Before planning a visit to Flying Dog Brewey in Frederick, Maryland, I e-mailed the tour contact, Stephanie:
“I’ll be in Frederick on Saturday (June 6) for my wife’s college reunion at Hood. We’ll have our 7 year old twins with us, but we’d like to stop by the brewery. Are kids allowed in the tasting room? I don’t expect to take them on the tour itself, but I’d still like to stop by during the tour time to sample the beer and buy some Flying Dog stuff.
Stephanie’s reply: “Of course your kids are welcome in the tap room and on the tour…just don’t let them do any sampling!”
Such is the vibe of this off-beat brewery, only 45 minutes from my Kensington home.
The Flying Dog Brewery is open to the public every Saturday for tours and tasting. They open the doors at 1:30 p.m. and tour tickets are given out on a first come-first served basis. The first tour starts around 2:00 p.m. and there are two more after that. The tours are free, and to sample the beers, you can purchase a pint glass for $5 that you get to keep. The pint glass comes with six bottle caps that you exchange for 6 oz samples. 36 oz of beer, plus a pint glass for $5!
Stephanie suggested getting there early as they have been getting big crowds lately. We arrived around 1:15 and were the first ones lined up at the door and the first ones in. This paid off big time, because there was a long line by the time they opened the doors and we were the first to get a sample!
I tried the follwing beers, and all were excellent:
- Snake Dog India Pale Ale
- In-Heat Wheat
- Garde Dog (Biere de Garde; Spring seasonal)
- Woody Creek White (Belgian Wit; Summer seasonal)
- Double Dog Double Pale Ale (11.5% ABV; from the Canis Major Series)
- Kerberos Tripel (8.5% ABV; from the Canis Major Series)
- Gonzo Imperial Porter (7.8% ABV; from the Canis Major Series)
The tour was similar to other brewery tours we’ve done, but there were a few highlights:
- The wall of rare old beer cans in the hallway from the tasting room to the brewing area (see gallery)
- Learning about the history of the brewery, its founders, and the move from where they started in Denver to their home in Maryland (go on the tour for the details)
- The story behind Flying Dog’s unique labels and their battle against beer label censorship (Good Beer, No Shit!)
- Seeing where the magic happens – the brewing lab, fermentation tanks, bottling line, etc.
There is also a nice gift shop, where I picked up a Wild Goose Brewery pint glass for a buck (Flying Dog makes the Wild Goose beers).
On the way out, we looked around the lobby at all of the awards and medals won by Flying Dog beers (see gallery). The kids got a kick out of the sign behind the reception desk that read: “Don’t cry over spilled milk…it could have been beer.”
A few days after the tour, I wrote again to Stephanie, the self-described Flying Dog Baroness von Marketing, to thank her and let her know how much we all enjoyed the family-friendly visit.
Stephanie wrote: “I am glad you and your family had a good time and that you like our beers. We just got some “Kid Beer” (Frost Top Root Beer), so if you bring the kids back, they can have some “beer” as well! Thanks again for supporting our beers and keep diggin’ the Dog!”