Citing our First Amendment rights and an appalling attempt at state censorship, Flying Dog Brewery, with the support of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, filed suit in U.S. District Court on Friday to overturn the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s ban on the sale of our best-selling beer, Raging Bitch. The suit also seeks to recover damages from the loss of sales under the statewide ban, which the Commission issued based on its members’ personal distaste for Raging Bitch’s labeling.
The brouhaha began in September 2009, when we applied for a license to sell Raging Bitch in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission barred the sale of Raging Bitch, claiming that the beer’s label — designed by renowned British artist Ralph Steadman — is “detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.”
Obviously, we disagree. “Regrettably, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and its members have taken it upon themselves to control not merely alcoholic beverages, but speech as well,” our Attorney Alan Gura of Washington, D.C.-based Gura & Possessky, PLLC said. “The defendants arbitrarily imposed their personal tastes in banning Raging Bitch, clearly violating Flying Dog’s First Amendment right to free expression.”
Gura and our CEO Jim Caruso announced the filing of the case at Crunchy’s, a craft beer pub near the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, this morning.
Caruso emphasized that the pending legal action is about much more than a beer label. “It’s about regulators gradually morphing into self-appointed thought police,” he said. “We believe not only in freedom of speech and artistic expression for both businesses and individuals, but also in the individual’s fundamental right to choose or reject books, art, literature, artisanal craft beer, and other forms of artistic expression based on their personal preferences.”
As most of our loyal fans know, we created Raging Bitch, a Belgian-Style India Pale Ale, to celebrate the brewery’s 20th anniversary in 2010. Raging Bitch proved an instant hit, went on to be named one of the “Top Ten New Beers in America in 2010” by Modern Brewery Age, and is now our #1 best-selling beer. Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman’s Raging Bitch label depicts a female dog drawn in the inimitable style for which Steadman has been internationally celebrated for half a century.
When informed of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission’s apparent distaste for his art, Steadman said, “Freedom of speech and artistic expression is as fundamental to our being as the alphabet itself. I thought censorship went out with D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ about 50 years ago! So if you are feeling a strong itch to drink Raging Bitch, just do it and get on with life.”
Alan Gottlieb, president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, said that his organization “has joined this important legal case because the issues raised have a profound impact on the right to freely engage in the marketplace.”
Caruso concluded the announcement this morning by voicing hope that beer lovers in Michigan will soon have the opportunity to drink Raging Bitch. “We believe in free choice,” he said. “We do not believe that Michigan citizens deserve government regulators arbitrarily deciding what their beer should be called.”
Whether you’re cheers-ing to chants of “Erin Go Braugh” or drowning your sorrows in pints and bagpipes, our Lucky SOB Irish Red is the beer for you this St. Patrick’s Day.
Brewed with real four-leaf clovers, it is perfectly poised to bring the Luck of the Irish to those who drink it. And here’s where it’s on tap in our backyard:
- Bushwaller’s Irish Pub in Frederick
- Hollow Creek Golf Club in Middletown
- Always Ron’s in Hagerstown
- Bulls & Bears in Hagerstown
- Barefoot Bernie’s in Hagerstown
- Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia
- Frisco Grill & Cantina in Columbia
- Cylde’s of Columbia
- Judge’s Bench in Ellicott City
- Kloby’s Smokehouse in Laurel
- Sean Bolan’s in Bel Air
- The Abbey Burger Bistro in Federal Hill (Baltimore)
- Delilah Foley’s in Federal Hill (Baltimore)
- Big Jim’s Deli in Federal Hill (Baltimore)
- Muggsy’s Mug House in Federal Hill (Baltimore)
- Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point (Baltimore)
- Ale Mary’s in Fells Point (Baltimore)
- Mahaffey’s Pub in Canton (Baltimore)
- The Falls in Mount Washington (Baltimore)
- Alewife in Baltimore
- Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore
- Midtowne Yacht Club in Baltimore
- Alonso’s in Baltimore
- Golden West Cafe in Baltimore
- Racers Cafe in Parkville
DC and Northern Virginia
- Scion Restaurant in Washington, DC
- Fireworks Pizza in Leesburg, VA
With a focus on featuring local (to our brewery in Frederick, Maryland) talent, along with bands from the Baltimore and Washington, DC-area, Flying Dog is a part of three independent music showcases during this year’s South by Southwest Music Festival.
