(Aug. 30, 2013) There’s a new joint in town for craft beer fans.
De Lazy Lizard Brew Pub opened on First Street in July, bringing visitors 20 beers on tap, 50 bottled craft beers, and three in-house brews made in the brewery visible from the bar.
“The whole craft brew market, or opportunity, has just really exploded across the United States and it’s extremely hot in the Ocean City area,” owner Wayne Odachowski said.
Inspired by the success of local breweries like Berlin’s Burley Oak, Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Salisbury and Ocean City’s Shorebilly Brewing Company on the Boardwalk at 10th Street, Odachowski and de Lazy Lizard co-owner Todd Hays began brainstorming brews.
They worked with longtime friend and brewer Rod Hillman to develop de Lazy Lizard’s golden ale, copper ale and double IPA beers, and with the beer came the Lazy Lizard’s second restaurant.
“Brewing a craft brew and brew pubs kind of go together,” Odachowski explained, and when a property down the road from de Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill became available, the business moved in.
“It was the old Melvin’s Steakhouse, which was sort of a legacy of Ocean City,” he said. “When we got ahold of the place, you felt like you were walking into the 70s, from the table clothes to the furniture to the décor.”
The Lazy Lizard crew set to work gutting all but the wooden floors in the first floor dining area of the restaurant. They added a small arcade section, a new bar and the brewery — a small, white room visible through glass from the bar.
The brewing gear arrived in May, and Hillman set to work creating the beers.
Each brew started with a test batch, which went through multiple taste tests. Every new batch was tweaked until Hillman reached his final recipe — a two or three week process, Odachowski said.
He said he’s received “a ton of compliments” on the Lazy Lizard brews, with the golden ale especially popular in the summer months.
“We are continually brewing,” he said. “People love it.”
The brewery has plans to expand its selection, with a caramel porter and pumpkin ale in the works for the colder months.
The menu at the brewpub varies some from de Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill down the street, with more focus on pub foods, Odachowski said.
Since its opening last month, “it’s been steadily growing,” he said. “What we find is sometimes people end up in the brewpub because they thought they were heading to the bar and grill, but were very happy that they stayed.”
De Lazy Lizard Brew Pub is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily with happy hour specials from 3-6 p.m. It will be open year round, Odachowski said.