Diamondback Brewing Opening a Brewery and Tap Room at McHenry Row in Locust Point

| April 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

Diamondback Brewing Company announced plans to open a 6,800 sq. ft. brewery and tap room at the former Phillips and Coca-Cola plant at McHenry Row in Locust Point. Diamondback has been contract brewing its beers in Virginia and had a storage facility and office in the Curtis Bay area of South Baltimore. McHenry Row is owned and has been redeveloped by Mark Sapperstein’s 28 Walker. The 20-acre complex features 250 apartments, a Harris Teeter, local shops and restaurants, and more than 200,000 sq. ft. of office space.

Diamondback-30Diamondback is owned by Loyola Blakefield graduates Tom Foster, Colin Marshall, and Francis Smith. The company’s name is a nod to the University of Maryland where Foster and Smith attended. The three were searching the area for a brewery and knew they wanted to find a location with a “neighborhood feel.”

“We were targeting South Baltimore and were extremely excited to find this space. We’re thrilled that Mark Sapperstein is bringing us to McHenry Row,” said Smith. “The remnants of an old shot tower are embedded within our space which provides a one-of-a-kind and realistic manufacturing feel to the environment. It would have been nearly impossible to replicate this iconic design element.”

“We gravitated to the Locust Point area. It features the young and growing demographic that support local entrepreneurs and we intend to capitalize on the strong craft beer brewing movement,” said Marshall. The team also noted that access to I-95 and parking gives them the ability to attract visitors not only from the neighborhood but from all over.

The brewery, located in a former utility area, will feature an approximately 2,000 sq. ft. tasting room and a lower level production brewery. The team plans to open the tap room about four days a week with happy hour and evening hours during the week, and weekend hours from 12pm to 10pm. The team also plans to install TVs so patrons and the owners can keep tabs on the O’s, Ravens, Terps, and other sporting events. There will also be an outdoor space where they will bring in food trucks and play corn hole.

Diamondback will not produce food on site, but plans on partnering with food trucks and neighborhood restaurants.

The brewery will give Diamondback the equipment to produce up to 8,000 barrels of beer each year. It currently produces about 750 barrels and plans to immediately increase to 2,000 barrels. It currently offers Three Thirty Amber Ale, Omar’s O.P.A., The Bamb Black IPA, and Citranova Session Ale. The team will launch their first India Pale Ale at the new brewery and plan on trying out new brews for testing at the tasting room. They will continue to use River City Cannery for canning.

Diamondback singed the deal at McHenry Row three months ago and had been in discussions with 28 Walker since August of last year.

“Attracting Diamondback Brewing Company to McHenry Row is a major win on several levels, beginning with the addition of a fun, socially-oriented and interactive use that will appeal to local residents and visitors,” stated Sapperstein in a press release. “Tap rooms generate a tremendous amount of interest among beer enthusiasts and Diamondback’s presence will provide an innovative traffic generator. We also love the fact that Colin, Francis and Tom were raised in Baltimore and felt so compelled to invest in our City and our project for their long-term future.”

Diamondback beers are available at about 200 businesses throughout Central Maryland including at World of Beer and The Cellars at McHenry Row.

The team plans on hiring up to seven new employees.

The brewery is expected to open in September.

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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