A petition for an official Maryland State Beer (it has Old Bay in it)

Old Bay Seasoning has had its moment this month.

Pepperidge Farms rolled out Old Bay-flavored Goldfish crackers. Campbell’s Soup started selling Old Bay-flavored chunky clam chowder. Now Frederick, Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery is bringing back its Old Bay Summer Ale.

And Flying Dog thinks it should be Maryland’s official state beer.

The Old Bay-flavored Dead Rise Summer Ale from Frederick, Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewery. (Courtesy Flying Dog Brewery)

The beer itself isn’t new. Named “Dead Rise,” a nod to the hull of a boat and the Chesapeake Bay’s summer crab culture, it is a spring tradition for Flying Dog.

For the 2022 release of Dead Rise, Flying Dog is pushing a Change.org petition to convince Gov. Larry Hogan’s office to declare it the official beer of the State of Maryland.

“Let’s get loud enough that Governor Hogan’s office hears us and elevates Dead Rise to the level of the Oriole and Black-eyed Susan where it belongs,” said Ben Savage, Flying Dog’s chief marketing officer.

It would be a first. No other state has an official state beer. (Maryland already does have an official state drink — milk).

When Flying Dog originally released the seasonal Old Bay-tasting summer ale in 2014, the Washington Post declared it The Most Maryland Beer Ever.

Flying Dog’s partnership with Old Bay owner McCormick & Co., also a Maryland company, makes it the only brewery officially allowed to use the seasoning in its beer.

It said the 2022 edition is made with more Old Bay than before. It has 5.7% alcohol by volume, and new this year is Double Dead Rise, an imperial version of the Summer Ale with more than twice the spice and 9% ABV.

Both beers are now available at retailers throughout Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

Part of sales proceeds go to the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s True Blue initiative, which promotes use of Maryland-sourced crabs by restaurants.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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