by Kevin M. Smith
As the year winds down, Idiom Brewing Company is winding up. In a year when many businesses are struggling or, in some cases, contracting due to the pandemic, owner Michael Clements is working on the expansion of Idiom’s production facility. On September 10, Clements dropped a hint about what’s to come on social media when he posted, “we dud a thing yesterday. More Idiom Brewing Co. beer coming your way soon.”
In a recent interview, Clements explained that “The location has been secured and is in the same building as Dragon Distillery and Puerto Rico distillery. We signed a lease for +/- 9450 square feet to be utilized for expanded production.” The new location on Hughes Ford Road, right by the Frederick Municipal Airport, will afford the brewery a lot of room to grow.
Currently, Clements is working on securing the new brewhouse. He said that it will be ” a 15-BBL semi-automated brewhouse for the location with a number of 15-BBL and 30-BBL unitanks and brites, to start. We have enough room to add additional tanks, in case of future growth and we will also be working on a dedicated barrel-aging program with both stouts and sours in rotation.”
Even with the new facility expected to come on line in the next four to six months, Clements explained that he will be keeping the brewing system at the current location, and that the taproom will remain on Carroll Creek. “We will continue to brew at our current location for taproom only variants and pilots of eventual production batches on the larger system,” said Clements.
With the additional capacity, Clements is currently targeting distribution throughout Maryland and Delaware. As OtherSide Beverage, Idiom’s distributor, expands its footprint, and Idiom increases production, the brewery will be available in more states.
While one might think that it would be more difficult to expand in the current business climate, but Clements credits the lessons learned from initially opening Idiom with making the beginning steps of expansion easier. “We learned a lot from opening the taproom on Carroll Creek,” he said. “What we learned here definitely translates into a better understanding of our needs and desires for a production space, including more dedicated cold, dry and raw materials storage. We also will be moving our employee offices, meeting room and other aspects of the business to the [new] production space.”
For Clements, the support from the community has made much of this possible. “We are extremely excited about continuing to build the Idiom brand while maintaining our roots in Frederick, ” said Clements. “We have seen overwhelming support from the community, the other breweries throughout the state and the many folks who have spent their hard-earned money on our product. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to continue growing, continue experimenting or pushing the envelope.”