By Catherine Twing, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Flying Dreams Brewing Co. owner Dave Richardson’s top priority is brewing quality beer. Richardson, his wife Stephanie and their staff of less than 10 people handle everything from brewing and accounting, to distribution and taproom management.
With 12 medals earned at the 2019 Great International Beer, Cider, Mead & Sake Competition, the most of any brewery, it looks like their methods are working.
“Our goal isn’t to grow as fast as possible, it’s to maintain flavor, high quality beer,” Richardson said.
His hands-on approach to every element is crucial in maintaining that quality. They only distribute within Massachusetts and only to businesses which they know will keep their product properly refrigerated.
Richardson prioritizes being a brewer, over being a businessman.
“Because we’re owned and run by a brewer, our primary goal is to make good beer,” he said. Prior to opening Flying Dreams, Richardson started working as a professional brewer in 2003 at Red Hook Brewery and Gardner Ale House.
Flying Dreams has operated as a production facility and 15 person capacity tasting room in Worcester since 2015, but what brought them to open their Marlborough taproom was somewhat of a happy accident.
In 2018, Walden Woods Brewing was set to open in the space at 277 Main Street in Marlborough, but last minute issues caused them to cancel their plans.
“We got the notification that Walden Woods Brewing wasn’t going to make it, and Marlborough would love for someone to come in, and the space was mostly finished,” he said.
After taking a look at the space and talking with leaders in Marlborough, they decided they could make it work and officially opened in December of 2018.
“When you’re a start-up business, picking it up from its boot straps, you look for those diamonds in the rough,” Richardson said. They opened in Worcester during a time when the city was reinventing itself, similar to what Marlborough has been doing in recent years.
Before the pandemic, Flying Dreams was hosting live music on weekends, but has stopped for the time being.
The taproom offered curbside beer pick up throughout the pandemic which is still available. They now also have permitted outdoor seating for 48 patrons along Rawlins Avenue, with indoor seating if the weather doesn’t cooperate. By mid-July they plan to offer indoor and outdoor seating simultaneously once more outdoor furniture arrives.
Their outdoor seating area is shaded by the building during their open afternoon and evening hours, and quiet, set back from Main Street. It is first come, first serve, but you can call ahead to make sure there’s space.
Their rotating beer list includes everything from IPAs to sours and lagers. A Pineapple Gose is their newest addition. They have pretzels and chips, but also encourage customers to visit local Marlborough eateries and bring their own food.
“People just don’t seem to know we’re here. People see Welly’s or Vin Bin, but we’re set back from the road,” he said. “We have the product, we just need the people.”
Flying Dreams is open Thursdays and Fridays 4 – 9 p.m., Saturdays 2 – 9 p.m. and Sundays 2 – 8 p.m. Visit https://www.flyingdreamsbrewing.com/marlborough for more information.