EDITOR’S NOTE: Since I wrote this Shorebilly has changed its name to Backshore Brewing. Same place, new name.
They’re creative, these craft brewers. I don’t know which I liked better when I recently visited Shorebilly Brewing on the boardwalk at Ocean City: the beer or the bar.
Let’s start with the beer. First, order a sample skate. That way you get to try four of the six beers on tap — and the little glasses arrive in all their amber glory on a skateboard. And this is good beer with Intergalactic IPA, Four-Ten German style beer, Wit Second Season wheat beer and who knows what else? Downtown Sugar Brown Ale topped my favorites list. You can keep ordering samples, or get a mason jar full — or take home a growler.
But if you’re game, don’t stop there — Shorebilly has teamed up with a moonshine producer (is this the new fad?) to add a shot of more flavor to their beers. Or get a mixed drink starring moonshine and Shorebilly. Shandies, mixing beer with lemonade, were popular with beachgoers in the hot days of summer in OC.
If you need some food to go with your brew, Shorebilly has a limited menu with sliders, tacos and wraps — produced by the kitchen they share with Hammerheads next door.
Now back to the bar. The bar counter, that wooden slab your elbows will be on, is a chunk of the boardwalk torn up last year when the new boardwalk was laid. And the bar stools? They’re old kegs. Siding from an old farmhouse in Snow Hill gives the place a bit of faded color.
Behind the counter, steel tanks hold the brews you’ll be savoring later. In fact, the bartender told me they’ll be brewing beer all winter long — even if they decide they have to close the bar down for a few weeks in the dead of winter. They plan to stay open as long as they can. (Check the website for updates.)
In the summer, the patio overlooking the boardwalk and beach means lots of people can stop in. The bar itself, well, it’s no bigger than the bar, a few bar stools and the beer tanks in back.
Now that Columbus Day is behind us, Shorebilly’s will be open only on weekends — and we’ll keep our fingers crossed they can stay open through the winter. If not, we’ll be back come spring.
© Text and photos
Mary K. Tilghman
Another Tipsy Tourist post featured Abbey Burger Bistro in Ocean City.
Baltimore beer fans! Remember Baltimore Beer Week begins Oct. 18.
If you have a favorite spot you’d like to see here on Thirsty Thursday, let me know.