16 December 2011

New Flying Dog Beers Now and for 2012--and Time for a New Brewery?

Lots of Flying Dog news swarming out, so here's a quick recap:

Newest beer:  Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout, a now-permanent addition to their portfolio after earlier Coffee Stout experimental batches. It's out on draft and on shelves as of this week.

To follow soon: 12 new beers for 2012.  First up: Wildeman, a variation of the Farmhouse IPA brewed earlier this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the legendary Amsterdam taproom, In De Wildeman. Wildeman will arrive in mid-to-late January and become a permanent part of the brewery's portfolio.  Other new beers will include an "Imperial Hefeweizen," an Abbey Dubbel with the working title Disobedience, a black lager brewed with cherries, and a Gose.

Canning will begin in March; the first beer to get canned will be Underdog, a "sessionable East Coast pale ale" that will check in between 4.5 and 4.8 percent ABV.
“We aren’t sure yet if we will call it a session beer, but everything about it will indicate to the consumer that it is an easier drinking beer with tons of flavor,” brewery CEO Jim Caruso said in an interview with Brewbound.  "I think this beer has the potential to be one of our top sellers next year.”  Underdog will replace Tire Bite Golden Ale. Caruso said that ten percent of the brewery production (100,000 cases) will make its way into cans and expects Snake Dog IPA to be canned as well. The cans will be released only to the Mid-Atlantic market, and consumers will recognize slightly larger but still familiar Flying Dog artwork.

Flying Dog will also be partnering The Perfect Truffle, a Frederick chocolatier, to brew up a special chocolate beer just for SAVOR, the annual craft beer and food pairing event hosted by the Brewers Association in Washington D.C.

All this production comes at a price, of course. Caruso said the company plans to finish 2011 using over 75% of its potential 110,000-barrel brewing capacity at its Wedgwood Boulevard plant.. At that pace, Flying Dog will produce between 82,000 and 86,000 barrels of beer before the year’s end.  He also said that he expects the current facility to reach its 110,000 barrel limit next year and is currently investigating ways to expand, including expanding at the current site or relocating to a new site.  An additional four 200-barrel fermenters are scheduled to arrive in the early part of January.

The brewery also announced a "Junto Society," a beer club meeting monthly at the brewery, named after the philosophical society founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1727.  The $150 annual memberships, which were limited to 100 subscribers and included benefits such as a six-pack or growler of each month's limited-release beer, sold out within hours of being announced to the brewery's e-mail list.

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