Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery is being sold to New York’s FX Matt Brewing Company and will shift all its operations from Maryland to New York, the companies announced Monday.
Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso could not be immediately reached for comment, but said in a statement that while “Frederick is a great place to live and do business, unfortunately even though we have invested millions of dollars in the brewery, it has too many limitations and puts Flying Dog at too great a competitive disadvantage.”
Flying Dog will cease all production in Maryland by August, but plans to build an “innovation brewery” in Frederick. The company also operates a taproom at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
The news comes at a time of upheaval for Maryland’s brewing industry. Beverage giant Diageo is preparing to end manufacturing next month of Guinness Baltimore Blonde and other products in the state as it shutters its Halethorpe facility. And several other area brewers have shut down during the pandemic amid a shift in consumption patterns.
Flying Dog’s chief marketing officer Ben Savage alluded to the shifting sales environment in the statement Monday, saying that the sale to FX Matt Brewing Company “gives our brand immediate capabilities and ﬂexibility to adapt to the changing consumer preferences. There will always be a market for great beer, but the lines between beer, cocktails, spirits, and wine continue to blur. FX Matt Brewing Company gives Flying Dog signiﬁcant resources to not only optimize our current product portfolio, but also quickly develop products in new, emerging categories.”
Savage will become president of the Flying Dog division of FX Matt Brewing. The new owners will offer jobs to “as many employees as possible,” Caruso said in the statement. He did not specify the number of workers impacted by the sale.
“When you think of craft beer in Maryland and the mid-Atlantic, Flying Dog is the first brand that pops into your head,” said Fred Max, chief executive of FX Matt Brewing, adding that he looked forward to helping Flying Dog “reach new heights.”
Originally founded in Colorado in 1990, Flying Dog moved to Frederick in 2006. In 2017, Caruso scrapped plans to build a $54 million brewery in Maryland citing “regulatory and legislative issues” in the state, according to Brewbound, a beer industry news website. Flying Dog had already spent around $2.6 million to purchase 32 acres of land for the project near the Frederick Municipal Airport.