Marylanders and the Old Bay-obsessed will want to head to ChurchKey tomorrow night for Flying Dog Brewery’s release of its Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale.

This is the first keg tapping of the beer in D.C., says Flying Dog sales representative Nate Eckert. However, attendees of Savor, the craft brewery festival held at the National Building Museum, got an early taste last Friday when Eckert and his colleague Tommy Hunter passed out bottle pours.

Flying Dog collaborated with Old Bay on the beer to support Maryland’s True Blue program, which promotes restaurants and retailers that use real Maryland crab. The wheat ale is 5.6 percent alcohol and has citrus hop character and Old Bay seasoning added in during the brewing process. I sampled the beer at Savor and was surprised at how light, crisp, and refreshing it tasted. As someone who’s used to picking crabs covered and caked in Old Bay, I expected a heavier ale with spicy notes. But, this beer is surprisingly mild in its flavor and perfect for drinking on hot summer days. It may even appeal to those who generally can’t stand Old Bay seasoning.

The limited release will be available through Labor Day in eight states, including Maryland and Virginia, plus the District. If you’re looking for Dead Rise in stores, you might have to wait a few more days. A call-in earlier this week to a few beer and wine shops both in Maryland and D.C. had most store managers anxious and eager for their shipments. Expect it any day now. Rodman’s in Friendship Heights received a shipment yesterday.

Already, the beer has arrived in Baltimore. It’s even being sold at Camden Yards. You can expect it soon at bars and restaurants that regularly serve Flying Dog, Eckert says.

For tomorrow night’s release party at ChurchKey, which begins at 6 p.m., the brewery will also serve five other Flying Dog beers: Bloodline Blood Orange Ale, The Truth Imperial IPA, Easy IPA, Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout, and a cask beer, Mint Chocolate Stout.

Photo by Tim Ebner