The new Annapolis Market House is everything we’ve always wanted it to be; crab cakes, raw oysters, fresh produce, a stylishly redeveloped space that honors it’s history, and a bar featuring a little something for everyone. We stopped by Market House to interview Brian Sykes, general manager and curator of the Market House’s delicious beer, wine, and cider offerings, to try out their staple Market House Lager.

Market House

The new management has breathed new life into the iconic City Dock space. In response, locals have flocked to the new “living room” of downtown Annapolis. “We wanted to be a place for everyone to come together and maybe even start their night,” Brian told me. “You come here to have a beer, a glass of wine, you have some fries or chicken tenders for the kids, a crab cake sandwich, and that’s kind of what it’s all about for us.”

Market House

Brian’s drink lists have serious breadth, offering rare and one-off craft beer and cider, as well as tried and true staples. The new space’s bar is the kind of place beer dorks like me can sip on local and unique offerings like RAR’s 10 Layers Coconut White Chocolate dessert ale or Crooked Crab’s A Pomegranate and Cherry Walk Into a Bar fruited sour. However, for what will surely become a staple at the Market House, you’ve got to try the Market House Lager.

Market House

I know, I know – you beer snobs are crying, “lager BAD!” Yet this lager has a rounded maltiness, lightly toasted, which will convince even the most die-hard of Bud drinkers to dabble in the dark arts of craft beer. The Market House Lager, brewed exclusively for Market House by Blue Point Brewing Company, is the kind of beer you start a night off with, before heading to Acme or home to put your little ones to bed, it matters not which. In other words, this lager has the potential to bring everyone a little closer together. It’s a balm to an era of partisanship. Recently, Market House started offering flights for the first time, so mix and match your beers with your friends and neighbors.

For those of us who have watched the site develop over the years, I can’t help but be proud. Every Annapolitan used to have a different opinion about what the city should do with the space. Yet, for all the opinions, arguments, and conflict of local democracy in action, almost everyone I talk to agrees:  The Market House is back.


Videography and photos courtesy of Patrick McNamara of Drawn to the Image.

Jeremy Olsen

Jeremy Olsen is the executive director, and co-founder of The Commons, where he works to support a creative co-working community and host community events promoting the good, true, and beautiful in his hometown of Annapolis. In addition, Jeremy brings healthcare capacity-building experience into his role as the Director of Development for the HopeXchange Medical Center in Kumasi, Ghana. Jeremy holds a Masters in Physiology from Georgetown University, and is an alumnus of The College of Charleston and St. John’s College in Annapolis.