A Western Maryland craft brewery will venture east this summer.
Cushwa Brewing Co., a Williamsport brewer known for its New England-style hazy IPAs, will open an outpost in Columbia, co-founder Scott Coleman told The Baltimore Sun. The brewery has signed a lease to take over the former Frisco Tap House space at 6695 Dobbin Road.
“We just wanted an opportunity to expand around Maryland, to get our beer a little bit closer to the city,” Coleman said.
The Columbia location will be the second taproom for the brewery. Coleman and partners Garrett Chambers and Marcus Thomas launched Cushwa Brewing Co. near the West Virginia border in 2016.
“We started extremely small,” said Coleman, who worked as an engineer before helping to open the brewery. “We were three friends local to Washington County; none of us had any experience. We wanted to get some beer to the local area which didn’t exist, especially the New England-style hazy IPAs.”
More than six years later, Cushwa’s tap list features a wide variety of brews, including lagers, traditional brown ales and fruited sours. The brewery releases new beers on a near-weekly basis, and Coleman said the Columbia location will have 44 taps. Customers will be able to buy four- or six-packs of beer to take home.
The new spot will also serve food from Rad Pies, a pizzeria that already has a presence in Cushwa’s Williamsport taproom. In Columbia, customers will be able to order whole pies, including a Detroit-style offering that won a “best pan pizza” award at last year’s International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.
Rad Pies owner Kenneth MacFawn said the pizzeria will serve New York-style pies, too, plus sandwiches, salads and a rotating array of desserts like chocolate cookies stuffed with Nutella and “Italian hangover cake,” a lemon ricotta Bundt cake topped with whipped cream.
The Western Maryland brewery will join a thriving Howard County craft beer scene, which is already home to breweries such as Black Flag Brewing Co., Hysteria Brewing Co., Manor Hill Brewing and Jailbreak Brewing Co. The former Frisco Tap House recently moved to a new space on McGaw Road in Columbia, where it rebranded as Reckless Shepherd Brewpub and Entertainment.
Cushwa’s Columbia taproom is slated to open in July. Brewing operations will continue to take place in Washington County — the Howard County spot is “just a Cushwa and Rad Pies-themed taproom,” Coleman said.
The brewery has an eye on growth in the years to come, he added: “I think we will be looking for additional opportunities for expansion.”