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Food for Thought: A Baltimore Food and Beverage Industry Panel

Food for Thought: A Baltimore Food and Beverage Industry Panel

By Tessa Trach '17 

Union Brewery's private event space was bursting with Terps and talk of food and drink on May 15. The first-ever Food for Thought panel was well attended, and highlighted several of Baltimore's finest Terps in the food and beverage industry - Kevin Blodger '99 of Union Craft Brewing, Josh Hershkovitz MBA '09 of Hersh's, and Carrie Podles '95 of Papi's Taco, Alexander's Tavern, Wicked Sisters and Huck's American Tavern. Self-proclaimed "foodie" and Baltimore resident, Tessa Trach '17, moderated the panel.

While many of the questions focused on food, a common theme of community emerged in the panelist's answers. Each touched on the importance of being routed in Baltimore, serving those around them, and working hard to keep those people coming back to the table.

"When you feed someone something delicious, they feel like they're immediately connected [to you]," Hershkovitz said about bringing people together through food.

The conversation also touched on the rise of "foodies" on social media and the influence of online reviews; the challenging social issues Baltimore faces and what their businesses are doing to make an impact; and the importance of producing quality food and drink that encourages community members come back again and again.
Not one of these Terps graduated with a degree in "How to Run a Restaurant or Brewery" from the University of Maryland, but they certainly used the skills they learned to find success.
When asked why he loves what he does, Blodger smiled; "I make something that you get to watch people come together to celebrate over. People celebrating drink, people mourning drink, people rejoicing drink. It all comes together here."
Whether Baltimorians choose to grab a taco, split a homemade pizza or raise a glass, they can do so together and in the company of fellow Terps. 
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