New Craft Brewing Company Signs Lease Within Former ACME Supermarket Building Off MD Route 50 In Queen Anne’s County


Cult Classic Brewing Company owned by brothers Brooks and Jesse McNew, expects to become fully operational, with tap room for consumer tastings, in January 2018 based on permitting process

Jesse McNew (left) and Brooks McNew

Brothers Brooks and Jesse McNew have been perfecting beer recipes for more than twenty years while operating a home brew supply and equipment store in Severna Park, and are now poised to enter the exploding craft beer industry with their new company – Cult Classic Brewing Company. The entrepreneurs signed a 24,118 square foot lease within a former ACME Supermarket store on 118 Main Street in the Stevensville section of Queen Anne’s County and, pending the permitting process, expect to be operational at the site overlooking MD Route 50 in January 2018. Marley Welsh of Lee & Associates Chesapeake Region handled the site selection process on behalf of the tenant.

Cult Classic Brewing Company will initially brew twelve beers, including eight mainstay “core” varieties plus a rotating selection of seasonal beers and experimentals, with the brewing operation housing a tap room offering regular consumer tastings. “We understand the craft brewing industry inside and out and, with state laws changing that have simplified the process to start a brewing company, we felt the timing was right to introduce our beer recipes to the general public,” explained Brooks McNew. “We have been working on research and development for nearly two decades and interacting with craft and home brewers throughout the state. This new operation will provide us with the opportunity to relate directly with the public and obtain immediate feedback. We have dozens of additional recipes in our stable.”

Located near the intersection of Romancoke Road (MD Route 8) and Main Street (MD Route 18), the site is visible from MD Route 301/50 and is adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. According to Marley Welsh of Lee & Associates, the requirement needed to be in excess of 10,000 square feet of space to house the brewing operations, logistical and distribution functions, as well as office and tasting areas. With the McNew brothers currently working in Severna Park and being natives of Annapolis, the search focused on Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Counties.

“The open-space design of the former grocery store perfectly suited Cult Classic Brewing Company’s requirement to retrofit the space with customized functions,” Marley Welsh explained. “With direct access and visibility from MD Route 50, it will become an attraction for people driving to or from the Eastern Shore including beach points, and the large free parking lot is conducive to handle large trucks and the general public visiting the tap room.”

Welsh has also been involved in the leasing process for Hysteria Brewing and Lost Ark Distillery, which both leased space within her listing at 9570 Berger Road in Columbia; Push Brewing Company, a subsidiary of Frisco Tap House, which leased space at her listing at 6655 Dobbin Road in Columbia, as well as handling the site selection process for Chesepiooc Real Ale Brewery and Crooked Crab Brewing Company.

“The craft beer industry is up and coming in Maryland, with new players continually entering the marketplace,” Welsh added. “This movement is responding to the serious beer connoisseurs present in the region. The common element among the brewers is extreme passion about the industry and the desire to create something exciting and sustainable. We see the continuation of this popularity with the emergence of new breweries which only amplifies the success of the industry as a whole.”

Since 1997, the McNew brothers have owned and operated Annapolis Home Brew, which markets a range of home brewing equipment including brew pots, propane cookers, bottle fillers, thermometers and ingredients. “While my personal taste in beer focuses on Classic European beers, my brother specializes in high gravity-high alcohol, hop-focused craft beers,” Brooks McNew added. “We believe our brewing styles complement each other and will address a wide taste profile among local consumers.”

Lee & Associates is a commercial real estate brokerage, management and appraisal services firm. Established in 1979, Lee & Associates has grown its service platform to include offices in the United States and Canada. Lee & Associates provides superior market intelligence in office, industrial, retail, investment and appraisal to meet the specialized needs of our clients. Visit

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