Jan

29

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Last night, we raised our glasses to our 25th anniversary and Tropical Bitch, a spin on the Belgian-Style IPA you already know and love. And because a good beer makes us so damn nostalgic, we hosted a Q&A session with our head honchos: CEO Jim Caruso, COO and Brewmaster Matt Brophy and CMO Ben Savage — so they could reflect on 25 years of Flying Dog. 

You submitted your questions via social media and now, they have now been answered. You can catch it on Periscope until 6:30 pm tonight. Or if reading is your jam, check out our recap below: 

Jon S. asked on Facebook: Who came up with the original idea of a Tropical version of Raging Bitch and how long did it take to find the right fit of hops to get it to where you were happy with the outcome?

Matt: It’s a very common question that we get — “Where do the ideas for the beers come from?” — and the answer is really all over. We have a great creative brewery team, and that’s everyone brewers, admin, marketing…that lead us years ago to establish our Brewhouse Rarities program. That’s where anybody in the organization can pitch a beer concept to their peers and then our selection committee chooses what will be brewed the following year. Now for Tropical Bitch, it was a product of our R&D team. That group meets every week to discuss what types of beers we’re interested in developing. We started playing with the Tropical Bitch concept several months ago with pilots on our 15-barrel pilot brewery.  

Gloria asked on Facebook: What has it been like working with Ralph Steadman for all of these years?

Jim: One of the favorite moments in my life was receiving the first two transparencies from Ralph for Doggie Style and Road Dog labels. And they just cracked us up. Ralph is not only a creative genius, he’s also the one true artist in the world. He’s the most principled person. He’s generous. He’s ethical. It was love at first sight and a blessing to know and work with Ralph. 

Steven asked on Facebook: If you could describe Flying Dog in three words, what would they be?

Ben: One word that rises to the top nowadays is INDEPENDENT. It means a lot to everyone in this brewery and it means even more given the landscape of what’s happening in beer right now with bigger breweries buying up smaller breweries. It’s getting harder and harder to understand what’s independent and what’s not. Another one would be CREATIVE. Matt alluded to the fact that all good ideas can come from anywhere in the brewery, from accountants to HR to marketing to brewers. We get ideas from everywhere and not every brewery acts like that. We’re really proud of it. The third would be UNAPOLOGETIC. Some people use words like irreverent and gonzo, but it’s true for us because we do what we want. We don’t listen to focus groups. We don’t listen to the media. We don’t listen to the masses to decide what beers we want to do. And that’s what drives us everyday. 

@naptownpint asked on Facebook: As you look at the success of Flying Dog, what’s one piece of advice you’d give breweries who are looking to build something that is sustainable and scalable as a business?

Matt: Having a quality product is extremely important. I would start with that.

Jim: A lot of my friends view the brewery business as the next “get rich quick scheme.” Nothing is as easy as it looks on the other side of things. If you’re not willing to dedicate yourself 24/7 and willing to quit everything else to be an entrepreneur any business — including this business — don’t get into it. But once you get into it, it is more fun than anything you could ever imagine. 

Ben: Building off of what Jim said, I think authenticity is really important. I would encourage anyone who’s starting a brewery right now to understand what you want to be and what you stand for before you get into it because there’s a lot of noise out there and there’s a lot of people starting breweries for the wrong reasons. Do it for the right reasons, have the right motives and be authentic about it. Otherwise, craft consumers are smart and they’ll sniff out impostors pretty quickly. 

Matt: I think there’s 4,500 breweries in the country right now with 6,000 by the end of the year…maybe more. One of the things we’re blessed with is talented people. I hope that talent exists at all of these breweries to successfully bring good craft beer to market. 

@cteeput asked on Twitter: What’s the status of the new brewery on Bowman Farm Road?

Jim: We have a great piece of land, 32 acres. The City of Frederick has been exceptionally helpful. We’re working with closely with the FAA because we’re next to an airport. We are quite optimistic and hopeful we’ll be starting the actual project management and engineering this summer. 

@vaw310 asked on Instagram: What’s your favorite beer that you’ve developed here?

