The small city of Frederick hosts the state’s largest brewery in Flying Dog, two brewpubs, Brewer’s Alley and Barley & Hops, as well as Monocacy Brewing Company a robust home-brewing community, and a variety of top-notch restaurants and bars. Frederick Beer Week is a celebration of this flourishing craft beer community and is presented by the Flying Dog Brewery. Home to Maryland’s second largest incorporated municipality (Frederick), Frederick County has some of the state’s most beautiful farm land.
The countryside hosts not only dairies, but also wineries, a hard cider maker, a meadery, two farm breweries – Frey’s Brewing Company, and The Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm – a boutique hops farm in the east end of Frederick County. Stillpoint is one of five local farms growing and supplying Frederick’s brewers with hops and barley.
Flying Dog, Brewer’s Alley, Barley & Hops, Stillpoint Farm, local homebrew shop The Flying Barrel, and members of Frederick’s Original Ale Makers (FOAM) initially came together to organize a host of events over five days celebrating craft beer and its agricultural roots in the Frederick area. Those five days have since grown to a full week, and the board has grown to include representatives from each of the county’s newest breweries.
The Week was launched with a tweet in the fall of 2010 from Kevin Smith, the Maryland beat writer for the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News, to Flying Dog. The gist of the message was, “hey, you’re the biggest brewery in the state, have you ever thought about getting behind a Frederick Beer Week?” The whole thing snowballed from there.
Frederick is now host to a modest beer week, by the standards of neighboring Washington and Baltimore, a beer week designed, first and foremost, to celebrate local beer and its agricultural roots. Join us for the week-long celebration of Frederick beer, and a number of beers from other Maryland brewers. Take the week to find some of the great beer coming out of The Old Line State.
Many of the local beers you will sample at Frederick Beer Week have been made with locally grown ingredients. As you sit in Frederick restaurants and attend the festivals that are part of Frederick Beer Week, remember that it might have been made with hops or barley from farms only minutes from where you sit .
We have proudly created a Beer Week that in only two years has developed a distinctly Frederick-personality. It is both urbane and bucolic, celebrating the sophistication of the robust restaurant, bar and craft beer community in downtown Frederick, and the rolling hills and lush greenery of the county’s acres of farms. Please enjoy everything that the City of Frederick and the surrounding countryside has to offer and have a safe week.
Both beer and Frederick County share agricultural roots. While Frederick remains the state’s single largest producer of dairy, recent years have seen the region become host to acres of hops and barley, two of beer’s four basic ingredients. Settled by German immigrants, farming was a part of daily life for many in the County, and remains that way today. Some of the products and crops have changed – some of the farmland has gone from grains to grapes, and others from heifers to hops – but the County’s agricultural spirit continues today.
In colonial America it was common for people to brew their own beer, often using the grains grown right on their own property. Today the big movement in craft brewing is fresher ingredients in order to make fresher beer. To that end, many breweries have begun farming their own hops. With one local dairy farmer growing barley and producing fresh malts, and five hops farms around the county, Frederick’s brewing community has been producing “farm fresh” beer over the course of the last couple of years – even creating beers wherein the ingredients came off the farm within 24 hours of being used during brewing.
It is an exciting time in Frederick, as the brewing industry continues to grow and evolve, with the latest developments on the county’s farms; currently Frederick is home to two boutique farmhouse breweries, with beers being produced from the product being grown only feet from the doors of the brewing facilities – and a third is currently in the works.
Have a great beer week and drink responsibly. We hope to see you again next year.
Board of Directors, Executive Board
Founder/Owner, Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm
FBW Secretary, representative of Monocacy Brewing Company and Brewer’s Alley on the FBW Board of Directors.
Representative, Flying Dog Brewery.
FBW Board of Directors and FOAM liason
FBW Treasurer, former brewmaster at Barley and Hops Brewery and Restaurant.