Moving the Brewhouse

We got up super early this morning to pack up the brewhouse and get it shipped over to the brewery in Chester, MD. ¬†Here’s a little clip of the brewhouse making its way over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and into the brewery parking lot.

And special thanks to Tim for more photos of the move:


The Lowboy trailer arrives. We need the lowest possible trailer or else the brewhouse is too tall for highway travel.


The Brewhouse gets lifted onto the truck almost as a single piece…


The Whirlpool/Hot Liquor Tank is loaded separately to remain within highway width restrictions.


Everything loaded and strapped down.

Then it’s a 20 minute drive across the bridge to the new brewery location…


Unloading the brewhouse


Unloading the Whirlpool/Hot Liquor Tank


And after some extreme maneuvering with the Genie boom lift – it’s all inside!

Nice wall – now let’s cut a hole in it!

The construction team is busy at work (on a Sunday!) cutting a hole in the wall for our new equipment loading door.

This will lead directly into the heart of the brewery – right next to the brewhouse. We’ll be able to use this door to bring in large equipment like the brewhouse, fermenting tanks, and carbonation tanks. This is a much shorter path than the one from the rear truck loading doors, so we wouldn’t be forced to move everything whenever we buy a new piece of equipment.

Here you see the guys sawing a horizontal slot into the wall where they can slide in a reinforcing steel header before knocking out the blocks below it.


Ready to fit the first piece of steel header into place.


After the header is in place to support the wall above the door, it’s safe to start removing blocks.


Looking out. Instantly more ventilation than the building’s had in ten years and we’re loving it! The side parking lot will be a great place for outdoor festivities and with the door open everyone can watch the brewhouse in action.


After all the blocks are gone, a temporary plywood barrier is erected until the roll-up door is ready to be installed. This is also a great time to begin demolishing the 1970’s-era supermarket walls and ceiling tiles. Soon it’ll all be history – this new door will make it much easier to haul out demolition debris.


These guys have been fantastic to deal with – highly recommended.

I really need to do something about those weeds, right? Time to wind some new string onto the weed whacker.

Turning an empty supermarket into a brewery

Welcome to the saga of Cult Classic Brewing.

Wow… you got here early. We’re not exactly ready for guests just yet but we’d love to show you what’s going on!

We’re just beginning construction for the brewery. Between building time and waiting for brewery permits, we expect to be open for business in the spring or summer of 2018. As things move along we’ll post updates, photos, end the occasional video so you can keep up with our progress.

Cult Classic Brewing is taking over a building that used to be an Acme Supermarket. It’s been vacant for almost a decade. Here’s a look at the building before we start doing anything with it.


You can still see scars on the floor where the old supermarket aisles used to stand.


Gloomy, right? Very few of the lights work anymore. The supermarket lighting was controlled by a 1980’s-era electronic timer that gave up the ghost long ago. Not worth fixing it though since the drop ceiling & lights will be demolished soon.


Behind the rear wall. The doors on the right lead out to the deli, and off to the right is the loading dock. Straight ahead lay the remnants of the meat department coolers. Above them is a mezzanine with offices, the electrical room, and the store’s massive HVAC unit.


This is the old air conditioning compressor up in the mezzanine. Those refrigerant pipes are 2-1/2″ diameter! I’d be terrified to learn how much electricity it uses. Fortunately it’s getting replaced with a new, and much more efficient, air conditioning unit.


Up on the roof. This is the old dish for the Acme’s computer network satellite, and you can see racks that used to hold refrigeration units for the deli/meat/seafood cases and refrigerated/frozen food aisles. They’ll make it that much easier to install our brewery glycol chiller.¬†

Thanks to Katherine Gaines of AmbientEye Photography for these shots

So what are we doing first?
This weekend we’re coordinating everything needed to move the brewhouse into our new location.

A new, larger door was required so the construction crew has been cutting a hole in the wall. Since we’ve got to chop a hole anyway, the thought is to install a door that’s big enough for anything we can imagine purchasing over the next decade or two. This, of course, leads to much daydreaming about the future – and looking up dimensions of equipment we can only dream of at the moment.