Ethan McLeod, writer for DCist, shares how Hyattsville’s craft beverage district came to be!
Up in Hyattsville, Franklin’s laid the groundwork for the downtown area’s craft alcohol scene more than a decade ago. Owner Mike Franklin opened a general store there in 1992, and was ahead of his time in selling a variety of craft beer for off-site enjoyment.
But he had bigger plans. Franklin says Maryland Sen. Paul Pinsky, (D-Prince George’s), sponsored state legislation to allow for a liquor license in a specific area of Hyattsville, located in his district, that would allow retail businesses to also sell beer made on-site. Franklin says got his new license in 2001, and in 2002 he doubled the size of his operation, opening a 200-seat brewpub.
Ken Carter, owner of Maryland Meadworks and a longtime Franklin’s patron, recalls testifying at Franklin’s license hearing 17 years ago, back when Carter was still brewing his own stuff at home. “He was a pioneer for a lot of people,” he says of Franklin.
It took years for other homegrown makers companies to follow in Franklin’s footsteps. The brewpub owner says the development of Hyattsville’s arts and entertainment district eventually helped to draw other producers, including Vigilante Coffee Co.