|Where the magic happens at Jailbreak Brewing Co.|
Those were the dark days when Killian's Irish Red was an exotic flavor and when American bars almost disappeared down the horrifying path towards Zima. There was beer and light beer. At our classiest, we tried to impress folks by drinking Irish pints -- without realizing that our Harp was imported from Canada.
But beer has made great strides in the past 20 years, and you'll soon be able to buy more beer that comes from here. Comes from commercial breweries here in Howard County.
Two breweries are aiming to open in 2014 -- Jailbreak in Laurel and Black Eyed Susan in Columbia. They're both small businesses aiming to sell kegs to restaurants and bars, but hoping to carve out a retail niche with tasting rooms where you'll be able to try the wares.
|In the tasting room, looking into the brewery|
I sort of buried the lede here.
Both Jailbreak and Black Eyed Susan plan to park food trucks in the parking lot. They would also like to partner with local restaurants.
So you'll be able to sit, sip beer, and eat tacos or barbecue or whatever other foods are available that night. Just the thought of grilled meats in a summertime parking lot will help me survive this January freeze.
Breweries differ under the law from brew pubs like Frisco Tap House in Columbia because those have kitchens and primarily make beer for the folks eating their food. Howard County just legalized this kind of brewery last year.
Luke Lavoie profiled both companies and the legal change in the Sun last September. Andrew Metcalf's Patch article about Black Eyed Susan from December describes a business plan similar to the one that I heard Monday when I walked the Jailbreak location with one of the owners, Justin Bonner.
Justin and his friend Kasey Turner brought on Ryan Harvey as their brewer. Harvey had been the head brewer at Dogfish after working at Empire, Keegan's and Alaskan breweries before.
They hope to open the first week of April. They are in the midst of converting an empty warehouse into an industrial zone. Brewing requires a complex of boilers, pipes, and fermenting equipment. Much of the shiny machinery is in place. They've laid a tile brewing floor.
When they're done, you'll be able to see it all from stone-walled tasting room in front. They'll have tables and a giant television. Justin said that they'll do some regular beers like IPAs, but they're trying to emphasize a "culinary" style. They want to use ingredients like chefs -- a jalapeno IPA, a honey-apple ale, a pineapple-agave wheat . . .
You get the idea. They're already brewing . . . at Justin's house. He said they have equipment firing outside his house where Ryan is already working out the recipes.
Beer is a big job. Jailbreak will grind its own grains. They'll have augers moving that overhead, steam lines, machinery to brew and store multiple varieties, and even casks to age it. I can see why Black Eyed Susan's Web site says that they plan weekend tours.
But, mostly, you'll want to come to drink -- and get food in the parking lot.
Look for both Black Eyed Susan and Jailbreak in Spring 2014. Tomorrow, I will post about the food that should partner with these breweries. They need tasty food trucks or local restaurants that would want to deliver or partner with the breweries. This is your chance to help connect some locals.
For more about the breweries, check out articles by Ryan Sharrow and Sarah Meehan from last summer in the Baltimore Business Journal.
Jailbreak Brewing Company
9445 Washington Boulevard North, Suite F
Laurel MD 20723
NEAR: Jailbreak will be in a light industrial development on the east side of Rte 1 in Laurel. It is just south and across the street from the Carmax. You turn off Rte 1, then turn left into the industrial area. Jailbreak has a big sign overlooking the parking lot.
Black Eyed Susan Brewing Company
9570 Berger Road
Columbia, MD 21046
NEAR: Black Eyed Susan will be just off Snowden River Parkway near Broken Land Parkway. They're tucked back on Berger in the same general neighborhood as Daedalus Books.