True Respite Brewing Company To Open in Derwood

Brewery aims to offer signature drafts in relaxing atmosphere

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The space where True Respite will be constructed

Via Brendan O'Leary

A new brewery is coming to Montgomery County.

After years of planning, husband-and-wife team Brendan and Bailey O’Leary are expecting to open True Respite Brewing Co. in December.

They signed a lease Tuesday morning for a 9,554-square-foot space at 7301 Calhoun Place in Derwood.

“Oh my gosh, we’re pumped,” Brendan O’Leary said Tuesday afternoon.

The O’Learys had been hoping to open a brewery in the county since April 2014 and said they toured about 15 to 20 spaces before eventually settling on the final site, which is off Gude Drive. They liked it for its three glass walls and open look, as well as its high ceilings necessary for brewing equipment.

As its name suggests, the O’Learys hope the brewery will be a place people will go to relax. Bailey O’Leary said the interior would have a “modern adult treehouse” design to evoke the feelings of comfort and escape. This is no child’s treehouse, though—the brewery equipment will be visible from the taproom.

“We want people to come in and get the full experience of being in a brewery while still being comfortable,” she said.

True Respite joins a handful of breweries in the county, including Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, 7 Locks Brewing in Rockville and Waredaca Brewing Co. in Gaithersburg. Chains Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch also operate breweries in Bethesda and Rockville.

The taproom will cover 2,500 square feet, while the brewery will also feature a 1,200-square-foot walk-in cooler space. The other 5,800 square feet will be used for production space and storage.

True Respite Brewery’s 15-barrel brewhouse will be capable of brewing 465 gallons at a time, Brendan O’Leary said. It will use another 3.5-barrel system allowing them to brew 16 different small-batch for the tap room.

The brewery will start with about 2,000 barrels per year at the location, but he said they will look into opening a larger production brewhouse once they exceed the volume that can be produced there.

He said they will be “constantly rolling through new recipes,” but have so far settled on six staples they will offer: roasted English stout, white wine-inspired grisette, Belgian golden strong, American IPA, Belgian wit and a Belgian double.

“We’ll let our customers dictate what stays on tap,” he said.

He noted that they have not yet announced the name of their brewmaster.

The couple initially planned to open a brewery in downtown Bethesda, but the lease fell through and Brendan O’Leary said they “fell in love with Rockville” and are happy to have found their new space just north of the city.

They will not serve food at the brewery, but they will host food trucks, Bailey O’Leary said. They will also keep local red and white wines on the menu.

True Respite Brewing Co. will probably be closed Mondays and Tuesdays and open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 10 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

The brewery will not be affected by a brewery bill that Gov. Larry Hogan allowed to become law without his signature last week. That bill targets breweries larger than True Respite, permitting them to serve more beer in their taprooms but limiting their hours.

Brendan O’Leary said the Gude Drive area is becoming a “brewer’s alley” with True Respite Brewery as well as Twin Valley Distillers, Mayorga Organics and the planned Saints Row Brewing. He plans to work with and promote these other beverage companies as he brings his own brews to the area.

“Rockville is really underserved,” he said. “It’s a community that’s really, really thirsty for some great local craft beer.”

Above: A mock-up of beer taps at the brewery, provided by Brendan O'Leary.

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