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Worcester’s Flying Dreams Brewing Co. taking over vacant Walden Woods brewery in Marlborough

Worcester’s Flying Dreams Brewing Co. taking over vacant Walden Woods brewery in Marlborough

MASSLIVE – Dave Richardson thinks he has a guardian angel floating around him, giving him what he needs to make his brewery, Flying Dreams Brewing Co., soar.

When he didn’t have quite enough money to get a brewery started from the ground up, he was able to move into Wormtown Brewery’s old space on Park Avenue, inheriting leftover equipment.

But Richardson saw the demand for his product grow and knew he needed not just to start canning his brew. What he desperately needed was a taproom.

And that’s when the mayor of Marlborough put out a call for help. The Walden Woods Brewing space on Main Street was nearly complete but vacant.

It was a perfect fit.

Richardson has just signed the lease for the 277 Main St. space, which will become a new taproom and space for small-batch, experimental brews.

“I think Marlborough has just great potential to follow in Hudson’s footsteps,” Richardson said in a recent interview at the taproom. “If you walk down Main Street, it’s a lot like Hudson used to be before Medusa came in and then you started getting places like the Rail Trail and the Microcreamery and the speakeasy.”

Marlborough has attracted businesses and visitors recently, especially in the last few months with the opening of restaurants and retail at the Apex Center and the family activities at the Apex Entertainment Center.

“In a few years, I think that Marlborough could be a really cool place,” Richardson said. “Worcester is doing it on a bigger scale and it’s awesome.”

Between the brewing space in Worcester and now the taproom in Marlborough, Richardson said Flying Dreams is getting a taste of both.

There’s little public information as to why Walden Woods was not able to open. On Facebook, Alida Orzechowski and Chris Brown wrote a message to let the community know “how hard we fought to save our vision – this little brewery – but in the end, the battle was lost.”

Between five and 10 breweries were looking at the space, according to Richardson.

Richardson said he was sad to hear that Walden Woods’ plan fell through, but was glad to have space become available right as his search for a taproom was ramping up.

“We’ve always been happy-go-lucky as a company,” Richardson said. “That’s kind of our M.O.”

With the space, Richardson said he expects to increase his brewing capacity from 500 barrels a year to 1,000 barrels by the end of next year.

Walden Woods left behind a two-barrel brewing system, four fermenters and a brite tank, adding to the larger system Richardson has in Worcester.

The brewery has 75 seats and Richardson said he plans to ask the city for standing room space for 75 people.

Richardson is keeping the taproom’s epoxy floor, intricate ceiling and chalkboard-paint wall.

He wants to put his own touch on the roughly 3,000-square-foot space by hiring an artist or two to paint the walls graffiti- or tattoo-style with a burst of color.

Keeping in line with his brewery’s name, Richardson said he’d love for artists to incorporate some flying creatures or steampunk-like flying machines.

The space has a mix of tables, high-tops and lounge chairs and a long bar, as well as room for performers to set up for an acoustic show or a three-piece jazz band.

Flying Dream’s Worcester brewery has plenty of capacity and will ship beer to Marlborough.

But with the small system in Marlborough, Richardson will be able to experiment.

“Now this can be our pilot brewery. All that stuff I don’t want to make on a big scale…we can easily do it on a small system and just have a couple kegs and have it be just like specialty taproom only,” Richardson said. “And then if we ever hit on something really awesome, we could try to make it on the big scale over in Worcester.”

The bar has eight taps, so Richardson envisions having two or three of the taps to be rotating specialty brews made right in Marlborough.

The exact opening date hinges on when the federal brewer’s license comes in. Richardson hopes to open in November, which will also be around the time Flying Dreams starts canning and will mark its third anniversary.

Richardson plans to have the taproom as B.Y.O.F., or bring your own food. The Marlboro House of Pizza is right across the street and the Vin Bin is a few blocks away. He believes that Medusa Brewing Company’s B.Y.O.F. policy helped jumpstart other businesses in Hudson.

“I can just only hope that this [taproom] would be something like that for Marlborough,” he said.

Richardson said he plans to have the brewery open from 4-9 p.m. on Wednesdays; from 3-10 p.m. on Thursdays; from noon-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and from noon-8 p.m. on Sundays.

This article by Melissa Hanson originally appeared here.