Brewery ‘Wico Street Beer Co.’ Coming to Pigtown

| December 1, 2021 | 0 Comments

Cousins Jordan McGraw and Michael Richardson are opening Wico Street Beer Co. at the 1100 Wicomico building in Pigtown. The brewery will be located in a 4,200 sq. ft. first-floor space that will be part of a new two-story marketplace concept in the building.

McGraw has been working in brewing for 13 years. He helped open Hysteria Brewing Company in Columbia, later ran operations at Full Tilt Brewing in North Baltimore, and is currently working at Oliver Brewing Company in East Baltimore. McGraw introduced Richardson to craft beer and the two wrote a business plan for their own brewery five years ago.

McGraw and Richardson were hoping to open a location in Baltimore City and began negotiating on the space in Pigtown in late-2019. The two were initially looking in North Baltimore neighborhoods and were interested in taking over UNION Craft Brewing’s old brewery, but the space was not yet available at the time.

A family friend told them to check out the 1100 Wicomico building. “I was not expecting to like this place,” said McGraw, who noted he had his doubts about Pigtown. But, once the two toured the space, they saw the promise.

McGraw and Richardson like that it’s close to the stadiums and I-95, and 1100 Wicomico’s potential to have other vendors and an event space to host weddings. They are also excited about Topgolf, The Paramount Baltimore, and the other casino-area developments coming nearby.

It was the unique space at 1100 Wicomico that really drove McGraw and Richardson to the building, however. They look forward to being an anchor at the new marketplace, and utilizing patio space at the building. In a phase two, Wico Street Beer Co. will add more brewing equipment, an arcade, and a speakeasy room in the current boiler room building at the property that will be decommissioned.

There will also be an attached beer garden to the boiler room with brick walls that will open up to Ostend St. The beer garden space has a historic piece of steel power equipment that will stay as a centerpiece of the space.

The first phase of the Wico Street Beer Co. will be accessible from the new marketplace entrance on Wicomico St. The brewery space will have a small bar, communal tables, a five-barrel brewing system, wood barrels where sours will age, retro arcade games, and a large mural by local artist Marshall Adams. Glass garage doors will open up to the marketplace in the building and there will be an attached outdoor patio in the building’s parking garage.

The boiler room and beer garden is across the first-floor parking lot in the parking garage. McGraw and Richardson hope to open the phase one space prior to Orioles opening day in March, and the beer garden facing Ostend St. prior to the Ravens 2022 season. The boiler room is a later phase of the project.

Wico Street Beer Co. will have a large focus on sour beers. These take up to nine months to ferment, so there will be many wood barrels filled with sours. Wico Street Co. has already started contract brewing with Oliver so beers will be ready when it opens in March.

A signature beer for Wico Street Beer Co. will be its Steez lager. McGraw said it’s an American adjunct lager inspired by Miller High Life. Steez will be available in select liquor stores and bars in the next few weeks.

McGraw expects there to be four bottles releases in 2022.

McGraw said 90 percent of Wico Street Beer Co.’s income will come from taproom sales, but they will do some distribution.

Wico Street Beer Co. will not initially have food, however customers will be able to bring in food from other restaurants, including vendors in the building when they open.

McGraw and Richardson will eventually add a brick oven to the space to make pizzas and wings. They hope to incorporate some of the spent grain from brewing into the pizza dough.

McGraw said he hopes another vendor at 1100 Wicomico will offer cocktails and wine, but said they could be added to the menu if needed.

Pigtown, Carroll-Camden Industrial Area, and Stadium Area are becoming a hub of breweries with Checkerspot Brewing Company and Suspended Brewing Company already open and Wico Street Beer Co. and Pickett Brewing both opening in the coming months. McGraw said he is excited to be in an area like this and noted the success of the Scott’s Addition neighborhood in Richmond, VA that has more than 15 breweries and distilleries.

1100 Wicomico is an eight-story, 416,000 sq. ft. office building with a 250-car garage. It was built in 1915 for Baltimore Bargain House. Vagrant Coffee is already open in the marketplace.

Main entrance to 1100 Wicomico 

Future entrance to the marketplace

Future facade of Wico Street Beer Co.’s beer garden on Ostend St. 

Brewery space under construction 

Future outdoor patio 

Renderings from Wico Street Beer Co. and Twopoint Studio

 

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, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
×