Smoketown Music

The rock bank Y2K playing ‘90s cover music in the Smoketown Creekside brewery on Sagner Avenue. Smoketown is one of several city breweries and distilleries that can more easily offer entertainment after passage of an ordinance last month.

The world of Frederick County craft beer is taking things several steps beyond growlers and food trucks.

On any given weekend day — and on a good number of weekdays — it would not be tough to find some sort of special event at a Frederick-area brewery.

Events range from storytelling to New York comedy shows to events aimed specifically at women. This is only likely to expand given the Frederick Board of Alderman’s passage last month of legislation allowing establishments smaller than 10,000 feet — like many of the city’s breweries and distilleries — to host entertainment events without having to receive special permission before each event. The events can take place between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Frederick has become somewhat of a Mecca for craft breweries. Nearly a dozen breweries currently operate in city limits with several more on the horizon. Several distilleries also offer entertainment events in the city. Another half a dozen or so breweries also operate outside of city limits in the county.

The reputations of the local establishments have reached outside event companies, several of which have hosted and continue to host functions.

Keith Marcoux, the co-owner of Frederick’s Olde Mother Brewing Co., was contacted recently by a New York City-based comedy group, The Raybould Brothers, who put on a show in December and will continue to appear for the next few months. Marcoux said the New York group managed the ticket sales and helped the brewery promote the event.

“They sold the show out and it was fantastic,” Marcoux said. “... They were blown away by the reception here in Frederick so we’re happy to have them back.”

He said their building has a large rear space, which works well for both bringing in outdoor entertainment and hosting their own events, such as artist showcases and chili cookoffs.

“We just keep our eyes on growth and making the space what we want it,” Marcoux said.

He wasn’t entirely sure how the comedy group researched Maryland based breweries, but guessed that it could’ve been from positive Google reviews. He said their material was for ages 21 and older, but the content was entirely up to them.

“It’s an art form just like us crafting our beers so we try not to step on anybody’s toes,” Marcoux said.

The Loudoun County based group “Tales and Ales” has also expanded their offerings to Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick. The organization, which was founded by journalist Danielle Nadler, holds events in which members of the public “pitch” their own true stories and then tell them live in front of an audience.

They have held seven shows in Northern Virginia and their first one will be at Flying Dog next month. Story pitch events have been held at the brewery throughout January.

Nadler said they aren’t afraid to get heavy with their story material. Someone once talked about surviving Hurricane Katrina and she told her own story of adopting her son. A lighter story was someone’s “trauma” of wearing husky size pants in high school.

Breweries are an ideal setting for these types of events, Nadler said. She compared them to “old time pubs.”

“It’s like an after-work gathering with friends, just sharing stories,” she said.

And the events keep coming.

Frederick’s Rockwell Brewery has “Yappy Hours” for dogs and “Galentines” events for ladies in their lineup for the coming months. Monocacy Brewing Company will have yoga in their tasting room. Attaboy Beer will celebrate its third anniversary with a “ridiculous games olympiad.”

Nadler said taking her Loudoun-based organization to Frederick was a no-brainer since it seemed like a more lively community.

“People are out later. They don’t mind going to an event on a weeknight,” she said.

(1) comment


“ Frederick has become somewhat of a Mecca for craft breweries.”

Oy. If you’re referring to any place that attracts people to it (other than a certain city in Saudi Arabia) mecca is not capitalized.

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