This past summer the Flying Dog Brewery restarted their brewery tour which had been on hiatus for something like 18 months. Rumor had it that the brewery had run afoul (or come close to running afoul of) the old law which limited the size of the samples that a brewery could give on a tour to only six (6!?!) ounces. During the hiatus Flying Dog worked with legislators and other interested parties to get the law changed to six 3 ounce samples. This new law went into effect July 1st and the tours resumed that day. Signing up for a tour is easy. Click here to make your reservation, pay your $5 per person and show up. It’s absolutely the best $5 you can spend in Frederick.
The tour starts in their tasting room. You are given six wooden tokens, each one good for one three ounce sample of their beer, and let loose in the bar area.
They have pretty much everything they make on draft including all the specials and seasonals. Two knowledgable servers were pouring and on hand to answer all your questions. Following a good while in the tasting room the tour began. I wont bore you with a blow by blow- just go. The people I went with ranged from home brewing beer geeks (yours truly) to casual drinkers and everyone loved it. We saw the mash areas, the fermentation vats, the labs, the bottling line (which was running full tilt and very impressive) and finally the warehouse, which was like a Stonehenge of beer. Interspersed we learned about the founder and how Ralph Steadman got involved.
All questions were welcomed and the guide was knowledgeable and friendly. We learned some interesting trivia. For example: all the sample packs have to be made up by hand so there is some poor schlub who spends all day mixing the bottles and placing them in the boxes. Think of that next time you buy one! At the end we went back to the tasting room where you could ‘spend’ any unused tokens. There is also a Flying Dog gift shop where you can purchase their beer and other merchandise. As a lovely parting gift you get to keep the tasting glass. I plan to go back until I have a complete set!