Jun 11, 2015

Flying Dog Counter Culture Ale

Flying Dog Brewing have never been one to be complacent or one to bend to conformity. To say that their latest year-round offering, Counter Culture Ale, flies in the face of convention may be a bit of a stretch, but it certainly sees the company do something a little different than their hop-forward products as of late. Brewed with the addition of Bon Munich malt, as well, as Citra hop varieties, the beer appears to be a take on your classic amber ale, but then again, maybe it isn’t.

Counter Culture Ale brings a solid amount of malt traits to the party as the hop blend offers a light tingle to temper the bread and caramels. Hints of dark fruits and a touch of citrus and melon keep things interesting as traits of an old ale, dunkel and amber all come and go as they please.


Don’t let the dull amber of this beer fool you — it’s livelier than it appears. The creamy cap of beige foam shows to be persistent through to the end.

Flying Dog Counter Culture Ale photo


Smooth malts lead the way with caramel notes, bread, soft raisin and grain. A light citrus, melon and a touch of pine are also present.


The first thing you notice is that Counter Culture Ale is a smooth beer. The solid malt base provides caramel notes, bread and a light sweetness while a soft citrus/melon character offers some countering notes. At 25 IBU, the beer isn’t a tongue buckler by any means, but does offer a light tingle of bitterness. The medium bodied brew goes down well and dries lightly in the lasting finish.


I’ve grown accustomed to getting big, hoppy beers from Flying Dog — I love their imperial IPA single hop series in particular — so getting this malt-forward sample from the company was a nice treat. The Maryland crew has never been one to shy away from experimentation. Their Brewhouse Rarities collection is evident of that, but for them to make Counter Culture Ale part of their year-round portfolio is a big step toward toppling the mainstream. It’s a tasty brew, but probably one I would be more apt to drink during cooler months and not so much in the heat of Summer.

Rating: 3.5/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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