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Three months in whiskey barrels from A. Smith Bowman Distillery of Fredericksburg, Virginia infuses our Gonzo Imperial Porter with vanilla notes from the oak and soft whiskey warmth, adding layers of complexity to its already-robust chocolate, coffee and roast character.
It’s released only once a year. And this year, it’s got company.
Introducing Barrel-Aged St. EADman. A beautiful blend of dark fruit, toffee, caramel and clove and cinnamon spice, our Abbey Ale – which pays homage to the last of the original Gonzo visionaries – was aged for three months in French Oak red wine barrels.
Our tasting room is the only place you can get 750 ml bottles of each. Quantities are limited and will sell out. So on Monday, February 5, we’ll see you at noon…because you already know you’re calling out sick anyway.
Ralph Steadman is coming to America. A Retrospective – Ralph Steadman, a massive collection of over 60 years of Ralph’s work, opens tonight at the Society of Illustrators in New York and will be on display until October 22.
Ralph’s incredible range is out in full force: His early political cartoons (most still socially relevant today), his lauded work with Hunter S. Thompson, his children’s books and everything in between. This collection is one of the largest exhibitions of his work ever and the first time the Society of Illustrators has dedicated the entire gallery to one artist.
We got a sneak preview last night. While we’ve been working with Ralph since 1995, we will never outgrow our awe of his depth, relevance, and (of course) his weirrd. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take it all in at once.
See how deep the rabbit hole goes with an incredible schedule of collaborative events and programs centered around the exhibit:
- September 10, Proud to be Weirrd: The Life and Art of Ralph STEADman
- September 22, Gonzo Sketch Night
- September 29, Screening of “For No Good Reason,” a documentary on Ralph’s life and work
- October 6, Multiple Mediums Concert with Relix Magazine
- October 14, Can Art Affect Social Change? panel discussion
- October 15, Live Skype session with Ralph Steadman
This Saturday, we’re saddling up for the Kentucky Derby with the perfect libation in hand: Brewhouse Rarities Mint Julep Ale. While we don’t have a horse in the race, the depravity of our Derby dates back to the start of Gonzo journalism when Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman gave the world “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” If reading isn’t your thing, you can catch the story of their first meeting and the debauchery that ensued in the ESPN 30-for-30 short Gonzo @ The Derby.
If you realize you look way too good to stay at home in that Derby dress or seersucker suit, there are a number of Derby parties we recommend gracing with your presence including:
- May 6: Barrel-Aged Mint Julep Release at Dry 85 in Annapolis
- May 7: Derby Viewing Party at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in DC
- May 7: Derby Viewing Party at The Corner Stable in Columbia
- May 7: Derby Day at Vagabond in Atlantic City
- May 7: Kentucky Derby Fancy Hat Part at Mackenzie Pub in Minneapolis
Enjoy the greatest 2 minutes in sports with a Mint Julep Ale in hand. We’ll see you in the winner’s circle.
Forty-six years after Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman first joined forces with “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” a piece for the now out-of-print Scanlan’s Monthly, their first meeting and exploits are headed to the silver screen. ESPN will premiere a 13-minute 30-for-30 short entitled “Gonzo @ The Derby,” May 3 at 10 am on the world wide web at espn.com/30for30/shorts. The video will also air during the 6 pm edition of SportsCenter on May 6. If you like to read the book before the movie comes out, we highly recommend it, you can do so here.
As the story goes, Thompson was looking for a special kind of face that Steadman would sketch for the lead drawing, “I saw it, in my head, as the mask of the whiskey gentry — a pretentious mix of booze, failed dreams and a terminal identity crisis; the inevitable result of too much inbreeding in a closed and ignorant culture.” Steadman said later on, “We were the face of the crowd we’d gone there to find.”
This origin story, a favorite bedtime tale among our tribe, has the whole brewery abuzz. We hope you’re also allowed a few desk beers for emergency situations, and we would consider the viewing of this short to be one of them. We’ll be enjoying the greatest two minutes in sports with a Mint Julep Ale in hand but we’re keeping the Gonzo nearby for dessert. Tune in and travel down the rabbit hole, we’ll see you on the other side.
When Hunter S. Thompson died in 2005, we paid tribute the only way it knew how: A beer.
Gonzo is a deep, dark, and rich Imperial Porter with notes of chocolate, roast, and a swift kick of hop bitterness at the end – the latter something we knew the Good Doctor would appreciate.
And Ralph Steadman, Hunter’s partner in crime and pursuit of the American Dream, followed suit with a now-iconic illustration of a cigarette-smoking skeleton proclaiming “OK, let’s party,” which adorns each bottle of Gonzo Imperial Porter to this day.
Now, we’ve teamed up with our longtime label artist, who is 77 years old, on limited-edition double magnums (3-liter bottles) of Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter signed by Ralph himself.
Typically released once a year in 750-ml bottles in extremely limited supply, Barrel-Aged Gonzo is six months in the making, with the finished beer aged for a minimum of three months in oak whiskey barrels.The result is an even more complex flavor profile with vanilla notes from the oak and subtle and soothing whiskey warmth.
