“Holy crap, what is THIS?!” Was that your reaction when you first saw Flying Dog on the shelf? That was mine. I bought a six pack and walked out the door with my mouth still agape. The artwork is angry, obnoxious, unconventional — and I love it.
Ralph Steadman, the man responsible for the Flying Dog logo and labels, was introduced to brewery owner George Stranahan by mutual friend Hunter S. Thompson. While best-known for his work with Thompson, Steadman’s portfolio also includes illustrations for editions of Alice In Wonderland, Treasure Island, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, a Frank Zappa compilation album and the Cardinal Zin wine label.
The first label Steadman created for Flying Dog was for their Road Dog Scottish Porter. In addition to his frenetic, in-your-face style art, he adorned the label with “Good Beer, No Shit.” The Colorado State Liquor Board insisted the phrase be banned, but after 5 years of court battles and assistance from the ACLU, it proudly graces the beer’s label once again.