Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
“Off-centered ales for off-centered people.”
As a brewery, is a treehouse in the front yard a sign of being off-centered? Maybe, maybe not, but then there’s this sign on the men’s room door . . .
. . . and on the ladies’ room it says POO PEE. I rest my case. Of course they can rest their case on a great tap room selection!
This was their first release ever, back in 1995 when they had a 12 *gallon* brewhouse. Now they have a capacity of 600,000 barrels, and the first beer from the first brewery in the first state comes back for an encore. It pours clear and effervescent gold with a generous lemon chiffon head. The nose features earthy hops, Willamette & Columbus, less common these days. There’s a medium amount of malt in the flavor, but the hops are featured. The quiet finish smoothly extends the flavor. Once the hoppiest beer on the east coast, it’s now just a pale ale, “old” fashioned and excellent. 5.0% ABV
Having debuted in February, this Belgian Trippel is golden amber with a generous yellow-tinged head. The aroma is lightly estery, fruity-spicy. Really intense flavor adds biscuit malt to the mix along with the complexity from orange peel, peppercorns, candi sugar and cardamon. There is both sweetness and spicy heat on the subtle finish. 9% ABV
Alternate Takes #1
Brand new in March, this pours golden straw with a moderate ivory head. The aroma gives strong, unusual hops of earth and citrus with mild “cat pee.” There’s a nice medium mouthfeel with a sweet touch and quite a bit of malt for a DIPA. The hops are flavorful but restrained, really good. The finish lingers and moves from sweet fruitiness to become quite bitter. Centennial, Warrior and Idaho 7 hops. 7.8% ABV
120 Minute IPA
“Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it’s easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads!” Well, the Holy Grail is light amber with a generous yellowish head, followed by an intensely bitter citrus nose over bready malt. It coats the mouth, sweet, then a ton of fruit and malt with very clear alcohol heat. The finish is long and sweet with hops as a backbone weaving in and out. Wow. This batch was exactly one week old…so fresh!
There are many rom-coms, but only one rom-chem! You get the aroma almost before you see the beer. There’s a lovely fruity nose masking the hops, in turn masking biscuit and bread malts. It’s a pretty light amber, again with a yellowish head (and it doesn’t appear to be the lighting even though so many of these have shown that color.) Malt charges in on the palate with waves of multiple fruit flavors. The finish is quiet and the hops emerge, citrusy in their own right. 7.2% IPA brewed with apricot, mango & ginger.
This is nearly black with a generous light tan head. The aroma is of Louisiana coffee with a roasty hint and ample malt underneath. On the palate it’s fairly light and crisp, roastiness comes first, then coffee, then the chicory bitterness which lingers with a sweetness through the finish. 5.2% ABV, it’s brewed with three varieties of Mexican coffee, chicory root and licorice, along with Simcoe and Warrior hops.
Pours hazy amber with a brief white head (see, they’re not all yellowish!) At first there’s not much aroma, but then brown bread, malty and boozy notes emerge. The flavor is immediately complex, malt and fruit and hops, lingering into a caramel malt finish. 11% ABV, brewed with peat smoked barley, vanilla, juniper, and maple syrup from Sam’s family’s farm, aged on oak.
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats
It’s time for lunch, and where better than in Rehoboth Beach at the brewpub where it all began. They have many “one-offs” here, along with special and experimental batches. I guess you never know what you’ll find. Pity.
An amber glass with a chestnut tinge and a light but persistent off white head. The nose gives intense blood orange citrus over biscuit malt. The flavor is rich, citrusy & malty, quite crisp, then some candi sugar sweetness comes in. All these carry into the finish with the hops emerging to dry things out. Way out on the end, as it warms, a melon note comes in with more sweetness. 7.6% ABV, brewed with “blood orange juice, sliced lemon and orange zest. Dark & medium crystal malts. Centennial and HBC431 dry hops at massive 2 pounds per barrel.” This played really well with salty, salsa spicy fish tacos, even with the cilantro.
Cask 75 Minute IPA
This is exactly the same color as Five Bloods with a more persistent version of the same head. The aroma is not as hoppy as I would expect, but shows citrus and malt. On the palate this is super malty and mouth coating with lots of caramel and zesty hops, and with obvious oak notes. The barrel aging lifts this from good to great. Stone fruit and hops alternate on the finish, with malt and syrup along for the ride. 7.5% ABV, this doesn’t pair as well with the tacos, needing something more meaty or umame, or maybe barbecue.
You wouldn’t get the impression that I like Dogfish, would you?