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There’s More to Hysteria Than Just the Beer

Barely seven months after opening, Hysteria Brewing Co. of Columbia is already contemplating an expansion.

“We’re brewing 225 barrels a month, and we’re pushing the limit as far as being able to keep up with demand,” said Hysteria brewer and Sales Director Tyler Kreis.

But even though the Maryland brewing scene itself has been growing by leaps and bounds lately, the owners are taking a cautious approach.

Hysteria’s American Beer Equipment system currently consists of five 20-barrel fermenters and two brite tanks for clarification and carbonation.

Now that Hysteria has modified its fermenters to pull double duty as brite tanks, preliminary plans call for selling one of the dedicated brite tanks and adding a 40-barrel fermenter to help boost volume.
“We experienced a few hiccups with our opening, which set us back a few months,” Kreis said. “The lesson there is that it’s important to plan and grow smart.”

Hysteria distributes draft product throughout the state, with the largest accounts located in Baltimore City.

The limited product that the brewery cans is available only in the taproom for the moment.

“We’re actively looking at a canning line, but won’t put [any] package out until we know it wouldn’t affect draft sales,” Kreis added. “Once we expand and can make more beer, we’ll can and sell to liquor [and beer] stores.”

Avant-Garde Approach

Hysteria is the second business founded by Jordan Baney, Geoff Lopes and Richard Gue. The trio launched Columbia-based The Vaper’s Knoll, an e-cigarette flavor company, in 2011, growing it from an online retailer to a 10,000-square-foot office and laboratory with 47 employees and a retail store.

Similarly, Hysteria got off to a solid foundation that now employs six full-time employees on the brewing side and a handful of bartenders.
Both Kreis and head brewer Jordan McGraw got their start at DuClaw Brewing Co., of Baltimore.

“Richard was a homebrewer, but none of the partners were familiar with the beer industry, so they reached out to us to help,” said Kreis, whose career includes a turn as the beer buyer for Frisco Taphouse, in Columbia.

Hysteria takes an avant-garde approach to brewing, with the emphasis on bold, flavorful beers that don’t necessarily fit neatly into a style category.

“We’re lucky to have the ability to experiment,” Kreis said. “We brew three core beers that we know are going to sell, and use the money we make from that to have fun with innovation and exploring different ingredients.”

The Hysteria name and brand, in fact, is a nod to the spirit of past inventors who were considered slightly mad for their unconventional ideas as well as their passion to create something new.

A pilot system is used to turn out small batches of experimental beers that customers can rate to help guide future production.

“We like doing things other people aren’t doing,” Kreis explained. “We’ve done things like a peated malt scotch ale, and most recently a barleywine, which is only done by a handful of breweries. It’s not really a fit for smaller bars, but we like producing the styles that got us into craft beer in the first place, and being able to offer them on occasion to the people who appreciate them.”

Chamber Alignment

Hysteria Brewing Co. joined the Howard County Chamber not long after opening last year.

“One of our marketing staff saw it as another way to be more active in the community, and it’s a good fit,” Kreis observed. “We have the capacity to [host events], and we wanted to showcase our business and get people out to see it.”

Hysteria is particularly interested in the alignment it has with the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network (YPN).

“We’re all pretty young at Hysteria, and trying to establish ourselves as well,” Kreis said. “Hosting YPN events gives us all an opportunity to talk and network, to look for and even create jobs.”

Hysteria is still getting to know the Chamber and its programs and committees.

“We just hired a new marketing person, and she’s looking forward to becoming more proactive in our Chamber involvement,” he said.


Not a Bar

The atmosphere at Hysteria is both industrial and comfortable, with clean lines of sight to the brewing activity and equipment set off from the main serving room by nothing more than a chain link fence.
Aside from beer, visitors can’t help but notice a comfortable living room seating area, an assortment of board and table games, and an extensive bring-one-take-one lending library covering nearly an entire side wall.

That certainly hasn’t escaped the notice of the Howard County Library’s Savage Branch, whose Books On Tap book discussion group meets monthly at Hysteria.

Once a month, Third Eye Games of Annapolis also sets up a pop-up whop inside Hysteria, where it demos products and teaches the basics of new games to anybody willing to learn.

“We don’t want to be classified strictly as a bar,” Kreis explained. “It’s our deliberate intention to be a family-friendly, family-oriented establishment that you’d be comfortable taking your children or your dogs to. We just happen to make and sell beer, too. We’re all about bringing people together for an enjoyable time.”

