Two Frederick beer companies will honor Comptroller Peter Franchot with special brews in appreciation of his vocal support of the local brewing industry during the General Assembly's most recent session.
Monocacy Brewing Company has created a beer called Saison du Franchot, while Barley and Hops Grill & Microbrewery named their beer Franchot Comes Alive.
The brews are set to debut June 28 at the Frederick brewpub Brewer's Alley, said Jim Bacukman, sales and marketing director of Monocacy and the brewpub. Kegs of the beer will be tapped at the event, which runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 124 N. Market St.
In April, the General Assembly passed legislation that will allow breweries to sell significantly more beer at their on-site taprooms. As part of a legislative compromise, though, new breweries will have shorter operating hours — a provision some in the local beer industry have criticized.
There was plenty of spirited debate over the legislation, and throughout it all, Franchot made his support of local brewers clear, said Bauckman. The comptroller's testimony before the state Senate pointing out "the negative impact of the pending legislation on Maryland craft brewers … was out of this world," Bauckman said. (An earlier version of the brewery bill that passed the House of Delegates would have limited taproom hours for all production breweries.)
"He's been a supporter of ours for years," Bauckman said. "He provided a very eloquent and determined case for why it was inappropriate to be penalizing existing brewers, or causing an issue in the market where new businesses would not want to open in the state of Maryland."
Saison du Franchot is a saison-style ale with a notable taste of clove, and a slight fruitiness in the finish, Bauckman said. Franchot Comes Alive is a Northeast-style India Pale Ale that is somewhat hazy in appearance and has a big aroma, said Eric Gleason, head brewer at Barley and Hops. Both were produced in limited quantities.
"We see him as a rock star for his efforts to lead the beer-reform," Gleason said of the brew, whose name nods to "Frampton Comes Alive!," a 1976 album by Peter Frampton.
Monocacy's beer will be available on draft only at its taproom and Brewer's Alley. Barley and Hops' beer will be on draft at its restaurant, as well as the bars it regularly distributes to in the Annapolis, Frederick and Washington areas. A portion of the sales from Franchot Comes Alive will be donated in the comptroller's name to help fund reform efforts related to the Maryland beer industry, Gleason said.
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