A Tasty Brain Teaser
A Review of Counter Culture by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/25/2015 by Chops
For this review, I thought I would have a little fun. I'm going to be discussing Flying Dog's latest creation entitled Counter Culture, a beer that defies classification. That's not me being clever or existential, it's actually how the beer is marketed. Flying Dog describes this beer as ''a uniquely robust malt-forward ale our hop-centric brewers spent over two years developing''. They even go so far as to adorn the bottle with Ralph Steadman artwork that is counter to his own style. You know what? Challenge accepted. I'm going to classify this beer.

In the glass, this beer had the deep amber coloration of an American Amber Ale. It came with a foamy tan head that had good retention. On the nose, I found the candied malty aroma and earthy notes of an American Brown Ale. From there I stumbled across the spice notes and caramel sweetness of an Oktoberfest lager. Based on introduction alone, this beer indeed defied classification. I had to settle for amber-brown-marzen hybrid and hope that the flavor shed more light.

Oddly enough, the flavor closely mirrored the aroma with notes of candy malt, earthy spices, and sweet caramel. From there I found the toasted bread of a good Maibock, the light chocolate and coffee roast of a good Porter, plus a leathery flavor that I could not attribute to any camp. Okay then, at that point I had an amber-brown-marzen-porter-bock hybrid. The hops profile had little influence and served as a mild counter to the sweetness. The beer had a light-to-medium body and felt generally smooth on the palate with a light gritty layer. The finish was a bit dry and exited with a savory malty aftertaste.

Overall, I found Flying Dog's Counter Culture Ale to be a tasty brain teaser. I have to give props to Flying Dog, this beer actually defies classification. If I had to place it somewhere (which I have to as the owner of this website), then it would be under the umbrella of an American Amber Ale. Its sweet malty profile and amber hues were its primary characteristics. However, that does not convey the entire story, as this review points out. Regardless, I can still recommend this brew to any and all beer fans. It offers great taste and high accessibility, allowing seasoned drinkers and novices alike to indulge in some brain-churning beer fun. After all, that's what we love about the American craft beer movement: an ever changing landscape. I tip my drinking hat to Flying Dog for always keeping our taste buds guessing.

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Counter Culture by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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