We believe that a true appreciation for craft beer requires insatiable curiosity. Whether you’re brewing it or drinking it, a continued education is the surest way to enrich your craft beer journey. This is the philosophy that compelled us to create Flying Dog University, and it’s the foundation of our newest higher beer education project: Night School.
In collaboration with Total Wine, Flying Dog University is brewing a series of beers to showcase and dissect the hottest trends in craft beer, and we’re sending FDU Professor Justin Tarnow to teach exclusive classes at select Total Wine locations in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.
We’ll kick off the first semester with Night School Hazy IPA. Check out the schedule below to find a class near you, and, in the immortal words of Miss Frizzle: “Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.”
Wednesday, August 22nd:
7:00 PM, Towson, MD (Beltway)
Thursday, August 23rd:
7:00 PM, Chantilly, VA
Wednesday, August 29th:
7:00 PM, Laurel, MD
Thursday, August 30th:
7:00 PM, Claymont, DE
Last week, we invited all of our sales and marketing mutts to an off-site summit of sorts. After receiving a vaguely-titled “Sales And Marketing Training” calendar invite, most of us were expecting a day featuring coffee, baked goods, and some of Ben Savage’s greatest PowerPoint hits.
Imagine our surprise when a stranger in a blue blazer herded us into a lopsided circle and informed us that we’d spend the rest of the morning learning about improv.
“I’m sorry, what?”
Shawn Westfall, Artistic Director at The Unified Scene and CEO of Commedia Partners, guided us through a handful of warmups while he explained how the basic principles of improv (escaping your ego for the good of the group, maintaining eye contact, etc.) could be applied to the “real world,” which, in our case, happens to be the world of brewing and selling amazing craft beer.
Highlights of our training session included a multi-faceted marketing plan for sponges…keto-friendly, sustainably-sourced sponges made specifically for giraffes and endorsed by Geoffrey himself (we could get him on the cheap since he’s recently unemployed) and Shawn conducting an orchestra of people with incredibly strong emotional responses to inanimate household items:
It was silly, revealing, easy and thoughtful all at the same time. Those who follow our brand know we’re always down to get a little weird, so seeing our team grow as John became more and more jealous of his microwave was just icing on the cake.
“Why are you so obsessed with me?”
When it comes to hop exploration, we don’t really have what some would refer to as “self-restraint.” It’s a projection-room-above-the-auditorium level fixation. Our Alpha Initiative series has led us so far down the rabbit hole that we’ve forgotten what daylight looks like, and Pilot #03 just locked the door behind us.
You see, we’re trying to make hop oils happen.
We’ve deconstructed some of our favorite hop varieties, isolating specific essential oils and mixing those flavors and aromas until they’re perfect. We take this stuff seriously, but we’re not as hardcore as Jelly Belly (they vaporize stuff so they can study its chemical makeup)…and we also didn’t invent the shittiest candy ever.
And when we talk about Alpha Initiative Pilot #03’s apricot, peach and stone fruit profile, we’re not bullshitting you like Lady Gaga’s Eau de bodily fluids. However, we cannot 100% guarantee the absence of brewmaster Ben Clark’s blood.*
Around here, we’re big proponents of the “fuck it, let’s try it” doctrine (or “YOLO” if you’re a cool mom), so #03 is far from the final hop frontier. As far as we’re concerned, the limit does not exist.
This experimental IPA is as delicate as it is delicious, so we’ve adjusted its date code accordingly. That means you’ve got about 90 days to stop by our tasting room or fire up the Beer Finder.
Ralph Steadman is one of the most influential artists of the last 50 years. But we don’t have to tell you that.
Beginning June 16, the Katzen Arts Center (on AU’s campus in DC) will have 108 original works by Ralph, taking you on a journey through his prolific career of more than sixty years, from the sketches he created as a student in the 1950’s to present-day works published as recently as 2017.
The retrospective showcases Ralph’s legendary collaborations with Hunter S. Thompson; his illustrated literary classics such as Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island; and the inventive books he authored, including I Leonardo and The Big I Am. There are also illustrations from his children’s books and the ORIGINAL ART for our Raging Bitch Belgian IPA.
The exhibition is free and open to the public, but you can go down the rabbit hole with us at the following events:
- Saturday, June 16: Opening Reception and Gallery Talk Featuring a live Q&A with Ralph, hosted by Anita O’Brien, the original curator of the exhibit. The opening reception is free, but an RSVP is required for the Gallery Talk.
- Thursday, June 21: Screening of “For No Good Reason” Made over the course of 15 years, “For No Good Reason” is a documentary on the life and art of Ralph, the last true Gonzo visionary. RSVP required.
- Saturday, June 30: Art on Tap with Ralph Bring your sketchbook and stay for a Skype interview with the artist himself. RSVP required.