National Brewing Company is expanding production and moving into new markets for its craft beer
after reviving the legendary Baltimore brand last year.
Eastern Shore real estate agent Tim Miller founded the Easton company last year after buying the rights
to the name and locating the recipe for the original beer. After going through several test batches, the beer went on sale in Maryland during Memorial Day weekend.
The company currently sells 2,000 cases per month in 500 liquor stores and bars in Maryland, says Miller, who is National Brewing's president. Miller's goal is to increase sales to 100,000 cases per year by the end of 2014 and to expand into restaurants as well. Next month, the beer is being introduced in Washington, D.C.
National Brewing Company has contracted with Coastal Brewery in Delaware to make the beer to its specifications. Coastal bottles and packages the beer for distribution. Because it does not have its own facility that requires investing in brewing space, equipment and warehouse that would be required, the company was privately financed for under $100,000, says Miller.
Matt Oczkowski, communications director of the four-person staff, says the company currently sells out its production.
The company has a permit to sell beer in D.C. and is applying for permits to sell its product in Virginia, which it expects to obtain within the next three to five months, and in Delaware, within the next 12 to 15 months.
Oczkowski says the company intends to open its own brewery someday, possibly in Easton, although he did not have a timeframe for doing so. It also intends to broaden the variety of beer it makes beyond its current European-style pilsner.
“There is a boom in the craft beer industry
. As fast as we are brewing it, we are selling out,” he says.
Sources: Tim Miller, Matt Oczkowski, National Brewing Company
Writer: Barbara Pash