I suppose.

After the cemetery we checked out Baker Park, which was a huge, open area park with an amphitheater, a creek, a wonderful fountain area, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, a playground, and much more. We walked the area, stopped at a shaved ice truck and the girls got ice cones with ice cream in them. While there, there was also a Black Lives Matter rally going on. So we stopped, listened, knelt for the 8:46, and respectfully went on our way after a while.

(Once again, not taking political sides, not trying to cause controversy, not trying to cause issue, just providing a listing of my events, my activities, and my trip. This blog post was about my Road Trip to Frederick Maryland, and thus I am discussing my road trip to Frederick Maryland. Laying out the details as they happened. Omitting nothing, as you can tell by my intestinal escapades.)

Now it was time to eat some dinner and get going. It was closing in on 5:30PM, and was time we got moving. Til we would eat dinner and all, it’d be a while, so we had to make preparations to go. Since it’d still be an hour and a half drive home from where we were, and this had already been quite the trip!

Based on the recommendations, I decided on Midnight Run Brewing for the dinner spot. But as we came down the road to it, I realized there was a brewery just a block away from it, so we stopped there quickly and first. And that first brewery was….

Rockwell Brewing, located just outside the main area of Frederick Maryland but still within the city. It had its own building and was a nice looking place. The indoors smelled lovely, lavender, sage, berries, perhaps, not sure, but not your typical ‘hop’ smell of a brewery like Troegs Brewing or Idiom Brewing had the day before.

While there, there was live music, playing Three Eyed Blind, Counting Crows, Oasis, and similar bands; single live singer with his guitar. Rockwell Brewing was doing flights, so I ordered myself a flight. The four beers I got were:

  • Tidal Wave – 6.8% NE-IPA ; my rating: **** / global rating: 3.62 (as of 6.21.20)
  • YMCA – 8.6% DIPA ; my rating: **** / global rating: 3.82 (as of 6.21.20)
  • Smooth Operator – Session IPA (interesting note: while drinking this, the live singer started playing Smooth Operator) – my rating: **** / global rating: 3.61 (as of 6.21.20)
  • Bitchin’ Camaro – 6.2% milk / sweet stout ; my rating: ***.75 / global rating: 3.7 (as of 6.21.20)

I liked the atmosphere of Rockwell Brewery, it was low-key, fun, cheery outdoors, good nice live music, open atmosphere. You could tell this was a hangout for a lot of locals to come and meet and talk with each other. But, after having the flight, it was time to move on.

Which was easy to get to the next brewery – Midnight Run Brewing; it was just across the parking lot area in the stretch / strip mall outlets area. We stopped at the Dollar General because I had to pick up a new charger cord (forgot it at the motel) and was reminded constantly by my daughter. Then went over to Midnight Run Brewing which was just a few shops down. Went inside, got the story of their rules, ordered a beer and walked through the brewery to the outback recently built out-door seating patio area.

I then went next door to Oscar’s Alehouse (basically an Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse, etc. type place) to order food.

Like most places, they weren’t doing flights. So over the course of the hour and a half we were there I ordered two pints, and got a crowler to go. The pints I got were:

  • Electric Monster – 8.3% Fruited Sour ; my rating: **** / global average rating: 3.94 (as of 6.21.20)
  • Higher Intelligence – 10.3% Belgian Quad ; my rating: ****.25 / global average rating: 3.94 (as of 6.21.20)

The crowler I picked up (which I haven’t yet gotten to drink, but will soon, be on the lookout for a review of it) was The Milky Way; a 10% Double Imperial Milk Stout. Super looking forward to that.

For food, I wanted to get a pizza and wings at the Oscar’s Alehouse, they told me they couldn’t do pizzas because they didn’t have any pizza to go boxes, so I ordered nachos and wings for the girls. They brought the food over and left it at the front counter of Midnight Run Brewing, where… to my surprise… the nachos were in a pizza to-go box…. me and the bartender of Midnight Run found that humorous and interesting. Shrug. The girls were happy with the wings and nachos, so, no complaints there. The bartender kept my crowler in the fridge while we ate and I had my last drink, and then we were on our merry way.

The drive home was relatively uneventful, made to the Gettysburg Sheetz or pretty decent time, girls needed a pit break, and then on to home. We left Midnight Run Brewing at about 7:30-7:45PM, and even counting in the pit break, we got home at about 9:30PM.

