Suspended Brewing Company’s Tap Room Opens Tomorrow in Pigtown

| March 2, 2018 | 2 Comments

Tomorrow Saturday, March 3rd, Suspended Brewing Company will open the tap room at its approximately 3,000 sq. ft. facility at 912 Washington Blvd. in Pigtown. Suspended opened its brewery last month for production and tours.

Suspended recently received its Baltimore City Limited Class D Beer license from the Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

Suspended will host the tap room grand opening tomorrow and Sunday from 1pm to 8pm. Beers will be available for purchase as 16oz, 10oz, and 5oz glasses of beer, along with flights, 64oz growlers, and 32oz growlers and Crowlers®, which are cans that are tapped and capped behind the bar.

The eight beers in Suspended’s opening lineup include:

Blood Orange Uncommon Sense – West Coast IPA
Trolley Problem – English Stout
Sour Persian – American Kettle Sour conditioned with Iranian Barberries
Other People’s Shoes – American Lager
This Ain’t No Love Song – Hefeweizen
Secret Worlds – New England IPA
Catepillar Schemes – New England IPA
Clockwork Universe – French Saison
Clockwork Universe – Belgian Saison

HVMBLE Vegan Kitchen will be onsite tomorrow with donuts and a photo booth. Suspended will have raffles on both days this weekend.

Suspended said they joined “the cashless movement” and only accept credit cards.

Suspended’s tap room will be limited to Saturdays and Sundays for the foreseeable future.

Suspended spent the last 16 months renovating the former church space into a brewery and tap room, and acquiring its Class 5M Production Brewery license.

Suspended is currently run by a small team of four including Josey Schwartz, Yasmin Karimian, Amir Karimian, and George Himonas. The Karimians grew up in Baltimore and the entire Suspended team attended UMBC for undergrad, giving each of them roots in the area. They originally leased a space in Rockville, MD where they hoped to set up a brewery, but were unable to get the licensing needed to operate from the City of Rockville authorities.

The team looked to return to Baltimore, specifically neighborhoods in District 40, which, at the time, permitted for a Class 7 brewery license that allows virtually unlimited on-site sales and self-distribution. After trying to secure two other places in Pigtown, they were turned on to 912 Washington Blvd. by a family friend of the Karimians, Leslie Lacy, who was at the time Pigtown Main Street’s Business District Specialist, and Pigtown Main Street’s Executive Director Ben Hyman. The team thanked Lacy and Hyman for bolstering connections with the Pigtown community, Pigtown business owners, and other helpful institutions like Baltimore Development Corporation, which helped finance the buildout.

Along with its craft beers, Suspended will also keep several different purees so that patrons can add a flavor to any of its beers. The staff will recommend their favorite combinations of beer and puree. “We partly look for what’s absent in the market and partly scratch our own brewing itches,” said Schwartz.

Also on tap at Suspended is cold brew coffee that Suspended brews with Vigilante Coffee Company beans, a company based in Hyattsville, MD and Wild Kombucha, which is a virtually non-alcoholic fermented tea beverage brewed in Timonium, MD.

Suspended will not prepare its own food, but plans to partner with caterers on food offerings. Patrons will also be able to bring their own food.

The brewery has a capacity of 105.

Suspended has five fermentation tanks for its brewing system, which was made in Michigan and is capable of producing up to 30 barrels of beer at a time. The team can produce one large batch and send it to a ten-barrel (310 gallons) open-top fermentor, a five-barrel run for its closed cylindroconical tanks, or make two different two barrel sized batches at once. Schwartz told the goal is to produce 500 barrels of beer in its first year and noted they have significant room to grow in the space.

Suspended wants to control the experience drinkers have with its beers. Most of its products will be consumed at the Pigtown brewery where the team will have control of the pour, cleanliness of draft lines, and glassware, and will be able to educate consumers firsthand on their brews. Schwartz said that customer service will be part of the experience at Suspended. “People will come here and get treated like family,” he said.

Suspended will not be distributing its beers at this time.

Schwartz has a background in engineering and sustainability and the company will be committed to “corporate social responsibility.” Schwartz highlighted the following aspects of Suspended Brewing Company:

  • All electricity the brewery uses comes from wind power.
  • The majority of the spent grain is sent to Whispering Rise Farm & Pig Sanctuary; the rest of the grain, the spent hops, and spent yeast is sent to the Pigtown Food for Thought Carroll Street Garden to be turned into compost for community members to use in their plots.
  • Suspended uses water injected with ozone (O3) for all surface sanitation which greatly reduces water use for cleaning and sanitizing equipment, and drastically cuts the use of acids in the brewhouse.
  • Suspended collects city water that is run through its heat exchanger for beer wort cooling and uses it post brew to clean in the brewhouse.
  • Suspended brews beer with mostly organic malts.
  • Suspended has a high diversion of waste from landfill by making green supply chain purchases; “we try to only by materials and products that can be reused, recycled, repurposed, or composted,” said Schwartz.
  • “Although we couldn’t afford to pay for the certification from USGBC, I’m a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified green building professional with a specialty in Building Design + Construction and used LEED principles and best practices to build the brewery,” said Schwartz.

The team at Suspended is also hoping the brewery can be used as a community gathering space on days when it is not open. The team is also hoping to host block cleanups that start at the brewery.

Suspended wants its space to be a gathering space for “beer geeks,” families, and the Pigtown community. Suspended is also looking into how it might be able to utilize an adjacent lot owned by neighbor Coastal Longleaf as a beer garden.

Photo courtesy of Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC

Photos courtesy of Sam Levin

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