Location: Milton, Delaware
Type: Production brewery (though there is a Dogfish brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)
Available in DC Market?: Yes
What you need to know: What do you need to know? Well, you probably know quite a bit. Sam Calagione is a rock star in the craft beer world. Dogfish Head is the gateway craft beer for a ton of new industry devotees. Hell, they even had their own TV show. Don’t be surprised to see Dogfish Head branded lunchboxes in your kid’s elementary school someday soon. But seriously, Dogfish is one of the country’s largest craft breweries, and they still continue to push the envelope in a number of ways. Whether it’s making chicha (mmm, salivary amylase) or beers based off of music legends, you can be sure Dogfish is always going to give you something new and different in addition to their line-up of IPAs that are (famously) continuously hopped for different lengths of time. Last year they collaborated with Sam Adams to brew SAVOR Flowers, the favor for everyone who attended SAVOR. It was kind of a dud, unfortunately, but I’m hopeful this year’s offerings will be better, and we’ll keep the rose water out of it.
Beer #1: Noble Rot (Saison / 9.0%)
Notes: Quintessential Dogfish Head here. Noble Rot is a saison, kinda. But not really. It’s also a weird intersection of beer and wine. From the website: “The first addition is unfermented juice, known as must, from viognier grapes that have been infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis. This noble rot reduces the water content in the grapes while magnifying their sweetness and complexity. The second is pinot gris must intensified by a process called dropping fruit, where large clusters of grapes are clipped to amplify the quality of those left behind…Noble Rot is brewed with pils and wheat malts and fermented with a distinct Belgian yeast strain. It has a spicy white wine body and a dry, tart finish.”
BeerAdvocate Grade: 89 (171 reviews)
Ratebeer Grade: 95 overall, 99 style (193 ratings)
Beer #2: Tweason’ale (Fruit beer / 6.0%)
Notes: Those with celiac, rejoice! There’s something here at SAVOR for you! Dogfish Head set out to make a gluten-free beer and did so by mixing sorghum, strawberries, and buckwheat honey. With molasses notes and the strawberries cutting some of the malt, this is pretty easy drinking, but does taste noticeably different from traditional barley-based beer.
BeerAdvocate Grade: 75 (158 reviews)
Ratebeer Grade: 25 overall, 19 style (195 ratings)
Summary: Like last year, personally I wish Dogfish was bringing a beer that they were going to run through a Randall, especially since they now have the Randall, Jr. I’m not a big fan of Noble Rot (too vinous for me by far). The Tweason’ale is Dogfish’s first new 12 oz offering in almost five years, according to their website. Not sure how long it’ll stick around because the process to make it was pretty intensive. Worth a try, but I don’t see anyone going too crazy over it.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.