Maureen O’Prey: Maureen holds an MA in Historical Studies from UMBC. In addition to teaching history at the collegiate level, she works with area museums, and writes about the history of the brewing industry. She is the author of Brewing in Baltimore, and is currently writing her next book featuring Maryland’s rich brewing history
Rob Kasper: Former reporter, columnist and editorial writer for The Baltimore Sun, leaving the newspaper in September 2011 after 34 years. Writer of Baltimore Beer, the history of Baltimore brewing, published in 2012 by History Press. Since joining The Sun in 1978 he has won numerous writing awards. The Association of Food Journalists cited his 2008 food columns as among the best in American and Canadian newspapers. He has also won two National Headliner Awards. His interest in local history and Baltimore brewers led him in 2009 to become a founding member of Baltimore Beer Week, a not for profit organization that celebrates the area’s brewing culture. For a time he wrote a blog, Kasper on Tap, about the city’s brewing scene.
Hugh Sisson: A sixth generation Baltimorean, Hugh J. Sisson has been involved in all aspects of craft brewing. General Partner of Clipper City Brewing Company, L.P., Sisson is among Baltimore’s premier authorities on craft brewing and a former manager of the state’s first pub brewery, Sisson’s, located in Federal Hill. In the mid-eighties, Sisson observed the potential for a small brewery in Baltimore, a historically “big beer” town. After researching the industry at its heart – in Germany, England, and the west coast of the United States – he, along with the help of Senator George W. Della, Jr., successfully lobbied the Maryland General Assembly to pass legislation required to open a brew pub in Maryland. In 1994, he left Sisson’s to begin a new venture, Clipper City Brewing Company. Clipper City has been in operation for more than 17 years and markets fine beers – under the brand name of Heavy Seas – in 18 states, as well as Washington, DC. Sisson is a member of the Brewer’s Association, is past President for the Brewer’s Association of Maryland, and a former member of the Master Brewers Association of America. He was founder of the Cross Street Irregulars Home Brew Club, Maryland’s oldest such club, and co-hosts a weekly program on WYPR Radio, Baltimore, entitled Cellar Notes that critiques fine wine and beer.
Brian Strumke: A former internationally renowned techno DJ and producer who rather quickly made his mark in the homebrewing community for his often odd concoctions and unconventional brewing methods. Stillwater Artisanal is the nomadic ‘gypsy’ brewing venture headed by Baltimore native, Brian “Stillwater” Strumke. In 2010, after about 5 years of backyard brewing, Brian has taken Stillwater Artisanal Ales to the public. Wary of startup costs for a full-blown brewery, Brian now travels to various breweries around the world hand-crafting small-batch, authentic ales. Within its first year, Stillwater Artisanal was awarded ‘#2 Best New Brewer in the World’ by international beer rating resource Ratebeer.com and currently sits in the global 100. Stillwater has since been featured in such media outlets such as NPR, Washington Post, Food & Wine, NY Times, and the Atlantic to name a few. The rapid success and demand for Stillwater Artisanal Ales lead to distribution in 37 US States, Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. In 2012 Brian opened ‘of Love & Regret‘ (a restaurant / bar / bottle shop) in Baltimore to serve as a gallery for his works as he continues to sit among the worlds top ranked brewers.
Jed Jenny: Jed has been the Beer Department Manager at Wine Source in Hampden for almost 2 years, and assistant manager for 5 years prior. Outside of the daily routine of a running a retail store, he has enjoyed the fortunate opportunities of attending Beer Camp at Sierra Nevada’s brewery in Chico, CA and traveling to Belgium for their famous Zythos Beer Festival. He has been homebrewing for about 7 years, urban hop farming for 3 years, and a beer enthusiast since before it was legally appropriate.
Volker Stewart: Volker is the Co Founder and Owner of The Brewer’s Art a brewery and restaurant located in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. He discovered the joys of beer as a teenager in Southern Germany and over the years developed a taste for artisanal U.S. beer while living on the west coast from 1982 to 1991. He moved to Baltimore in 1991 to find work as a reference librarian and discovered a vibrant beer scene. Volker started home brewing around the same time, and by late 1994 he started toying with the idea of opening a brewery-restaurant with two others. Many unsuccessful attempts to locate a space dragged out over two years but a lease was signed in April of 1996. The restaurant opened in September of that year (on Friday the 13th to boot) and brewing commenced that December. The other two founding partners left the business over the next couple of years, leaving Volker the last person from day one. He currently operates the business with two active partners along with a stellar staff of 50 and is the founding member of the Brewer’s Association of Maryland where he has served as its President for two years.
Union Craft Brewing, Jon Zerivitz , Kevin Blodger and Adam Benesch: Union Craft Brewery is situated along the Jones Falls river, in the historic Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore. Named to Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 under 40, Kevin, Adam and Jon started Union Craft in the fall of 2011, in which brewing operations officially began in the spring of 2012 with the installation of a 20 barrel brewhouse and the initial launch of Duckpin Pale Ale. Opening Baltimore’s first production brewery in more than 30 years, these three have made a big impact on the Baltimore beer culture. Kevin has nearly a decade of professional brewing experience from working at some well respected nationally known breweries; Jon brought a graphic designer’s eye combined with sharp marketing skills from his past career and Adam brought financial and operational expertise from his time at a leading venture capital firm.