Pabst Castle Brewery Project Begins Licensing Process

| February 13, 2013 | 16 Comments

Spike Owens and Mike McDonald, neighborhood residents and the duo behind a proposed brewery and tap room at the Pabst Castle at 1834 S. Charles St. (on the corner of Wells St.), met with the South Baltimore Neighborhood Association on Tuesday seeking approval for a Federal Class 7 brewing license.  The license would allow them to brew beer on the property, as well as have an attached restaurant B license which requires 40-50% of incomes to come from food.

Owens told SBNA, “The facility is 6,500-7,000 square feet, the majority of which will be focused on the brewing operation.  The restaurant will be about the size of this room [approximately 1000 sq. ft.] and will be used as a marketing tool for our beers and serve as a place where people can try them fresh out of the brewery.”  The restaurant hopes to serve pub food and will only be able to sell beer off the premises to individual customers through the form of growlers.  The building will have 10 dedicated parking spots and will likely be able to use a 50-car lot owned by their landlord on Hanover St.

There was a large discussion at the meeting with concerns about the noise and parking issues that a new restaurant at this location would bring. However, stories were also shared by members about how restaurants can improve blocks and vastly eliminate crime.  The conversation carried on for more than a half an hour and it was decided that a sub-committee would further engage in this matter. This sub-committee will soon meet with Owens and McDonald to specifically discuss SBNA’s approval or disapproval of the license and to establish a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two groups.

Owens and McDonald have building permits for the project and are hoping for the approval of their license before ordering $700,000-$800,000 of non-refundable brewing equipment.  “We are both residents of the neighborhood, we both have children at the neighborhood schools.  We could have put this anywhere, but were hoping to create a new business here that everyone can be proud of,” said Owens.

We’ll keep you posted on the developments in this project which joins 1901 South Charles and 2 East Wells as projects changing the landscape of Wells St.

Update 2/28: The SBNA held a meeting with the community and Spike Owens and Mike McDonald on Tuesday, February 19th to further discuss the project.  It will now be brought up at the March 12th SBNA meeting where members can vote on whether they will support or oppose it.  The Liquor Advisory Board and the brewery team will work to draft an MOU.

If approved, the project will take approximately six months to complete.  It was noted in the meeting that they’d love to have an outdoor patio in the future to hold approximately 25 people that would close at a reasonable hour.

Update 3/13: Members of the SBNA voted in support of the project at the SBNA meeting on March 12th.

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Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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