Life in Maryland / Agribusiness
Are small distilleries the next big thing for Frederick?
By Michelle Kershner /
February 22, 2016

Guest feature: Michelle Kershner is the Business Development Specialist for the City of Frederick. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

Just over a week ago, the City of Frederick's first distillery, Dragon Distillery, officially opened its doors. They are the first of four distilleries that plan to open in the area. McClintock Distillery and Tenth Ward Distilling Company have announced plans to open in 2016, and a fourth unannounced distillery is also in the works.

"We have all of the right ingredients for this industry to grow," said City of Frederick Economic Development Director, Richard Griffin. "We have a thriving downtown, robust tourism industry, and the county has a concentration of wineries and breweries. More importantly, the codes are now in place to welcome this industry to Frederick."

Dragon DistilleryCraft spirits is a $10.2 billion market and growing rapidly. According to the American Craft Spirits Association, there are at least 350 craft distilleries in the United States – a figure projected to pass 500 in 2015.

Last December, the City's Board of Aldermen amended city code to allow small wineries, breweries and distilleries in the downtown area, paving the way for this growing industry to boom locally. With the recent changes, it positions Frederick to be at the forefront of this industry's growth.

"Frederick is ready to embrace this industry," said Griffin. "With a variety of available spaces – from flex to historic buildings – there are plenty of locations that can accommodate the booming craft distillery, winery, and brewery business."


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