I love Maryland

Somehow, I had never heard of the croquet rivalry between The Naval Academy and St. John's College.  I highly recommend reading this article to get a good background on the event, as well as a highly entertaining read.  For instance:
"It’s easy to tell who roots for St. John’s and who for Navy.  Pearls and Lily Pulitzer dresses: Navy. Top hats and suspenders: St. John’s. Seersucker paired with bow ties: Navy. Theatrical dresses paired with colorful garden hats: St. John’s" 
I must say, I was in the Navy cheering section, wearing my madras dress and with suit jacket and bowtie-clad gentleman around me.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.  AJ, my coworker, lives in Annapolis and grew up there.  He attended the croquet match last year with his roommate, and this year they invited a ton of people to start at their house near the stadium, then all go to the match!  I shared my brownies, made some new friends, enjoyed some mimosas, muffins, and omelets beforehand, then we all headed downtown to enjoy some croquet!
It was a gorgeous day outside, one of the first gorgeous spring days we've had (it's been a long cold lonely winter...), and everyone was in their Annapolis finest.
Think Kentucky Derby, but croquet, and Annapolis.  Hahahaha
You can bring picnic baskets, blankets, folding chairs, whatever you'd like to bring to help enjoy this fantastic tradition, minus alcohol.  We saw catered sandwich trays, cookie and brownie platters, entire cheese and fruit plates- there's no such thing as too much here.
And the alcohol situation, you buy tickets to be able to purchase alcohol with- 1 ticket is $5.  1 ticket gets you one drink, or 3 tickets get you an entire bottle of wine or champagne.  You better believe everyone here is walking around holding their own bottle of wine.  Classy like you wouldn't believe.
The Johnnies pick a secret costume every year, and this year they went with Greek togas.  The Mids were in their usual all-white outfits (be still my heart).
For the first time, the Midshipmen won for a second year in a row (they've only won 7 times total in the 30+ year history).  I like to think I was a part of that victory, but I know I did nothing to contribute.
We all had an excellent time watching the games, and trying to figure out if we were following correctly (I actually have some croquet experience from playing with my family, but I wasn't sure how official our rules are- turns out they're pretty close!).
After a few hours, AJ, Ben, Christie, Todd, Annika and I were headed to a local brewery's friends and family event.  Our architecture firm designed the space, and we were meeting up with a few more coworkers to participate in some taste-tests and to experience first-hand the hard work that was put into the design!
The company is Jailbreak Brewing, and their beer is simply fantastic.  I must say, their space sure shows off their brewing capabilities, too!  Their focus is only on the beer: developing new recipes, using only the freshest local ingredients, distributing only locally so that their beer remains fresh.
You can see past the tasting area to where the actual brewing goes on. 
They were giving tours of the brewing area, and since we designed the space, I think our tour ended up being a little different than most (mostly in the information provided).  Either way, it was super awesome to see the back of house spaces and learn all about their brewing practices.
They're using old whiskey, scotch, bourbon, and wine barrels to infuse some of their beer with those flavors.
And one of the coolest parts of this for me was, because they really only focus on the beers, they have a rotating line-up of food trucks in their parking lot.  When we went on Saturday, there was a wood-fired pizza food truck, so I went and ordered my pizza, got a little buzzer, and went back inside to enjoy more beer.  When my buzzer went off, I got my pizza and headed inside again to enjoy pizza and beer together.  It was perfect!  It allows the owners to focus on what they want, and the food truck guys can be awesome and excel in their specialty too.  I thought it was a very cool relationship.
As someone who doesn't love beer, but honestly loved many of the beers I tried, I will definitely be taking friends to this brewery for a fun afternoon of great beer and great food.  And the owner said that they'd like to keep developing new and different recipes- if we came back in a couple weeks, the menu would most likely be all new.  Sad news for me, since I found a couple beers I'd love to order consistently, but good news in that there will always be new things to try and find out I love!
Was this enough of a glowing endorsement??  Next year, you should go to the Annapolis croquet match.  But you should look into Jailbreak Brewing the next time you want an amazing beer tasting.

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