Charm City Meadworks Expands into New Production Facility Near Mount Vernon

| January 2, 2017 | 0 Comments

Outgrowing its current space in the Fairfield Industrial Area of South Baltimore, Charm City Meadworks (CCMW) has moved its production into a new 6,500 sq. ft. warehouse suite at 407 B E. Preston St. in Johnston Square. CCMW is more than tripling its space for production of its 8 to 10 styles of draft and still meads.

CCMW is owned by Federal Hill resident James Boicourt and business partner Andrew Geffken. Boicourt told SouthBMore.com that there is a lot to love about the new location. He said it is in a very walkable location just a block from Mount Vernon, separated by the Preston and Biddle Street bridges, which both have protected bike lanes. CCMW is also just a couple blocks from the Station North Arts & Entertainment District, which is seeing significant investment. Boicourt noted that he sees Johnston Square as ripe for investment as well.

“We looked for more than a year and came very close to signing a lease in Arbutus,” said Boicourt. “We are lucky it all came together here.”

The building is situated near I-83 and Boicourt is excited about the building’s visibility on this high-traffic expressway. CCMW will be painting the exterior of its space and adding signage. It has also applied for facade grants. Boicourt hopes to add a beer garden in the near future.

The interior features large 17 ft. ceilings which are ideal for producing mead in CCMW’s five-tank brewing system, as well as for storage of mead. CCMW is hoping to produce 1,000 barrels of mead in 2017 and Boicourt noted there is plenty of space for growth at the new facility. The CCMW team demolished and cleared out portions of the space, poured new heated concrete floors with trench drains, painted, updated the electric, repaired the roof, and installed the plumbing needed for production. The renovation took about two months.

CCMW also recently purchased a new canning machine that produces 36 cans per minute.

CCMW currently has a team of seven mostly full-time employees, and 12 part-time employees who assist in everything from brewing and canning mead to sales, marketing, and working the tap room. The company launched in late 2014 and Boicourt said today they are already one of the largest wineries in Maryland.

CCMW will first focus on production at the new Johnston Square location, but is hoping to get an interior tap room and the beer garden open as soon as possible. CCMW will keep the tap room in Fairfield open until a new one has been constructed at the Preston St. location. CCMW makes weekly trips to the Fells Point Farmers’ Market and Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar for sales and tastings. CCMW’s cans, drafts, and bottles can also be found at many bars and liquor stores around Baltimore; Washington, DC; and the Eastern Shore.

CCMW financed the move through sales and a “small” Small Business Association loan according to Boicourt. He said he is excited to open and grow so they can pay everything back. “This move is all about growing the business,” Boicourt told SouthBMore.com. He also noted that additional space will allow the company not only to grow, but to be more efficient, citing the storage challenges in the Fairfield space.

The main ingredients in mead are honey, water, and yeast. CCMW gets its honey from Dutch Gold Honey in Lancaster, PA and has partnered with local farmers on products for flavors for its meads. Boicourt looks forward to experimenting with new styles and flavors at the new facility.

With many new breweries and distilleries popping up around Baltimore, CCMW is excited to be part of this growing industry in the City. Boicourt noted that its unique product positions them well for growth as well. CCMW also recently partnered with East Baltimore’s Oliver Brewing Co. on a beer/mead collaboration.

CCMW has attended Johnston Square meetings and looks forward to engaging with the surrounding neighborhoods.

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Flight from the Fairfield tap room

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About the Author:

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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