Food

Love Maryland Beer? Get Excited for Denizens Brewing Co.’s Big Expansion

The Silver Spring brewery will open a new production facility and taproom in Riverdale Park this year.
Denizens Brewing Co. co-founders Julie Verratti (left) and Emily Bruno. Photograph via Denizens Facebook

One of Montgomery County’s early breweries is ready for a big expansion. Denizens Brewing Co., which opened four years ago in Silver Spring, will debut a new (and larger) production facility and adjoining taproom in Riverdale Park by the end of the year.*

The brewhouse joins the mixed-use Riverdale Park Station development, located near Hyattsville and the University of Maryland, alongside other local businesses like District Taco, a new Whole Foods, and a variety of shops and living spaces. Denizens co-founder Emily Bruno says the team wants to replicate the “vibrant taproom community” they built in Silver Spring, albeit with a smaller social space of 150 indoor seats. Bruno says less daily volume will allow for more experimentations, like specialty food pairings around new beer releases. Like at the original, Denizens kitchen will regularly serve pub grub like wings, taquitos, chili bowls, beef and veggie burgers, and sandwiches.

While the new taproom is smaller, the production space is significantly larger, allowing for more of brewmaster Jeff Ramirez‘s beers at both locations. The draft lists will grow from ten to over 20 brews, including cask ales and barrel-aged beers. (Fun past collaborations include sour ales aged in tequila barrels.) Bruno says the team will move a large part of their beer production to Riverdale Park, including packaging their five flagships, including the Southside Rye IPA and Born Bohemian Czech-Style Pilsner. They also plan to increase distribution to local liquor stores, bars, and restaurants.

Though Denizens doesn’t have its own outdoor space, the team plans to utilize the development’s al fresco areas for regular beer-centric events like Silver Spring’s Make it Funky festival celebrating sour beers and wild ales. Trivia nights will also live on in the new digs, and of course, brewery tours.

Prior to expanding to Prince George’s County, Denizens played an important role in neighboring Montgomery County’s brewing renaissance. Co-founder Julie Verratti, a lawyer and former advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration, helped spearhead new regulations that made the region more brewery-friendly, like allowing production facilities to self-distribute to bars and restaurants. Verratti, a Democrat, is currently running for lieutenant governor of Maryland with Alec Ross.

*This post has been updated from an earlier version.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.