DBB – Flying Dog, In-Heat Wheat

img 0490 225x300Drink Better Beer

Flying Dog – In-Heat Wheat Hefeweizen

4.7 abv (that’s pretty weak, it’s like drinking Bud)

This is the second beer I picked up at Bocktown in Pittsburgh last week (the first was Stone Brewing Co’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale), but I didn’t get around to drinking it until last night. This beer isn’t quite as good as the Arrogant Bastard, but you’ve got to love the name and picture on the bottle (you can really tell these Flying Dog guys love making beer).

In-Heat Wheat is a German Hefeweizen (yes, that W is pronounced like a V, but the Hefe is not pronounced like El Hefe), you can tell by the light cloudy color. It has a sweet citrusy flavor typical of a Hefeweizen, which I found to be a little sweeter than I like, but I prefer bitter beer so I wouldn’t discount it because of that. Flying Dog describes it as:

“She taunts and teases… In-Heat Wheat is our German-style Hefeweizen. She is a full flavor beer, perfect for the more adventurous craft beer drinker. The addition of malted white wheat gives this brew its smooth, full mouthfeel. A proprietary yeast creates intriguing flavors of bananas and cloves.”

Hefeweizen, or wheat beer, are beers brewed with a significant amount of wheat instead of barley. They typically have a citrus flavor and are commonly unfiltered, which gives them a hazy appearance. Many fruit flavored beers are hefeweizens because the light flavoring of the wheat allows the other flavors to come to the front.

Flying Dog opened it’s Aspen, Colorado Flying Dog Brewpub in 1990 followed by it’s Frederick, Maryland Brewery a few years later. But I’ll let Flying dog tell you the whole story:

“The Flying Dog Legend begins in 1983 and like every good legend there are several versions of this tale. The villains of the peace in this story are two non-conformist, ‘not likely to take it lying down’ ranchers named George Stranahan and Richard McIntyre.

As George tells it, he and 11 of his closest friends and family decided to embark on what they called an “amateur mountaineering expedition” to climb K2 in the Himalayas. Under-qualified and unprepared, they started their journey with a Sherpa a donkey and a suitcase full of contraband. Naturally, half way through the trip the contraband was gone and the Sherpa and donkey had run off leaving George and his group to fend for themselves. Luckily, everyone managed to make it off the mountain alive and with a new outlook on life.

Like any good beer drinker would at the end of an experience like that, George and his group found a local Pakistani hotel bar in the to have a drink in. Now, alcohol is banned in most Muslim nations but if you sign an affidavit stating you are the son of a Christian, it’s like a license to drink. George gladly signed away and got down to some serious drinking. That’s about the time he noticed a painting in the Flashman Hotel of a Flying Dog hanging on the wall that had been drawn by a local artist. Now, we all know dogs don’t fly, but nobody told this particular dog it couldn’t fly just like no one had told George and his friends they couldn’t make this journey. The Flying Dog became a symbol George and his group used to describe what had happened to them with the mantra, “it is amazing what you can achieve if nobody tells you, you can’t.

Now whether you believe this weird story or not, is up to you but what we do know is in 1990 George and Richard opened the Flying Dog Brewpub in Aspen, Colorado. The venture was an immediate success and people came from far and wide to kick back with a Flying Dog brew and soak up the bohemian atmosphere.

A few years later George and Richard met up with Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman in the Woody Creek Tavern and things got a whole lot weirder… As Dr. Gonzo once stated though, “when the going gets weird the weird turn pro” so today we ship over 400,000 cases a year across the U.S from our state-of-the-art facility in the Fredrick, MD. The Maryland Brewery utilizes cutting-edge technologies to aid in water conservation and to ensure the same great drinking experience time after time.”