‘Round the corner from Attaboy Beer in a commodious red brick-cornered professional space in Frederick, SMOKETOWN CREEKSIDE opened November ’19. Entrepreneurial guiding light, David Blackmon, and homebrewing retired fireman, Greg Nichols, have crafted 30-plus rangy one-offs, seasonals and barrel-aged dark ales, as well as respected flagship, Potomac IPA. His original seven-barrel Smoketown Brewing has been operating since ’17 along the Potomac River (18 miles Southwest) in Brunswick, bringing national bands to its capacious firehouse venue.
Creekside’s 10-barrel brewhouse features a bowling alley-wooded bar top, local artisans’ walled sculptures, round wood brewery insignia, two rear TV’s and a connected brewhouse near the back music studio. At present, they distribute beer all over Maryland.
A spacious fenced-in front deck gets packed as I peruse the premises this hot ‘n sticky late Sunday afternoon early July ’20.
I was thoroughly knocked out by the strong ales available during this stopover – taking home 26-ounce bottles of each.
A splendidly inspirational 11.5% ABV knockout, Walter’s Spirit Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter let its dry Virginia Gentleman bourbon whiskey frontage receive ashen tobacco-chawed hop bittering, cocoa-dried raw molasses sapping and black coffee beaning, upstaging any trace of toffee sweetness.
Smoky maple molasses sugaring brought a burnt caramel glaze to clover-honeyed Golden Promise malts and dewy rye-spiced chocolate creaming for heady (10% ABV) Scottish Wee Heavy, Ten Pound Hammer, a rich malt-forward charmer with latent peated whiskey notions.
Cellared yeast funk embedded cocoa-powdered dark roast coffee, sweet molasses oats and beet-sugared fig, prune and date for Wick’d Threesome Tripel, leaving charcoal hop-embittered ethanol esters to raid the pungent 9.7% alcohol throttler.
Dark chocolate steadied full-bodied oatmeal stout, Gandy, contrasting milk-sugared hazelnut coffee against walnut-charred hops.
A muddy medium-roast coffee theme engaged The Main Cup, a robust coffee stout stockpiling tertiary milked espresso, charred walnut, and peppercorn subtleties.
On the negative side, unconvincing flattish-headed mahogany body, Lockhouse 28 Imperial Stout, tried to navigate wood-charred black malt soy saucing into desiccated dried fruiting, day-old coffee and burnt tobacco.