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Chef Josh Brown and Beverage Director Tommy Burns hosted an evening of “Modern Comfort,” featuring their elevated American gastropub fare, innovative cocktails, and (let me clear my throat) beer from yours truly.
Because the beer choices were deliberate and delicious, we asked Tommy to walk us through his choices. First up was a beer cocktail made with Tropical Bitch, rhubarb, vanilla, lemon and Bluecoat Gin.
Q: Why did you choose to serve a beer cocktail over a traditional cocktail?
A: Our inspiration for the recipe was to showcase the versatility of the beer not only as a base but also as a modifier through different uses in syrups and hopped juices. We wanted to serve a beer cocktail because we believe it’s a underutilized ingredient in cocktails that allows for so much flexibility in uses through flavor, carbonation, and aroma.
Next up was Single Hop Imperial IPA with HBC-291 paired with a White Asparagus Bisque with California Paddlefish Caviar and Fried Parsley.
Q: Wine people say that no wine can pair with asparagus. And fancy wine people call that “The Asparagus Conundrum.” What about our HBC-291 appealed to you as an answer to that?
A: First off, the asparagus conundrum doesn’t transfer over to beer the way it does for wine. In my experience with wine, it’s been a fine fit for most citrusy, floral, and herbaceous white wines yet the pairing never seemed to bring out the best from both sides. When pairing asparagus and beer, there are nuances of flavor from both the asparagus and the beer that are more than just vegetal.
The HBC-291 was appealing for a few different reasons, and not just for the hop presence. The rye in the malt bill lends grassy and herbal notes that brought out a lot of flavor from the bisque. The use of a Single Hop varietal beer is going to give the taster a very distinct focus as to where interpretations of aroma and flavor are coming from. The HBC-291 hop itself and asparagus share similarities of earthiness and floral aromas that make it an ideal pairing.
Our goal was to have a beer that could standup to a rich white asparagus bisque without overwhelming the palate with purely dry bitterness. We wanted the hops to shine through and have a balanced IPA that would to clean and refresh the palate to start off a multi-course meal.
And that it did. You can check out the full menu, and upcoming events at the James Beard House, here. Just grab a napkin to dab that drool.
Your Gore-Tex has served another season, shovels are heading to the back of the shed and the lawnmower is hungry for action. We’re damn ready for warmer weather and, of course, the decadence and depravity of Triple Crown season. Historically, horse racing also means cocktails, and any mixologists will tell you that a well-crafted Mint Julep is a labor of love that requires precision and patience. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a Mint Julep Ale for our next Brewhouse Rarities release.
To achieve the unique flavor profile of a Mint Julep in a beer, we began with a blonde ale and added mint leaves and honeysuckle, which lend themselves to the bourbon flavor. This 6% ale finishes with a smooth, subtle sweetness that just might lead you to adopt the term y’all and spend more time on the front porch in a rocking chair.
Alongside our Mint Julep Ale, we are also releasing the next member of the Single Hop Imperial IPA Series: Ella. As with all of our Single Hops, it clocks in at 8% ABV and has the same grist bill, allowing our brewers to showcase all that each hop has to offer. Ella is a sister to Galaxy and brings a unique blend of spice, floral and tropical fruit aroma and flavor.
You can be among the first to try both of these limited releases in our tasting room on Friday, April 1 from 3-8 pm. If you want bonus points, wear your most elaborate Derby hat. And show up early; we’ll have a commemorative Mint Julep cup available for purchase with your first draft for a limited time.
If you can’t make it to the party, check our Beer Finder for availability near you after both beers hit the market on April 4.
You may remember Chef Jeff Eng of Tower Oaks Lodge from the show “Chopped” or from his extraordinary work in our first Dead Rise Cookbook, where he crafted the magical Chesapoutine, which has changed countless lives.
He hasn’t stopped there. He’s been in the kitchen perfecting a pairing for our 25th anniversary beer, Tropical Bitch. Royal Bass Crudo with tostones, passion fruit, ikura and pickled fish peppers is expertly designed to compliment the dominant aromas and flavors of pineapple, mango and passionfruit in Tropical Bitch.
This pairing is currently available at Tower Oaks Lodge, but only for a limited time, so make reservations or drop in and enjoy the pairing this weekend. If you are feeling brave in the kitchen, Eng has also provided the recipe for you to try at home. He offers advice in regards to preparing the dish, “If you can’t find Royal Bass, feel free to substitute with any other white firm-fleshed fish or even high grade tuna loin. It is very important to find the freshest fish possible, but especially when eating it raw as in this recipe. Find a fish market that you trust and develop a relationship with the fishmonger; they will not steer you wrong. This recipe will also work fine with a cooked piece of fish or seafood!”
