Maryland is home to a growing number of wineries, breweries, cideries, and distilleries. Here in Frederick, we are lucky enough to be located within an hour or less of many of these establishments. Grab your friends and family for a day trip and enjoy an afternoon at some of these local businesses with a libations tour. You can expect to find fun and relaxing atmospheres, great people, and most importantly, delicious drinks!
Make sure to choose a designated driver or hire a service that will take care of the driving for you! Tastings add up faster than you think, and you want to be able to enjoy your day responsibly. Companies like “A Touch of Class Limousines” and “On The Town Limousines” offer a variety of vehicles at reasonable prices.
1st Stop: Big Cork Vineyards
Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville is one of Maryland’s newer wineries, having celebrated its grand opening in May of 2015. Word spread quickly here in Frederick about the beautiful new winery with amazing views and great wine. This place is unlike any winery I have been to in Maryland. There is a huge wrap-around patio outside, which is heated for year-round use. The west patio has a 70” flat screen TV and is cigar friendly, which will make it much easier to bribe your significant other to visit the winery on Football Sundays.
Beyond the patio is an expansive lawn that backs up to the vineyard where you are welcome to lay down a blanket and have your own picnic. You can bring your own food to enjoy both inside and outside, or grab snacks from the “Grab and Go” market. In addition, the winery provides lawn games, such as frisbee, football, corn hole, etc. Children are welcome and the winery even keeps some toys and games on hand for them too. Make sure you grab a spot on one of the comfy lounging chairs in the sun and relax! What’s better than sitting with your feet up, having a glass of wine, and taking in a beautiful view?
Recommendation: Syrah Rose- perfect for summer!
2nd Stop: Distillery Lane Ciderworks
Distillery Lane Ciderworks is located in Jefferson, Maryland and is Maryland’s first licensed cidery. Its 9-acre orchard is home to over 3,000 apple trees and over 45 varieties of apples. They grow both dessert apples and cider apples, but you won’t find the varieties they grow in stores. In addition, all of the cider Distillery Lane makes is from apples grown on the property, which ripen between August and November. The ciders they offer here are different than the ciders you may have tried from a store or at a bar. Distillery Lane makes traditional ciders, which means most of the ciders are drier and not very sweet (though they do offer a few sweeter choices).
In addition to hard cider, Distillery Lane also offers fresh non-alcoholic cider, tours of the orchard, cider making classes, and apple picking. They are kid friendly, and you are welcome to bring your own food. The tasting room and patio are small, so bring a blanket to ensure you have a spot to sit! Hopefully, during your visit on this libations tour, you will get a chance to meet Kingston and Ruby, the two adorable cidery dogs.
Recommendation: Celebration Cider- Semi-sweet and sparkling!
3rd Stop: Frog Eye Farm
A great way to keep the drinks from racking up too quickly would be to take a trip out to Frog Eye Farm. Frog Eye Farm is a family-owned and operated “pick-your-own blueberry farm” that is known for its beautiful views and tasty blueberries, as well as their use of pesticide-free farming practices. You can pick your own blueberries for much cheaper than you’ll find in the grocery store and even better, you’re supporting a local business! Make sure to check the Frog Eye Farm Facebook page or give them a call to check blueberry availability, as well as picking times.
4th Stop: Smoketown Brewing Station
Located in Brunswick, Smoketown Brewing Station is one of the newer breweries to hit the Maryland brewery scene. The brewery is located in was built in 1948 and is the former home of the Brunswick Volunteer Fire Station. The actual brewery is located downstairs, but they also own the upstairs, which they eventually plan to turn into an event space. The upstairs was a former concert venue, where singers like Patsy Cline and George Jones used to play. No big deal, right?
The brewery is located along the C&O Canal Towpath, so you could easily build some hiking or kayaking into your day trip. Children are welcome and they even provide some games and toys to keep them entertained in their seating area! They don’t sell food, but you are welcome to bring your own to enjoy both inside and outside. You can also order King’s Pizza, which is right across the street, or order a meal from the food trucks that are available on some days. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the food truck schedule, as well as special events.
Recommendation: German Crossing Hefeweizen- because what says summer more than a light wheat beer?!
These are just a few of the multitude of options available to you in the Frederick area. No matter your preference in drinks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy no matter where you end up on this libations tour. Don’t forget to stop at one of the many local restaurants Frederick has to offer to properly cap your day off with a great meal!
Looking for more placed to go and enjoy some fun drinks? Check out our map of Fredrick County brews, wines, and libations:
Jen lives in Frederick and is the founder and writer at Love and Wine Blog, reviewing local wineries, breweries, & events in Maryland and Virginia. She provides “stats” about each place so that anyone can plan a visit: whether a place is kid friendly, dog friendly, etc. She is also in the process of expanding her blog by sharing recipes, DIY projects, and more, so stay tuned!
Colleen GratzerAugust 4, 2016
I love Big Cork! I live near it and it’s beautiful. They have great wine and food—and they allow dogs. 🙂