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Heavy Seas aims to finish taproom overhaul next summer

Heavy Seas Beer intends to complete the renovation of its taproom and brewhouse addition in the Halethorpe section of Baltimore County by next June.

The independent brewery’s overhauled taproom, at 4615 Hollins Ferry Road, will be seven times larger than its existing configuration. A private event room will be added.

Heavy Seas is also adding a 15-barrel unit — a barrel unit is equivalent to 42 gallons — small-batch brewhouse.

“With these renovations, our new guests, along with loyal customers, will now be able to enjoy their beer in a much larger, livelier setting that truly represents Heavy Seas,” Sarah West, director of marketing and hospitality at Heavy Seas, said in a statement. “Craft beer enthusiasts from all over will be able to visit and sample award-winning favorites like Loose Cannon as well as new, limited-edition beers from the small-batch brewhouse. There will always be something new to try.”

The beer maker intends for the project to be a boost to the local economy and has hired area craftsmen to build unique tables for the taproom using reclaimed wood. They’ve also brought on local designers to create imagery for the new space and for new products coming out of the facility.

Heavy Seas intends to create new limited releases at the site that break away from its traditional offerings. The company is pledging that no style will be “off-limits.” First batches of the new brews will be available for tasting as early as June.

The brand was founded in 1995, and its facility underwent major renovations in 2010. That overhaul, which involved installing 11 new fermentation tanks and three new brite tanks, increased Heavy Seas’ production by 160 percent. The company makes 23 varieties of beer distributed in 23 states and Washington.

Despite consternation among independent beer makers about state laws governing brewery operations, beer making is expanding rapidly in the state. Brewers ranging from major players to new brands are investing in facilities, include Diageo’s Guinness brewery, Union Craft Brewing’s new Union Collective facility, and Cult Classic Brewing Co.’s transformation of a former supermarket site in Queen Anne’s County.

A JLL report on the industry, released last fall, found there was still room for growth in the industry.

“Craft brewing’s presence in retail inventory has only recently started to grow at a considerable rate, but with Maryland still ranking 36th for breweries per capita, the industry has runway for growth,” according to the report.

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