Initially launched in the late winter/early spring of 2017, Rockwell initially launched by contracting their brewing operations. With new legislation passed in the spring of 2017, and enacted over the subsequent summer making this business model untenable, Rockwell invested in some equipment that Antietam Brewing Company in Hagerstown was selling after their expansion in the spring of 17.
My initial impression at their opening; the folks at Rockwell were selling middling beer at premium prices. Nothing stood out to me, at the time, except for the Bitchin’ Camaro Milk Stout which was very good, with coffee and chocolate notes, and a nice residual sweetness in the finish. It was, however, not great.
In fairness, I need to return to sample some of their newer offerings – and with the September/October installation of their new brewhouse, I might give them six months to get dialed in on the new system before I provide a final judgment on where their beer stands.
The tasting room, on the other hand is slick, and pretty – well laid out in a small space, maximizing the use for patrons. The tasting room is bolstered by their proximity to Brian Voltaggio’s Family Meal, of which the brewery serves a limited menu. This is one of the biggest recommendations for the brewery – the ability to order duck fat fries and have them delivered to you barside is a major bonus.
Overall, my basic hope for the brewery is that they continue to improve – they have a great location, and a well appointed tasting room. In the long-run, I would like to see them succeed, but I think an improvement of their beer is part of that, particularly with the imminent opening of Midnight Run only a block north.