Nonprofit Organizations Form ACTivate Maryland Campaign

Maryland Nonprofits has announced a new campaign, ACTivate Maryland, to sustain important state investments in programs that create economic opportunities, promote equity and inclusion and improve Marylanders’ quality of life. Advocates say such state resources are particularly critical at a time when federal funding for programs related to health, transit, environmental protection and community development is in jeopardy.

ACTivate Maryland brings together a range of nonprofit organizations across the state that support sustained investments in education, health care, transit and other key areas that are crucial to promoting economic opportunity.

“While Maryland is one of the nation’s most affluent states, many individuals, families and communities are locked out of that prosperity,” said Heather Iliff, executive director of Maryland Nonprofits. “When Maryland invests in its communities, everybody wins. ACTivate Maryland will encourage Marylanders across the state to be more vocal about supporting state investment in critical programs.”

ACTivate Maryland’s partner organizations include the following.
• 1,000 Friends of Maryland
• Advocates for Children and Youth Associated Black Charities
• Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
• CASH Campaign of Maryland (Creating Assets, Savings and Hope)
• Catholic Charities
• Community Development Network of Maryland
• Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
• League of Women Voters
• Job Opportunities Task Force
• Maryland Center on Economic Policy
• Maryland Citizens for the Arts
• Health Care for All
• Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth
• Maryland Family Network
• Nonprofit Montgomery
• Nonprofit Prince George’s

On March 7, the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates raised its projection for fiscal 2019 by $433.6 million. Members of ACTivate Maryland believe that this new revenue gives the state an opportunity to invest in critical support programs and infrastructure. Advocates say state revenue is needed to improve public transit, expand the earned income tax credit (EITC), establish green energy jobs, increase affordable housing, provide better child care and promote Smart Growth policies.

Anne Arundel County Supporting Revitalization Efforts

Since 2015, the Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) has approved approximately $455,780 in loans to 12 businesses through its Arundel Community Reinvestment (ACR) Fund. The ACR Fund offers loans up to $100,000 to be repaid over three to seven years at 0% interest. Loans are limited to 90% of total project costs.

In addition, during the last three years, nine businesses received a total of almost $125,000 in tax credits through Anne Arundel County’s Community Revitalization Tax Credit program. Qualified business owners may receive a property tax credit for up to five years equal to the incremental increase in real property tax assessment for improvements of at least $100,000 of assessed value.
The program is designed to spur economic activity, investment and improvement in Anne Arundel County’s eight Commercial Revitalization districts, which include the area at inner West Street in Annapolis from Church Circle to Chinquapin Round Road, and the county’s one state-designated Enterprise Zone in Brooklyn Park.

Howard County Opens Second Phase of Blandair Park

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman was joined by county, state and local representatives at a ribbon-cutting on Saturday, March 10, to mark the opening of the second phase of Blandair Park, in Columbia. Following the ribbon-cutting, Kittleman threw out the first pitch for a 14U baseball game.

The newest section of Blandair Park includes a challenge course specifically designed for teens and adults, five tennis courts, a pavilion/shade structure, two synthetic turf baseball fields with shaded bleacher seating, restroom facilities, an open green space and a new parking lot.
In addition, this phase of the project included the realignment of Oakland Mills Road from north of Kilimanjaro Road to east of Shadow Fall Terrace. New ramps from eastbound Route 175 (Rouse Parkway), two roundabouts, driveway extensions, entrance parking lots and concrete sidewalk were constructed as part of this construction project.
Cost of construction of the park’s phase two was $7.4 million; the road relocation and ramp connections to Route 175 cost $6.4 million.

Schuh, Arlotto Announce New School Safety Measures

Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Board of Education President Julie Hummer, Superintendent George Arlotto and Police Chief Tim Altomare have announced funding the county will propose to protect the school system’s more than 82,000 students from harm.
The $14.8 million proposal will fund the following.
  • 20 additional school resource officers (SROs), enough to station one at every county high school and middle school
  • More than 1,500 cameras for schools
  • Lock upgrades for 4,000 doors in county schools
  • Double-door security systems at all high schools
  • Protective tactical equipment for every school
The plan would be funded over two years. The county expects that some of the costs of these initiatives will be defrayed by state funds.
Arlotto also announced that the school system will reinstitute its School Safety and Security Council. The council is composed of school, county, law enforcement and community officials, as well as parents and students. The superintendent also announced schools will be asked to make space available for patrol officers to use on down time in between calls, so that those officers can provide additional presence in the county’s 120-plus school facilities.

