Flying Dog Tasting Room Beer

A Flying Dog Brewery tasting room worker in Frederick pours a beer from the tap in this News-Post file photo.

A Frederick-based brewery is suing North Carolina regulators after one of its beer labels was deemed inappropriate and was rejected.

The owners of Flying Dog Brewery say in the lawsuit filed in federal court last month that the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission violated their First Amendment rights by rejecting the label for its Freezin’ Season Winter Ale, WRAL in North Carolina reported. The artwork consists of the silhouette of a naked man standing next to a campfire.

Flying Dog says the label has been approved in every other state within its 24-state distribution network, according to the lawsuit.

The commission didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment. According to its website, the commission “provides uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption and possession of all alcoholic beverages in the state.”

In 2018, a trade organization in the United Kingdom released a report saying that Flying Dog's Easy IPA could encourage excessive drinking and asked stores not to carry it, The Baltimore Sun reported. At issue was artwork on the can which showed an upright pig-like character with one foot on the ground and the other in the air, while the pig’s arms are outstretched to the sides.

The Portman Group said the illustration “looked akin to someone balancing along a line to demonstrate sobriety,” which it said could be seen as encouraging drunkenness, the newspaper reported.

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of Flying Dog in 2015 regarding a ban of the sale of its Raging Bitch beer in the state of Michigan, news outlets reported. The dispute began in 2009 when a board determined the label to be "detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of the general public.” The label featured a drawing of a female dog with accentuated features, bared teeth and a tongue covered in blood.

Each of the labels were created by artist Ralph Steadman, who frequently collaborated with Hunter S. Thompson, the founder of “gonzo” journalism.

(25) comments


man yall some negative nellys! flying dog is one of the original Frederick breweries. although all of their beers are not my thing, they have more than a few that I really enjoy. And that aside, their successes nationally and worldwide speak for themselves. The comment section of the FNP has just become the same dozen people just bickering and complaining about anything that comes across every single day. It used to be entertaining but lately its just sad.


Google the label. There is nothing inappropriate about the label what so ever. It is more of a cartoon than anything and doesn't show any male anatomy at all.


I don't know I feel like this whole thing is a lesson in Guerrilla marketing.


But if it were a naked woman they would have taken it without a second thought.

C.D.Reid in the Bible Belt so I highly doubt that. Or are you being facetious?

Greg F

Bible belt searches for adult content are highest in the nation.


I just looked into your claim to verify it. Sorry, but you're wrong.


True. But private hypocrisy is different from public hypocrisy. You know the joke about how to keep a Baptist from drinking all the beer on a fishing trip, don’t you?

Greg F

Put Trump on it....will sell like hotcakes to the RRR down there.


If Flying Dog made a decent beer they wouldn't have to rely on outrageous labels. As it is, in my opinion, they produce nothing but swill.

Greg F

On that, I agree…except the Horn Dog Barleywine…though the past 2 years is hopped too much. Everything they make otherwise is so over-hopped and literally vomit inducing at just a swig.


Good to see that there is something upon which we can agree. [thumbup]

Greg F

Good beer will win wars.


Good thing Flying Dog isn't involved in a war then.


I like their beers. I think some of the labels and names of their beers are a little juvenile/over the top.


Feel free to keep drinking piss water like Coors Light and Bud Light then.............craft beer isn't for everyone, obviously


I don't drink either Coors Light or Bud Light. I prefer Smithwicks, Boddington, Guinness, Warsteiner and other quality beers. My particular lager of choice is Stella Artois.



Greg F

KBS Coffee Stout, Dirty Ba**ard, Old Chub (Oscar Blues)....just to name a few. Grew up in a state with highest per-capita bar percentage and breweries everywhere...FD is not good beer.


OK what, Plumbum?



OK. I will give you ^5 with Stella for the win.

Look at Butch trying to be an influencer for Stella Artois…..what product should I be an influencer for?


Trying to be an "influencer for Stella Artois," Snowy? And just how is that? If you stated what your favorite beverage was, would that mean you're an influencer for that company? Boy, with a comment like that, you're really desperate to show us that you're still a cheap troll, aren't you? But, trust me, it really isn't necessary, we already know it.

Greg F

There's craft beer and crap craft beer. Give me a KBS or Founders or Oscar Blues that aren't the hop-fest....that's craft. I made home brew better than FD does.


I've tried multiple craft beers. Here in Frederick County, in other states, and also in Ireland and I've yet to find one that I can honestly say that I like.

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