When Rich Mak moved from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Baltimore County in 2015, he didn’t see many places where he’d want to hang out and have a beer.
“I was like, ‘What is going on with this Cockeysville area? There is nowhere to go around here,’” Mak said. “It was just kind of odd.”
This winter, the Parkton resident will look to add some variety with Balt County Brewing, a 12,000-square-foot brewery and taproom in a Hunt Valley industrial park. Located at 10900 Gilroy Road, the brewery plans to open by late February, Mak said. Balt County Brewing will not distribute its beers to stores or bars, he said, so customers will have to come to the brewery to try the varieties. The brewery will offer a rotating cast of 24 original beers at a time, with no flagship brews, Mak said.
“The only way we’re going to sell beer is if we get a lot of people in here. If you do that, then guess what? You get a lot of input,” said Mak, 45. “The people are going to be telling us one pint at a time whether they like it or don’t like it.”
A member of the local brew club Brewetherville Labs, Mak has been homebrewing for years, and prefers “the super hoppy beers.” Balt County Brewing’s head brewer is Jim Wagner, formerly the brewmaster at DuClaw Brewing Company in Rosedale.
Without a flagship beer, Mak expects patrons to want to sample a wide variety, so he plans to have a self-serve tap that will give users the freedom to pour and pay for beer by the ounce. A Georgia-based company called Table Tap created the system, which utilizes iPads and “beer cards” that customers load with money, Mak said.
“If you want to try all 24 [types], you can,” Mak said.
For food, Balt County Brewing will create its own food truck that will serve bar fare, according to Mak. There are talks of adding lunch and weekend brunch buffets as well.
The brewery will also feature a 5,000 square-foot taproom that will likely fit approximately 160 people, Mak said. He plans to have indoor areas to play bocce and cornhole, along with a large projection screen that will show sports. If all goes according to plan, the brewery will be the hangout Mak believes the area still needs.