Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
Style: Spiced Ale
It’s Labor Day and with that comes the sad realization summer’s end is near. Despite yesterday’s somewhat dismal weather, I hope you all got out to your annual BBQ, beach trip, or just spent time with some good company. This holiday weekend I decided to spice up the (many) rainy days with something a little different to sip on, Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale. I know what you might be thinking, does brewing a beer with Old Bay seasoning really work? Well, that’s what I’m here for. I tried it out so I could tell you a little more about it before you pair it with your next big crab dinner.
All kidding aside, I’ve had this beer once before at a beer garden that quite literally appeared outside my doorstep in July. Parks on Tap came to Pretzel Park in Philadelphia a few blocks from where I used to live. I had gone to the park to read a book and not five minutes later I was with three friends sipping on Dead Rise. Philly is weird and great.
After that one fateful encounter I could never find this beer again – until now. Although I don’t have a bunch of Maryland crabs to pair with this brew, which is what was originally in mind when Flying Dog brewed it. I poured a pint for myself with the intent of getting down my thoughts on it this time.
This summer ale pours light gold, with a white head that quickly leaves a thin lace around the glass. At first smell I noticed a citrusy, almost lemony scent with a hint of savory spice. This is a deceptive ale though because as I reached for the glass and took my first sip, the first thing I tasted was a slight tartness and the presence of some hops. This initial taste grew into a citrusy ale,
then finally transitioned to the final stage where it ended on a spiced note. The Old Bay is not strongly present, rather it alludes to itself at the very end of the sip leaving you a smooth, lemony, and ever-so-subtle spicy aftertaste to ponder over. The initial citrus scent throws you off at first because when you lean in and take that first sip it almost has the mouthfeel of a light IPA, which then fades back into an ale with some spicing present. I think the brewery hit the nail on the head with this one in that it really would be great paired with any Old Bay-lathered seafood. The spice isn’t aggressive, it just nudges you at the very end so you know that it’s there. This summer ale is very drinkable, which quite honestly surprised me a little bit out of fear of the Old Bay being too strong. It’s obvious that Flying Dog worked meticulously with Old Bay for six months to craft this brew. I’m really curious and likely next summer will be trying Dead Rise with some Maryland Crabs.
This is an adventurous try for some, but would you be willing to give it a shot? If you do, share what your take on Flying Dog’s Dead Rise Old Bay Ale is.
Flying Dog worked with Old Bay to develop this beer, with proceeds going to True Blue, a Maryland Crab sustainability program. Drink on with a good conscious!