While Baltimore’s Full Tilt Brewing currently contract brews at the Peabody Heights Brewing facility in Abell, the company’s ultimate goal is to one day open their own brewery in the city.
That’s years down the line, though. In the meantime — and in an effort to one day reach that goal — Full Tilt plans to open a brewpub in Towson next year, said co-founder Nick Fertig. He hopes the establishment, which does not yet have a name, will open its doors by “mid- to late summer 2017.”
For Fertig, establishing a brick-and-mortar home for Full Tilt is a priority. Last week, he and co-founder (and cousin) Dan Baumiller signed a letter of intent to lease the former police station located at 308 Washington Ave. They couldn’t find a location that worked in Baltimore, so they expanded the search north, Fertig said.
“I think it’s a good next step for us,” Fertig said. “One of the biggest things we’re missing right now is a place for people to call Full Tilt home.”
The company will continue to contract brew at Peabody, but will use the nearly 11,000-square-foot Towson space to brew test batches and experiment with recipes.
The project will cost roughly $1.5 million, and Full Tilt has a bank loan in place for $800,000, if they can find investors for the rest, Fertig said. (He declined to name the bank or provide further information because details were “still fluid.”) On Oct. 13, Full Tilt will host a presentation and walk-through at the new site for potential investors.
The space has three floors, and Full Tilt plans to utilize them all. Aside from a restaurant and bar, Fertig plans to rent space out for small weddings, conferences and private events.
Fertig said he and Baumiller are new to the restaurant industry. Regarding the food menu, he sees the brewpub serving small, sharable plates of elevated bar fare.
“We want to be a step above [bar food], but not to the point where it’s exclusively expensive or too fancy,” he said. Menu items will pair with certain beers, too.
The plan is to offer 20 draft lines for beer, including space for local brewers, Fertig said. He also wants to showcase Baltimore spirits, meads and ciders.
After the investors are in place, Fertig sees the build-out taking six to eight months. Once the brewpub is up and running, it will operate seven days per week. It will create 20 to 25 part-time and full-time jobs, he estimated.
While the brewpub has Full Tilt’s complete attention for the time being, Fertig still has his eyes set on opening a full-fledged warehouse brewery in Baltimore one day.
Established in 2012, Full Tilt has named its beers after areas of the city, including Baltimore Pale Ale, Fleet St. Raspberry Wheat and Patterson Pumpkin. Fertig said he hopes customers don’t interpret the Towson brewpub as Full Tilt “abandoning Baltimore City.”
“We just saw a really good opportunity right on the edge of the city, and we’re still going to do a lot in the city — events, charities and all of that stuff,” Fertig said. “We’ll come back with a piece of property in the actual city down the road, for sure.”