photo of upper stem brewery's sample room

Local Spotlight-Upper Stem Brewery

April is when people get spring fever, thinking about the warmer weather and future summer vacation plans.
Instead of sitting around at home daydreaming those days, how about gathering a few friends and family, go outside, and drink some locally crafted beer. Of course, with face masks and appropriate social distancing.
If you don’t know a place, we do, and it’s called Upper Stem Brewery.
Upper Stem Brewery is a Maryland-designated farm brewery found on the north side of Hagerstown, Md. The brewery has a sample room and ample outdoor seating, a unique feature usually found in vineyards and wineries.
Dan, owner and head brewer of Upper Stem Brewery, had the idea of opening back in 2009. After many years of due diligence and professional brewing, the brewery opened in April 2020, during Covid-19.
“It’s never a dull moment,” said Dan. “Alcohol production is one of the most regulated businesses in the country. Federal, state, and local laws all play a role in running this business daily. Combining this with the usual day-to-day operations, days go by very quickly!”
The brewery offers various beers ranging from lighter beers, like their Farmhouse Ale and Session IPA, to Fall and festival beers, like Octoberfest and the Belgian Double. For the coffee drinkers, the brewery makes a dark porter called Coffee Imperial Porter, a porter “using copious amounts of roasted coffee,” from Pura Vida Coffee, a local coffee shop close to Upper Stem Brewery.
What is unique about Upper Stem Brewery is they are a Maryland-designated farm brewery. They produce various ingredients from their on-location farm and integrate them into their beers. These ingredients range can vary from hops and grain to herbs and spices.
The brewery also believes in reusing materials. According to Dan, the trim wood used in their Sample Room was reclaimed from a “dilapidated horse barn,” removed to make room for the brewery. He also said that several of the stainless-steel tanks in their brewhouse are repurpose dairy milk tanks.
Currently, they are four business members that handle most of the work and one additional employee. Dan said they are getting ready to hire another employee to prepare for a busy summer season.
Being a small business, Upper Stem Brewery chose to bank with a community bank.
“We liked the fact that CNB Bank is a small, community bank with a very personalized service,” said Dan. “They offer services from a large institution, and one of the branches is very close to the Brewery.”
Visit Upper Stem Brewery at 20150 Leitersburg Pike Hagerstown, Md. 21742. Because of Covid-19, their hours have changed to the following:
Monday-Thursday: closed
Friday: 3-8 P.M.
Saturday: 1-8 P.M.
Sunday: 1-5 P.M.

The Sample Room is open to 50 percent capacity, and outdoor seating is limited. However, be sure to check the website frequently for the latest hours and openings. You can also purchase four-packs and merchandise online for inside pickup.