Spirit Brews

Queenstown’s Ten Eyck Brewing Company celebrates the creative vision of five community-dedicated women

Story by Katie Riley  |  Photography by Grant L. Gursky

A new craft-brewing company in Queenstown that opened its doors in August 2020 has already made a mark on the Eastern Shore libations scene. Ten Eyck Brewing Company, a 100% women-owned business, is the brainchild of founders Nicki Sener, Yancy Hammond-Graf, Jessica Hammond-Graf, Jennifer Barrett and Shayne Sewell. The women envisioned a brewing company that celebrates the spirit of the Eastern Shore, through locally inspired lagers, ales, stouts and IPAs. 

After traveling the world and tasting plenty of craft beer along the way, founder Nicki Sener returned home to the Eastern Shore to realize her dream of opening her own brewery. “When we first started planning, there weren’t any breweries in Queen Anne’s County, and we wanted to create a place in the community where everyone felt welcome,” says Sener.

Community spirit is what the women had in mind when they named the brewery after one of the founder’s families, who emigrated from the Netherlands. Translated, Ten Eyck means “at the oak,” a fitting sentiment for a brewery located among the heritage oaks that populate the area. 

SALUTE TO SERVICE Ten Eyck’s Taildragger IPA and Wheels Down Cider are named in honor of owners Jennifer Barrett and Shayne Sewell, who are U.S. Air Force veterans.

TAPPING INGENUITY Ten Eyck Brewing Company currently offers 15 varieties of beers on tap, many of which include locally sourced ingredients. Its Latte Art Coffee Cream Ale, for example, incorporates beans from popular Shore roasters Rise Up Coffee.

The new-construction brewery boasts a large tasting and taproom, along with outdoor seating. The taproom’s design uses locally sourced building materials, including an oak slab-top bar harvested from nearby Camp Wright, where Sener attended as a child. 

Thoughtful design also extends to Ten Eyck’s canned brews, decorated with art from a local graphic designer, with names like the #Tagthesherriff IPA, which celebrate the founders’ military and first-responder backgrounds. Ten Eyck’s popular Wheels Down Cider and its Taildragger IPA pay homage to their aviation ties, as founders Barrett and Sewell are U.S. Air Force veterans. Many of the brewery’s beers also incorporate local ingredients, like the Latte Art Coffee Cream Ale, which uses beans from local roasters Rise Up Coffee. 

Opening a brewery during the pandemic was a challenge that Ten Eyck’s founders handled with ease and proficiency, welcoming customers with its large, heated, outdoor space and frequent partnerships with local food trucks. With 15 brews currently on tap and more in the works, Ten Eyck also offers a small-bites menu and a full liquor license to serve wine and beer-inspired cocktails. It is a winning combination that has already attracted a loyal following. 

“It’s been an exciting journey,” Sener says, “and establishing something that brings the community together was always the ultimate goal.”