Last Friday, a group of my friends got together and participated in something really cool: a tour of the Flying Dog Brewery here in Frederick! One of the mottos of Flying Dog is that “Good people drink good beer.” That is a philosophy I can totally get behind!
The experience lasted about 2 hours, and only cost $5-which included the price of the tasting glass you were able to take home, the tour, and 5 samples of beer (plus a little more along the way).
This was my first sample, the Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout. Our tour guide brought us into a long hallway painted with murals that depicted the history of the company, which began in Denver, CO. She went on to explain how Flying Dog was founded, named and how they ultimately ended up in Frederick, MD.
We moved on into the brewing room, where they were making one of their most popular beers, Raging Bitch (the beers all have hilarious names like Raging Bitch and Doggie Style). Our guide discussed the brewing process, and showed us samples of two of the main components of beer: barley and hops. The really dark stuff in the top bowl is barley that has been toasted, which is used in several of the beers Flying Dog brews. In the pitcher is the wort, which we got to taste. It is basically sugar water (no alcohol at this point) and tastes likes sweet tea.
This is a sample of the hops Flying Dog use. They are in pellet form, as opposed to their natural form.
Here are the gigantic brew kettles that Flying Dog uses.
Flying Dog Brewery is in productions 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so they were brewing while we were on the tour. It was pretty neat to see.
We moved on to another room with more gigantic holding tanks for the beer. This is where the fermentation takes place. I don’t remember the exact amount, but each one of these tanks holds A LOT of beer.
A by product of the fermentation process is CO2, which is coming out through that tube into the yellow tub. It was gurgling and burbling the whole time.
At this point, we were able to taste the unfiltered beer. It tastes almost like it will taste when it is bottled, but as you can see from the picture, it is cloudy.
The beer is then filtered, and bottled using this giant (million dollar) machine. They can bottle 250 beers a minute!
The final step is the Quality Assurance Lab, where a sample of all the beer produced is tasted under different conditions to make sure it up to par with Flying Dog standards.
After the tour, we were led back to the tasting room, where all the current varieties of Flying Dog Beer were on tap. We each got to choose the samples we wanted to try and ask any questions to the tour guides and staff.
The tour was really cool, and very informative. And all of the beers that I tried were delicious. Chris and I each picked up a 6-pack of our favorites (The Kujo Coffee Stout for me and the Old Scratch Amber Lager for him) to enjoy during the Super Bowl.
If you like good beer, or just want to give some of these a try, I highly recommend scheduling a tour of the Flying Dog Brewery!