Royal Bass Crudo
2 ounces Royal Bass
3 tostones (recipe below)
1 tablespoon passionfruit puree
1 teaspoon ikura (seasoned salmon roe)
½ teaspoon herb oil (recipe below)
Pinch micro greens
Pinch Maldon sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Spread passionfruit puree and herb oil onto a plate. Place filleted fish on top, topping with ikura, micro greens, salt and pepper. Serve with tostones on the side.
3 green plantains
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- Peel and slice plaintains into ¾-1” thick slices.
- Soak in a mixture of 2 cups cold water, a teaspoon of Kosher salt and a tablespoon of adobo sauce from a can of chipotles for an hour.
- Drain and fry the plantains in small batches.
- While still warm, smash with a plate or the bottom of a glass.
- Fry again until crispy and season with Kosher salt and pepper.
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 bunches Italian parsley
2 bunches chives
1 bunch tarragon
- Puree extra virgin olive oil and herbs in a blender until smooth and bright green.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small pot.
- Bring to a simmer, you will see some of the solids float to the top and some will sink to the bottom and start to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Strain through cheesecloth into an ice bath to cool rapidly and lock in the bright green color.
We may never send a team to the Final Four or have a fancy quad…or gymnasium…for streaking, but here at Flying Dog University, our curriculum revolves around beer.
Our faculty is always looking for new ways to connect our love of beer to the world around us through our elective program. On Thursday, March 24, join us for an elective on Beer & Charcuterie and explore Flying Dog beer paired with artisanal charcuterie, a classic combination that few meat lovers can resist.
We’re bringing the experts from Meatcrafters for a class that will teach you how some of the best salamis and sausages are made while drawing parallels to the brewing process. The class will conclude with a guided beer and cured meat pairing. Spots are limited, so register now.
Want more? Join us this spring for our core curriculum, which is a three-week exploration of how beer is made, how we experience beer and how beer interacts with food:
- Beer 101: Craft Beer Basics A rigorous exploration of the history of beer, the brewing process and the four ingredients in beer. Register now for Beer 101 on:
- Beer 201: Advanced Brewing Techniques An in-depth look at how advanced brewing processes, like dry hopping and using unique ingredients, affect the end beer. Register now for Beer 201 on:
- Beer 301: Beer and Food– A breakdown of how beer interacts with food by comparing beer and wine and reviewing tips on pairing beer with food, storing and aging beer and cooking with beer. Register now for Beer 301 on:
The next beer Sub Rosa Series of tasting room-exclusive releases is an Aronia Berry Belgian Blonde Ale. Like the Orchard Ale that came before it, this is another collaboration with the crew at Distillery Lane Ciderworks who grew and pressed the aronia berries used in this unique creation.
Have no idea what an aronia berry is? You’re not alone. The aronia berry packs a one-two punch of tart cranberry and pomegranate with rich earthiness. The pucker factor is strong with these guys, which is why they’re also known as chokeberries.
Always up for our challenge (and a clever nickname), our brewers loved the idea of working with such a distinct flavor profile. The sweet, yet crisp and clean, malt of a traditional Belgian Blonde perfectly balances out the tartness. Aronia berries are deep purple in color, which resulted in a gorgeous ruby red body and a frothy pink head.
As with all of our Sub Rosa releases, the Aronia Berry Belgian Blonde Ale is available exclusively in our tasting room. It premieres this Friday, and will only be available for a limited time. Until then, get up close and personal with our Sub Rosa series:
Jim and Pam. Forest and Jenny. Snoop and Mary Jane. For our brewers, that couple that makes us all weak in the knees is Mango and Habanero.
The combination of sweet mango and bold habanero pepper has always been a favorite in casks of Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA, which inspired one brewer in particular to pitch a Mango Habanero IPA for our Brewhouse Rarities series.
Brewhouse Rarities Mango Habanero IPA was released in February 2014 and flew off the shelves faster than we could brew it. We’re no psychics, but we took that as a sign that you wanted more. And after running it as a tasting room throwback late last year, our imaginary crystal ball was clear that this Mango Habanero IPA was ready to graduate to our year-round roster. Giving it a name that invokes the feeling of conquering an invading tribe, we now bring you Fever Dream.
Fever Dream showcases a beautiful trifecta of fruit, heat and tropical fruit-forward hops. The balance of spicy and sweet that has been expertly dialed in, with the heat factor falling into the category where you can enjoy a few pints, rather than just one. We recommend trying this with your favorite Thai foods and curry, or on it’s own if food isn’t your thing.
