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  • Brooks and Jesse McNew, who live in Severna Park and Arnold respectively, are poised to enter the exploding craft beer industry by January 2018.
    Brooks and Jesse McNew, who live in Severna Park and Arnold respectively, are poised to enter the exploding craft beer industry by January 2018.

Local Residents Open Craft Brewing Company In Stevensville

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August 8, 2017

Brothers Brooks and Jesse McNew have been perfecting beer recipes for more than 20 years while operating a home brew supply and equipment store in Severna Park, and they are now poised to enter the exploding craft beer industry as the proprietors behind the new Cult Classic Brewing Company. The entrepreneurs signed a 24,118-square-foot lease within a former ACME Supermarket store on 118 Main Street in the Stevensville section of Queen Anne’s County and, pending the permitting process, expect to be operational at the site overlooking Route 50 in January 2018.

Cult Classic Brewing Company will initially brew 12 beers, including eight mainstay “core” varieties plus a rotating selection of seasonal beers and experimentals, with the brewing operation housing a tap room offering regular consumer tastings.

“We understand the craft brewing industry inside and out, and with state laws changing that have simplified the process to start a brewing company, we felt the timing was right to introduce our beer recipes to the general public,” explained Brooks McNew. “We have been working on research and development for nearly two decades and interacting with craft and home brewers throughout the state. This new operation will provide us with the opportunity to relate directly with the public and obtain immediate feedback. We have dozens of additional recipes in our stable.”

Located near the intersection of Romancoke Road (Route 8) and Main Street (Route 18), the site is visible from Route 301/50 and is adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. According to Marley Welsh of Lee & Associates, the building needed to be in excess of 10,000 square feet of space to house the brewing operations, logistical and distribution functions, as well as office and tasting areas. With the McNew brothers currently working in Severna Park and being natives of Annapolis, the search focused on Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s counties.

“The open-space design of the former grocery store perfectly suited Cult Classic Brewing Company’s requirement to retrofit the space with customized functions,” Welsh explained. “With direct access and visibility from MD Route 50, it will become an attraction for people driving to or from the Eastern Shore including beach points, and the large free parking lot is conducive to handle large trucks and the general public visiting the tap room.”

Since 1997, the McNew brothers have owned and operated Annapolis Home Brew, which markets a range of home brewing equipment including brew pots, propane cookers, bottle fillers, thermometers and ingredients. “While my personal taste in beer focuses on classic European beers, my brother specializes in high-gravity alcohol, hop-focused craft beers,” Brooks McNew added. “We believe our brewing styles complement each other and will address a wide taste profile among local consumers.”

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