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The new Funk House at Independent Brewing Company in Bel Air, where sours and barrel-aged beers will be brewed, is nearing completion.
The new Funk House at Independent Brewing Company in Bel Air, where sours and barrel-aged beers will be brewed, is nearing completion. (Erika Butler)

If 26 options weren’t already enough, customers at Independent Brewing Company in Bel Air will soon have more choices when it comes to a drink.

The Funk House, behind the main building and distillery, is nearly complete and once finished will allow brewers to expand into traditional sours and barrel-aged beers, said Phil Rhudy, chief fermentation officer for Independent.

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“It has to be separate from the beer brewing because of contamination issues,” Rhudy told members of the Harford County Liquor Control Board, which approved renovation of the existing garage on the site. “Cross contamination is a big deal if you care about your product, which we do.”

Once it’s up and running, the Funk House will have four unique taps serving those new brews. Twelve of the taps outside will be the same as inside the main taproom, which will have its own 14 unique taps, Rhudy said.

The original motivation for the project was the need for more bathrooms to accommodate the crowd on the outside patio, he said. Financially, it made sense to do the entire project instead of just the bathrooms.

“And the space was there to add a second bar and sell beer at that location we don’t sell in the original taproom,” Rhudy said.

The beers are brewed through bacterial fermentation using yeast, which needs to be kept away from the other production system, he said.

It’s just one more option for customers, he said.

Inside the Funk House will be a sofa, loveseat and coffee table with custom-made metal hightop tables for patrons.

“I’m excited about it,” Rhudy said. “It just has a good feel to it.”

This project comes on the heels of the patio, which was expanded and seating added outside and inside large metal containers.

On the inside wall of the four containers, artist Marshall Adams painted an interpretive mural of the brewing process, from the beginning with the yeast, to the water and the hops and wheat.

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