We are shipping this bad boy out to the world on Leap Day, so check our BEER FINDER the week of March 7 to find it near you. If you can’t wait that long, come to our tasting room release party on February 26 from 3-8 pm.
A beer like Tropical Bitch just screams for a badass mixologist come in and show it who’s boss.
If putting close to zero effort in is more your style, time to plan a night out in Naptown.
Developed by Paul Martin at LEVEL
2 oz Tropical Bitch
0.75 oz gin
0.5 oz aperol
0.5 oz velvet falernum
0.75 fresh lemon juice
Serve shaken over a large ice cube and garnish with one blackberry and lemon twist.
Developed by John Miller at VIDA
Step 1. Do a shot of Serrano Pepper-infused El Jimador Tequila
Step 2. Chase it with pineapple juice
Step 3. Sip on Tropical Bitch
Run Bitch Run
Developed by John Miller at VIDA
1oz Illegal mezcal
.25 runny honey(1:1water honey)
Shaken, pour ice add 5 oz tropical bitch in tiki glass
We’re looking out the window and can’t help but think that groundhog is a dirty little liar. So let’s turn up the heat.
This Thursday marks the premiere of our new Heat Series, which explores the distinct type of spice — from smoky sweetness to four-alarm fire — individual peppers impart on beer. 2016 will feature:
- Oaked Chipotle Ale (in our tasting room Thursday and on shelves by February 22): The smoky spice of whole chipotle peppers meets toasted oak with hints of chicory and roasted malt.
- Ancho Lime Paradise Lager (on shelves by May 15): Mild earthy spice invigorates a crisp, clean lager that finishes with a refreshing splash of lime.
- Carolina Reaper Peach IPA (on shelves by August 15): This recently-deemed “hottest pepper in the world” has a very slight sweetness that is met with fresh peach and bold juicy fruit hops.
- Jalapeño White Ale (on shelves by November 15): The fresh heat of the Jalapeño enhances the traditional Belgian wit elements of orange and coriander.
Most of our brewers are hot heads as well as hop heads, so they wanted to ensure each of the Heat Series beers came to the table with a different sensory experience. Oaked Chipotle Ale has a great savory and smoky quality to it with just the right amount of heat. Like any beer we brew with outside ingredients, it’s all about balance.
So tell Phil to shove it and make your way out to the brewery for the Heat Series Oaked Chipotle Ale release party on Thursday from 3-8 pm. DC 101’s Roche will be broadcasting live and To Meat or Not To Meat will offer a menu that (you guessed it) appeals to carnivores and vegans alike.
Not a morning person?
Have you ever committed an act of violence against your alarm clock? Do you wish that first cup of coffee could be enjoyed in bed, with a hearty side of some goddamn peace and quiet? We have the beer for you: Cold Press Coffee Porter. The second of our 2016 staff-pitched Brewhouse Rarities series, this brew’s rich coffee flavors have a delicate bourbon, chocolate and dried fruit profile that is guaranteed to be the best part of waking up. The Sumatra blend (roasted by One Village in Pennsylvania) we used was first introduced to the beer’s creators – a sales team trifecta of Erin, Brian and Nate – by Bean Rush Cafe in Annapolis.
Why Cold Press?
There is a growing faction among us that fervently believe cold-brew coffee is the best way to enjoy coffee. Cold-brewing takes away most of the acidity that’s typically imparted by high heat, which was a perfect fit for Erin, Brian and Nate’s goal of crafting a more delicate and sessionable coffee beer that could be enjoyed into the warmer months.
Enjoy it straight from the source in our tasting room Thursday through Sunday or use our Beer Finder to track it down near you.
Are you the new kid on the block? We have spent the week posting DIY recipes from Chef Niko of Roasthouse Pub that we are confident you can make and be proud to show your mom the results. The recipes are made with, and pair with Flying Dog. Download all of our Super Bowl Recipes
Our sixth and final Super Bowl recipe, Roasthouse General Tso’s Wings, is the ultimate game changer. These pocket sized meat sticks pack some serious flavor and they only get better when you wash them down with a Bloodline Blood Orange Ale. Do yourself a favor, make this recipe or get it in the hands of someone you trust who can cook and be incredibly nice to them.
Watch this video so you can claim you are an expert.
Now that you are an expert, head to the kitchen and change some lives.
If you have set fire to the last three kitchens you cooked in, we still have you covered. Chef Niko will whip this up just for you. Stop in to the Roasthouse Pub on Sunday and order this treat off the specials menu.