This was definitely a very, very, very, very, very interesting and unique ‘road trip’. Nothing like how it was planned out to be. There were definite disappointments; getting sick, missing the sleepover, no mini-golf, but there were more joys and fun and laughs though too. And funnily enough, now we have a story to tell too, “remember that time dad you got sick all over Frederick Maryland?” ….oh do I ever!

Talking to an older co-worker over text the day after this trip (this morning), he told me – the events and trips that him and his sons (grown and off to college) remember the most are the ones that also went horribly awry, with unexpected things happening. They create the memories, the lasting impressions. I can honestly see the wisdom in those words, and one hundred percent believe it. I’m sure my girls will be talking about this trip (as will I) for years – possibly decades – to come.

Some Monocacy Battlefield pictures and things for you all to see:

The breweries visited:


  • Idiom Brewing (Frederick, Maryland)


  • Smoketown Brewery (was not allowed to sit due to girls, did not drink at) (Frederick, Maryland)
  • Attaboy Beer (Frederick, Maryland)
  • Rockwell Brewery (Frederick, Maryland)
  • Midnight Run Brewing (Frederick, Maryland)


I recommend Idiom Brewing, Attaboy Beer, Rockwell Brewery, and Midnight Run Brewing. I don’t want to speak for Smoketown Brewery, of their food or beer, but it was annoying their policy of no kids yet having a kid running around. Most likely he was a friend, owner, or worker there (not the kid, but the kid’s parent[s]) I assume. Who knows.

As for the battlefield, its a nice, small, easy navigable battlefield. It is smaller (much smaller) than Antietam or Gettysburg, and there is less things to see. Doing the full hikes at the Thomas Farm, Gambril Mill, the Juncture Trail, and Worthington Farm, would add a bit more time, but there isn’t a whole lot to see on the hikes than if you just go for a hike at a normal nature trail or park. The visitor center was closed due to the pandemic, so perhaps there would be more to see in the future. Also, there is a New Jersey monument section that was closed due to being repaired and reworked on, so we couldn’t stop at that as well. I would suggest visiting, but if you haven’t been to Gettysburg or Antietam I would highly recommend them first.

The town of Frederick Maryland though was beautiful, and could spend several days just exploring it. Lots to see and do. Lots of breweries too. Some breweries we didn’t get to visit but were in the area are:

  • Monocacy Brewing
  • Jug Bridge Brewing
  • Smoketown Brewery
  • Attaboy Barrel House (part of the Attaboy Beer)
  • Old Mother Brewing

There are also several distilleries in the area, none of which I got to visit either:

  • Dragon Distillery
  • Puerto Rico Distillery
  • McClintock Distilling
  • Tenth Ward Distilling Company

There is plenty more and lots of micropubs and gastropubs and all kinds of restaurants along the Carroll Creek park / walk area. There is even a section called Brewer’s Alley, so I can only assume there is at least one brewery in that area (I would hope so at any rate).

Some reading about the Monocacy Battle:

Thank you everyone for reading the blog, and checking out my trip. I know this was a long winded blog post (possibly my biggest, or at least top 3 longest posts). Hopefully you found it amusing, informative, and interesting. It certainly was an interesting trip. The battlefield was interesting, the breweries were great, and the company (my daughters) was fun.

Hope the best to everyone. You can check out a selection of other road trip and other stories posted on my blog below, be sure to check them out. Cheers everyone, and thanks for reading!

Also, since this is going up on Fathers Day, I’d like to say Happy Fathers Day to everyone. Hope you got to spend time with your children and had a wonderful day sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying some cold craft beer. I did with my family (first time in a long time I didn’t have to work on Father’s Day, so that was a blessing in and of itself), drinking Attaboy Beer’s Fredhead Red IPA. It was a good day. Hope yours was as well! Cheers!

-B. Kline

The Best Farm at Monocacy Battlefield

August (2019) Road Trip Series:

Rickett’s Glen (2020) Road Trip Series:

Monocacy Battlefield Road Trip:

Other Brewery Hopping Articles:

My Article for Breweries in PA:

My Podcast About Breweries in Central PA:

Some other brewery tour and road trip articles:

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