Brewing Begins at Grand Opening of True Respite in Derwood

Brewer is latest to open in Montgomery County


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Kathie Durbin with the Department of Liquor Control, State Del. Bonnie Cullison, County Council President Hans Riemer, Gov. Larry Hogan and owner Brendan O'Leary at the ribbon-cutting for True Respite.

Joe Zimmermann

The mood was cheerful and the taps were flowing as True Respite Brewing Company held its grand opening on Friday.

Brendan O’Leary, who together with his wife, Bailey, have been planning the brewery since 2014, said they were beyond excited to open. The brewery, at 7301 Calhoun Place in Derwood, had a soft opening last week, and he said they’ve been happy to see the turnout so far.

“The vision all along is about the community, we’re trying to create a community place for people to have great conversations over great beer,” he said Friday. “That mission so far has been successful.”

To celebrate the opening, the brewery opened its doors to community members as well as state and local political figures.

Gov. Larry Hogan said he wanted to be “not just a supporter, but a consumer” of the growing craft beer industry in Maryland. He said craft breweries bring in about $600 million to the state economy, and he was happy to see another open.

“You know we have our president of the Senate, Mike Miller, and our speaker of the House, Mike Busch, and after spending 90 days with Miller and Busch, a governor could really use a nice cold craft brew,” he joked.

Hans Riemer, the president of the Montgomery County Council, also spoke about the importance of the brewing industry in building community and a better quality of life in the county. He also suggested the county and state have to work across party lines to “make a lot of changes” to help the county become the best destination for craft beer in the area.

“What we’re doing is we’re trying to follow the entrepreneurs because the entrepreneurs are the ones who take the risks, they have the dreams and they’re putting the hard work in,” he said. “Our job is just to get government out of the way and let them succeed, but that’s not as easy as it might sound, and we’ve got a lot of work to do in that respect.”

State Del. Bonnie Cullison and State Sen. Roger Manno also attended. Cullison said the opening is a win for small businesses in the area, and Manno, who is running for Congress, said he was proud to have another brewery opening in the district.

True Respite has 9,554 square feet of space, with a production room and a taproom. It joins a growing scene of breweries in the area, including Saints Row Brewing about a mile away and 7 Locks Brewing nearby in Rockville.

Right now, the brewery has six beers on tap, including the Wacky Jackie New England IPA, which O’Leary describes as a bit more bitter than typical IPAs and with a tropical punch, and the Alpin Haus, which he said evokes “that feeling of being in a ski lodge after a long day on the slopes.”

The production room can make up to 6,000 to 8,000 barrels per year, and O’Leary said after that they could look at expanding or distributing. They’re also planning to start holding events and become involved in the community.

“In the meantime we’re just focused on growing this process right here right in our home market right for our people,” he said.

True Respite is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

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