Brews Brothers: Denver brewery makes it big in Maryland
Maryland's largest brewery, Frederick's Flying Dog, is a relative newcomer to the state. The company started as a brewpub in Aspen, Colo., in 1990 and opened a 50-barrel brewery in Denver in 1994. It acquired the Frederick brewery in 2006, moving its brewing operations there in January. Production is projected at 65,000 to 70,000 barrels in 2008, about a 20 percent increase over last year.
Flying Dog brews 15 different styles of beer under its own label, including an annual specialty beer; this year, it's a doublebock; and four seasonals: biere de garde, Belgian wit, Octoberfest and a winter ale. Canis Major, a more robust line that is available year-round, features stronger styles: double pale ale, imperial porter, barleywine and Belgian tripel.
Flying Dog's purchase of the Frederick brewery included the Wild Goose brand; six Wild Goose beers continue to be brewed.
Double Dog Double Pale Ale is a medium-bodied imperial pale ale (10.5 percent Alcohol by Volume-ABV) with a copper color. It has an aroma of light alcohol, citrus from Warrior, Columbus and Cascade hops, and some malt. The mild sweet front melds into a medium grapefruit and bitter hop middle with some caramel malt. These flavors all continue in the finish, mated with a hint of alcohol. In the aftertaste, the alcohol increases slightly and the bitter hops come to the forefront. Ratings: 7.5/8
The moderately-bodied golden Kerberos Tripel (8.5 percent ABV), a Belgian-style beer that originated in Trappist monasteries, has a muted yeast, creamy and earthy nose. Its teasing sweet front grows to medium in the middle, with a touch of yeast added. The yeast boosts in the finish, joined by a restrained lemon and tart orange. These flavors continue in the aftertaste, but adds tempered alcohol. Ratings: 6.5/7
Horn Dog Barley Wine (10.2 percent ABV), brown with a red tinge, has a gentle caramel sugar aroma and a delicate sweet front. The sweet malt grows to medium in the middle, which continues in the strong caramel finish with notes of alcohol. The alcohol elevates to medium in the aftertaste, merging with restrained bitter hops that linger as the caramel malt fades. Ratings: 8/8.5
Gonzo Imperial Porter (9.2 percent ABV) is very dark brown and almost opaque with a roast and mostly bitter nose. This medium-bodied sipper begins with a subdued sweet front and quickly moves into a middle with splashes of roast and alcohol. Both the roast and alcohol increase slightly in the finish, with the alcohol taking a backseat to the robust roast flavors in the lingering aftertaste. Ratings: 9.5/9.5