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Maryland beer review: Natty Boh, Flying Dog, Full Tilt Breweries

Allow me to broaden your Maryland beer horizons beyond Natty Boh, and uhh, Natty Boh. I'm assuming we don't know a whole lot about the Maryland beer scene.


After another bye week to rest your liver, it's time to get back on that horse and ride semi-inebriatedly into another 11 a.m. kick. It's Homecoming this weekend, and as such, a lot of old alumni (including yours truly!) will be in town to try and relive their college days. I hope you are prepared to be hit on by 40-year old dudes who are away from the wives, female bartenders of State Street!

Maryland brings a whole host of exciting new beer options to the table, many of which we here in the Midwest don't know a whole lot about. They'll also bring their distinctive brand of tailgating to Madison, which I assume consists of crab-filled foods and a heavy police horse presence. Needless to say, I'm pumped to welcome our new Big Ten brethren to the finest college town in the conference. Let's take a look at which beers our Maryland counterparts might be quaffing (ugh, I'm the worst) this weekend.

When most people think of drinking beer in Maryland, they think of this handsome bastard, and while there is much to be said for National Bohemian Beer, we are going to focus on two other breweries from Maryland today. First, a few quick facts on Natty Boh: over 90 percent of sales are done in Baltimore; the owner of National Brewing also owned the Baltimore Orioles at one time; the mascot's name is Mr. Boh.

Flying Dog Brewery is a staple in Maryland bars and the owner of a very convoluted origin story. Originally founded in Aspen, Colo., by two friends in the early 90s, they moved all production to Fredericksburg, Md., in 2008 after purchasing the Frederick Brewing Company. Due to popularity, they moved all production to the Maryland facility and also had to pull out of a number of states (including Wisconsin -- THIS COULD IGNITE A RIVALRY WHEN WE TAKE MILLER LITE OUT OF MARYLAND) so they could service their primary markets.

Now, if you've ever seen a bottle of Flying Dog beer, you've probably noticed the artwork. It is based on the works of Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who was good friends with Flying Dog's founder. One of their most popular beers is Gonzo Imperial Porter, which contains flavors of chocolate and dark, roasty malts. An excellent beer to warm you up when the temperatures dip below 45 degrees, if I do say so myself. My favorite beer they make is called Raging Bitch Belgian-style IPA because it reminds me of my ex-girlfriend ... amirite fellas?!? It is similar to Bedlam! IPA from Ale Asylum that we reviewed here in the spring. It has strong hints of grapefruit and pine from the hops, but like with most beers of the style, there is a nice Belgian yeast that balances the beer out. It is high in alcohol content, so only drink like five of these before going to the game.

A second brewery worth noting is Full Tilt Brewing in Baltimore. Now, I have never tried any beers from here, but my lovely wife regularly travels to Bawlmer (proper pronunciation for native Marylanders) for work and loves this brewery. Her favorite beer is the Patterson Pumpkin beer, which she describes as, "pumpkiny but not too pumpkiny, because you know I don't like pumpkin flavor beer." This beer also has hints of IPA to it that my wife says balances out the pumpkin flavor. I don't know if any of this is true, but my wife is always right (hi, honey!) so I think you should listen to her.

If any of you want to stop by my tailgate on Saturday, I'll finally be there for a game! We're on the roof of the Engineering Lot and if you bring beer, you'll definitely be welcomed with open arms/mouths. Go Badgers, boo Terps.