We've been burned by gimmick-ingredient beers before, so we went in ready to do battle with an aggressively-spiced ale. And because of that, we weren't getting a lot of Old Bay on the first sips. But Dead Rise does taste like Old Bay... Flying Dog was just smart and played it subtle. You'll detect the spice in the back of your throat as it goes down, and by the midway point of your bottle, you might even get the slightest burn on your lips, as if you actually just ate a spice-rubbed crab. The seasoning is there, but this is first and foremost a beer, and a supremely drinkable one at that.
Like any good summer ale, it's light and smooth, only this one comes with an interesting finish thanks to the spice. The aftertaste is almost hoppy, but relax, IPA haters, you'll definitely still like this.
Flying Dog actually pulled this thing off. Dead Rise Summer Ale will satisfy Old Bay fanatics, but it's good enough for everyone to enjoy, crab cakes or no.
Kristin Hunt is a food/drink staff writer for Thrillist, and expects this beer to become Maryland's number one celebrity. No disrespect to Ginuwine. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.