Checkerspot Brewing Company to Open Tap Room Near M&T Bank Stadium on June 30th

| June 5, 2018 | 1 Comments

Checkerspot Brewing Company is now brewing beer at its approximately 10,000 sq. ft. facility at 175 W. Ostend St. and has announced that it will open its tap room on June 30th. Checkerspot has taken over a vacant space at the 65,000 sq. ft. building that is adjacent to M&T Bank Stadium, the South Baltimore Neighborhood, and Sharp-Leadenhall.

Checkerspot, named after the official Maryland butterfly, is the creation of husband and wife Rob and Judy Neff, as well as their business partner Steve Marsh. Judy Neff, who has a PhD in microbiology form Johns Hopkins University, has been a home brewer for the past 12 years; Marsh started the cask program at Heavy Seas and has been a consultant with breweries in the area; and Rob Neff has a background in construction rehabs.

Checkerspot is opening its facility in three phases. The first phase is brewing beer and getting its first floor tap room open.

The second phase will be opening the entire facility which will include an addition on the front of the building that is slated to start construction soon. This will add extra space to first and second floor taprooms, and add a stairwell to the second floor. The second floor tap room will be used for private events along with general seating on busier days. There will also be a full kitchen on the second floor.

The third phase will be increasing its brewing for distribution into kegs and likely cans.

The tap rooms at Checkerspot will have an industrial feel with exposed steel beams and reclaimed wood and materials. Checkerspot will also have decor paying tribute to the farming industry that makes the Maryland brewing industry possible. Checkerspot has collected some equipment from closed businesses including Big Jim’s Deli and Mars supermarkets. The tap rooms will overlooking the brewing tanks and will have televisions playing sports.

Checkerspot has a 15-barrel brewing system and anticipates brewing 1,000 barrels in the first year. At the tap room, some pours will come directly from the barrels and some will come from beer that was transferred to kegs. The tap room will offer up to 10 beers at a time. This will include stouts, saisons, IPAs, pale ales, and beers using local fruit and honey. It will offer beers made entirely from Maryland ingredients, and will offer beers in casks, in kilderkins, and nitro pours. The opening will feature Paws 2 Paws, a collaboration with Flying Dog Brewery.

Beers will be available in pints and half pints, and to go in growlers and crowlers.

Checkerspot will also offer brewery tours.

The food menu at Checkerspot will focus on house-made prepared foods. Marsh, who will lead the kitchen, said he is inspired by Belgian beer houses where he has seen deluxe grab-and-go vending items. Menu items will include charcuterie, smoked meats, salads, Cornish hens, wraps, and sandwiches. He noted smoked salmon will be involved in several dishes. He also hopes to have a weekly pasta night.

Customers at Checkerspot will be able to use the adjacent parking lot across Sharp Street. This lot is also owned by landlord Himmelrich and Associates.

Checkerspot will likely be open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 11am to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday until 12pm.

While the crew at Checkerspot is excited for Ravens gameday crowds, they are hoping it will be a neighborhood spot with its location close to Federal Hill, South Baltimore, and Pigtown. They are hoping customers will also visit from the Gwynns Falls Trail bike path, which runs in front of the brewery, and off the Light Rail Hamburg Street Station, which is a couple blocks away. They are also hoping to be a draw for tourists who might be in town to check out the growing brewery industry in Baltimore.

175 W. Ostend St. is currently undergoing a redevelopment that will include a second floor addition. A new trade school will also be opening at the complex. Checkerspot’s space was formerly part of a printing company that relocated.

Stadium Area has become a hotbed for investment and redevelopment with its close proximity to Horseshoe Casino and the $275-million, mixed-use Stadium Square development by CVP. This includes a new Topgolf that is part of a large redevelopment on Warner St. by CBAC, the owners of Horseshoe Casino Baltimore;  The Parker Building at 333 W. Ostend St. which is currently under construction for a conversion to 50,000 sq. ft. of offices; and a new 48,000 sq. ft. Hammerjacks music venue and club that recently began construction.

First floor tap room

Production brewery 

Second floor tap room 

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Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. 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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