All of our showcases are free, no RSVPs, badges, or wristbands needed, but only open to those 21 and older.
Without further ado, we’ll let our posters do the talking:
Thursday, March 17
Friday, March 18
Friday [night], March 18
And this is not the last you’ll hear from us on this year’s SXSW.
We equipped the bands Secret Mountains, Lands and Peoples, and Eureka Birds with Flip video cameras and plenty of Flying Dog beer to document their journeys to and from Austin. Stay tuned for more independent creativity at its finest.
On the Road to the Perfect Pour at Buffalo Wild Wings, we want you to pick the Cinderella Sauce.
In honor of March Madness and our Snake Dog IPA, BWW’s beer of the month, Maryland locations are hosting a round-robin tournament to determine the wing sauce that pairs best with Snake Dog.
On the day and times specified in the bracket above, the sauces will go head-to-head with one common variable: the hop monster Snake Dog. Your votes will determine the sauce that will make it onto the next round. A winner will be crowned Monday, April 4 in Urbana.
You can be a part of the action all month long. Buffalo Wild Wings is running a March Madness special of 12 wings and a regular-size Snake Dog IPA for just $10.99.
Frederick’s critically-acclaimed live variety show is back for round two Thursday at the Cultural Arts Center.
With host (and local sage) Doug Powell, Churrasco showcases local artists in a late night show set-up complete with post-performance interviews.
This month’s local lineup includes:
- Lucas & the Lovelys – An Americana western blues experience from Hagerstown, Maryland
- Seaton Smith – A recent DC-to-Brooklyn nationally touring comedian
- Goodloe Byron – Frederick’s very own Renaissance man who plys his a blend of squalor-filled blues
- Mikael Johnson – Someone sure to grab your attention and not let go (even if you file for restraint)
A Flying Dog reception will kick things off at 8 pm and the show begins at 9 pm. (Beer will continue to be sold throughout the show.) Tickets are $10 and on sale at the Cultural Arts Center box office. Get yours by calling 301-662-4190 or by visiting the CAC (15 West Patrick Street) during normal business hours.
Want a glimpse of the world-class, yet hyper-local, performers of Churrasco a Centro? Check out the track “Swamp Song” by the folksy bluegrass band Fieldhands.
In the coming months we look to add literary, film, the clown arts and any other talented performance YOU can dream up. For information on booking, email ChurrascoACentro@gmail.com.
It’s OK to play with your food, especially when there is beer involved.
That’s our motto as we kick off a partnership with Chef Bryan Voltaggio at SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience in Washington, DC June 3-4.
Presented by the Brewers Association, SAVOR is the country’s premier beer and food event and a must-attend for area beer connoisseurs and foodies. Attendees will sample beers from 72 independent craft breweries that team up with expert chefs to pair each beer with a dish of the chef’s choice.
In addition to the night’s main event, educational salons and private tastings provide additional opportunities to interact with craft brewers and chefs. That’s where we really come into play.
Voltaggio, along with Brewmaster Matt Brophy, will offer their take on using Flying Dog beer as a cooking ingredient. Their salon will include basic tips and techniques for cooking with beer, carbonation removal and reinfusion, spherification and the art of turning beer into finger food, and the balance of reduction and bitterness.
Concluding the salon is the world premiere of our first culinary collaboration beer with Voltaggio, which was brewed specifically to pair with the ever-changing, eclectic menu of VOLT, Voltaggio’s restaurant in Frederick, Maryland.
Our collaboration beer is still in the pilot stage. Further details on the beer, including the name and style, will be released closer to the event.
SAVOR will be held at the National Building Museum from 7:30 to 11 pm on both Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. In 2010, the event sold out in less than 24 hours, prompting the Brewers Association to expand the event to two nights. General admission tickets are $110 and tickets for individual salons are $30 each. Tickets go on sale to the public on Thursday, March 3. For more information, visit www.savorcraftbeer.com.
Here at Flying Dog, we stand for brewing extraordinary craft beer, standing tall, and not letting anyone make you eat shit.
As Maryland’s largest brewery, we are asking the People’s Republic of Flying Dog to take a stand against a movement to increase Maryland tax on alcoholic beverages (House Bill 121/Senate Bill 168).
