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 Post subject: Next Stop Rye Porter--a new Balto. Streetcar Beer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9150
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Yet another rail museum is tiptoeing into the joint craft beer/rail marketing world, a field heartily embraced by the Brits but still being approached trepidatiously here in North America.

Next Stop Rye Porter is a new seasonal/one-off release by Key Brewing, a microbrewery based in Dundalk, Md. a southeastern suburb of Baltimore en route to the former Sparrows Point steel mill and shipyards.

With the permission and blessing of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, the cans feature a photograph of restored United Railways 4533, built 1904 and rebuilt by the United in its shops in the 1920s and labelled as being at the BSM.
The cost of having both motormen and conductors increased after World War I, and Baltimore's United Rys. and Electric decided to convert many cars to one-man operation. (All cars previously mentioned were designed for two man operation). No. 4533 was one of the 52 or so rebuilt as homemade versions of the widespread "Birney One-Man Safety Car." Among the alterations were the lengthening and enclosing of the platforms, which were provided with folding doors and steps and installation of the "dead man control" and other safety features that made it possible for the car to be operated by one man. Capable of seating 38 passengers, it is the earliest existing example of a one-man car in Baltimore and remained on active duty, after its passenger service ended in the 1930s, as maintenance vehicle 3550 until the end of streetcar service in 1963. The BSM operates this car as part of its regular operational fleet of Baltimore streetcars.

The brewery's marketing representative has confirmed to me that the brewery is planning to make this an annual release, working with the BSM to feature a different streetcar every year.

Unfortunately for enthusiasts like me, this limited-release beer is being distributed only in the central Maryland market, and is not available directly by order from the brewery or by mail. (Not that some underground beer-trading markets/forums doesn't exist online in the right places, but state and local laws vary....)

About a year ago, another Baltimore microbrewery, Waverley Brewing, released an extremely limited one-off beer (250 hand-numbered 22-ounce bottles), "Jerkwater," named for the practice of Baltimore Transit running disconnected spur lines with a single shuttle car. (No, even local transit historians and etymologists can't pin down the origins of that odd term.)


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