Frederick Brewery Series:
Olde Mother Brewing Company
Keith Marcoux and Nick Wilson knew each other in high school, but lost touch for about 17 years when both went separate ways after graduation. After serving in the military, Marcoux returned and began working in commercial heating and air conditioning.
A service call for heating and air conditioning brought Marcoux to Wilson’s place of work, and the two reunited there. Little did they know at the time, that service call would alter the direction of their lives.
Marcoux and Wilson caught up with one another, and shared an affinity for craft beer and home brewing. With their shared interests, the pair began hanging out.
Suddenly, Wilson suggested opening a brewery.
The two began with a business plan, and opened Olde Mother Mother Brewing Company about 18 months later. Since debuting in Frederick in October 2015, Olde Mother has grown out of its original space and into a larger location in the city.
“Taking that first step, it’s scary for anybody,” Marcoux siad. “But we’re go-getters. We just buckled down and made it happen.”
Olde Mother started in a location that was formerly a family diner. In all, the original space was about 1,800 square feet. The tasting room was approximately 700-800 square feet of that total, and the brewhouse made up the rest.
In the early stages, both Marcoux and Wilson kept their full-time jobs, and the brewery was only open three days a week. On those three days, both co-founders would work their full-time jobs and then work at the brewery afterward, making for some long days at the start.
At least one of Marcoux and Wilson were behind the bar at all times then, and each started to notice the regular customers that started to develop in the tasting room.
As business continued to pick up, there was a choice to be made about their jobs. Marcoux left his job and started full-time at the brewery in January 2016, a few months after the opening. And Wilson followed suit a little over a month later.
““We just realized things were taking off. So we could have harnessed it and really put 100 percent into the brewery, or stayed with our jobs and kind of have that security blanket of income and whatever else,” Marcoux said. “But we just knew that if Olde Mother was going to be a thing, and be something that we wanted it to be, we needed to go hard at it.”
When the brewery started in earnest in 2016, the vision continued to take shape.
Marcoux and Wilson opened the brewery in part because of their passion for craft beer and brewing, but also because they like socializing and meeting new people.
Pursuant to that, the seating in the tasting room was designed to include large, community-style tables and benches. Those tables would encourage people to sit with others and begin forging new relationships over a drink.
“We definitely have the mindset of brewing quality products,” Marcoux said. “But we primarily wanted to open a business because we’re social and we like meeting new people, and the brewery allowed other people to come in and meet.”
Business continued to grow, and suddenly the confined former diner was too small to continue operations there. So in the summer of 2017, Marcoux and Wilson moved operations to a larger space, which made for a larger tasting room and a larger production area.
With the larger production area, Olde Mother has started to brew other products to go with their original line of beers, which includes a very popular Impressionist IPA. In the 12-barrel set-up, Olde Mother has started to brew traditional German recipes and barrel-aged sours.
In the summer of 2019, Olde Mother opened a new event area at their new location. The 4,000 square feet area fits approximately 200 people and includes another bar. The hope is for the space to attract musicians to perform, and to open up the possibility for other larger-scale events.
”We wanted to create a big space to do some big things every now and then,” Marcoux said. “Just have some cool experiences for people that live in the city to come and enjoy.”
There’s no ironic story about the meaning of the name “Olde Mother.” Marcoux and Wilson simply sifted through a list of trademarks and struggled to find many good available names.
Suddenly, Olde Mother emerged as a possibility, and the two ran with it — much like the pair ran with the original idea to open a brewery, and transformed a business plan to a successful hub for craft beer and community interaction.