In March, Bonner and Turner, who had been home brewing for a few months, attended a craft brewers convention in Las Vegas that opened their eyes.

"To be honest with you, I never thought a convention of all things would change my life," Bonner said. "But I knew right away this was for me."

Both Turner and Bonner have experience running businesses and are completely self-funded, which they say makes them unique in the craft brew market.

Levine's epiphany came on a trip to Seattle last September his wife, Susan. However, the couple didn't decide to launch the family business until January, right around the time Susan found out she was pregnant with their second child. While some may say its bad timing to start a small business, which Levine said includes taking out loans in excess of $1 million, the Levines don't see it that way.


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"It'll be neat to the tell the story," Levine said smiling.

Both companies also plan on building a tap room at the brewery that will serve as a tasting area for guests. Both also plan on distributing in Maryland first, and hope to get tap space at many local restaurants.

The companies do have their differences, too. Jailbreak expects to output approximately 2,500 barrels in its first year, while Levine said Black-Eyed Susan is shooting for between 4,000 and 6,000. Each will employ a unique marketing strategy.

Levine said he wants his brewery to be family-friendly. He's even explored making specialty soda for his tap room so parents don't feel that have to leave their kids behind when they visit.

"We don't want people not to come check us out just because they have kids," said Levine. "We want to make it community-friendly."

For Jailbreak, the name says it all, as Bonner and Turner hope to tap into consumer's desire to escape.

Bonner said the name was born from a late-night conversation between Turner and himself while Bonner was still the CEO of Norseman Defense Technologies based in Elkridge.

"I told Kasey, 'I feel like I'm in prison here. I need to get out,' " said Bonner, who left the company in April.

"Our slogan is 'the art of escape.' The art is our beer, and the escape is what we are trying to provide."