Frederick residents will no longer have to travel only to Brunswick to get a beer from Smoketown Brewing Station.
The Brunswick-based brewery is expanding into the city of Frederick, taking over the spot recently vacated by House Cat on Sagner Avenue. The new Smoketown Creekside will be a brewhouse like its original location, with some of the same beers and ones only offered at the Frederick location, said owner David Blackmon.
While it will be its own unique space with its own attributes, Blackmon wants to carry over the Smoketown story and design. There will be 12 taps at Smoketown Creekside, Blackmon said.
“We’re very excited about the project,” he said. “We love the fact that we’re bringing Smoketown into the city of Frederick. We really think it’s going to be an asset to the growing brewing industry in downtown.”
Coming to Frederick had to do with its critical mass, especially of beer drinkers. There is more foot traffic, Blackmon said.
“Frederick has a great beer scene,” he said.
With two locations, Blackmon said he expects to cater to different populations. There will be people who come to the Brunswick location, including those who come from northern Virginia, and those who enjoy the Frederick lifestyle and will stop by the new location.
Blackmon is currently working to obtain the licensure for the new location. He said he would like to open in July, but that will depend on if he can secure the needed licensing.
The Smoketown expansion is good for the brewery and Frederick, said Richard Griffin, director of economic development for the city. Smoketown will be moving into a spot where there are already breweries located. That type of clustering helps keep people in the city a little long, Griffin said.
“All of these places kind of feed on each other,” he said.
Each of the breweries has their own identities and styles, Blackmon said. The new spot shares will be neighbors with Idiom Brewing Company and Attaboy Beer.
“I think we will have fun mixing up our styles,” he said.
There are no current plans to do any brewing collaborations with Attaboy, but Brian Ogden said he is excited to welcome Smoketown to the neighborhood.
“It’s a good relationship,” he said.
The two companies will give their used malt byproduct, created during the brewing process, to the same farmer. Byproduct makes good feed for farm animals, Ogden said.
And since the two breweries use similar materials in their beer, the two can borrow from each other in a pinch, just like neighbors might borrow a cup of sugar from each other, he said.
“We’re happy to be neighbors with them,” Ogden said.
Update on Smoketown’s Brunswick event space
All of Blackmon’s efforts are focused on the new expansion, he said, and he placed the event space he planned for the Brunswick location on the backburner.
“I’m not giving up on the project, but I don’t know what the future holds,” Blackmon said.
He spoke with county councilmen Phil Dacey and Jerry Donald, and Brunswick councilmen John Dayton and Andrew St. John reached out about the space, as did members of Brunswick Main Street. But there has been no movement with county officials, he said.
“We’re on two different pages there,” he said.
Blackmon said trying to bring the event space to Brunswick has been physically and emotionally draining, and at this point, it does not appear to be likely.
“Which is frustrating,” he said. “Which is disheartening.”