By Iron Chef Leftovers
Flying Dog Brewery is a brewery out of Frederick, MD, known for their Hunter S. Thompson inspired labels and solid beer lineup. Flying Dog used to be available in Washington, but for some reason, no longer distributes here (or Oregon, or Idaho). I was lucky to see that Chuck’s Hop Shop had a keg of Snake Dog, probably forgotten somewhere, and put it out on tap.
Snake Dog clocks in at 7.1% ABV and 60 IBU and uses a combination of Warrior and Colombus hops.
Snake Dog pours almost orange with a frothy cream colored head. This beer is aromatic with hops – I can smell them while I am sitting 2 feet from the beer. Lots of citrus on the nose with a slight hint of grain. The beer is initially crisp, followed by a sweet maltiness giving way to a building bitterness from the hops. The beer finishes long and tannic with overtones of hops and resin. This 60 IBU beer is a hop bomb without actually being one – it has good balance and enough hop flavor to satisfy any hophead, but is restrained enough to be enjoyed by those who like a milder IPA. My only complaint is that the sweetness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms and lingers too long for my liking. The beer also becomes much more restrained when it warms, with fewer hops and more citrus on the palate.
Outside of the sweetness, this was a fine example of a hoppy IPA from a non-west coast brewer. Unfortunately you won’t find it in Cascadia anymore and I am not sure if it is worthy of a road trip somewhere to find it. If it happens to show up again in Seattle, I would recommend drinking one for yourself.
Snake Dog gets itself 3 Serpentes Lupis out of 5.