Business

Woodinville master brewer helps firm reach Wall Street

stock offering Steve Nordahl, 27, of Woodinville, will help take his partners and the Frederick Brewing Company of Frederick, Maryland to Wall Street with a public stock offering this month.
   Three years ago, the Frederick Brewing Company was a basement pilot scale "brewery" and a business plan. Today, the hard-fought dream has become one of the nation's premier microbreweries.
   As Frederick Brewing becomes a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ exchange, Nordahl, a graduate of the master brewing program at the University of California at Davis, will brew in a new $7.5 million, 46,000-square-foot state-of-the-art brewing facility.
   The company's growth mirrors that of the national microbrewery industry, which is expanding by 45 percent annually. Rapid development of the industry has made the phrase "microbrewery" outdated. Only craft breweries producing fewer than 15,000 barrels annually can be termed "microbreweries." Companies producing 15,000 to 500,000 barrels of beer per year are now known as regional specialty breweries.
   Frederick Brewing's production climbed from 2,200 barrels its first year to 6,000 last year and to an anticipated 12,000 this year. The new facility, opening late next year, will produce 50,000 barrels initially and is designed to expand to 170,000 barrels.
   After expansion, the brewery will be a regional specialty brewery whose market area will expand from its current seven states to 25 states, streching south to Tennessee and west to Ohio.
   Frederick Brewing produces five different types of beer year-round and has produced 12 beers over the last three years. Its "Subliminator Doppelbock" won a silver medal at the 1995 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. HopFest, an autumn seasonal, won 1995 Beer of the Year in a contest sponsored by BarleyCorn, a brewing publication. Other contenders included a Russian stout from Brooklyn, a Trappist ale from the Netherlands, and a pale ale from Australia.