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Have you heard the good brews? More breweries.

Have you heard the good brews? More breweries.

Growth. You’ve seen this word here before. Probably quite often. And we’re seeing more of it in the beer industry than ever.

Call the produce what you want — craft beer, microbrew, Sally — whatever name you use for the golden suds produced in our backyard, the industry is off to an aggressive start. Olde Mother has released a specialty brew, Flying Dog officially acquired the property adjacent to the airport with the express purpose of building a larger facility, Smoketown in Brunswick hosted a wildly successful fundraiser for the Friends of the Brunswick Library (breweries and charity: there’s a long history there, and speaking of which …), Milkhouse announced the date for Beerfest at the Farm (it’s June 10, and the event has historically donated a portion of the proceeds to local charities), and the local industry has just added brewery No. 13 to the county.

Attaboy Beer opened its doors just off Carroll Creek, right by McCutcheon’s, during the last week of January. Carly and Brian Ogden, the proprietors of Attaboy and California transplants, opened their doors to little fanfare in an effort “to make sure everything was working” and that the taps were pouring right, as Brian explained.

Brian, both co-owner and the company’s brewer, spent about a year and a half working as an assistant at California’s highly regarded Heretic Brewing before moving to the Old Line State. He brings with him a philosophy that is quite simple. “Philosophy?” He laughed. “Now I’m supposed to have a philosophy?! I guess don’t make s#!%%y beer.”

Currently, the Ogdens have five beers on tap in the tasting room — a Saison, a red IPA, an Extra Pale Ale, a patersbier, and a Grisette. For those of you wondering about the last one, a Grisette is a close relative of the Saison/farmhouse-style of ale. The brew tends to be a little more sessionable than the farmhouse ales, and rather than the peppery note that often pervades a Saison, the Grisettes will often have a lemony note.

As for the patersbier, that’s another sessionable Belgian style. Dutch for “father’s beer,” this low alcohol brew was the daily drinker for the monks — low enough alcohol to drink through the day with minimal impairment, the beer provided plenty of carbs to get them through a day’s work at the abbey.

If you haven’t noticed, the launch has featured several Belgians, and a couple of hop-forward brews. “For now, you’re probably not going to get many English styles from us,” said Brian. That might happen down the road, but for the time being, “expect a lot of Belgians and IPAs. Those are the things that I really like.”

Thirty-five minutes from the center of Frederick, in Williamsport, the trio of Garrett Chambers, Scott Coleman and Marcus Thomas just opened Cushwa Brewing. The three partners opened the brewery in bucolic Washington County, expecting some industry growth in a county currently sparsely populated by beer producers (Cushwa is the second brewery there).

Brewer and partner Garrett Chambers explained that, with three different sets of taste buds as the brewery’s brain trust, patrons could expect a broad selection of styles. “Simply put, we brew what we like to drink,” he said. With “three partners (providing input), brewing that way provides for a wide range of styles and flavors.”

Customers should expect some beers from Cushwa to use some beers using unusual ingredients. “One thing that remains constant in our beers is that if we use an ingredient, we want the drinker to be able to actually perceive that ingredient. We don’t want to advertise something and leave the customer wanting more.”

A staunch believer in the local movement in craft beer, one that is seeing more smaller breweries opening that are focused on serving their local communities. “We love the idea of every town having its own small brewery,” said Garrett.

The brewer says that customers “can expect a warm, welcoming environment when they walk into our brewery. We are very well aware that if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t exist.”

Next month, look for some information on Frederick’s newest brewery, RockWell Brewery, in the wake of their opening planned for mid-February.

Until then, be well, think globally, drink locally, and drink good beer.

Cheers.

Originally published in the Frederick News Post on February 7, 2017.

About The Author

Kevin Smith

A veteran reporter of more than two decades, Kevin Smith has been covering the Maryland Beer industry since 2005 when he covered the business beat for the Frederick Gazette. Since early 2007, he has covered Maryland for the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, and penned columns about craft beer for frederickbeer.com, The Frederick News-Post, Want2Dish.com, and Maryland Life Magazine. He has also written about the wine industry in the Mid-Atlantic region for The Frederick Gazette, Wine Business Monthly, and Hagerstown Magazine. Kevin currently lives in Western Frederick County with his wife, two daughters, and his goofy dog, Fezzik.

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