- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2008

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Terrapin beer is made in Maryland but not sold in the state, despite the legions of Maryland Terrapins sports fans.

That”s not right, says Eric Warner, president and chief executive of Flying Dog Ownership Group. The Denver-based craft brewer makes beers and ales in Frederick for the Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, Ga. The brand is distributed in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“They should really sell that Terrapin beer in Maryland,” Mr. Warner told the Frederick News-Post about the company”s decision to move all its production to Frederick.

Mr. Warner said the move will help Flying Dog sell more products locally and internationally in the changing and fiercely competitive market.

The company”s administrative headquarters will remain in Denver, he said.

Flying Dog, which also brews Flying Dog beers sold in 45 states, bought Frederick Brewing Co.”s brewing equipment in 2006. Flying Dog now produces 70 percent of its beverages in the former Frederick Brewing Co. building, leased from Laytonsville-based Ruppert Properties, Mr. Warner said.

He said the move will add eight jobs in Frederick, mostly filled by transfers from Denver. The plant employed 20 people when Flying Dog took over in early 2006.

Rising prices of hops and malt, along with soaring rent on the company”s leased brewery building in Denver, contributed to the decision to move all brewing operations to Frederick, Mr. Warner said in a Dec. 11 statement posted on www.flyingdognews.com.

“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,” he wrote.

On the Web site, Mr. Warner said the state-of-the-art Frederick bottling line is twice as fast as Denver”s and produces beer with improved flavor stability and shelf life.

He told the News-Post the company will move several fermentation tanks from Denver to boost production in Frederick from 40,000 to 65,000 barrels per year.

“We could easily expand to 100,000,” he said.

The Frederick plant also makes Wild Goose beers and ales, and brews beer under contract for others, including Terrapin Beer and Brewer”s Alley, a local restaurant.

Mark Matovich, assistant brewery manager, said he”d like to see more local marketing and distribution of Flying Dog products.

“We ship more beer to Georgia than is consumed in Maryland,” he said. “We really want to be involved in the community and get the word out.”

Mr. Warner said the East Coast move should help Flying Dog push sales beyond the 25 percent growth rate of 2007 — partly through increased international sales. The company currently sells Flying Dog beer in Holland.

“People in Europe are trying American beers. With the weak dollar, it is helping us,” Mr. Warner said. A weaker dollar makes U.S. goods cheaper overseas.

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