Matt: That’s almost an impossible question to answer. But I can tell you that when I started back in 2003, our Snake Dog IPA didn’t exist like it does today. It was actually an English-style IPA. I was at the time, and still am, in love with the hop variety Columbus. I introduced that to Snake Dog and it completely changed the beer. To this day, it’s still my go-to beer. 

@m.d.burke asked on Instagram: Why not can Doggie Style? 

Ben: We always joke because marketing is one of those functions where everyone is an expert. I get hit up all of the time with “You know what you should do…” There’s actually nothing saying that we won’t can Doggie. We’re introducing two new can styles this year: Bloodline and Numero Uno. The reason we’re not expanding that any further because we have some limitations from a production standpoint. There’s a canned beer customer out there who we want to appeal to, but we’re a bottle brewery, not a canned brewery, so we have to be careful about what beers we introduce into cans. 

Anthony F. asked on Facebook: I love all your beers. Any chance of importing some to Japan?

Ben: Yes, there is a chance. We are expanding our export program. We’re in about 17 countries, mostly in Europe, and growing. But we just sent our first shipment to China and are looking at Thailand and Australia. We haven’t looked into Japan, but there’s no real reason why we haven’t. I think Brophy and I would love to go to Tokyo and check it out. 

From the audience: What drove you guys to leave Denver and move to Frederick?

Jim: Growth and expansion. We were Colorado’s second largest brewery and we needed a bigger brewery. This facility was available, and our growth had been East Coast for many years. We were the first brewery to move across the country and reestablish ourselves. We have now sold more beer in the State of Maryland in 2014 than we did in 48 states and 25 countries five years ago. So we re-identified ourselves and we were the first craft brewery to do that. At the time, a lot of people didn’t think we had a chance in hell to pull it off. 

From the audience: What’s your vision, Jim, for the next 25 years of Flying Dog?

Jim: We’re a legacy brand. We’re private and closely held, so my vision is to keep building and growing. We’re in this for the love of beer and to have fun and to do the best we can to quench the thirst of craft beer drinkers. 

From Periscope: Jim, please finish the sentence: “Zip, zap…”

Jim: Zip a dee doo dah, zip a dee a. My, oh my, what a wonderful day! 

It is, indeed. 

Jan

26

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For years, she’s gone walking
2016 marks the 25th anniversary of Flying Dog, and to celebrate, we are launching our newest addition to the family, Tropical Bitch. A spin on the Belgian-Style IPA you already know and love, Tropical Bitch was brewed with pineapple, mango and passionfruit. 

When she passes, she lures you in
The last time we hit a major milestone (our 20th), we brought you Raging Bitch. While it may seem difficult to love two beers at one time, we think you will find room in your heart for both.

She never disappoints
Why Tropical? The Belgian yeast in Raging Bitch provides huge tropical fruit aromas and flavors. Playing that up was a natural progression for our genius brewers. In Tropical Bitch, these juicy fruits boost that yeast character and are met with a slightly sweet, yet bitter, hop character.

Tall and tan and young and lovely
Be the first to try Tropical Bitch at the brewery this Thursday, January 28 from 3 to 8 pm. At 6 pm, we’re hosting a special Q&A with the honchos — Brewmaster and COO Matt Brophy, CEO Jim Caruso and CMO Ben Savage — to give them the chance to get nostalgic on the past 25 years. 

You smile
Have a question for our head honchos you want answered? Even if you can’t make it to the brewery on Thursday, send your Q’s our way via Twitter, Facebook or InstagramThen, tune in for a live Periscope broadcast of the Q&A session on Thursday at 6 pm.

With a swing so cool and a sway so gentle, you’ll give your heart gladly
Look for Tropical Bitch everywhere Flying Dog is sold for a limited time beginning February 1. Follow the #tropicalbitch tag wherever you spend your time on social media to see where it’s being poured and sold near you. And if that isn’t going fast enough, try our Beer Finder.

Jan

24

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It’s Beer Can Appreciation Day. In celebration of 80 years since the first canned beer, served by the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company, we are pleased to announce additions to our canned offerings in 2016. The new lineup includes Bloodline Blood Orange Ale and Numero Uno Summer Cerveza. They’ll join the ranks of Snake Dog IPA and Easy IPA, both of which have a refreshing new look. These bad boys will look great in your hand AND reduce noise when you make that late-night trek to the recycling bin. 

