24 June 2011

The Raven Beer Plans For a Brewery at Haussner's

I've been sitting on this story for a while by the request of the principal, but seeing as the news has been leaked by someone on the other side of the river, so...

Stephen Demczuk, one of the original "gypsy brewers" before Stillwater and Mikkeller made the term a cult concept, is now proceeding with a plan to finally give his Raven Special Lager a permanent home, something it has not had since being launched in 1998 1996.  (Yes.  His beer predates the Baltimore Ravens.)

And that home is none other than the legendary Haussner's Restaurant building, a long-loved Highlandtown landmark with a legendary art collection at Eastern Avenue and Clinton Street that has been closed for nearly a dozen years now.  Demczuk was, last we spoke with him, close to finalizing a financing deal that would allow him to set up a production brewery in the building, with a brewpub and German-styled restaurant in addition.

Demczuk is currently shopping around for brewing equipment to install in the pub, although as he just now said to me, "It's hard to keep a secret, as you have to speak to so many people for their info, blessings and permits.  I'm meeting with the architect and builder next week. We are moving forward, but it's never a done deal until the cash is in hand!"  Demczuk also passed on a conceptual sketch:

More on the late, lamented, eccentric Haussner's here, from the City Paper in 2001.

The Raven has of late been contract-brewed at Clipper City Brewery in Arbutus.

UPDATE:  More here (from BBJ) and here (from Baltimore Sun).


Jerry said...

This is awesome news. I live 3 blocks from there and would love to have a brewpub in the neighborhood!

Jay Zeis said...

If the football team was established in 1996, and his beer was launched in 1998, how did it predate the football team?

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

From the Raven Beer website: "After more than a year operating in Europe, the world's most competitive beer market, production of The Raven began in Baltimore in June of 1998."

I distinctly remember noting that Demczuk got his Raven Beer out just before the team selected the Raven mascot, and thinking "I'm just waiting for the Ravens to sue him for trademark infringement and then discovering that he beat them to it!" I'd have to go do an archive search to prove it, but......