Montgomery County will welcome its newest brewery this week.
The Rockville brewery, 7 Locks Brewing, a production facility with a taproom, held a soft opening over the weekend and is scheduled to open to the public at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The brewery, which was founded by two friends who met at the University of Maryland, will premiere with seven beers including a pale ale, red rye, coffee stout and honey wheat.
The brewery is housed in a 7,200-square-foot warehouse at 12227 Wilkins Avenue and uses a 15-barrel system to make its beers. The system is tied with Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring for the largest in the county.
Owners Jim Beeman and Keith Beutel said they initially plan to sell beer only at the taproom for the first two or three weeks of operation. After that, they plan to start distributing beer in kegs to local restaurants and bars.
The taproom includes about 40 seats, a long wooden bar, TVs and an open layout that provides views of the brewing equipment.
The 7 Locks Brewing taproom. Photo provided by brewery.
The brewery joins a small, but growing number of micro-breweries in the county that include locally owned establishments such as Denizens, Baying Hound Aleworks in Rockville and Growlers of Gaithersburg. Other breweries include Rock Bottom in Bethesda and Gordon Biersch in Rockville Town Square, which are part of larger chains.
Here are the beers 7 Locks Brewing will offer, with descriptions provided by the brewery:
Pale Ale: Medium-bodied, citrus and pine hop notes, slightly estery due to the English ale yeast used in fermentation. Easy drinking, traditional style pale (not super hoppy).
Red Rye: Medium-bodied, slight spice imparted by the rye, complemented by the hop bitterness present in the body with a nice resinous aroma.
Oatmeal Stout: Full-bodied, easy drinking stout with less roast barley and more forward chocolate notes. Light hop character, a very smooth alternative to typical bitter stouts. The lower carbonation level cuts back on the sharpness derived from the carbon dioxide, which is important when using roasted malts, as they can impart a significant sharpness if unrestrained. Most noticeable is the lack of aftertaste.
Coffee Stout: Traditional dry stout, more of a roast character than the oatmeal stout. This is for fans of coffee and bolder beers. The lower carbonation level cuts back on the sharpness derived from the carbon dioxide, which is important when using roasted malts, as they can impart a significant sharpness if unrestrained.
Hazelnut Amber Ale: Nutty aroma, clean, easy drinking ale. Low-carbonated English style ale. Low bitterness levels keep this beer in check.
Honey Wheat: An American wheat beer with no orange slice necessary. This is an all malt-derived flavor, no additives. Highly carbonated, its low bitterness lets the notes of honey stand out.
English Bitter: A traditional English style bitter beer. The brewery uses European hops to offer an earthy, constrained aroma.
Thunderbeast Root Beer and Ginger Beer: Locally made non-alcoholic option available in pints or growlers to take home.