FeBREWary Highlights Maryland’s Range of Craft Breweries
Many of Maryland’s craft brewers are located in Main Street Maryland communities, which affords those seeking to take a trip to sample some of Maryland’s best brews even more to explore.
Main Street Maryland communities, as designated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, have central business districts with plenty for visitors to see and do. Some communities, such as Frederick, are home to multiple breweries in close proximity to restaurants, retail, galleries and more. The department has also supported craft breweries outside of Main Street Maryland towns, including Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore City.
In Mount Airy, a Main Street Maryland community located in Frederick County, Red Shedman Farm Brewery occupies the same 250 acres of sprawling farmland as its sister company, Linganore Winecellars, which has been one of Maryland’s largest wine producers since the 1970s. Established in October of 2014, the brewery is owned by Victor Aellen, son of the owners of Linganore, making the two businesses a family affair.
As a small-but-growing operation, the Red Shedman team handles all aspects of the business themselves, including distribution. As such, their products are currently not sold outside of Maryland, and the furthest south their beers and ciders can be found is in Bowie in Prince George’s County. The team recently acquired their own canning line, which Jenkins said will be a boost for their production capacity.
In warmer months and on weekends, the farm is often abuzz with activity. Visitors travel to sample the beers, wines, and ciders produced on the grounds while often taking in live music or enjoying a festival, such as their annual Bluegrass, Brew and BBQ Festival in April. This year’s festival, Jenkins said, is shaping up to feature 30 different breweries, as well as four local barbecue vendors and four bluegrass bands.
According to Jenkins, one of the best parts of being in business there is being a member of Frederick County’s business community. “We help each other out whenever we can,” Jenkins said. “There have been times when we’re brewing, and we’re, say, a bag short on grain. We can go to other brewers — who are theoretically our competition — and they’ll help us out. There’s a lot of love and support out here.”