The flavors of "creamy taffy and bright citrus notes" inspire Flying Dog's newest beer. Photo: Dolle's Candyland

Saltwater Taffy Beer? The Iconic Beach Treat in Drinkable Form

If you thought Old Bay beer was about as “Maryland” as it could get, think again. Flying Dog, the Frederick-based brewing company that brought us the popular Dead Rise Old Bay Gose, has now teamed up with Dolle’s Candyland, maker of saltwater taffy “down the ocean”, at Maryland and Delaware beaches.

Flying Dog’s limited-release Saltwater Taffy IPA, the first of its kind, will be in stores starting the first week of June. The brewery describes it as having “an unmistakable flavor that takes you back to days full of taffy at the beach, while not letting you forget you’re drinking an IPA.” The 7.6% ABV beer “perfectly blends the flavor of freshly squeezed lemons and citrus hops with rich notes of vanilla creaminess.”

This beer (probably) tastes like summertime in Ocean City, Md.

The inspiration for the beer came from the brewery’s annual pitch program, in which employees come up with ideas for “Brewhouse Rarities”. “Our team loves coming up with surprising flavors to wow consumers and when we can do that while partnering with local legends like Dolle’s, it makes it that much sweeter,” said James Maravetz, VP of Marketing at Flying Dog Brewery.

Saltwater Taffy IPA will be available in 6-packs of 12oz bottles.

“Taste tests were enjoyed thoroughly between both Maryland businesses as we developed an IPA that invokes fun and summer with inspired flavors of Dolle’s lemon saltwater taffy,” says Anna Dolle Bushnell, President of Dolle’s Candyland, Inc.

And if you’re into this collaboration, you can try the other side of it, too: Dolle’s is producing a beer-flavored taffy with hops provided by Flying Dog, available online at and in their Ocean City, MD retail locations.

Dolle’s Candyland began in 1910 when Rudolph Dolle Sr. bought a small saltwater taffy stand. Four generations later, the Dolle family conitnues to create taffy and treats on premises. There are six candy shop locations, including the Ocean City Boardwalk original and the landmark independently-owned Rehoboth Beach shop.

And for those who tend more towards spicy than sweet, fear not: Flying Dog is bringing back its Dead Rise Old Bay beer this month, for its sixth year. A portion of proceeds from Dead Rise supports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ True Blue Program, supporting restaurants who serve Maryland crab.

-Meg Walburn Viviano