Since moving to North Carolina, I have been wanting to learn more about the beer from this side of the country. I have been checking out bottle shops for local beers and things that I am not accustomed to on the West Coast. Well, I decided to check out the whole line from Flying Dog. I guess technically, they are not local being they are out of Maryland and they do distribute out to where I was, but I made my decision this is when I was going to start checking them out.
I learned quite a bit about them as well. Some stuff that made me think upon discovery. The origins of Flying Dog go back quite a bit. Back to about 1983, but that whole story is here. Take a read. Other things that caught my attention was the fact that the original brewpub and brewery were out of Aspen, Colorado back in the early 90’s. Now, that was way before I first got into beer… or was even old enough to walk across the street by myself… but then they made the move to their current home, Frederick, Maryland.
I guess it is only fitting looking over all of this that I first check out the beer that probably made Flying Dog who they are. In 1991 Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale was bottled and ended up winning “The Best Pale Ale in America” at The Great American Beer Festival. I had no idea this was even a category. But I guess things have changed a bit since then.
Style. As innate as its brother Cool, it can’t be learned. Buried deep beneath the relics of awkward trends and hip nostalgia, the truth remains– the moment you lay claim to having IT… it’s gone. But rest easy, young soldier. What you have in your hands is all the style you need.
I would say that this beer has nailed everything it set out to do. It had a nice balance of flavor and bitterness. It is kind of exactly what I look to as I have a pale ale. Not many get it right. I find they are either a tad too hoppy, or under bittered. I got that it was a little fruity and then cut by the citrus. The balance with the flavor and the body for this beer really worked to keep it from being just another beer. I wish I was able to have some of it back in 1991 when it won the award but I can see how it did. For sure this beer has to become a regular.