The Flying Dog Brewery of Fredrick, Maryland makes a ton of different beers. I have found the vast majority of their beers to be very solid and drinkable. Their most famous beer is probably Raging Bitch, and for good reason, it is delicious. I haven’t had a Flying Dog beer is a few months, but Garde Dog caught my eye. I really like the name of this beer as it is a play on the style of beer it represents; Biere De Garde. Generally beers of the Biere De Garde style tend to be gold to orange in color, have some bread and sweetness along with some hops, and they can have a farmhouse quality. I think the best way to describe the style is delicate but complex.
Garde Dog pours a cloudy orange color with a fluffy white head. The nose is super earthy with some strong wet straw odors. The farmhouse really comes out in this beer along with a slight Belgian spice. I was really impressed with the nose on this beer. It is complicated, but each piece is easy to distinguish and the aromas are not muddled like a lot of beers tend to have.
Right of the bat this beer has a very nice light touch of malt with is quickly followed by some farmhouse flavors. There is a slight Belgian spice along with some respectable hops that cancel out everything else that is happening. There is a very slight sour note to this beer, but not enough to consider this beer anywhere near sour. I really dig the malt in this beer. It is very clean tasting and has enough to stand out from the other flavors, but fades when necessary to let other flavors come through. I want to try to find a better way to do this with my homebrew.
I really liked this beer. It was very, very nice and well balanced. There is a lot of going on but they all sing together, not apart. This beer might get into my regular purchase rotation. I highly suggest this one. It’s not quite a farmhouse, but more of a “farmhouse light.” (more…)