HCPSS Board of Education Selects Mission Road Site for High School No. 13

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Board of Education has voted to move forward with the Mission Road site for high school No. 13. The board directed staff to complete the land acquisition for the purposes of constructing the new high school, which is slated to open in 2023.
The Mission Road site is located at 8601 Route 1 in the Chase Land Subdivision and is approximately 77 acres in size. The site can accommodate an elementary and high school campus to serve future HCPSS student population growth, in addition to recreation and parkland with a water tower. Howard County Government is in the process of acquiring this property under an MOU negotiated in May 2016.
Construction is scheduled to start in December 2019 and be completed by September 2023. The total estimated project cost for high school No. 13 is $124 million.
The board also considered Troy Park as a site for the high school, but now will direct staff to continue the steps to land bank portions of the park for use of a future school. The board’s review included considerations such as air quality testing, an environmental assessment and student travel time. In anticipation of the site selection, the board reviewed a report on Feb. 8 and held a public hearing on Feb. 22.
Howard Bank

Howard Bancorp Completes Acquisition of First Mariner Bank

Howard Bancorp has completed the acquisition of First Mariner Bank. With the transaction finalized, the combined Howard team will immediately begin to implement plans for the integration of the former First Mariner’s staff, branches and systems and will relocate its corporate headquarters from Ellicott City to First Mariner’s headquarters in Baltimore City’s Canton neighborhood.
The combined organization, which will conduct business under the Howard Bank name, will operate 21 locations in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area. New signage will be installed immediately at all First Mariner branch and mortgage locations.
As a result of the merger, the relocation and a strong history of both organic growth and prior acquisitions, Howard Bank is now the largest bank based in Baltimore. This acquisition brings and retains approximately 160 employees in the city.
The transaction enables Howard Bank to expand benefits, training and advancement opportunities and access to share ownership for all continuing employees. It also provides Howard Bank with the scale to increase its combined community philanthropy budget. In 2017, Howard organically grew assets by 12% to $1.15 billion, total loans by 14% to $937 million, total commercial loans by 21% to $360 million, total deposits by 7% to $864 million and total common shareholders’ equity by 53% to $132 million.

Princeton Sports Announces Closing of Its Columbia Location

After 36 years, Princeton Sports is closing its Columbia location. Alan Davis, company president, said that the 17,000-square-foot building has been sold and that the inventory, store fixtures and equipment will be liquidated and that Princeton Sports will consolidate its business to the Falls Road location in Baltimore.
On Thursday, March 8, at 10 a.m., the Columbia Princeton Sports location will begin its closing sale. Princeton Sports, a third-generation, family-owned and -operated company, was founded by bike enthusiasts Samuel and Lucille Davis in Baltimore City, who rented and repaired bikes for local residents. They ran the business until 1963 when, upon Samuel’s death, his son, Sonny Davis, took over. He introduced skiing to the merchandise mix and expanded the company in 1981 to Columbia, where Princeton Sports has occupied its iconic building on Little Patuxent Parkway.

HCLS Announces Kennon as New President/CEO

The Howard County Library System (HCLS) Board of Trustees has announced Tonya Kennon as HCLS’s next president and CEO. Kennon joins HCLS following a career in libraries in California and will start her new position on April 23. She succeeds Valerie Gross, who retired in August after 16 years with HCLS.
Kennon has been director of Riverside Public Library since 2011. A municipal library system, Riverside is composed of a main library and seven branches serving a city of 314,000 people. As director, she worked to secure unanimous City Council approval to construct a new $40 million main library (breaking ground this year), convinced 85% of voters to approve a library parcel tax measure, secured a 20% increase in grant revenue and implemented 100% privately-funded STEM Makerspaces at all library locations, among other accomplishments.

Live! Casino Selects Trilogy Spa Holdings as Management Partner

Live! Casino & Hotel has selected award-winning boutique spa management company Trilogy Spa Holdings to manage the luxury Live! Spa, part of the flagship Live! Hotel opening this spring. The Live! Spa will provide hotel guests, casino visitors and day guests an escape to relax and recharge.
The facility, featuring five treatment rooms, will offer a variety of massage therapies, body polishes, body wraps along with advanced skin care and anti-aging treatments. Phoenix-based Trilogy Spa Holdings also operates spas at Red Rock Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona and the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg.