Wednesday, March 5, 2008

We Can't Stop Here, This Is Bat(dog) Country


With that call, Hunter S. Thompson (portrayed by Bill Murray) sends his snarling dog straight at a Richard Milhous masked tackling dummy to deliver a blow that would surely alter any man’s religious beliefs. The 1980 film, Where The Buffalo Roam is a pure recap of Gonzo past.


And with that, the crew of the Flying Dog Brewery charges towards Philly like a visor topped, Cabana clad wanderer with briefcase full of goodies. The brewery, the beer, and their throng of supporters are pure Gonzo present and future.

With a schedule fit for spreading the word and painting the town, the crew that brought you, “Good Beer, No Shit” is bringing their line of bold, braggadocious beers to Philly Beer Week. The fear and the loathing will be reserved for the ride home.

Check the calendar for their events on March 10, 13, and 15.

I caught up with Neal Stewart, Head Honcho of Marketing at Flying Dog HQ this week over email for a quick Q & A. Click to

With the move of the rest of your production to the East Coast recently, do you think Philly Beer Week is a bit more of a bigger deal for Flying Dog than it may have been if you were still Colorado based? Colorado in general will be well represented throughout the week as it is, but now you guys have sort of split ties to both areas I suppose.

Yeah, I would say that with our new home being in Frederick, MD, it is a bigger deal. We see Philly as a great craft beer market and we are going to be placing more emphasis on that area in the next year. One of our sales people is from Philadelphia and is returning home to manage that market for us.

How has the full move to Maryland improved operations for you?

The move has gone extremely well. The East Coast welcome has been amazing and we’re excited about our new home. We have a lot of great plans for the brewery and tasting room and we invite everyone to stop by and check on our progress. We host tours every Saturday at 1:30.

Giving Flying Dog’s allegiance to Hunter S. Thompson, your beer event at The P.O.P.E. looks to be one of the most unique events of the week. How did the whole thing come about?

It was pretty simple – the owner of the bar stopped by for a tour of the Denver brewery at GABF last year. From there, he contacted us to see if we wanted to get involved.

Could you tell us a bit about your efforts towards the Gonzo Fist Memorial?

A portion of the profits from the sale of Gonzo Imperial Porter are still reserved for HST memorials and events. This past Summer, we worked with Juan Thompson (Hunter’s son) to host a Hunter S. Thompson symposium in Aspen. The theme of the event was: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and focused on Hunter’s political writings, learnings and viewpoints.

It was a great event with a great cast of participants, including Carl Bernstein, Douglass Brinkley and more.

What are some of the Flying Dog crew’s favorite beers from the East Coast? Have any Philly favorites?

I was on the East Coast last week and enjoyed some Terrapin Rye Pale Ale and Victory Pilsner, both of which were very good. We also had a bet with Harpoon during the World Series where the loser had to serve the winning brewery’s beer in their tasting room. The Rockies lost, but we got a keg of Harpoon IPA out of the deal! Sounds like we might have come out ahead on that one.

The endless cache of Flying Dog videos available on the internet shows a pretty rowdy bunch, what kind of trouble do you guys plan on getting into while in Philly? Are you attending any events other than those featuring Flying Dog?

We will definitely have a contingent of people in town for the festival, but the beauty of Flying Dog is that you never plan for things to happen. Planning things like that just wouldn’t be Gonzo would it?

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