Construction underway at Astro Lab Brewing

The bar area of the taproom under construction. Photo by Mike Diegel. 

Construction is underway at the brewery recently rechristened Astro Lab Brewing, with the intention of opening in the late spring or early summer, according to co-owner Emma Whelan.

The brewery, located at 8216 Georgia Ave., was originally named Astrolabe Brewing after the astronomical and navigational aide, and the symbol remains part of the company identity.

“The astrolabe symbol tells a story of innovation and craftsmanship,” wrote Whelan in an email to followers. “The revamped name Astro Lab Brewing reinforces our modern twist bringing freshness, experimentation and constant evolution.

“Plus, our American friends will now pronounce it correctly,” the Britisher added.

In August, the county granted the brewery a Class D license to sell beer and wine on and offsite during certain hours regulated by the county.

The company also received the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) brewer’s notice.

“Basically, it allows the feds to charge us [alcohol] taxes,” Whelan said.

She and co-owner Matt Cronin are also in the process of getting a Maryland manufacturers license as well, following a building inspection shortly before the brewery equipment arrives.

“The brewing equipment is on its way from North Carolina,” Whelan said, “to arrive end of March, early April.”

A portion of the production area will be used to mill the whole grains and malt that will be delivered and then used in the brewing process, she said.

The taproom and bar area in the front of the building will have several large rolling doors to open the space to the outside, Whelan said, which will include seating on the sidewalk along Georgia Avenue and use of a revamped alley on the side of the building.

“You’ll feel like an outdoor and indoor feel to it,” she added.

Those interested in following the brewery’s progress toward opening day can sign up for email updates on the company’s website.

The brewery’s production area in the back of the building starting to take shape. Photo by Mike Diegel.

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