Experts say the departure of Flying Dog, Guinness reflects industry trends.


Several weeks after Guinness submitted plans to close its Baltimore County production facility, Flying Dog Brewery Company announced this week that it would close its Frederick plant. But the departures indicate more industry trends than problems for state breweries. Industry experts say

Guinness’ parent company, Diageo North America, plans to shut down its Baltimore County site on June 9, according to documents filed with the Maryland Department of Labor in March. Documents indicate that 108 people work on the site.

Nationwide, said Jim Backman, director of communications for the Maryland Brewers Association. power beer market “Slight contraction” as breweries adapt to growing industry and changing consumer preferences

“We’re not thrilled,” Bauckman said of Flying Dog, the largest of Maryland’s 134 craft breweries, to close its Frederick facility.

FX Matt Brewing Company announced Tuesday that it is acquiring Colorado-based startup Flying Dog Brewery. but has been headquartered in Frederick since 2006.

New York brewing company Utica is looking for a location for a new Flying Dog brewery and an innovative brewery in Frederick.

“Flying Dog has built an incredible brand. award winning beer and offers us great opportunities to grow in the Mid-Atlantic region,” FX Matt Brewing CEO Fred Matt said in a statement.

FX Matt Brewing, founded in 1888, is the fourth oldest brewery in the country. Many of Flying Dog’s beers have been produced over the past decade. Due to limitations of the Frederick Brewery.

Flying Dog will shift all production to FX Matt Brewing and is expected to cease production at the Frederick facility in August. according to the press release

Bauckman said the Brewers Association has seen a national trend among similar-sized breweries to expand their reach and expand their selection.


He said that and bigger regional breweries have discovered they may have limited opportunities to grow their brands and have opted to set up locations in other parts of the country to expand their reach.

“The industry is growing,” Bauckman said.

Maryland lawmakers and regulators support the state’s breweries. But the number of breweries supporting Maryland breweries hasn’t returned to pre-COVID levels, Bauckman said, adding that there are still record numbers of breweries nationwide and limited breweries. on the shelf of the liquor store

Twenty years ago there were fewer than 1,500 breweries in the country, according to the Brewers Association, by the end of 2022 there were more than 9,700.

Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso wrote in an email that space at Frederick Flying Dog’s location was limited. Craft beer cannot be brewed in cans. which is in high demand and outdated technology which cost the company money and put It’s a huge disadvantage for growth in new and existing markets.

“Frederick is a great place to live and do business. Unfortunately, even though we invested millions of dollars in breweries, … they were too restrictive and put Flying Dog at too much of a competitive disadvantage,” says Caruso.

Flying Dog is also unable to produce flavored malt beverages, hard ciders, hard teas and ready-to-drink cocktails, which Caruso says needs to be canned and pasteurized for shelf stability. Beer without canning lines or pasteurizers and no space to add

“This acquisition gives our brand the immediate ability and flexibility to adapt to changing consumer needs,” said Flying Dog CMO Ben Savage, who will become Flying Dog Division President. FX Matt Brewing said in a statement. “There will always be a market for good beer. But the lines between beer, cocktails, spirits and wine are still blurring.”

Savage said FX Matt Brewing will help Flying Dog promote its beverages and rapidly develop new products in emerging spirits categories.

Caruso said it’s important that FX Matt Brewing offers employment opportunities to as many Flying Dog employees as possible. He also said his company would provide recruitment assistance to employees.


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