In this day and age of businesses with what can only be described as a lackluster workforce, it is refreshing to find an establishment like The Flying Barrel, where the customer is the focus. Think about the last time you walked into a service-focused industry and found an employee who wants $15.00 an hour, but could not even muster up a smile when asking unenthusiastically if they can help you.
The Flying Barrel is a bit different. Yes, it is a one-stop shop for everything you might want or need in a hobby dedicated to the creation of beer and wine. Having on-hand all the countless variety of equipment and ingredients needed to make the wide selection of different varieties of beer and wine is easy. Having all the equipment on-hand to make the products on premise is easy as well. The hard part is dealing with people on a personal level. Far too many businesses fail at this point, but not The Flying Barrel.
“We are fortunate in that brewing is a real community of people helping people,” said James McEver, owner of this brew on premise and brew shop for the past three years. “We have a great customer base that, when it gets busy, actually helps each other out.”
The Flying Barrel was first opened in 1980, and has been a Frederick institution ever since. Started by Bob Frank, and later purchased by James, it was first a home brew shop that specialized in educating enthusiasts in the art and science of fermentation. Later, it went on to become a brew on premise, where new brewers could get a hands-on experience making their own beer or wine under the guidance of more experienced aficionados.
In a world where online shopping and shipping is becoming the norm, The Flying Barrel is still a customer-oriented business. Need help with a recipe or a brewing technique? The Flying Barrel is still the go-to-place for information, ideas, and even feedback on your finished product. Although James is a hands-on owner—who is there almost every minute that they are open—there is no shortage of beer or wine enthusiasts who can help you with ideas for making a better product. And most everyone is willing to give your libation a taste, strictly for evaluation purposes. “There really is only one way to tell if your beer is good or not, and that is to taste it and evaluate it,” emphasized James. “You are not going to get that from a website.”
The Flying Barrel is located at 1781 North Market Street in Frederick, Maryland. Their hours of operation are: Monday and Saturday—10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday—10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Sunday—11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.; closed Wednesday. For more information, contact them at 301- 663-4491 or visit their website at www.flyingbarrel.com.
Wide angle shot of the Brew House.