Happy Canniversary! (Could. Not. Resist.)

Jan

20

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Did someone say half-day? Yes. We did. We vote that you should put in a solid morning at the office before taking a lunch break you don’t intend on returning from, and make your way to the brewery. You deserve it. You’ve waited all year, through countless debates, lots of ch-ch-changes and the highs and lows of another season in the books. Now your patience has paid off. The 2016 releases of our bourbon and our rum Barrel-Aged Gonzo is finally here.

Our bourbon Barrel-Aged Gonzo spent the last few months aging in A. Smith Bowman barrels from our friends in Fredericksburg, VA 90 miles south of the brewery. As a result of the aging, you will pick up vanilla notes from the oak and soft whiskey warmth in addition to robust roast, chocolate, and coffee malt character. 

We will also have rum Barrel-Aged Gonzo for the second year so you can continue to add to your rum diary. You’ll note the inviting island smell when you uncork this beast. This beer is perfect to stand on its own as an after-dinner drink – a craft beer alternative to brown spirits in the study.

It all goes down on Monday February 8th from 12pm-8pm. The tasting room will be open for tours and samples, flights, growlers and more at our Barrel-Aged Gonzo. release party.

2016 Barrel-Aged Gonzo purchases are limited to one per style, per person. Vintage Rum Barrel-Aged Gonzo 2015 will also be available. Supply of these beers is limited, so get here early to get your hands on it. Availability is not guaranteed once the release begins. Doors will open at noon.

Jan

8

Hungry Harvest

To the uninitiated, you may not know that we are not big fans of waste. Our spent grain goes to local farmers and fed to their livestock, and we recycle more than just glass and cardboard. 

We also like to team up with others who feel the same way, which is why partnering with Hungry Harvest made us feel like a natural woman. The company, based in Columbia, MD is guided by two beliefs:

1. Every person has the right to eat healthy.

2. No food should go to waste.

We like that line of thinking and we are excited to celebrate their appearance on a reality show that doesn’t feature Donald Trump (Shark Tank) this evening. Tune into ABC tonight at 9 pm to watch the newest episode where Hungry Harvest will pitch their “ugly” produce subscription service. Until then, learn more about there mission here. 

 

Jan

5

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It’s a new year. Some people get excited about resolutions and throwing out awkward family calendars from the year before. We get that same bright, optimistic, anything-is-possible feeling about the upcoming releases of our Brewhouse Rarities.

What are the Brewhouse Rarities? Glad you asked. Each July, the entire brewery gathers and teams of our staff — from production to accounting to sales and marketing — pitch their ideas for the next year’s lineup. This series of limited-edition brews shatter the confines of traditional beer styles and, in the words of the Good Doctor Hunter S. Thompson, are “too weird to live, too rare to die.”

The 2016 Brewhouse Rarities series kicks off with Tropical Stout. With this beer, our sales manager, Heather, was inspired by two types of seasonality: Warming her toes by the fire and envisioning those same little piggies under the sun of the tropics. The result is a blend of roasted malt, juicy pineapple and toasted coconut that will replace any drink that requires a mini umbrella. 

Want to try it straight from the source? Join us this Thursday in our tasting room.

Can’t make it to the brewery? Use our Beer Finder to track this beer down near you.

 

Dec

26

Our Single Hop Imperial IPAs showcase the most rare and interesting hop varieties, something all too apparent with HBC-291. It’s so new, it doesn’t even have a name. And this juicy little number proves that a hop without a name smells and tastes just as sweet. HBC-291 hits the shelves January 1, so stock up, because parting is such sweet sorrow.

SH_HBC-291_Promo_Web

2016 will feature three additional Single Hop creations including: 

  • Ella in April
  • Nugget in July
  • Azacca in October

All of our Single Hop Imperial IPAs will be available on draft and in 6-packs in all markets where Flying Dog is sold. As each release nears, check our Beer Finder to track them down near you. 

