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Berlin, MD 21811
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Business

Burley Oak will sell bottles soon

8/30/12 | By Nathan Brunet, Staff Writer

BERLIN — This Sunday, Burley Oak Brewing Company will hold a party celebrating the release of its first bottled beer to be sold at the brewery’s bar and brewing headquarters on Old Ocean City Boulevard.

“It was in our plan to bottle within our first year,” said owner Bryan Brushmiller, who wanted to sell bottles to the public at its one-year anniversary party last Sunday that brought more than 300 visitors throughout the day, but was not able to because of difficulties attributed to Saturday’s flood.

Bunker C, a porter aged in bourbon barrels for six months, will be the brewery’s first beer to be bottled. It will come in a 750 milliliter champagne bottle.

While the bottles will only be available at the combined brewery and bar for now, the heads of Burley Oak Brewing Company are in process of signing paperwork with a distributor to sell bottles and draft beer at businesses all over Maryland and Washington D.C.

“There will be beer from Berlin, Md. all around the state in the fall,” Brushmiller said.

About 40 bars and restaurants sell drafts of Burley Oak beer, but that number is expected to increase exponentially once the deal with the distributor is complete.

When the deal is official, that could mean Berlin may experience an even greater rise in tourism than what has been seen this summer.

Cliff Newlands, who has acted as the mayor Milton, Del., where famed Dogfishead Brewery is located, acknowledged that brewery business is good business for everyone.

“People are coming from all over the country to visit Dogfishead,” he said.

He said the company’s free tours are always booked weeks in advance and that people plan their visit to Milton based around the tour. Not only is the brewery a huge hit for tourism, but it also supports other local businesses and has helped many residents financially as well.

According to Newlands, the company employs about 120 people.

“A lot of the people live within the town and actually walk to work,” he said.

Although Burley Oak only employs eight people, it has been in existence for nine fewer years than the brewery in Milton.

Brushmiller, who said he has seen license plates of cars parked in the brewery’s lot from numerous states around the nation all summer, started a program two months ago to support local Berlin businesses.

The Explore Berlin Program allows visitors to borrow a bicycle from the brewery to ride around town.

Once a waiver form is signed, visitors are allowed to travel wherever they want throughout Berlin.

“It’s a healthy alternative and makes a low impact on driving,” Brushmiller said.

He continued to say that if anyone asks about local restaurants, as there is no food served at the brewery, they are sent to an establishment in the downtown area. If customers bring their receipts back from the restaurant, they are offered a free beer.

The Bunker-C bottle release party will begin at noon and last through the day.

Less than 400 beers have been bottled and Brushmiller expects quantities to go fast.

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