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Hugh Sisson

Host, Cellar Notes

As General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Hugh J. Sisson is among Baltimore's premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state's first pub brewery, Sissons, located in Federal Hill.  A fifth generation Baltimorean, Hugh has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing.

In the mid-eighties, Hugh Sisson saw the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore, an historically "big beer" town. After researching the industry at its heart - in Germany, England, and the U.S. west coast - Hugh, with the help of Senator George W. Della, Jr., successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland.

After the inception of craft brew in Baltimore, Hugh immersed himself in the development and market recognition of both Sisson's and its beers.  He is a member of the Master Brewers Association of America, the Institute for Fermentation and Brewing Studies, and sits on the Executive Committee for the Brewers Association of Maryland.  He has served as President of the Cross Street Irregulars Home Brew Club and along with Al Spoler, he has been co-hosting Cellar Notes since 1992.

  • As Hugh and Al can attest, Portugal is a fabulous country to visit, not least because of the amazing abundance of high-quality low-cost red wines
  • It’s time to pour a little pink wine into your glass and enjoy a warm summer evening.
  • Baltimore wine retailer Michael Fishman is importing a line of informal and delicious wines from South Africa, intended for easy drinking.
  • Just in time for barbecue season, the hearty red wines of Washington State combine intense flavor with notable finesse.
  • With the season for celebrations upon us, it’s good to have affordable options for quality sparkling wine.
  • These lovely whites from the Southwest of France are the essence of Spring.
  • We're always on the lookout for great value, and Al has found a super line of wines that pack a lot of punch for just $15 across the board.
  • No, orange wine isn’t made from citrus, it’s an intriguing new category of wines that owes its identity to some old-fashioned vinification techniques.
  • The wild and wooly county of Mendocino produces some of California’s most distinctive wines. Al samples a few.
  • One of Maryland’s leading wineries, Old Westminster, isn’t afraid to think outside the box about putting great wine inside the bottle.