Seventy-three years ago today, Hunter Stockton Thompson was born in Louisville, Kentucky.
A profound influence on Flying Dog founder George Stranahan’s life, Hunter and George were longtime friends in Woody Creek, Colorado.
In his recent book Phlogs: Journey to the Heart of the Human Predicament, George describes a dynamite-and-whiskey-filled afternoon with Hunter:
One of many lady friends left her Wagoneer behind Hunter’s house; perhaps thinking it would be there if she returned…The Wagoneer stayed through more than a winter, and one day Hunter called me and barked, “Bring down some dynamite — a lot of it.”
Well, I did that, and we sat in his kitchen drinking whiskey as he spilled out his need to eliminate the Wagoneer from his view and his memory. There were fist poundings and many loud “Goddammits,” and more whiskey.
Eventually it became time to act; there is some rationality required when mixing whiskey and dynamite. Hunter hauled a twenty five pound canister of gunpowder from the war room and we went to work. Seven sticks of dynamite were placed head to toe from mid-engine to the firewall, the gunpowder placed in the driver’s seat. My fuse burns roughly ten seconds per inch, I jammed eighteen inches into the blasting cap and crimped it with my teeth.
My rule is “walk, don’t run,” and I made it down to the picnic table with about a minute of fuse left. I didn’t look at my watch, the vagaries of fuse chemistry ensure that the explosion always comes as a complete surprise, which it did.
We were barely one hundred yards from the blast and the shock wave knocked the wind out of our lungs, yet we “yeehaaed!” hugged and clapped each other on our backs. When haying that fall I found a fender that had sailed over our heads and three hundred yards further, almost to Woody Creek.
“Walk, don’t run.” That’s wisdom we should apply to all walks of life. And we think Hunter would approve.
Happy birthday, Hunter.
The Maryland and Washington, D.C. metro area was struck by a 3.6-magnitude earthquake at around 5 am this morning.
Earthquakes are very rare in this area. So most normal human beings thought they felt rumblings from a low-flying airplane.
Here are snippets from conversations we overheard this morning here at the brewery. Most of us didn’t think it was a plane:
“I’ve been having trouble with my toilet lately, so I was like ‘shit, it finally took a dump on me.’ ”
“Wait, there was an earthquake? I slept right through it.”
“I figured the guy who lives above me brought a girl home from the bar and was really getting it on. He does that a lot.”
“We thought Raging Bitch was trying to escape from the fermentation tank.”
We’re not very a very patient bunch, especially when we’re hot, bothered, and worn down from the dog days of summer.
So when that first batch of our fall seasonal, Dogtoberfest Märzen, goes into the tank to ferment for 49 days (the longest out of all of our beer), we’re a touch antsy.
But when this sleeping beast of 100% imported German hops and malt awakens from its fermentation slumber, we’re excited. So excited that we shoot video of it on the bottling line and set it to trendy music:
Break out your leiderhosen and dust off your stein, jungen und mädchen. Dogtoberfest is coming!
After hours of yelling, begging, pleading, name-calling, and bottle-throwing madness, we’ve chosen the winners of our “Why is Raging Bitch the Perfect Beer for Carrie Nation” contest.
Jaye Greene and Travis Skillings will each receive our brand new Raging Bitch t-shirt. Here’s why:
Jaye said: “Raging Bitch is the perfect beer for Carrie Nation because throughout American history, women have had to fight loudly and aggressively to be taken seriously at all. Consider the times in which Carrie Nation lived – she along with many women had absolutely NO rights or say over their own lives and unfortunately temperance/prohibition was one of the only shots many women had. Raging Bitch is the perfect beer for Carrie Nation because she earned her right to the title.”
And Travis said: “Raging Bitch is the perfect beer for Carrie Nation because its superior taste attacks your taste buds like a hatchet and like all great provocateurs they make us re-think what we thought we knew.”
[INSERT OBLIGATORY “thanks to everyone for entering our contest” HERE]
In Patrick’s Irish Pub, located in downtown Frederick, MD, there’s a little sign on the bar that reads, “All Nations Welcome But Carrie.”
That sign is referring to Carrie Nation, the infamous member of the “temperance movement,” a group that opposed (that’s right, opposed) alcohol in pre-Prohibition America.
Carrie, who was notorious for attacking bars with a hatchet (yes, a hatchet), once described herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like.” If you want to learn more about this bulldog, check out the Wikipedia article on Carrie.
About 120 years later, Flying Dog releases Raging Bitch. And we think it’s the perfect beer for Carrie. But we want you to tell us why.
In the Frederick area? Come to Patrick’s on Thursday, July 7 at 8 pm. Our Frederick-area market manager Abby Casarella will buy your first pint if she likes your answer.
Can’t make it to Patrick’s? Tell us on our Facebook page. The only rule is that you must preface your response with “Raging Bitch is the perfect beer for Carrie Nation because…” Just like 6th grade English. And kind of like Jeopardy. But in this case, you’re Alex fucking Trebek.
This week, our Cellar Queen Lisa Adams, CEO Jim Caruso, VP of Brewing Operations Matt Brophy, VP of Marketing Ben Savage, and Head Brewer Bob Malone visited Stillpoint Farm, a sustainable farm that has acres of hop fields in Mt. Airy, Maryland.
