Home>Road Trips & Travel>DelMarVa>Beginner’s Guide to Max’s Massive Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore

Beginner’s Guide to Max’s Massive Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore

Max’s Belgian Beer Festival is an annual event held annually every Presidents’ Day Weekend in the Fell’s Point neighborhood of Baltimore. It is one of the largest Belgian beer festivals in the U.S. offering access to hundreds of Belgian beers. Max’s Belgian Beer Festival runs Friday through Sunday and hours go from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. each day. 

The BEST thing about this popular Baltimore festival is the incredible number of imported beers available to sample! Max’s Belgian Beer Festival features as many as 200 Belgian beers on tap plus another couple hundred rare Belgian imports in bottles.

There used to be a separate sour Belgian beer day on Mondays. However, that event has grown so popular that they have made it a separate, expanded festival. The Belgian sour beer festival is planned for sometime in June.

Drafts will be available in several sizes plus cans to go. On the day of the festival, you can order online and pick up your purchase too if you prefer to enjoy the festival without the crowds.

Each year, there are special beer events planned for each day with different brewers. You can preview the keg list on Max’s Belgian Beer Festival Facebook Page.

Max’s also has a special mini bar under the stars. Past events have been hosted by a specific brewer with a small selection of special drafts on tap plus beer-to-go options. Beer-inspired clothing, glassware, and other gifts will also be available for purchase.

Beer choices range from popular wheat and blondes to dark beers, fruit-flavored framboise, and even sour beers for those with rare taste. Serious Eats has a great quick study Beginner’s Guide to Belgian Beer Styles if you are new to this type of beer. BeerAdvocate is also a great resource for Belgian beer ratings if you need help narrowing down your selections. This is also helpful in reviewing the alcohol percentage.

About Max’s Taphouse

Max’s Taphouse has been around for many years and is known as Baltimore’s biggest beer bar. It has added on to the main bar over time and now has a sprawling main bar area, a sidebar with televisions and seating space, a dart room, and an upstairs known as the Mobtown Lounge.

The main bar has pretty much every beer on the list. The sidebar has a decent selection of the most popular beers. The upstairs has a more limited selection and there is also a little bar under the stairs that tends to offer different choices than the other menu.

Max’s Taphouse is also a top-ranked restaurant on TripAdvisor and has been cited with a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. The charming bar sits on the corner of Lancaster Street and South Broadway just one block from the Fells Point waterfront.

Max's Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore Monks

This bar attracts patrons from around the world. Max’s Belgian Beer Festival is heavily attended by beer critics and vendors across the nation.

Our Experience at Max’s Belgian Beer Festival

We randomly discovered Max’s Belgian Beer Festival over a decade ago and got a seat right at the bar on Saturday night! Nowadays, as soon as they open in the morning, you need to be someone important to get a seat at the bar!

One thing is for sure though, their bartenders are hardworking long-timers that are well educated about the beer they serve and care about your happiness no matter how busy they are! Do you believe the SAME bartenders are still working the Belgian Beer Festival that served us over a decade ago?! That is dedication!

Know Before You Go

Here are my hard and fast rules for doing Max’s Belgian Beer Festival right!

1. Be patient. Expect a line. There is no cover charge and this festival gets more popular every year!

Max’s Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore, MD

2. Do your homework. Check out the beer list in advance. There are usually some copies circulating through the line or you can just go in with a game plan for the type of beer you are looking for so when you get inside, you can order quickly.

3. Trust the system! It works! Use the postcards to communicate beer needs, food orders, and whether you want to close out the tab. It’s loud in there and your bartenders appreciate clear written instructions!

4. Be ready to order. Have your postcard filled out completely along with a back-up plan in case any kegs are out. Have your money ready or start a tab. Bartenders REALLY appreciate being able to help you quickly so they can move on to the next thirsty customer.

Max’s Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore, MD - How to order

5. Stay connected. While wifi is slow when it’s jam-packed with drunks, Mobtown1 is the internet password.

6. Have fun, but pace yourself! Belgian beers can be pretty high in alcohol content! Many Belgian beers have a higher alcohol percentage than your typical U.S. beer. The menu lists alcohol percentage, so make sure you pay attention if you are new to this type of beer!

Max’s Belgian Beer Festival is just a short, chilly walk from the Fells Point Water Taxi stop. The free Charm City Circulator bus also services Fells Point on the Green and Purple lines. There is also plenty of metered parking available or you can pay a flat fee at a nearby parking garage. The parking garage is your best bet if you plan to drive since those Belgian beers pack quite a punch and you may be surprised how quickly the time flies when you’re having fun! 

Know where the bathrooms are! I mean, you ARE drinking beer after all! In the main bar, head back towards the Ravens bus. This is a multi-stall bathroom. In the sidebar and upstairs in Mobtown Lounge, there are single-stall bathrooms.

Make notes for next time! Untappd is a great app for keeping track of what you like and don’t like. I always like to pick a few samples at a time to sip on. I mix up some favorites along with some new brews that I have not tried before.

Order some food to nosh on. There is a special Belgian food menu that includes some exotic cheeses, sandwiches, and classic Belgian frites (crispy thin french fries). Order early and expect a bit of a wait because in the blink of an eye the bar will get crazy busy! If the wait is too long or if you’ve had enough of the noise, check out our tips below for other places to continue your party in Fells Point!

