(June 20, 2014) The back of Josh Shores’ business card reads, “We do it dif’rent” and his new Ocean City Brewing Company is living up to the claim.
The city’s newest brewery opened for business June 7 and has been pouring craft drafts from across the country and its first local homebrews on 55th Street since.
“I wanted to put Ocean City on the map as far as craft brewing,” Shores said. “I was born here and raised here and wanted to bring new brew here.”
As he put it, drinking local beer provides “something with a little more meaningful” for visitors and locals.
From the “Beer 101” chart on the wall, which shows the brewing process from milling and mashing to the time beer is poured into the glass, to the Oktoberfest-style long tables where visitors can enjoy craft beer from names like Burley Oak, Heavy Seas and Abita, the goal is a create an atmosphere for socializing, Shores said. “We want people to meet people.”
The brewery also dishes up lunch and dinner every day and provides a family-friendly place to grab a bite.
Beyond the restaurant, though, there is a large brewing operation out back run under the hand of Brewmaster Mark Fesche.
After months-long battles with the city, the brewery is up and running and able to produce eight different beers at once, Fesche said.
The plan is to eventually fill all 24 OC Brewing Company taps with its own beers, which “we’ll release one-at-a-time as they become ready,” he said.
The inaugural beer, Route 50 Pale Ale, took to the taps last Friday and the brewing company just introduced its Gold Digger raspberry pale ale this week.
Other brews in the works include Alrighty Then, a watermelon wheat beer that will have brewery employees cutting 500 pounds of fresh watermelon; Lost Souls traditional Irish stout; and Dragon’s Moon, a refreshing, light Belgian wheat beer.
“We’re trying to create a large selection to appeal to everyone’s taste,” Shores said. “We’re going to keep creating new things.”
When the brewery is operating at full capacity, it should produce approximately 90 barrels a week, he said.
When Shores decided to open a brewery, part of the appeal was the camaraderie among companies — about 3,000 breweries in all across the country, he said.
More than 50 breweries including Evolution Craft Brewing Company in Salisbury helped with “everything from glassware to production” when he was planning the business, Shores said.
“We all sit around and talk about the pros and cons of the business,” he said, “and there really aren’t many cons.”
Though it focuses on its brews, OC Brewing Company dishes up a menu that includes popular items such as its flatbreads, egg rolls and a sausage platter. Shores plans to change entrees over time to compliment the specific beers on tap and eventually incorporate daily specials as business grows.
OC Brewing Company also has a gift shop in the front of the restaurant featuring beach balls, pint glasses and apparel baring the company’s logo.
OC Brewing Company is open seven days a week year-round from 11 to 2 a.m. with a full menu served until around 10 p.m. and pub food after that.
Visit www.facebook.com/ocbrewingcompany or www.ocbrewingcompany.com or call the Ocean City Brewing Company at 443- 677-3075 for more information.