Freedom and Beer: An Interview With Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso

Photo credit:  CNBC .

Photo credit: CNBC.

R Street's Jarrett Dieterle recently sat down with Flying Dog Brewery's CEO Jim Caruso to talk about cronyism in the beer industry. Flying Dog, the nation's 32nd largest independent craft brewer, is proudly pro-free speech and pro-free market. They're also irreverent and unabashedly edgy:

“'You can say f— in front of the CEO and it’s not a big deal,' says Flying Dog CEO Jim Caruso. In fact, as unbelievable as it might seem, profanity helps explain Flying Dog’s meteoric rise to the top of the craft beer world. Crude language is a key part of the brewery’s edgy vibe—it makes Doggie Style Pale Ale and Raging Bitch Belgian IPA, among other tongue-in-cheek brews—and its willingness to have fun.

'We’re making beer, we’re here to have fun. If we’re defiant, it’s humorously defiant and this is who we are,' says Caruso, who suggests that his customer base views such irreverence as a sign of 'genuineness.' Each Flying Dog beer features a label designed by provocative English artist Ralph Steadman, best-known for his illustrations and cover art collaborations with the gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Indeed, before his death, Thompson himself penned a toast and essay paying homage to Flying Dog beers, further playing into the brewery’s one-of-a-kind image.

But along with f— and fun, there’s another f-word that Flying Dog frequently invokes: freedom. Describing Flying Dog as a 'libertarian brewery,' Caruso says it operates by the principles of free markets and freedom of expression..."

Read the rest of the profile here: