Interview with Matt Brophy, Brewmaster & COO of Flying Dog Brewery
Since opening as a brewpub in Aspen, Colorado in 1990, Flying Dog Brewery has taken the craft beer world by storm. Today they ship more than 800,000 cases a year, across the world from their state-of-the-art facility in Frederick, Maryland. Matt Brophy, Flying Dog’s Brewmaster and COO, shares with us what makes craft beer so unique.
What makes craft beer different from other beers?
Craft beers draw their inspiration not from the factory profit-driven-machine mentality but from the creative desire to produce a product that is unique to its creator, the brewer, and enjoyable to the customer. Although beer is very simple in that is contains only four ingredients – water, malted barley, hops and yeast – it’s the nontraditional ingredients such as the use of spices, fruits, sugars and alternative cereal grains that has found its way to craft beers.
How does Flying Dog brew their beer?
Flying Dog brewers use traditional brewing techniques and all-natural ingredients.
Generally speaking all beers are a balance of malt sweetness and hop bitterness. A good brewer can manipulate ingredients to produce aromas and flavors ranging from crisp and quenching to much bolder sensory experiences.
With the Super Bowl coming up, can you recommend special beers that pair well with Super Bowl food/snacks?
Our hoppy Snake Dog IPA pairs with a spicy-hot pepper jack cheese but it will also do well with hot wings, spicy salsa or queso dip. Dog Schwarz is brewed using smoked malt and has a moderate amount of smoke in the aroma and flavor. This beer pairs great with smoked or grilled meats. A malty American amber lager like our Old Scratch goes great with some brats from the grill.
What tips do you have for pairing craft beer with food?
The simplest and best advise I have is to have fun and experiment. There is no “right” or “wrong” pairing as long as it tastes good to you.