Much like its representative state dessert, the Smith Island Cake, which has six to 12 layers, Maryland has layers upon appetizing layers of culinary offerings for attendees to experience when convening here.
Options include group-friendly restaurants, culinary tours, craft beers and one exceptional off-site venue.
Charm City Food Tours, Baltimore
Charm City Food Tours runs culinary outings for groups in Baltimore’s diverse neighborhoods, including Federal Hill and Little Italy. According to Jeff Swedarsky, president of Food Tour Corporation, the parent company of Charm City Food Tours, outings spotlight the city’s cuisine, history, culture and architecture.
“We have a rich and diverse history in this country, so no two neighborhoods or cities will ever be alike,” he says, adding that in Baltimore, from one neighborhood to the next, groups can enjoy different dishes. “For instance, in Fell’s Point you’ll try Maryland crab soup, Baltimore pit beef, Spanish tapas with a Baltimore twist, handmade sausages and authentic Polish food.”
Sometimes larger groups split up and visit three different neighborhoods, Swedarsky adds, followed by a reception at the group’s hotel.
Charm City Food Tours accommodates a variety of events, such as last fall when a group ventured out for a series of pub crawls over three days.
“Each day we took them to a different part of the city to experience the pubs as well as the interesting history in each area: Federal Hill, Fell’s Point and Inner Harbor,” says Mallory O’Connell, operations manager at Food Tour Corporation. “We did a mixology demonstration, showing the group the art of making a pumpkin pie shot, and they also enjoyed many craft beers from local breweries such as Heavy Seas while getting to know each other better.”
Heavy Seas Beer, Baltimore
Heavy Seas Beer’s favorite saying is that “sailors tell stories, but pyrates make legends,” including Founder Hugh Sisson, who worked with legislators in the early ’80s to get the old prohibition laws thrown out so that craft brewing in Maryland could take route.
“Today Baltimore is home to numerous brewpubs, craft beer bars and Heavy Seas Beer, the largest brewery in Baltimore,” says Kelly Zimmerman, spokeswoman for Heavy Seas Beer, adding that brewery tours are fun and very popular. “Guests can expect a tour of our facility where we explain how beer is brewed, the ingredients that go into it and how we package. Hops and malt are passed out for a full sensory experience of smelling and tasting the raw ingredients that go into our beers.”
Private tours providing a more intimate experience, a souvenir pint glass and beer sampling for each guest are also available.
“If they would like to include food, we have two fantastic caterers who can provide dishes made with our beer,” Zimmerman says.