RISING SUN — Friday was a day of celebrations at three Cecil County businesses aimed at whetting your whistle.
Bog Turtle Brewery at 10 East Main St. in Rising Sun had two ribbon cuttings Friday afternoon, one for the taps and another at the front door. Dove Valley Vineyard, meanwhile, was celebrating an expansion of its operations at 645 Harrington Rd. in Rising Sun. Over at Chesapeake Bay Coffee Company, 130 South Main St. in North East, the party continued for its 2nd place win in the competition to find Maryland’s Best Coffee.
Chris Davis and Steve Applegate, owners of Bog Turtle Brewery, had a hand on the scissors for the ribbon at the front door, while Rising Sun Mayor Travis Marion and Peter Franchot, Maryland Comptroller, were given the honor to cut the ribbon on the taps.
“Today you made a dream become a reality,” Marion said. “It’s been 8 years since this building had a tenant. Thank you, thank you for coming to Rising Sun.”
Commissioner Allen Authenreath mirrored that sentiment.
“This is not just a great day for Bog Turtle Brewery. It’s also a great day for Rising Sun,” Authenreath said, adding that the town’s new $10 million water line from Chester County is spurring development where there had been none for more than a decade. “To make beer you need a lot of water. Getting water here has helped this town grow.”
While acknowledging the first brewery in Rising Sun, Franchot also noted this business also pours into Maryland’s economy.
“We’re talking about gathering places,” he said, noting that brew pubs are that and more, providing fresh artisanal beers from the brewery to the bar. “The sky is the limit.”
Franchot was also excited to learn that Dove Valley is added not only a brewer but also a distillery.
“We just got our brewery license,” Janel Griffith, part owner of the winery along with parents Harry and Janet Hepbron, said. Harry told Franchot he plans to add what he called a “burp distillery,” which is a quicker process to make alcohol.
“It only takes about 12 hours,” he said.
They showed the comptroller all the awards won for their wines with plans to do likewise for the beer and alcohol.
“I hope to come back here in a few years and visit the first vineyard, brewery and distillery in Maryland,” Franchot said.
It wasn’t all about alcohol, however as Franchot also visited Chesapeake Bay Coffee to hand deliver the award as the second best coffee in Maryland to Chris Mullins.
“Chris represents this new generation of the private sector we have,” Franchot said, saluting his entrepreneurial spirit. “We have 200,000 small businesses in Maryland like yours. A lot of them just had your gut feeling and the reckless sense of ‘why not?’”
Mullins said he was particularly excited that he won the award since the first place shop has seven locations and he has one.
Robert McKnight, mayor of North East, was glad to see Mullins and co-owner Sarah Yale get recognized.
“It’s an honor to have them here,” McKnight said.