Dec

11

The 2015 Naughty & Nice Photo Competition

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Maybe you have also been making some lists. Maybe you have also checked them twice. If so, we want to see your idea of what is naughty and what is nice. So in the spirit of the season of giving, we are hosting a Naughty and Nice photo competition. Here’s the deal:

 

The Rules

  • The contest runs from December 11th at 10:30am until December 25th at 11:59pm e.s.t.
  • In order to qualify you must submit your photo by posting to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
  • YOU MUST TAG FLYING DOG in the post.
    • Facebook – @flyingdog
    • Twitter – @flyingdog
    • Instagram – @flyingdogbrewery
  • You must use the hashtag #NaughtyNice
  • The picture should include your depiction of something naughty & something nice as well as each of the respective Flying Dog beers.
  • Layouts/montages are accepted (it doesn’t have to be a single photo, it can be multiple photos)
  • You must be the legal owner of the photo(s)
  • We will reply to let you know you have been entered when we have seen your photo. This may take up to 24 hours.
  • Winners will be announced Monday December 28th at 2pm.

Prizes – Because we know you aren’t doing this for nothing.

1st place $50 gift card
2nd place $25 gift card
3rd place $15 gift card

Gift cards can be used on our webstore or in our brewery gift shop (For merchandise only, no can do on beer. Sorry, it’s the law.)
Winners will be selected by a team of very judgmental Flying Dog employees.

DO NOT INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING

  1. Anything that will land you in Judge Judy’s courtroom.
  2. Dick Pics
  3. Bad Photoshop usage
  4. Anyone under the age of 21
  5. A cardboard cutout of Nicolas Cage… OK, you can include a Nicolas Cage cutout

Dec

8

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You’re Naughty if…

…you came out of the womb knowing that the jolly fat man and his goddamn list is all a hoax to hold you down. Not only do you eat pieces of shit like Kimye for breakfast, you gorge on those bad boys for lunch, dinner and a midnight snack. You stand close to the fire because you like to get burned. 

With this beer, we were a little Naughty, too. Go nuts with this Belgian-Style Dark Ale brewed with cinnamon, star anise, orange peel and habanero peppers for a bold mix of heat, citrus and spice. 

And you’re Nice if…

…”do unto others” isn’t just a motto, it’s a way of life. When you smile and nod, you’re actually listening — like processing-what-someone-is-saying-to-you-and-thinking-of-a-thoughtful-response kind of listening. And this time of year is the season for giving and you’ve done just that. 

Your niceties have not gone unnoticed. Now it’s time for you to receive. Nice is a Golden Ale that pays homage to its Belgian predecessors with a fruity aroma (from both hops and yeast) and a sweet, yet crisp, finish. 

Nov

2

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The Holiday Collection Returns  

Last year’s premiere of Otterbein’s Cookie-inspired craft beers changed the way us Marylanders prepare for (and deal with) the holiday season. This year, we’re releasing four brand-new beers for four beer-and-cookie combos that will blow your mind:

  • Citrus Saison with Sugar Cookies
  • Belgian Pale Ale with Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cranberry IPA with Lemon Cookies
  • Fig and Fennel Stout with Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

And because you’ve all been good boys and girls, we’re expanding distribution into Washington, DC and Northern Virginia. Be the first to try all four beer-and-cookie pairings this Thursday, November 5 in our tasting room. 

Upcoming Events 

Make room for a little me time this holiday season and spend it in the company of artisanal beer and cookies. This list will be updated through the end of December, so keep checking back and checking in. 

Find It Near You

The Holiday Collection is limited in distribution and production, so it will likely fly off shelves faster than it hits them. Let us help you while you help us track it down: 

Social Media. That’s right, good, old-fashioned crowdsourcing. You already post photos of your culinary conquests, check in on Untappd, and like the 1,273rd photo posted of your niece’s 3rd birthday, so why not share your beer and cookie findings with the world? Search for and use #BeerAndCookies on Instagram, and Twitter for the latest locations. 

Beer Finder. Our website is able to pull inventory from your favorite watering holes every 30 days, so locations that have The Holiday Collection are available on our Beer Finder. Since this isn’t real-time data, we always recommend calling first to check on availability. 

Then, head over to the Otterbein’s Bakery website for more information on their cookies and where you can get your hands on some. 

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