WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Eastern Shore Brewery Helps Boost Local Economy

Metal kegs and oak barrels are stacked two heads high in the main brewing room at the Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin, Md. Owner Bryan Brushmiller and his small team of brew masters are doing what they do best this morning: making beer — lots of it.

Brushmiller was out of work and making beer for fun in his garage just two years ago when he decided to take out a loan and create his own job.

The business took off. Burley Oak beer is now in 80 restaurants across Maryland and D.C.

"The one thing I'm most proud about is that I've created eight other jobs for other people, and they're full time, full year-round jobs," he says.

"Year-round jobs" is the magic phrase for people who live on the coast.

Bill Badger is the economic development director in Worcester County. He says the big problem for the coastal workforce is that seasonal jobs dry up in late September, and that makes the unemployment rate skyrocket.

"We actually last year had the highest average unemployment rate in the state of Maryland and that's unacceptable," he says. "You know our economy is a seasonal economy with tourism and agriculture, but we can do better."

Badger says that better way might be Brushmiller's approach: create smaller businesses that operate year round, making products that aren't just marketed to summer tourists.

Bill Badger says the long-term focus should be to create businesses that will allow folks to stay on the coast, rather than just visit.

"People that live here and work here need to see opportunity beyond the seasonal jobs," says Badger.

Brushmiller agrees.

"So, this type of light manufacturing is not only going to help this regional market, but I think it'll help America in general, because what we are doing is making something."

Burley Oak Brewery is about to start bottling and selling its beers to distributors and retailers. Brushmiller says that will double his overall production.

And if all goes as planned, Brushmiller might need to hire some more help in the not too distant future.

NPR

Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History

It seems like a simple question: How many parts can you divide a line into? The troublesome answer was square at the root of two of Europe's greatest social crises.
NPR

Soup to Nuts, Restaurants Smoke It All

While you won't find cigarettes in restaurants anymore, some smoking isn't banned. It's not just meat, either; it's hot to smoke just about anything edible.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Remains At Odds With Feds On Medicaid Expansion

Lawmakers in Virginia continue to resist the $9.6 billion Medicaid expansion on offer from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.

NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.