New Brewery in Highlandtown/Greektown--again......
I've been trying to flush some hard confirmation (read: seeing the guys and stuff for myself in person, seeing the brewing equipment, holding a test bottle, etc.) on this report/rumor for at least two weeks now, and finally did enough first-hand shoe-leather (well, sandal and car) work to confirm enough to follow up with the readers here:
Bawlmer Craft Beers LLC has set up "shop" in the former Crown Cork & Seal industrial complex (yes, the former bottle-cap factory) south of the "Greektown" block of Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown, Southeast Baltimore. According to a report by Scott Dance in the Baltimore Business Journal, the company is the project of former water-treatment engineer and consultant John O'Melia, along with $250,000 in private investment. Plans are for potential production of 2,500-4,000 barrels a year, beginning with three flagship beers: Amber's Ale, Hon, an amber; Formstone Ale, an American Brown Ale named after Baltimore's ubiquitous cast-concrete faux-stone rowhouse facade material, and Crabby Abbey, a dark Belgian abbey ale. Initial plans are for only local distribution to the beer neighborhoods of Southeast and South Baltimore, with possible expansion north along the York Road corridor, according to the BBJ article. The website reports that the company has on hand a 20-bbl. Peter Austin brewing system complete with open fermenters.
The BBJ article does delve into the background of the current craft beer environment, including comments about the recent shutdown of Clay Pipe Brewing and the expansion of Heavy Seas' market.
Baltimore beer fans with longer memories may remember that Brimstone Brewing was similarly set up in 1994 in a corner of the former National Brewing plant nearby, now part of the Brewer's Hill real-estate and commercial development.
PS: Don't go driving around the old Crown plant trying to find it yet. You won't, and the place isn't really set up for serving or entertaining the "public" anyway.
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