Peabody Heights Brewery Brings Beer Making Back to Baltimore City

by Liz Rapoport on Apr 16, 2012 in Culture
Peabody Heights Brewery Brings Beer Making Back to Baltimore City

There is an undeniable buzz over the latest Baltimore beer newcomer, the Peabody Heights Brewery. The summer 2012 opening of this brewery will mark the first new location for a large-scale brewery within Baltimore’s city limits in over 30 years.

This city is no stranger to the brewing industry. In the late 1800s, Baltimore was home to nearly 40 operating craft breweries, according to Maureen O'Prey, author of Brewing in Baltimore. Through the mid 1900s the city was full of support for this manufacturing industry. But by the late 1970s, the popularity of craft beer fell out of style as macrobrews like Coors and Budweiser surged, and many of the breweries folded. Lately there has been a noted uptick in brewpubs in the area, corresponding to a national resurgence of interest in craft beers. And the news of the new 48,000-square-foot brewery is a clear sign that craft brewing is back in Baltimore.

According to a Baltimore Sun interview with two of the three brewery partners, J Hollis Albert and Stephen Demczuk, proper zoning for heavy manufacturing has already been obtained and all equipment was purchased last January from Canadian brewer Surgenor Brewing Company. Enough equipment is being transferred to Baltimore this April to triple the production of Raven, the popular lager from Baltimore Washington Beer Works. In addition, Peabody Heights will produce three other Edgar Allan Poe-themed beers, Surgenor's four labels and three formulas owned by Patrick Beille, a Chicago restaurateur and the third brewery partner. Production is expected to start this June.

Baltimore is on the front line of the craft beer resurgence. Last year’s Baltimore Beer Week boasted 340 beer-themed events, and the fourth annual rest is gearing up to exceed those numbers this October. There are craft beer-based events nearly every month, from Beer Bourbon & BBQ to the City Paper Brewfest, all celebrating the magnificent creations of local breweries and brewpubs. Even the London-based BBC has taken notice. The establishment of the Peabody Heights Brewery in Baltimore is another section in Baltimore’s beer-loving history book, and there are many pages to come.
 

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