We’ve had lots of great news from Chesapeake Brewing Company over the last few weeks. The Crisfield-based brewery will be expanding up and out and taking their colleagues with them, after a fashion.
Carolyn Marquis, who runs the brewery with her husband (and head brewer David) confirmed recently that the pair had secured the lease for a space in Annapolis that will act as an Eastern Shore Beer beachhead. Carolyn spoke about the company’s plans at the recent brew day for the Eastern Shore Breweries collaboration brew at Assawoman Bay Brewing Company. The beer they made will be served at OCtoberfest. She, along with brewers from another half-dozen local brewers, was enthusiastic about the collaboration and wanted that kind of Eastern Shore feel to continue at the new place.
As Maryland beer still tries to find a way to define itself, Shore Beer has had more inroads to that definition because of it’s close-knit nature. Building upon that notion, the she and David decided that the new restaurant will only feature Shore breweries. In fact, the sole beer brewed on the western shore that will be available will be the beer they brew themselves on site.
“A lot of people don’t even think of the Eastern Shore as having breweries,” Carolyn said.
Once they’ve established themselves in Annapolis, the other hope is to work to improve the enthusiasm about visiting shore breweries in the off season. Getting people excited about coming across the Bay when the tourist season begins to fade always has been a goal for local tourism offices. Beer has the kind of draw that is all the more ubiquitous as people begin to embrace regional beer tours. The Peninsula has so much to offer that beer can be the tipping point, so long as there’s a solid itinerary.
If the brewpub is “up” a newly-struck distribution deal is “out.” As a graduate of the Naval Academy, David recently was recognized as the sole brewery owner in his graduating class. During a recent visit he was prevailed upon to make a beer to share that the class reunion. From there things just escalated.
The beer’s were so popular, the Navy asked whether Chesapeake Bay would brew them a special beer. Carolyn and David were happy to comply. At first they thought their brew would be for just the Academy, but as it turned out, they were being asked to provide beer for worldwide distribution. In the coming months sailors stationed all over the planet will have access to Chesapeake Bay Brewing Company beers.
The couple had to scramble to meet demand, but were able to make a deal wit Peabody? Heights? Brewing to have that facility contract brew for them while they expanded both their Crisfield location as well as starting up their Annapolis facility. Peabody is the brewery where Vince Wright of Fin City goes to brew the large batches that are distributed all over the region.
Stay tuned for more updates as the deals get fleshed out. The Marquis’ said they hope to open in late winter or early spring in Annapolis.