For those who know and have tried beers from RAR Brewing, one might not expect to find them in the sleepy little town of Cambridge, Maryland… found at the confluence of the Choptank River and Chesapeake Bay. While it may surprise some that their very name is all about creating real ale with locally sourced ingredients, it’s unlikely to surprise anyone that their story is also all about explorations in flavor and pushing the limits of what beer styles can be.
RAR Brewing, shorthand for ReAle Revival, first opened their doors in August of 2013 by co-founders Chris Brohawn and J.T. Merryweather. The two owners were born and raised in the area and are both graduates of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School.
The previous decade had not been kind to businesses in the downtown area of Cambridge, so when they found a centrally located space that once housed, at different times, both a pool hall and bowling alley, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help breathe new life back into their hometown.
Brohawn and Merryweather were homebrewers, and thus RAR’s growth was on a traditional trajectory, much like many of America’s small town craft breweries: brewing great, fresh beer, served to a population reveling in their first town brewery. This all changed as demand grew and their status as a destination brewery was cemented following the creation of their Out of Order series of fruited Smoothie Sours, starting in October of 2018.
Now open for almost 10 years, the crew at RAR has created roughly 715 unique beers, over 320 of which being classified as Fruited Sours or Smoothie/Pastry Sours, according to Untappd. Yet, their top 19 most popular beers are all creations that pre-date Out of Order’s arrival, classic beer styles you’ll likely always find on draft in Cambridge and in cans throughout the mid-Atlantic region. This has resulted in a brewery that’s established itself with a well balanced approach, succeeding at doing all things well.
The original downtown spot is still thriving as they’ve expanded into the storefronts on either side of their flagship location. To the south they opened The LabRARtory in November of 2021: a cocktail bar offering all the “off-the-wall flavors of [their] beers in cocktail form.” Their newest addition to the north is a burger joint called Chessie Burger, seemingly named after a mythical creature from the depths of Chesapeake Bay. Lastly, they have a new stand-alone location, currently under construction, in West Annapolis, Maryland.
We’re excited to have RAR Brewing in Oregon for the very first time, exclusively available at Function PDX, located at NW 23rd and Lovejoy in the Alphabet District, from Friday March 31st through Sunday April 30th! We’re not 100% certain about all that’s landing from RAR just yet, though we do know that we’re expecting at least 18 different varieties of their Out of Order Smoothie Sour series, 6 of which are yet to be released Goonies themed beers. Be sure to stay tuned for another limited drop of RAR Brewing beers to be found in Oregon bottle shops this April and May!
Content for this article sourced from: RAR Brewing, @rarbrew, Shore Craft Beer, Delmarva Now, and E-Malt.com.