Flying Dog moving all brewing operations to Frederick, Maryland

Flying Dog BreweryWell, speaking of Flying Dog, it seems that they’re pulling up stakes and going to start brewing 100% of their beers just up the road from me.

Here’s the word from president and CEO Eric Warner:

As you may have heard, Flying Dog Brewery recently announced that we are embarking on the next step in our illustrious, 17 year history of crafting remarkable beer by concentrating all of our brewing and production to the brewery in Frederick, MD, where 70% of Flying Dog Beer is already being brewed. This move will take place in January and we are working to ensure that our entire production team will be able to make this move over to Maryland. Accounting, sales, marketing and other administrative functions will remain largely unaffected by this change and our HQ will remain in Denver.

We decided to make this proactive move as it has become increasingly important to be extremely nimble in today’s business environment. Only those who can quickly adapt in the hyper-Darwinian economy will survive and in today’s craft brewing landscape. We are facing unprecedented cost pressures due in large part to the tremendous hop and malt cost increases. Concentrating our brewing operations to one facility will help us become more efficient while maintaining our exceptionally high brewing standards. This is a smart, proactive move for our growing company and will allow us to most efficiently use our resources.

The Frederick facility is a state-of-the-art brewery that has already been producing great beer for Flying Dog and we look forward to ramping up production and growing our business even more than the +20% trends we are experiencing in 2007. The bottling line in Frederick has lower oxygen uptake at filling than the one in Denver, which translates to better flavor stability and longer shelf life. It also kicks out bottles at twice the pace of the line in Denver. The brewhouse in Maryland is also capable of brewing a wider range of recipes than the one in Denver. Finally, the brewery in MD plans on substantial capital expenditures and plant upgrades (close to a million bucks in 2008 alone) to continue to brew better beer in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

I have been to the Frederick brewery and it is very nice. This sounds like a great move for them.

See also:

Press release on Beer Advocate
Article on Rocky Mountain News
Reactions in the blogosphere

(via Musings Over a Pint, among others)

4 thoughts on “Flying Dog moving all brewing operations to Frederick, Maryland

  1. If the bottom line is the only concern it sounds like a great move for FD. But, if tradition and heritage mean anything to the company it is an odd move. They were a Colorado company, soon they will be a Maryland company. As with any move of this nature some/many employees will surely get shafted. FD made this announcement 2 weeks before the holidays, the employees found out yesterday, the same time the official press release was issued. That’s pretty raw and kinda shows that FD doesn’t really care about their employees, this is not the type of move that is made over night, the plan has surely been in the works for several months. So maybe, in the long run CO will be better off without this kind of business operation downtown. As an aware consumer, why should I support a company that is pulling out of CO? There are a plethora of breweries in CO that make great products. Great Divide just became my new favorite downtown brewer. I drink Colorado beer! Good riddance FD, I hope CO consumers have a long memory and voice their disgust with their banning of your beer. Cheers to your beer collecting dust on in CO stores and your taps disappearing in town–CR

  2. Well, the press release did say 70% their output is already brewed in Maryland.

    The Rocky Mountain News article also mentions that they’re offering relocation packages to any employees who wants to make the move. And, since the corporate headquarters will remain in Denver, it sounds like non-brewing jobs are staying put.

    I don’t think there’s any point in cleaving so strongly to tradition if it makes the business less viable. Better they move and keep producing beer than to stubbornly stay put and slowly go bankrupt.

  3. Costs, production output…all of that I get. It’s a free market. But taking a Colorado brew and transplanting it to a place not even remotely similar while still feigning the “attitude” seems so bloody traitorous. I always figured the Maryland plant was just an extension making it easier to get to the east coast market. The soul, or so I thought, was still CO. Indeed, I was wrong, and apparently have been for a while. I’m just an ordinary consumer, not a guru. That doesn’t change the sting; like a lover who has found out that, not only is his girl running off with another guy, but that she’s been screwing him 70% more than you for some time. But even with that, just drop the HST/Steadman theme, and we can go our separate ways. If you want to be in Maryland, alright, just BE Maryland. Become “Crabcake Ale” or “Oriole Ale” or “Shipbuilder’s Suds” or “Marion Barry Moonshine.” HST, Steadman, et al is a well-identified CO thing and YOU know it. Yes, the doc was actually from Kentucky, but all Coloradoans are transplants. That’s part of the ethos…coming from elsewhere (places LIKE Fredrick) and disappearing into the dark mountains for the freedom of peyote button sheriff slogans, screeching acid-induced delusions and violent explosions in cold winter valleys. Of course that is mostly myth, but it’s OUR myth and taking transplanting it to goddam Eastern-uptight Maryland and still passing the product off as Colorado Gonzo just stinks!

  4. Alright all you Coloradans, or whatever the hell you are, take it easy. Since colorado brews so many great beers, why not share the wealth, huh? Sounds like some of you don’t have any love for the supposed “goddam Eastern-uptight” state of Maryland. Well let me tell you something buddy, Maryland loves it’s damn beer just as much if not more than any state in this great country. You speak as if Maryland has no business taking park in the craft-brewing business. I guarantee you that the seventh state has been brewing beer for far longer than Colorado. So with all due respect, hold your tongue when you speak of the old line state. What we lack in square mileage, we make up in character and flavor, just like a good beer (except for the mileage part), that’s why Flying Dog’s a perfect fit. We welcome flying dog. You can go ahead and abandon ship if you want to, you sound like a quitter anyway. I guess the thin air’s making you dumb.

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