Baltimore once had a flourishing beer economy thanks in part to an influx of German and Eastern European immigrants. By the end of 1899, it was home to more than 40 breweries. Competition beginning in the 1950s steadily decreased this number until Hugh Sisson opened the state’s first brewpub in 1989.
Hugh Sisson has a lot on his mind: the growler bill he just passed through the Maryland Legislature, the 550 firkins sitting in his brewery and his robust (and expensive) barrel-aging program—not to mention his recent brand makeover.
The Baltimore-based brewer, who produces adventurous ales on both sides of the Atlantic, sees some advantage in not having a home. Nothing about his Stillwater Artisanal Ales project is straightforward, from the beer in the bottle to the labels outside.
Hugh Sisson has been hawking good beer for nearly 30 years now. In the last few of those, he’s finally made Clipper City into the brewery he always envisioned it to be—Great American Beer Fest gold medals and all.