On a cool and rainy Sunday morning last month, I had two options. Either stay home or… head out and explore some of the breweries found in Western Maryland. So, you guessed it, I headed out to explore. I had at least one stop already in mind before leaving the house … Flying Dog Brewery. Other than that, no real plans. Isn’t that the best way road trips start out?
Our adventure began with us heading towards Frederick, Maryland. My brother-in-law was tagging along and wanted to check out Fort Richie. He was stationed there during the late 1960’s and had not been back since.
If you haven’t heard of this place, don’t feel bad, I hadn’t either. In 1926 the Maryland National Guard purchased it as a training site. It was named after the then Governor, Albert Richie and was used by several groups for many things over the years. It officially closed in 1998. Today you can drive through and see some of the old buildings and stand by the impressive gates. If you are into visiting those kind of locations, head over and check it out.
Monocacy Brewing Company
After stopping by Fort Richie we continued onto Frederick. On the outskirts of Frederick I thought about looking for a brewing supply store. We have a home growler system that works with CO2 cartridges and we were in desperate need of replacements. In the nick of time, we were able to pull into the parking lot of The Flying Barrel. Given it was Sunday, I was just thankful they were open. The Flying Barrel offers not only supplies for brewing, but space to brew your own beer on site. A very cool find.
Cartridges in hand, we walk towards the car and what do my wandering eyes spy? A brewery next door.
Located in historic Downtown Frederick is the old Ebert’s Ice Cream plant. Here is where you will find Monocacy Brewing Company. They have been in production since November 2011. They offer a small tasting room but have a very quality product. Of course, we stopped in for a taste. Who can pass up a brewery you just stumble upon?
They offer small tastings, which are my favorite. The H.L.Rex is a hoppy IPA and is a flagship brew. My favorite was the Brewtus. It’s a strong, dark, coffee noted stout. If you are looking for something interesting, be sure to check out their Blank Slate Series. That day #57 was in the house; which was Ashen Cold a smoked beer. If you enjoy this style, add it to your list as a must try.
The tasting room is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They can also fill growlers.
With our tummies rumbling we hoped back into the car and headed towards Flying Dog Brewery.
I have to admit, this is one of my favorite breweries to visit. The beer is always, always fantastic and the atmosphere is … awesome. Located off of English Muffin Drive (you can’t make this up) in the industrial section of Frederick, is where you will find the Flying Dog Brewery.
This isn’t a small, local, craft place, rather regional and a much larger production. But… none of the beers have lost their character or flavor. As I heard someone say “none of the beers here are bad… they are all good”. Flying Dog’s motto is “good people drink good beer” and I would agree and might even add, good people deserve good beer.
If you head over to Flying Dog, take note that only those over 21 can enter the tasting room. In the summer you can sit outside and even play a game, or two, of corn hole.
I enjoyed a wonderful flight. My very favorite is the Numero Uno Agave Cerveza. A lager style beer that is easy to drink. It’s brewed with agave nectar and lime peel and really can be an all day drinking beer with an ABV of 4.9%. They offer at least 20 beers to choose from and some only you can find here. Which is why we go on brewery road trips right? Others worth a try are the Gonzo Imperial Porter, Bloodline Blood Orange Ale and the Lucky SOB Irish Red Ale.
Here you can buy bottles and have growlers filled to take any of your favorites home. They are also open Thursday through Sunday.
Flying Dog does have Roasthouse Pub food truck on site. Since our tummies were rumbling, we had a snack which consisted of fried mac & cheese, chips and pineapple salsa. It was a great snack and paired well with our beer choices.
On my bucket list is not only a tour of Flying Dog, but taking one of their Flying Dog University classes.
Well, it was starting to get dark, and we needed to begin heading home. But, we had one more stop. Antietam Brewing and dinner.
Our last stop was at Benny’s Pub in Hagerstown. This was the original brewing location for Antietam Brewing. It has relocated across town, but Benny’s still serves their beers. The food here is good and they offer flights of beer, which is even better.
My favorite here was the General’s Golden Ale. It’s light, crisp and smooth. Paired well with my salad. Others you may want to add to your tasting are the 1605 Red and the Kelly’s Red River IRA (India Red Ale). You can enjoy a game on any of the tvs around the room. Feel free to sit at the large bar, a hightop table or stretch out in the dinning area at a sit down table. The burgers are great and the service was wonderful. Next door you is the growler station at Benny’s 2 Go, if you want to take home a new found favorite brew.
Overall, it was a great way to spend a Sunday. We saw a lot of the Western Maryland and found a new brewery. What are your favorite stops while on a Maryland brewery road trip?