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Baltimore Breweries Tap Into Public's Thirst For Craft Ales

Greater Baltimore is home to several new and expanding breweries that are feeding the public's increasing appetite for unique beers.

Hysteria Brewing Co. Opens July 1 in Columbia, Maryland

Hysteria Brewing Co. will open a brewery and taproom July 1 in a Columbia warehouse. The five-year-old Union Craft Brewing will move next spring into a 50K SF brewery, taproom and private event space in Medfield. And Diageo Beer Co. USA Inc. is building a massive brewery and visitors center in Relay to produce new Guinness beers for the U.S. market.

Two beer makers in Baltimore County are also prepping to debut the county's first farm brewery.

The taproom at Hysteria Brewing Co. in Columbia

Hysteria Brewing co-founder and CEO Rich Gue said he hopes to tap into Howard County young professionals' love of craft beers and happy hour.

"It's the perfect place where we want to be," he said. The 10K SF business will serve German- and Belgian-style ales after nearly three years of labor and a $1.4M investment. "We've worked so hard on this. It's a long time coming."

The county's brewery businesses include Black Head Brewing Co. and Bulk Head Brewing Co., which opened last year. Manor Hill Brewing and Jailbreak Brewing Co. also call Howard County home.

Retail sales of craft beer grew 10% last year compared with 2015, to $23.5B, according to the Brewers Association. But a new Maryland law that limits new breweries' hours could discourage more breweries from opening locally, Gue said. He said Hysteria is not impacted because he received his license last year before the law took effect.

A rendering of Guinness' Baltimore County brewery opening next year

The new law also benefits breweries by increasing the number of barrels that they can sell annually in their taprooms from 500 to 2,000.

The increase paves the way for Diageo to open its $50M facility next year in Baltimore County. The tourist destination is expected to attract 300,000 people annually and create 70 jobs.

Union Craft Brewing's new space and collective in Hampden

Hampden's Union Craft Brewing will create more than 100 jobs over the next seven to 10 years in its new building. The brewery needed more room to produce beer and host visitors to its taproom.

The new site, at 1700 West 41st St., will also be the anchor tenant of a new commercial project, Union Collective, which will hold local makers, nonprofits and other businesses that can share resources and collaborate in the 138K SF warehouse space. Baltimore Whiskey Co., The Charmery ice cream shop and Earth Treks Climbing and Fitness are among the tenants that will move in by late fall.