Gaining high acclaim amongst the entire Maryland brewing community, CUSHWA BREWING COMPANY’s second location inside a maroon-edged white brick building at Columbia opened in 2023 and serves “Rad Pies” as well as Mocktails to complement their sturdy array of home brews. Cushwa’s original Williamsport brewhouse along the Potomac River also continues to thrive since 2016.
A half-mile from Reckless Shepherd, Cushwa features 40-plus taps, multiple community tables, an art deco black ceiling and windowed frontage. An illuminating white Cushwa sign overlooking the white-tiled bar captures attention.
I visited Cushwa February ’24 to quaff nine beers on site and another two canned afterwards (reviewed in Beer Index).
Year-round light bodied fave, Pura Pils, let fizzy lemon spritz prickle grassy hop astringency over musty pilsner malts.
Designed to pair with pepperoni pizza, pithy red and orange fruiting and light caramel spicing reached sugary cereal grained pale malting for Rad Beer Lager.
Tidy straw gold kolsch, Kolschwa, brought semi-sharp IPA-like citrus perfuming and Hallertau Blanc white wine esters to the fore as buttery Easter bread flouring sweetened the dry pale malt base.
Dryer than most hefeweizens, Never Say Hefe maintained politer banana-clove sweetness and blanched honeyed wheat bottom, letting herbal whims skim the surface.
Valentine’s Day fruited wheat, Cupid’s Boldt, let its subtle strawberry adjunct pick up tart rhubarb tanginess and blood orange snips above raw-honeyed wheat.
Lighter than a Belgian pale ale, pilsner-malted patersbier, Father Time Enkel, let fungi Abbey yeast infiltrate delicate champagne bubbling, subtle banana sweetness and white peppered herbal spicing.
Easygoing New England IPA flagship, Cush NEIPA, plied lemony grapefruit and orange tanginess to dry hemp-oiled pine resin and mellow floral daubs.
Dry West Coast-styled Imperial IPA, Like A Million Elephants, merged piney citrus glitz with mild herbage, dainty florality and pale crystal malt sugaring in an unassuming 8% ABV whirl.
Resounding Mexican coffee stout, Seven Caves, coalesced dark-roast coffee, dry espresso and vanilla-creamed cinnamon spicing.