Only 100 double magnums were produced and signed by Ralph. Each bottle is sealed in wax and comes in a custom-fitted wooden display box branded with the Flying Dog logo. A numbered certificate of authenticity and pair of Flying Dog goblets are also included with each bottle.
These collector’s items are $500 each and on sale now exclusively at the Flying Dog Brewery gift shop*. All of the proceeds benefit The Gonzo Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to promote literature, journalism, and political activism through the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. It was established by Hunter’s wife, Anita Thompson, and is based at Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado.
* Due to Maryland state laws, we are unable to ship. Limit one per person.
Nowhere is the link between journalism and the visual arts more apparent than in the collaboration between Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman. The beautiful (and often blurry) Gonzo reality Thompson created through the written word was perfectly matched by the chaotic visual genius of Steadman in numerous books and articles for the likes of Rolling Stone Magazine, Playboy, and ESPN.
In honor of the duo’s groundbreaking relationship, we present The Gonzo Collection – reinterpretations and responses to Steadman’s work by some of today’s most notable contemporary artists.
Working with Woods Contemporary, curators based in Baltimore, we approached 30 artists — including Bob Dob, Nathan Spoor, Justin Bua, Nanami Cowdry, and Tatiana Suarez — to be a part of the collection.
Opening Saturday, October 12, The Collection will be shown in a series of events through the end of October at a pop-up gallery space in Belvedere Square (at 5911 York Road, across from the Senator Theater). A portion of sales from original art and limited-edition prints will benefit The Gonzo Foundation, a charity run by Hunter’s wife Anita.
The opening will feature live music by The Solicitors and will run from 7 to 10 pm. During Baltimore Beer Week (October 18-27), we will hold a special showing of The Gonzo Collection on Friday, October 25 with live music by The Manly Deeds.
For more information on the art, head over to The Gonzo Collection website.
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
Happy birthday, Hunter.
What do Zappos, Nordstrom, and Amazon all have in common? None of them carry Flying Dog condoms. And they are also notorious for offering an incredible online shopping experience.
We’re pretty passionate about customer satisfaction around here. Running a remarkable brewery starts with the beer, but it also extends to your experience on a tour, your interaction at a Flying Dog event, and (hopefully) filters all the way down to the Bat Wing-emblazoned shirt you wear on your back. We’re deeply proud of Ralph Steadman’s artwork and way he continues to reinvent his unique and indelible mark on our brand. His imagination and creativity is woven into every piece of clothing and accessory that bear our name.
Plus, we’d never expect you to buy anything we wouldn’t buy twelve of ourselves.
In keeping with that standard of excellence, we’ve spent the last six months updating our digital storefront to reflect our passion for creating an exceptional customer experience. We’ve reorganized our navigation, simplified our checkout, improved our backend fulfillment and consolidated our shipping rates. What didn’t change? Our commitment to quality assurance, order accuracy, and our seasonal offering of totally fucking awesome merchandise.
Take, for instance, the shirt celebrating the 75th anniversary of Gonzo and the Good Doctor Hunter S. Thompson. We burned through all our inventory in July because you guys love Dr. Gonzo as much as we do. So we decided to bring back a limited run of our Day in Bat Country T-shirts (men’s and women’s sizes S – XXL). This time, when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Basically, they’re like the Franklin Mint coins, only less expensive, more wearable, and arguably more valuable.)
Take a minute to peruse the site and familiarize yourself with the friendly faces of our Flying Dog staff who were neither starved nor man-handled in the modeling of this merchandise. Like what you see? Let us know. Want to see us carry something different? Let us know. Want us to produce some custom pajama jeans? We’re one step ahead of you.
So much of what we do is led by the wisdom and weirdness, insanity and hilarity of our Gonzo Godfathers — Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman, and George Stranahan. It runs through our veins. It talks to both the angel and devil on our shoulders. It gets us out of bed in the morning (and often keeps us up at night). And, most importantly, it never fades even as this ever-changing world keeps on spinning.
Hunter would have been 75 today. To quote his beloved wife, Anita: “We all miss Hunter more than a blog post can describe… Here’s to a beautiful new chapter, with Hunter in our hearts, with a future bright and right ahead of us.”
Happy birthday Hunter. We love you.
Gonzofest rule #103: At least two hours of sleep is essential prior to a very difficult day.
Gonzofest rule #104: Celebrate 75 years of Gonzo by looking like the man himself.
We all know that there’s no better way to commemorate something than with a pagan ritual involving blood-swapping, reptile sacrifice, and glow sticks. The second best way is a t-shirt.
Introducing the limited-edition “75 Years of Gonzo” t-shirt, which will only be for sale at Gonzofest Saturday, July 21 at the brewery:
If that likeness of the Good Doctor isn’t enough for you, we’re bringing back our Hunter S. Thompson look-a-like contest. The winner, voted on by the sick and twisted staff at Flying Dog, gets a VIP tour of the brewery for 20.