Reale Revival underway in Cambridge

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CAMBRIDGE, Md. – A different kind of revival is underway here now that Reale Revival microbrewery has opened its doors on Poplar Street.

There has been much about reviving Cambridge’s downtown business district in recent years. While the microbrewery is part of that revival, it is named for the revival underway across the U.S. with renewed interest in craft brewed beer.

A joint venture by Chris Brohawn and J.T. Merryweather, the new Cambridge microbrewery is named for the revival in craft beers which began more than a decade ago. Brohawn explains that for many years bars in the U.S. brewed their own beer, until Prohibition made alcohol illegal.

One of the brews made popular by that revival — real ale, defined as being brewed with only traditional ingredients, such as yeast, malt, water and hops, and then matured naturally by secondary fermentation (without the addition of extra carbon dioxide) in the container from which it is dispensed.

Brohawn and Merryweather have been making their own beers for personal use for about five years. They began planning a microbrewery business three years ago and began working to put their business plans in action around two years ago.

One of the first steps was making it legal to sell beer directly from a microbrewery in Dorchester County, requiring changes to the state’s liquor laws in Annapolis.

Sen. Richard Colburn and delegates Addie Eckardt and Jeannie Haddaway joined in the Aug. 10 grand opening celebration for Reale Revival. Eckardt said that in addition to legalizing on-premise alcohol sales for the microbrewery, the Eastern Shore delegation also had legislation passed legalizing the sale of beer in returnable jugs, called growlers, for off-premise consumption.

Reale Revival will soon be making its brew available in growlers, Brohawn said, with the main concern now being a large enough supply. Ocean Odyssey also has plans to eventually sell beer in growlers, Eckardt said.

Currently, Reale Revival’s brews are made at another microbrewery in Westminister. Brohawn said he has been travelling to Westminister every two to three weeks to brew new batches of beer and ale, which take two and half to three weeks to properly ferment.

Another friend is now travelling to Westminster every couple of weeks to haul back kegs of what has been brewed for Reale Revival.

By the end of September, Brohawn hopes to be able to brew for Reale Revival on site, with plans to eventually sell the brews in kegs to other establishments, from Ocean City to Baltimore.

For now, the brews will be sold only by the keg, in order to maintain a low overhead, rather than bottling the brew.

Plans are to have four taps devoted to the beers which will be Reale Revival standards and four additional taps for “research and development.”

Brohawn said the four standard brews include two now being offered — Bucktown Brown ale and Nanticoke Nectar pale ale — as well as Belgian-style brews, including a saison called the Mine Layer and another Belgian-style brew, 38-70, the latitude which can be followed by Cambridge to Chimay, Belgium, considered the heart of the Belgium brewing industry.

Located in the building which once housed The Recreation Center, also known as Cambridge’s pool hall, Reale Revival is continuing the tradition of “pool hall” hot dogs, made the same way they once were with steamed buns.

Other food is available now at Reale Revival Wednesdays through Mondays from the kitchen of nearby Bistro Poplar, Brohawn said.

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Information from: The Star Democrat of Easton, Md., http://www.stardem.com

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