View From The Road: Flying Dog Brewery’s Dead Rise Summer Ale

It’s been a more than a little while since I’ve written any sort of post that just features a single beer, so I think it’s definitely about time to do so.  So every once in a while, going forward, I’ll write up a singular beer, but nothing so rare that you have to refinance your house to buy any, or travel to the opposite coast to find it.  I’ll admit today’s post is about a beer that I have yet to try (fingers crossed) but definitely sounds tasty and is most certainly unique.  Cheers!

Flying Dog Dead Rise 6 PackGive me half a chance and I’ll gladly reminisce about the last time I spent a warm summer evening slowly prying steamed shrimp from their shells and pairing them with, of course, a cold beer.  More accurately, that “singular” memory will more likely be a sweet summary of the many, many times I’ve enjoyed this insanely simple and delicious meal in my lifetime so far, all blended into one blissful, warmly lit thought.  For myself, and many others, the perfect pairing of beer and steamed shellfish, especially in the dying light of a long, late summer day, borders on being a religious experience.  It is a meal without dozens of ingredients, or delicate plating, or a several week long buildup to some formal restaurant’s multi course, reservation only dinner.  All you need is that cold beer and of course some fresh as possible shrimp (or crab perhaps), a summer evening, and just one more ingredient.  Yes, when it comes to just about any crustacean based meal, I am a follower of, and a firm believer in, the gospel of Old Bay.

You see, I firmly believe that although you’ll find the classic seasoning mix from the Chesapeake Bay area being used on a great many things by us true devotees, a meal of steamed shrimp or an all out crab feast without it is just plain heresy.  Now, since these delicious meals are most often connected to summer, and considering that Old Bay is, many believe, vital to their enjoyment, I’d suggest that Old Bay has come to be more closely associated with warmer weather than any other time of year.  So, add in the fact that any meal consisting of a table covered in steamed crabs or shrimp loaded up with Old Bay always needs a good beer to wash it all down with, and it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to hear just what Maryland brewery Flying Dog has been putting in its latest seasonal beer for summer.  It seems we have come full circle, down our wonderfully delicious path of association from summer to seasoning to suds.  Introduce yourself to “Dead Rise Summer Ale”.  Yes, Flying Dog brings you an ale brewed with nothing other than a dose of Old Bay seasoning.

I’ll admit a split second of trepidation to the idea of a beer with Old Bay added, but then I remembered how much I love the stuff, and any sense of caution was squashed faster than a crab junkie swinging a mallet at an all you can eat crab feast.  I then took a look at the initial reviews online for the beer which was already boasting a solid “85” score on  A goal was set.  I had to have this beer.

Whether that will actually happen or not is unfortunately to be determined.  Apparently, the beer is selling (very) quickly, so much so that a “FAQ” page has been set up on the Flying Dog website to mostly address all those Old Bay-heads out there who desperately, like me, want to taste this beer.  If I do get to sample it, I’ll definitely share a quick review.  Until then, here’s the run down.

Flying Dog “Dead Rise” Summer Ale:  Seasonal release, throughout the Mid Atlantic from May through September, coming in at 5.6% abv.  The brewery website states that by Memorial Day, the beer will have begun to reach Virginia, but as far as my home town of Roanoke, who knows.  Often the more sought after Flying Dog releases don’t tend to make an appearance here, but hey, a guy can hope.  At any rate, the website lists that the beer is produced at least partially with a wheat malt and a German ale yeast, but don’t expect some sort of light hefe here, as I would expect that the Old Bay is the focus of the beer, and the existing online reviews point to exactly that.  Most everyone who has written a review on BeerAdvocate mentions how well the spices from the addition of Old Bay work in the beer, often noting how much each sip leaves you wanting more.

Most reviewers also point out, of course, how much they can’t wait to pair this beer with a bunch of Old Bay seasoned, steamed crabs.  I can understand.  I am one of the true Old Bay believers.  As for myself, I might have to seek out some steamed shrimp with plenty of the iconic mixture added to pair up with a bottle of this beer.  I have no doubt that it’ll make for a very memorable, satisfyingly simple, delicious, late summer evening meal that I’ll be reminiscing about for years to come.






~ by thebeerroad on May 26, 2014.

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