DC Beer’s Richard and Adam sit down with Jon Zerivitz and Kevin Blodger of Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore, Maryland to discuss how their brewery has become a pillar of their neighborhood over the past eight years.
Simple, Good Beer for Baltimore
Jon, Kevin, and their business partner, Adam Benesch, founded Union Craft Brewing in 2011 with the vision of making good craft beer for the enjoyment of local Baltimore residents. It was the first new brewery built in Baltimore in 30 years.
Kevin, the Director of Brewing Operations, brought a simple concept to Union Craft Brewing: make good quality beer that anyone can appreciate. Today, Union Craft Brewing offers a wide variety of beers, with Kevin encouraging his staff to experiment with new, innovative brews.
Many Union Craft Brewing beers are creatively named after Baltimore-area landmarks. Some popular names include Blackwing (a tribute to local sports teams Ravens and Orioles–both black-winged birds) and Anthem (invoking Francis Scott Key’s penning of The Star-Spangled Banner just outside of Fort McHenry in Baltimore).
A New Home at the Union Collective
Jon, Kevin, and Adam wanted Union Craft Brewing to become a vibrant hub for the neighborhood. In 2018, they moved into an old industrial building and transformed it into the Union Collective, a business park that hosts a number of independent businesses, including Charmey ice cream shop, Earth Treks rock climbing, Baltimore Spirits Company, Vent Coffee Roasters, Well Crafted Kitchen, and the Wine Collective.
They haven’t stopped there. Union Craft Brewing now hosts a number of concerts and parties to bring the community together. The brewery boasts a massive taproom with a concert stage and plenty of room for large crowds. It has a capacity for 35,000 barrels (and they currently produce about 13,000 barrels per year).
Union Craft Brewing is a family-friendly environment that allows anyone to enter until 6 pm, when it then becomes a 21-and-older facility.
Upcoming Beer Releases and Events
Kevin has some new, exciting beers on tap for this winter. On November 1, he released the Cold Pro, which riffs off their summer seasonal wheat beer Old Pro by removing coriander and adding cranberries and a touch of cinnamon. He will also begin selling mini-kegs of Snowpants, a winter seasonal oatmeal stout, as part of the brewery’s winter beer release event called The Cornucopia.
Union Craft Brewing has a few other exciting events on the horizon. On November 16, it is hosting their sixth annual Oyfest in collaboration with The Local Oyster and True Chesapeake Oyster Co. And on January 19, it is celebrating “Zay Day,” the 100th birthday of Adam’s grandfather who still works at the brewery–perhaps the oldest brewery worker in the world!
You can find a full list of Union Craft Brewing’s upcoming events in November here.