Get the words “Maryland” and “Old Bay” together in a sentence and you are likely to hear the phrase, “They put that stuff on everything.” Shrimp, scallops, crab legs, blue crab, potato chips, hamburgers, chicken, popcorn…it pretty much goes on everything. Naturally, beer would be the next gateway to be breached.
Flying Dog originally released Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale to celebrate the spice’s 75th anniversary in 2014, donating the proceeds to support programs for Chesapeake Bay’s fishermen. It’s popularity led to a return bottling in 2015. According to Untappd, I first knocked this one back over oysters at the Cull & Pistol in New York City last summer, though I have no memory of it. With that in mind, cracking open the 2015 edition was my first cognizant attempt at this beer.
Dead Rise is a well-balanced ale with a wheat ale and spicy aroma. The beer’s flavor is manifested in three stages: hoppy bitterness upfront, establishing its ale flavor; the burn from the Old Bay enters in the middle, accentuated by the carbonation; and the beer wraps with a spicy, dry finish. It’s clean with only a linger spice in the back of the throat.
Gimmick beers like this are almost certain to be horrible at worst and average at best. What Flying Dog accomplished here is earth-moving: a novelty ale that warrants an entire six-pack purchase on its merits and not because single bottles are not available.
Beer Bottle Philosophy:
Brewer: Flying Dog Brewery
Beer: Dead Rise Summer Ale
Style: Spiced Ale
ABV: 5.6% IBU: 25
Container: 12 oz. bottle
To The Eye: Golden and clear. Soapy foam on top.
To The Nose: Wheat ale and a little bit of spice from the Old Bay.
To The Palate: Opens hoppy and bitter, transitioning into a full-bodied pale ale with a spicy burn. Carbonation level is medium-high, which adds emphasis to the seasoning. Crisp.
Aftertaste: It finishes dry and clean, leaving only a faint lingering flavor of Old Bay.
Boozy Factor: Pretty low.
On a Scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as highest: 8.0
NOTE: Flying Dog Brewery provided the beverage for this review. No other compensation was received.