It’s been nearly two years since Paul Rinehart established Baying Hound Aleworks, but it was a long time in the making. He brewed his first batch at age 14; although he readily admits that “most of what I did wasn’t all that tasty”, he cites that early exposure as a great crash course in fermentation. Two years later, his grandfather built him a still, the product of which “made for a great floor cleaner.”
But Rinehart stuck with it, and as he honed his skills, more and more friends urged him to go pro. When he finally decided to take the plunge, there was never any doubt that he’d set up shop in the greater DC area. As an 8th or 9th generation Washingtonian – depending on who’s counting – he knew he wanted to stay close to his roots. He found a tiny warehouse space in a Rockville office park, cobbled together a 1-bbl system, and named his nanobrewery in honor of his “dearly departed bloodhound, Marmalade”.
Early on, all the work fell to Rinehart and his father, who helped to bottle (as Rinehart’s grandfather did for his great-grandfather's illicit Prohibition-era brewing). As word of Baying Hound spread, more and more volunteers pitched in, giving Rinehart “a little more peace of mind and fewer 16 hour days”. A year into the venture, Jared Bassman began helping out. At first, Rinehart says, a silent Bassman would come in a few days a week. As his hours increased, so too did his comfort and “sarcastic wit”; Bassman is now at Baying Hound every day and shares brewing duties with Rinehart.
As for the beers themselves, Rinehart says that Baying Hound ales are brewed with food in mind. In general, this approach has served them well, but it can backfire: Rinehart once accidentally recommended pairing a smoky porter with pork at a beer-tasting hosted by 6th and I Synagogue. “I went beet red”, Rinehart says, “and apologized for my ignorance with, ‘Sorry, I'm Catholic.’ They all had a good laugh and all was well with the world again.”
Today, Baying Hound is going strong. They plan to expand to a 15-bbl system “in the near future” and are on the lookout for a bigger space, “but ideally, we’d like to still call Rockville home.” As they round the corner on two years in business, they’re throwing a big bash to celebrate. Rinehart says,
We are celebrating our 2nd Anniversary this Thursday - Saturday. On Saturday we are doing a fundraiser for our friends over at the Montgomery County Humane Society. We will be donating $1 for every beer sold, we're holding a prize drawing, and we'll have a dunk tank on hand, the proceeds of which will go to MCHS. We're pretty excited about it, and word has it, our mascot, Wimsey, will be coming down from his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for the event. We will also have Glowers' "Slamwich" Food Truck on hand at 4:00 PM on Saturday. Local businesses were kind enough to donate prizes for the drawing, including Growlers of Gaithersburg, Maryland Homebrew, Happy Hound Pet Care, Glass Doctor, the Bottle Shop, Gilly's, the Tasting Room, The Bean Bag, and Blackfinn in Bethesda.