Coming Soon to a Building Near You
In case you missed it — and with the legislative theater of the absurd we experienced from our reps in Annapolis this spring regarding our beer industry, you might have — the Frederick craft beer scene is growing rapidly. This spring, we have seen the openings of Attaboy Beer, Rockwell Brewing and Willow Oaks Craft Cidery. McCutcheon’s has even jumped into the game, producing hard cider.
All of this brings us to 13 breweries, three cideries and one meadery in the county, all within 25 minutes of the city.
To put this in perspective, as recently as 2010, there were three breweries in Frederick: Barley & Hops, Brewer’s Alley and Flying Dog. Fourteen new facilities have opened in the past six years, and six in the last year and a half alone.
The growth has been impressive, and it’s not done.
Over the next 10 months, assuming there are no delays, we’re looking at the openings of House Cat, Idiom and MidNight Run in Frederick, and shortly after that, Pleasant Valley Hops is looking to open a brewery on their new hop yard just off of Mount Zion Road. While Baltimore County will still host more breweries than Frederick, Frederick will have the highest rate of breweries, per capita of any county in Maryland.
A few basic facts about what’s coming to Frederick:
MidNight Run Brewing: Located at 912 N. East St., MRB is aiming for an opening this summer. The location is in the strip mall just north of Family Meal and joins the growing craft beer scene in East Frederick, which already includes Attaboy, McCutcheon’s, Olde Mother and Rockwell.
Idiom Brewing Company: After a drawn out process in which the founders were pondering locations in Mount Airy, Frederick and northern Montgomery County, the powers that be finally settled on a property along Carroll Creek Linear Park. That’s as much as they have said, at press time, as to where they will be located.
I could venture a couple of guesses as to where they will be, based on the vacant properties that are available along Carroll Creek — such as the Union Mills building across from Attaboy, or the Wells Fargo location in Creekside Plaza — but I really can’t say for sure about either.
With the location picked and their equipment already in hand, IBC’s major concerns are installation, followed by inspections and occupancy permits. Unless something goes really wrong, I expect them to open their doors within the next six to nine months.
House Cat Brewing Company: With a location on Industry Lane, HCBC is aiming for a March opening. Should things run smoothly, expect brewer and founder Joe Idoni to be serving a variety of Belgian-influenced beers, such as tripels, quads, farmhouse and sour brews next spring.
Pleasant Valley Hops: The name comes from the original hop yard in Washington County, just past Gapland, but the brewery is scheduled to be built on a new hop farm that has been built this spring just off of Mount Zion Road, just west of Frederick. The timing on this one is a little sketchier due to the fact that proprietor Dan Carroll and his brother have spent so much of this spring working the hop yard, installing poles and stringing lines in an effort to produce more of the cones that go into making our local beer.
Pleasant Valley Hops will join Frederick’s already vibrant farm brewery scene, joining Frey’s Brewing Company, Mad Science Brewing, The Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm and Red Shedman in producing both beer and hops.
I wanted to touch on spring festival season, too. For the craft beer geek, the spring and fall are special times when beer-related events can be found practically every weekend. My personal favorite is coming up this weekend at Stillpoint Farm in Mount Airy.
The annual Beerfest at the Farm started as the anchor event for Frederick Beer Week. It’s a laid back fest in a bucolic setting. A family-friendly beer fest, it features Maryland breweries, live music and hayrides.
Usually, the festival hosts in the neighborhood of 12 to 14 breweries. This year will feature the largest selection they have ever had, with 18. For details, check out www.milkhousebrewery.com.