The Cross Street Irregulars Brew Club was founded in 1989 at Sisson’s Restaurant & Brewery by then manager and brewer Hugh Sisson, along with Aaron Stowers, Joe Monroe, and Shawn Branch. The Club’s name was a play-on-words distinguishing its members from the other regulars at the local Cross Street pub. Meetings were held in the back room behind the bar at random times throughout the year.
The Club’s goal was to have a place where homebrewers could get together, discuss their craft, and lend support to each other. Members would share brew samples and talk about how to improve them. Soon, the word among local homebrewers spread, the Club grew, and it wasn’t long before the Club was topping fifty members, planning homebrew parties, holding group brews, organizing bus trips to Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia breweries, and lending volunteer support to local charitable and civic events.
By the mid ‘90s the Club got more organized. Meetings were held regularly (the second Tuesday of each month). Club Officers were elected. A newsletter created. A treasury was formed. Hugh moved on to open Clipper City Brewing Company, and turned the reins of Sisson’s over to General Manager Jack Callanan. It was at that point that Sisson’s went through several renovations and management changes and the club officially moved their meetings to nearby Sean Bolan’s Irish Pub around 2002. Our stay at Sean Bolan’s was short lived, as it closed in 2005 and the club began looking for a new place to host meetings.
Since October 2005, the Club has been meeting upstairs at Mahaffey’s Pub in the Canton neighborhood of Baltimore on the second Tuesday of every month. Meetings begin at 7:30PM with a discussion of general club business and are followed by the monthly Homebrew Competition. Two sessions, Theme and Non-Theme, gives brewers a chance to sample, rate, and comment on their beer. All members participate, tasting and scoring each entry using the AHA 50-point scale. Points are awarded for each beer entered, and for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place.
If you are a homebrewer, or think that homebrewing might be for you, we invite you to join us at a few of our meetings and see what its all about – 7:30 PM, the second Tuesday of the month, in Baltimore – the Birthplace of the Bottlecap.