The movement misrepresents a huge tax increase as “a dime a drink,” which makes consumers feel like their cost per drink would only increase by 10 cents.
That is not the case. That tax is set at the manufacturer level and will snowball once the product is distributed and sold at retail. Can you imagine paying an additional $2 for a 6-pack of Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale?!
In addition, this tax will lead to Maryland job losses. Neighboring states will gladly cater to Marylanders who cross state lines to save money. That will be easy, considering that 20 of Maryland’s 24 counties border another state. And here at Flying Dog, we employ over 60 Maryland residents and do not want to see that number decrease.
We ask that you now form an opinion and take a stand.
If you choose to stand against this bill, contact your Maryland representatives. Doing so will take 30 seconds.
- Go to www.SaveMyMDJob.com
- Click on “Send Your Legislator an Email Letter”
- Enter your zip code, email address, mailing address, and name (to verify you are a constituent)
- Click “Send Email Letter”
The default option is a prewritten letter. You may also choose to write your own.
The first hearing on this legislation is tomorrow (Feb. 23), so time is of the essence. We will be there in Annapolis and we want to carry your voices with us.
Thank you, loyal citizens. As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Good people drink good beer.”
The term El Dorado has Spanish roots, and is translated to mean “The Golden One.” Metaphorically, El Dorado has been used to describe an ultimate prize that one might spend one’s life seeking — sometimes referring to wealth, success, love, or true happiness.
Call off the dogs, because your search for search for such a prize is over. Introducing our latest Wild Dog series release: Single Hop Imperial IPA with El Dorado.
In 2010, a mere 1.5 acres of El Dorado hops were harvested by our grower. Despite such a small quantity, our Brewmaster Matt Brophy fell in love with its dried fruit (think apricot and pineapple) aroma.
With overwhelming citrus hop aroma and uniquely sharp, yet sweet, hop bitterness, this beer is what hop heads have spent their whole lives searching for.
It is being released this month on draft in the mid-Atlantic. Enjoy the ride, oh Golden One.
Whether Valentine’s Day makes your heart flutter or shudder, we’ve got you covered with some badass events planned over the next few days.
Guys, does having teeth pulled sound more appealing than finding a present for your Valentine? Then stop by Silk & Burlap on Patrick Street Friday, February 11. We’ll be sampling our Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA and Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale from 6 to 9 pm to ease the pain.
We’re taking over each and every draft line and cursing all things heart-shaped Saturday, February 12 at Hollow Creek. In addition to the usual lineup, we’ll have Coffee Stout, Horn Dog Barleywine, and our Spring Seasonal Garde Dog Biere de Garde.
Ever heard of a little thing called Liquid Courage? Gear up for the big day with our Gonzo Imperial Porter and Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA. Starting at 6 pm, the first 50 people get to keep their pint glass.
Limited-edition releases, like our new Single Hop Imperial IPA with El Dorado, Horn Dog Barleywine, and Lucky SOB Irish Red, will be paired with small plates. Cheap and easy, just like your Valentine (hopefully).
Love is in the air at T-Bonz with a Flying Dog beer dinner, with world-class beer paired with four awesome courses. You’ll quickly find that the way to your Valentine’s heart is through their stomach. Dinner is just $75 per couple and starts at 7 pm.
And if you’re planning on not leaving the house for the next few days (we hear that love is contagious), be sure to stock up on our Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA. It was voted one of the best beers to drink alone on Valentine’s Day!
Lucky SOB is an Irish Red for those whose lives always fall into place…and also for the rest of us who curse those blessed bastards.
Brewed with real four-leaf clovers, it is perfectly poised to bring the “Luck of the Irish” to those who drink it. With a rich amber color, its toasted and honey malt flavors are balanced with a subtle hop bite. Not to mention that its clean and refreshing finish is the perfect accompaniment to chants of “Erin Go Braugh.”
As our brewers added the four-leaf clovers to the brew, they recited the following limerick:
Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and an honest one,
A cold beer and another one!
We’ll certainly raise a glass to that.
Lucky SOB Irish Red is a draft-only limited-release for the mid-Atlantic area. Our hometown premiere will be this Thursday from 4 to 7 pm at Bushwaller’s Irish Pub in downtown Frederick, Maryland.