Montgomery County there’s a new brewery in town. Last month, 7 Locks Brewing opened for business and On Tap had the opportunity to chat with Jim Beeman, one of two owners. “There are four of us total,” Beeman says of the new operation, which includes head brewer Thomas Hartman, “six if you count our wives.” 7 Locks Brewing aims to be a no-frills, community brewery that focuses on traditional versions of classic styles. “I’ve always been interested in brewing” Beeman continues, “We wanted to make a place that is valuable in the community, that makes balanced beers. Well-balanced malt and hops, complimentary bodies.” Beeman hopes that 7 Locks Brewing will appeal to beer drinkers who are interested in standard styles of beer that do not rely heavily on a lot of experimental ingredients. “We want to limit the use of adjunct brewing and instead create true-to-style beers like a good solid stout or other styles that you typically don’t find.” Beeman does however plan on getting into barrel aging. They have several barrels arriving at the end of the month that they plan to utilize as soon as possible.
The brewery currently offers six beers on draft. The flagship is called Red Rye. It has a nice red color and a resinous hop aroma that is complimented by the spice from the rye malt. They also feature a coffee and oatmeal stout. Staying true to the brewery’s mission, neither beer actually contains coffee or oatmeal; rather the malt imparts the flavors. Both stouts are available on draft and nitro, a concept that Beeman says will demonstrate how flavors can be altered by carbonation. Soon they will begin work on an IPA that will pose a similar malt bill but utilize a different hop varietal with each batch to showcase the versatility of hops.
The brewery is a 15-barrel system, meaning they can produce about twenty kegs a batch. There are four 15-barrel conical fermentation vessels and one 15-barrel brite tank.
“We have an open concept,” says Beeman, “all of our tanks are out in conjunction with the brewing room. We wanted to keep it this way because it’s a unique experience to have a beer in the brewery, to see how the process works. It’s a cool way to let people witness what is going on in the brewery at all times.”
Another cool aspect of the brewery is its food program, or lack thereof. “We are a straight production brewery,” Beeman continues, “There is no food on premise. We do have food trucks out there on a semi regular basis. Guests are invited to bring their own food or order carryout. There are several places that deliver.” 7 Locks Brewing aims to be a sports destination. “We have a few TVs and are open on Sundays so the Redskins will always be on.” Jim is currently working on happy hours that will include pint and growler specials on Wednesdays and Thursdays. To enjoy a tasty beverage and get a glimpse into the brewing process, stop by 7 Locks Brewing. Cheers!
7 Locks Brewing: 12227 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, MD; www.7locksbrewing.com