Max’s Belgian Beer Festival Weekend Getaway

This festival draws people from all over the world. It can be a fantastic getaway over President’s Day weekend. There are three separate places to stay right in Fells Point – all within walking distance to Max’s Taphouse:

  • Admiral Fell Inn is the best place to stay within walking distance. This pet-friendly, historic inn offers an authentic Fells Point experience. This is the best bet for the event. They are offering a discounted group rate for the festival of just $99 per night!
  • The Inn at Henderson’s Wharf is a small boutique hotel located under a half of a mile from the beer festival. They offer plush rooms with beautiful harbor views.
  • Sagamore Pendry pier-front property is a historic landmark building that once welcomed immigrants to Baltimore and was later featured in the television show Homicide: Life on the Street. Ranked #1 in Conde Naste Readers Choice Top U.S. Hotels list, this luxury hotel has 128 rooms and suites and plenty of upscale amenities.
Max's Belgian Beer Festival - Baltimore

Other Places to Party in Fells Point During Max’s Belgian Beer Festival Weekend

If the crowds or beers become overwhelming, there are several other great places to go in Fells Point to continue the party!

The Horse You Came In On Saloon may not look like much from the outside, but it is rumored to be haunted and is known to be the last place Edgar Allen Poe had a drink. The drink of choice here is flavor-infused Jack Daniels. They serve up some good food too!

Alexander’s Tavern offers a gluten-free menu, several creative styles of tater tots (over 3MM sold), and my favorite mac and cheese pizza with Nino’s locally made dough.

One-Eyed Mike’s is a more cozy bar just a few blocks off from the main Fells Point strip! It is the first and largest Grand Marnier Club, with signature cocktails and food options.

Other Fun Events at Max’s Taphouse

If you can’t make it to Max’s Belgian Beerfest this year, mark your calendar for President’s Weekend the following year or attend one of their other popular events throughout the year. They hold several other beer festivals including Oktoberfest, American Craft Beer Week, and an Italian Beer Festival.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information

With over 200 beers on tap, Max's Annual Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore is a must-do for any beer lover! It is held annually every President's Day weekend. #beer #baltimore #belgianbeer #beerfestival #belgianbeerfestival #maryland #baltimoremd
With over 200 beers on tap, Max's Annual Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore is a must-do for any beer lover! It is held annually every President's Day weekend. #beer #baltimore #belgianbeer #beerfestival #belgianbeerfestival #maryland #baltimoremd


We are a travel and adventure obsessed family of four. We love to experience everything from local festivals and events in our ever-growing suburb of Columbia, Maryland in Howard County and neighboring cities of Baltimore, Annapolis, and D.C. to international extravaganzas, Caribbean guest fitness instructor vacations, ocean voyages, dream grants, city visits, and offbeat destinations.

MISSION: To inspire happy, healthy, active families by sharing local experiences and travel adventures, fitness tips, and wellness resources.


  1. This will be a great add to my list of things to do in Baltimore, when I get there. Love the tips and that you actually mentioned the written instructions.

  2. Really love that you can buy the beers in cans to take away, making it more accessible to those who may want to avoid crowds for different reasons, or just can’t attend that day (but are able to have a friend collect cans for them). Looks like it’s a really popular festival, and a lot of great beers to discover!

  3. I haven’t heard about Belgian Beer Festival in Baltimore before, but I love the idea of going there during this event! I like your recommendation on where to stay in Fells Point within walking distance to Max’s Taphouse.

  4. Well if I don’t make it to Baltimore for the beer festival I will make sure to stop at Alexander’s for the tots! One of my favorite guilty pleasures! But really, this sounds like a great event and Baltimore looks hopping with all those yachts!

  5. I’m going to have to tell my boyfriend about this! That’s right up our alley and I never would have heard of it had you not shared! Thank you!

    1. Wow! That is like saying I’m Italian-American and don’t like pizza! Ha! But, I do..I like pizza A LOT! It is definitely fun and there are lots of legit beer raters there on Friday morning too so it is interesting to see us making our notes for fun and them making their notes for work purposes!

  6. Really fun and practical guide to a unique beer festival. Be ready to order and know where the bathrooms are! I’ll keep that in mind above all when I head here someday 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  7. DO they have any gluten free options. Beer festivals are tough for me with this no gluten. Some festivals have some ciders which allow me to join family and friends. Thanks.

    1. I am sure they do. The menu varies by year, but they also have a ton of bottled options plus a full bar if you aren’t a beer drinker. And a Belgian-inspired food menu. One year, I was pregnant, so I had a non-alcoholic beer so I could cheers with my friends.

  8. What a fun experience! I love being able to sample all sorts of different brews without having to commit to a whole glass! And I love the twist of Belgian instead of German!

    1. Yes! It is really fun. They have different ones throughout the year – Oktoberfest, American, and an Italian one too. Inside, they have postcards for all the events along the ledge when you first walk in.

  9. I enjoy visiting Baltimore, but have never been to this place. I need to visit it next time I’m in the area. Wish I could make this year’s event, but maybe next year! Do they have a good selection of Belgium beers throughout the year?

    1. Yes! They always have about 200 beers ON TAP plus many others in bottles. There are other festivals throughout the year too where they’ll have more of a certain type – such as more German beers during Oktoberfest. I definitely recommend that you try to visit!

  10. This entire post makes me happy! I can almost taste the different flavors of beer. I love stouts, and would love to try one from Belgium.

  11. Wow! The postcard system is a cool idea to keep things moving and organized. My husband would love this! And beer scented candles?? Whaaaat?? Never heard of those, that’s hilarious!

  12. This looks like a really fun event! I LOVE the postcard system. It makes so much sense and really makes things easier. Sounds like it is pretty well organized despite being large and full of alcohol!

  13. Great tips. You laid out the rules and what to do’s in belgian beer festival. I do that too, if the line is too long, I look up ahead of time to list what I want and write some back up too. And of course, bathrooms, so True. Thanks for sharing.

  14. That is so interesting! I was born and raised in Baltimore but left 16 years ago. Now I have a new place to visit when I go back to see my family this summer:) #MondayStumble

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.