May 14, 2014

Flying Dog Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to trying Flying Dog’s Dead Rise. I mean, I’m a fan of blue crab and everything that goes with them, including large amounts of Old Bay seasoning — and beer. But to have the spice mix brewed into my beer?… Without the crab? That one just didn’t sound right to me. Not one bit.

Flying Dog’s 5.6% ABV Dead Rise is a wheaty Summer Ale that’s been brewed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the spice blend. With one-quarter pound of Old Bay tossed in during brewing process, the beer, surprisingly enough, has just a hint of spices in it’s flavor. The aroma is a bit more commanding with subtle spice notes that remind of newspaper-covered tables and piles of steaming crab.

The combination of rye, wheat and a citrusy hop bite work quite well with the low levels of spices that linger gently in the slightly drying finish. Easy drinking and refreshing, Dead Rise is a great beer to accompany just about any outdoor Summer food occasion.


A sizable stack of fluffy, white foam sits proudly atop the hazy, golden brew.

Flying Dog Dead Rise photo


I don’t pick up a strong Old Bay presence, but it is there amongst wheat, grain and a lemony citrus hop character.


Again, the Old Bay footprint on the flavor is fairly muted as it lingers gently in the background and late in the semi-drying finish. Wheat, soft rye notes, citrus and a moderate level of hop bitterness come together smoothly. The spice blend leaves a hint of a peppery tingle on the lips, but never stands up and shouts, “here I am!” I like that in this case. Dead Rise is a refreshing and easy drinking beer with good carbonation and light body.


I was initially skeptical that I’d enjoy this beer. Old Bay is a bit of an acquired taste and can be too much when applied strongly. Thankfully, the smart folks at Flying Dog and Old Bay both realize this and have crafted a beer that tantalizes and teases the palate just enough to cause an involuntary Pavlovian response and craving for steamed crab.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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