Smoketown Creekside, the second location from Smoketown Brewing Station’s David Blackmon, will open its doors Wednesday in the former location of House Cat.
The brewery is new to Frederick, but not new to the county. The original location is in Brunswick.
Blackmon will hold a soft opening at the Frederick location from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, for a “kind of controlled chaos day,” he said. A soft opening of a brewery means the employees will make sure the system works. Blackmon will test the new staff and see that everything is up and running before the grand opening of Smoketown Creekside.
Less than a week before the soft opening, work is still being done to prepare the new taproom and brewhouse for patrons. But standing in the new taproom, there are some callbacks to the original Brunswick location, which Blackmon will continue to run.
The layout is similar, with the taproom bordering the brewhouse, although Smoketown Brewing Station, in Brunswick, is more open and uses outside area as it is in an old firehouse. Some of the decor is similar, showing some consistency between the two locations.
The new location will be a 10-barrel brewhouse, with a 40-barrel capacity, with four more barrels being added to the location in the next few months. The Brunswick location is a 50-barrel capacity brewhouse at a seven-barrel system.
And like Brunswick’s Smoketown Brewing Station, there will be similar and traditional beers shared between the locations. Each location will also have its own beers, giving people a reason to travel between the two.
One thing that will separate the new Frederick location is the inclusion of music. Blackmon and his team built a small stage in the taproom, by the brewhouse, where he hopes to have local performers.
“Frederick has a very healthy music scene,” Blackmon said.
There are not enough music venues in and around downtown, and Blackmon said he thinks live music will help bring more patrons to the Frederick location. The brewery will have a 150-person capacity, which makes it about 25 percent larger than the Brunswick spot.
Blackmon is not sure of the exact hours for the new location, but he is expecting to open Thursday through Sunday. He’ll start by opening 3 to 10 p.m. Thursday and noon to 11 p.m. Friday to Sunday, but that might expand.
And while he has been focusing efforts on opening the Frederick location, he has no intention of letting the Brunswick brewery slow down, he said. There’s a customer base dedicated to the original spot that he expects to stay, while others might float between the two locations.
“Both have their challenges, and both have their advantages as well,” he said.
The idea to open the Frederick location partly came at patrons’ request, and the feedback so far has been tremendous, he said.
“It’s been overwhelming,” Blackmon said. “The amount of interest and excitement we see in front of us.”