Garde Dog

Maryland’s Flying Dog brewery has never really wowed me with a beer. On the other hand, they’ve rarely disappointed. Looking through my ratings, almost everything is in the B- to B range, even for well respected stuff like Raging Bitch IPA and their Gonzo Porter. They seem to make well crafted beers, so it’s not like I dislike them or anything and I have to admit that their distinctive Ralph Steadman artwork always catches my eye… Also, they’ve been doing some interesting seasonal stuff of late, like this new Spring offering, a relatively lightweight Bière de Garde that still manages to pack a nice punch:

Flying Dog Garde Dog

Flying Dog Garde Dog – Pours a clear golden color with lots of fluffy white head. Smells of musty Belgian yeast with some spiciness. Taste is sweet and spicy, finishing quite dry. Mouthfeel is very highly carbonated and packs a bit of a wallop, medium bodied, and dry. Not something you’ll gulp down, but it’s an easy drinking beer and at 5.5%, you could certainly knock a few of these back at a barbecue or something without getting too sloshed. Overall, this is a solid beer and it’s very well executed. It strikes me as a great gateway beer for those folks looking to expand their horizons without getting too crazy. Also a nice beer to transition from the dark, heavy beers of winter into the lighter fare of summer (i.e. a good choice for a spring seasonal). B

Beer Nerd Details: 5.5% ABV bottled (12 oz). Drank out of a tulip glass on 3/17/12.

So it’s not a revelation, but it’s towards the top of what I’ve had from Flying Dog. Of course, I’d love to get my hands on some of the Bourbon Barrel Aged Gonzo, and maybe some of their other limited edition stuff too…

2 thoughts on “Garde Dog”

  1. I was soooo close to getting their Barrel Aged Gonzo the other day, but I got Flying Fish Exit 1 and Ommegang Zuur instead. Luckily I doused any lingering barrel-aged-stout-regret with a Founders KBS (on tap) last night.

    In the DC area, you can can get Flying Dog pretty readily at the grocery store. If I am not going to be able to make it to the beer store, I feel like they are a solid and dependable purchase. They are priced pretty reasonably, too, although the barrel aged gonzo was $18…which is inching up there.

    I had been thinking about this one, but based on the style and your review, I don’t think the Haybag would like it. So, I may hold off, as I have been getting flack lately for not taking her into account enough in beer selection (as if beer selection isn’t difficult enough already).

  2. Flying Dog seems like it would be a great, go-to local brewery. They’re not exactly far away from me, but there’s also a lot of competition around here… And aside from Wegmans, we don’t have beer in grocery stores, which is a huge pain. Gotta find bottle shops at restaurants or go to Delaware/Maryland to get really good stuff…

    Good luck managing your beer selection! At least there’s a very large variety to choose from. That’s a good problem to have…


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