Owner Tom Barse showed them around the farm, which grows a number of varieties, including Cascade, Golding, Nugget, Chinook, and Fuggle hops. Tom explained that Cascade hops grow the best in Maryland’s hot and humid summer climate.
We’ll be getting some fresh hops from Tom’s next harvest in about 3 to 4 weeks for our firkins.
Yesterday, we got some pretty awesome news.
A panel, put together by The New York Times’ Eric Asimov, reviewed the nation’s best American Pale Ales. Our Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale was rated No. 1, beating out the likes of Samuel Adams, Dogfish Head, Oskar Blues, Lagunitas, and Sierra Nevada.
“Our consensus favorite, the Doggie Style Classic from Flying Dog, was one of the hoppier beers in the tasting, with a clean, crisp, almost bracing bitterness, like a pilsner,” Asimov said. “For a beer that calls itself ‘classic,’ it pushes the boundaries of the pale ale style. Nonetheless, it was fresh, balanced and a pleasure to drink.”
In addition to our individual accolade, Asimov touched on the kinds of things that get us out of bed in the morning.
“Nowadays, American brewers are among the most creative in the world, in the vanguard of pushing and transforming established styles of beer.”
He continued, “all of us were impressed by the consistently high quality of these beers. American brewers seem to have this style down cold, although we found more than a few variations on the theme…What all these beers had in common, however, was balance and harmony. You could drink them over a long afternoon in the sun, whether at a ballgame, a barbecue or the beach, and still feel refreshed and energetic.”
Read the full New York Times article. Obviously, we recommend perusing it with a cold Doggie Style in hand.
Chances are you have wasted hours of your life trying to find your car keys. You know the drill: Anger, cursing, and irritation of the highest order (especially when you discover them in the most obvious place).
The misplaced cell phone is another beast: Anxiety and fear quickly followed by panic. (That’s right. You didn’t need insurance on that fancy new smart phone.)
Similar emotions can be felt when you can’t find Flying Dog beer. But not anymore:
Introducing the new “Find Our Beer” feature on our website*.
Now, whether you are in Plano, Texas or Peabody, Massachusetts, it will only take seconds to locate your favorite Flying Dog brews at the location nearest you. All you need is your zip code.
* Flying Dog Brewery apologizes in advance if making it easier to find our beer results in more lost keys and misplaced cell phones.
In Fear and Loathing in America, Hunter S. Thompson described his “homebase fortress” in Woody Creek, Colorado as “a very important psychic anchor for me, a crucial grounding point where I always knew I had love, friends & good neighbors….When I made that hairpin turn up the hill onto Woody Creek Road, I knew I was safe.”
No matter where our road takes us, we will always remain loyal to our own Colorado roots – from Woody Creek to Aspen to Denver.
This Thursday, June 24, we’re opening up a new Denver tap room to feed our frenzy of Rocky Mountain fans, friends, and neighbors.
From 4 to 6 pm, we’ll be giving out free samples of our 20th anniversary Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA and summer seasonal Woody Creek White Belgian Wit. Additional pints and bottles can be purchased for $4 to $5, along with Flying Dog merchandise.
The tap room is tucked away on the corner of Broadway, Arapahoe, and Park Avenue West. Admittedly, it’s a little tough to find (even when we aren’t a few pints into the night). The address is 2330 Broadway, Suite 104, but a map’s a a bit more helpful:
The tap room will be open throughout the summer on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 pm.
Bobby Lee Rodgers
His website says…
Rock and roll…it’s rarely had a more exuberant, beautifully crafted infusion than Bobby Lee Rodgers. His music exhibits a passionate commitment to fundamentals that makes every note solid and sweet, constantly reminding the listener of rock’s bedrock pleasures.
What you really want to know…
- Latest album: Overdrive (featuring Jimmy Herring, lead guitarist from Wide Spread Panic)
- Quintessential track: “Overdrive”
- He’s a soul man: Bobby was a longtime playmate of James Brown’s children
- Call him Doogie: Bobby’s on the books as the youngest professor to teach at Berklee College of Music
- What he’ll be drinking at Bentz St. after the show: Old Scratch Amber Lager
Pamela Parker and the San Francisco Review
Her website says…
Pamela Parker is a multi-faceted artist with the musicality and passion of Teena Marie, the grit of Janis Joplin, and the songwriting and melodic ear of Bonnie Raitt. She fuses the elements of rock, opera, funk, and hip hop to form an inspirational live music experience.
What you really want to know…
- Latest album: Beautiful Day
- Quintessential track: “Beautiful Day”
- Back to Market: Pamela used to live in Frederick, MD
- She wants the funk: Pamela’s shared the stage with members of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
- What she’ll be drinking at Bentz St. after the show: Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA
Justin Kalk Orchestra
Their website says…
With his Nashville-based orchestra, Justin Kalk pens and performs a fresh brand of rock & roll, hip hop, bluegrass, and jazz-influenced pop sounds. The songs are monsters packed with catchy vocals, Olympic solos, swampy organ, and a radical evolution of bass and beat madness.
What you really want to know…
- Latest album: Blue Sky Traffic
- Quintessential song: “I’ve Changed Too”
- Stomach of steel: Justin’s favorite food is marshmallow and anchovy pizza
- Gonzo connection: Blue Sky Traffic‘s album art legendary Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman designed their debut album’s cover
- What they’ll be drinking at Bentz St. after the show: Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale
Saturday, June 19. Baker Park in downtown Frederick, Maryland. 3 to 8 pm.