Happy hour isn’t just for humans anymore. At Diamondback Brewing Company in South Baltimore, dogs are welcome too, and of course, we at Canine to Five were delighted! This independent brewing company, which officially began brewing beer in 2014, opened their tap room doors in 2016 and business has been steadily growing ever since. We wanted to catch up with this team of young entrepreneurs to learn more, so we decided to head down to the brewery for ourselves. What a delight! Not only was the tap room filled with young professionals and their buds sipping post work pints, but many also had their four legged companions in tow! AMAZING. We dug a little deeper into this operation and sat down with one of the founders of Diamondback, Colin Marshall, to ask a few questions…
I understand you and some of the guys are buddies from high school. Who are the founders and when did you start talking about this idea to open a brewery?
Yes! Tom Foster, Francis Smith and Colin Marshall. Three Loyola Blakefield graduates, class of 2009. Tom and Francis began brewing at UMD College Park. I joined on as a hobby and it merely happens we all bring a different characteristic to the business structure, plus a passion of craft.
When did you open? How long of a process was it to get this baby off the ground?
We began professionally brewing in 2014, but opened our own taproom and production brewery in 2016. The whole process has been about 7 years from idea to conception to launch. Our biggest success has been within the past 15 months with the opening of our taproom.
Here at Canine to Five we like to focus on the “WHY?” so I’m curious, why did you want to open a brewery? What inspired this dream?
Beer is a straight forward answer. We like to drink quality beer. However, we had a living to make and a dream to make reality. The industry is growing rapidly with a larger piece of the market to acquire, but the idea of three partners working together to develop a business and a product that, in the end, makes everyone happy, seemed too good to pass up.
Canine to Five’s founder, Chrissy Wohltmann is also a Baltimore entrepreneur. How do you feel this community has helped foster your dream?
The Baltimore entrepreneur community has helped us tremendously. Networking through the initial start-up days in 2014 with like-minded entrepreneurs helped confirm that we weren’t the only founders experiencing extreme ups and downs. Today, we have expanded our relationship base nationally to connect with more brewers. Baltimore was a perfect jumping off point, but hearing the stories of breweries like Diamondback across the nation is currently the most helpful navigation tool.
Why the decision to allow dogs? What’s your personal relationship to dogs? Do you have any pets of your own?
The entire Diamondback Beer team has been affiliated with or owned dogs our entire lives, and developing this culture within our establishment is important to us.
I love the cat! Who’s idea was it to get a brewery cat?
Inky! We adopted him from BARCS working cat program to organically mitigate rodent issues within the brewery. He has successfully done so and has become a big part of our everyday lives.
What are your dreams/plans for the future of Diamondback?
We look to continue spreading the word about our beautiful space in Locust Point, as well as, growing our business at the speed that fits us best. Barrel aging, a diverse beer portfolio, continued market success, and, of course, plenty of well-behaved dogs packed in the taproom every week!
What a great story! We want to thank Colin and the gang at Diamondback for hosting Canine to Five for a little team “Yappy Hour” and congratulate them on all their success! The space is beautiful and the beer—diverse and delicious. We encourage all of you to head down there and check it out for yourselves. They also have a gorgeous outdoor patio that will be perfect larger group gatherings this Spring and Summer. For more information, you can visit their website at www.diamondbackbeer.com.
All photos courtesy of Kristen Smith Photography.