Chesapeake Craft Brewers to Open at the Pabst Castle

| June 4, 2012 | 17 Comments

News Release from the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association Newslettter:

Written by Stephan Lawarence, Design Review Chairperson

The Pabst Building located at 1834 South Charles Street is currently in the process of being returned to its historic use. A Committee of Interested Neighbors for 1834 South Charles Street (CoIN) has formed and met with the building owners as well as the business owners intending to occupy the Historic Pabst building.

Much of the confusion arose when a notice regarding the transferor the old Baja Beach Club liquor license was posted earlier this year. Liquor licenses expire if not housed in an active business establishment. The owner of the license attempted to reset the clock of expiration by temporarily transferring it to the abandoned Pabst building. No actual business plans were ever developed to utilize this liquor license, or return the Baja Beach Club or similar business model to South Baltimore. Unfortunately, none of this infor- mation was made clear to the Neighborhood until after the notification became public and strong opposition already formed. The license did not transfer to the Pabst building and should have already expired.

The current business owners, Mike McDonald and Spike Owen, are currently in contact with the CoIN and had their first meeting on May 16th2012. During this meeting, their plans as well as the concerns of the neighbors immediately in the vicinity of 1834South Charles Street were made clear.

Both of the business owners are longtime residents of Federal Hill and the South Baltimore Neighborhood. They are jointly starting a company named Chesapeake Craft Brewers, LLC with the primary purpose of establishing and developing a full-scale production brewery specializing in craft American and English ales. Effectively, they are returning the Pabst building to its original historic purpose as an onsite brewery. The brick work being performed is intended to help preserve the building for this use. Their product is intended for off-site retail consumption, via bars, liquor stores, restaurants, etc, throughout the Greater Baltimore – Washington Metropolitan areas and potentially beyond.

Initially, Chesapeake Craft Brewers will produce only kegs and cans. As only a Production Brewery, the State of Maryland prohibits onsite alcohol sales. The owners do hope to eventually open a taproom as their second stage of growth, where they will serve food and market their own beer to an intended maximum capacity of 80 seats. As a Brewery, the business will provide the required 10 off street parking spaces for employees. Should the tap room reach fruition; the owners will seek additional off- site, parking options. The largest vehicles directly accessing the site via Olive Street should be box trucks, picking up completed product and containers of spent grain for local farms and ranches. Raw materials will potentially be brought by18-wheel tractor trailer trucks and fork lifted in, so the large truck will not have to navigate the narrow alley. Deliveries and pickups should only happen during normal business hours.

Barring any significant delays, brewing operations should begin sometime in late October or early November. The owners have voiced interest and willingness in continued communication and meetings with the neighborhood.

 

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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