Frederick, MD — When Hunter S. Thompson, the prolific Gonzo journalist and longtime friend of Flying Dog founder George Stranahan, died in 2005, the brewery paid tribute the only way it knew how: A beer.
Gonzo is a deep, dark, and rich Imperial Porter with notes of chocolate, roast, and a swift kick of hop bitterness at the end — the latter something Flying Dog knew the Good Doctor would appreciate.
And Ralph Steadman, Hunter’s partner in crime and pursuit of the American Dream, followed suit with a now-iconic illustration of a cigarette-smoking skeleton proclaiming “OK, let’s party,” which adorns each bottle of Gonzo Imperial Porter to this day.
Now, Flying Dog and Steadman, the brewery’s iconic label artist who is 77 years old, teamed up on limited-edition magnums (3-liter bottles) of Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter signed by Steadman himself.
Typically released once a year in 750-ml bottles in extremely limited supply, Barrel-Aged Gonzo is six months in the making, with the beer being aged for a minimum of three months in oak whiskey barrels.
“The result is an even more complex flavor profile with vanilla notes from the oak and subtle and soothing whiskey warmth,” Flying Dog Brewmaster Matt Brophy, said.
Only 100 magnums were produced and signed by Steadman. Each bottle is sealed in wax and comes in a custom-fitted wooden display box branded with the Flying Dog logo, originally created by Steadman in 1995. A numbered certificate of authenticity and pair of Flying Dog goblets are also included with each magnum.
These collector’s items are $500 each and on sale now exclusively at the Flying Dog Brewery gift shop. All of the proceeds benefit The Gonzo Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to promote literature, journalism, and political activism through the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. It was established by Hunter’s wife, Anita Thompson, and is based at Owl Farm in Woody Creek, Colorado.
About Flying Dog Brewery:
As one of the fastest-growing regional craft breweries in the mid-Atlantic, Flying Dog has been brewing world-class beer that pushes the confines of traditional styles for almost 25 years. Flying Dog attracts everyone from craft beer connoisseurs to those just catching the wave with up to 20 styles available at any given time and its Gonzo ties to writer Hunter S. Thompson and artist Ralph Steadman. Named the Mid-Size Craft Brewery of the Year at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival (the highest honor for its size in the United States), recent accolades for Flying Dog include its Pale Ale ranked as the #1 American Pale Ale in the U.S. by The New York Times. For more information, please visit www.flyingdogbrewery.com.