March 25, 2008

Flying Dog's Maryland Connection

It's deep.

Flying Dog is a Denver, Colorado brewer (one of our nation's beer capitals, more on that later) brewing in the spirit of Gonzo --- Hunter S. Thompson.

Long time friend, neighbor and co-conspirator of Flying Dog owner George Stranahan, Hunter was a large influence on George's life and subsequently on the creation of the Flying Dog brand; whether it was riding motorcycles, blowing shit up, or just getting a good, old-fashioned drunk on at the Woody Creek Tavern. These two were fast friends long before Flying Dog Brewery was even a thought. When George opened up shop in Aspen, Hunter would have been one of his best customers; if he had ever paid his tab.

Hunter's greatest contribution to Flying Dog is, of course, introducing George Stranahan to another long-time friend of his, Ralph Steadman. The Gonzo artist creates all of Flying Dog's signature labels.
Putting Thompson aside for a moment, Flying Dog is one of the bigger names in craft brewing with a national distribution. What I didn't realize until tonight was that they produce their full line of beers out of Wild Goose Brewing's Frederick facility. That's good news for Maryland beer consumers everywhere.

I must confess I haven't tried much of Flying Dog's lineup (yet). They were actually one of the rare national craft brewers of reliable distribution while I was living in the Florida panhandle. However, what I usually saw on the shelves was their Pale and Golden ales. Ho hum. I love Stone Brewing but it's hard to get excited about their Pale Ale, even though it's a good one. Same goes for those two, although Flying Dog clearly has enough self-respect to produce a dizzying line of other beers.

In other words, add them to the list of beers on my mental shopping list. Talking to Summer of Beer's Steve tonight he mentioned several quality brews they produce so now I'll be on the lookout for them in store shelves. Plus the Frederick facility isn't tooooooo far, maybe I can pair a stop over there with a stop at Brewer's Alley and Wild Goose (also in Frederick).

Many thanks to Flying Dog's own Creative Manager Josh for alerting me to this news. Josh also sends along this video of MojoHD's "Beer Nutz" visiting Flying Dog. Synergy, folks.

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