- The Washington Times - Monday, March 28, 2016

Vintner Mike Scarborough said the transition to making beer was as natural as turning hops, malt and barley into golden liquid delights. With over seven years as the owner of Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick already to his credit, the Maryland entrepreneur is turning his energies and attention to satiating awaiting thirsts of the District’s — and the nation’s — ever-expanding craft brewery market.

“I’ve just come to the conclusion that beer has become the new wine,” Mr. Scarborough told The Washington Times of his Calvert Brewing Company, which opened to the public this spring in Upper Marlboro.

“If you’re making wine, some of the technology and the skill set that you learn there you can transfer over to the beer side,” he said.

Calvert opened the doors at its 20,000-sq.-ft. facility to the public in February, serving up its cream ale, Good Company Pale Ale and Route 4 IPA, named for a nearby Maryland thoroughfare. The response has so far been extremely positive.

Mr. Scarborough said he hopes that Calvert, named in honor of one of Maryland’s most historic families, will help slake the thirsts of the “underserved” greater District and Baltimore area.

“I know that there’s tremendous opportunity in this part of the country without any question,” he said, adding he believes choosey drinkers along the entire eastern seaboard from Philadelphia to Virginia are hungering for new and better beers beyond the offerings of the Big Three.

Calvert’s brewmaster, Matt Ducey, certainly looks the part of a concocter of suds, sporting a generous full beard and a happy-go-lucky attitude. He related how, as a young man, he brewed at home, against his parents’ wishes, before being found out.

“I revealed to them what was inevitably a terrible batch of beer, and they were unhappy,” Mr. Ducey recalled of the parental scolding. “They said ‘don’t ever do it again.’ I never listen.”

After such adolescent experiments, Mr. Ducey decided he could make fermenting fluids his professional virtuosity. He worked at Annapolis Home Brew before being hired by Mr. Scarborough.

It was indeed a bold stroke to name their brewery after one of Maryland’s founding families, but Mr. Scarborough said that it is incumbent upon new brewers in the expanding beer industry to stand out from their competition as well as to foster a local identity.

“One of the things that we learned from talking to distributions is that you need to own your own market,” Mr. Scarborough said. “The Calvert family is one of the two founders of the state of Maryland [and] everyone knows the name. So it allows us to essentially attach to that and own what is arguably in our own backyard.”

Calvert is open for tours and tasting Wednesday to Friday from 3 to 9 p.m. and Saturday 12 to 9 p.m.

“it’s all about the beer,” Mr. Scarborough said. “It’s all about the liquid.”

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