Name: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales
Location: Milton, DE
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 adding wine or cider to their beers or brewing beers based off of music legends or reverse-engineering ancient ales from civilizations across the globe, 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. Little known fact: their Indian Brown Ale is one of the most underrated in the country.
Beer #1: Namaste (Witbier / 4.8%)
In Their Own Words: "A witbier bursting with good karma. Made with dried organic orange slices, fresh-cut lemongrass and a bit of coriander, this Belgian-style white beer is a great thirst quencher. Namaste was originally brewed at our pub in Rehoboth Beach with our Italian friend Leo from Birra del Borgo. It was a tribute to our friends at 3 Fonteinen brewery in Belgium, who had devastating production loss (1/3 of their annual production) in 2009. You can read more about the original brewing of this beer here on Sam's blog."
Food Pairing: Strawberry rhubard pie (Tart shells filled with poached rhubarb and fresh strawberries.)
Our Thoughts: DFH is right, this is incredibly thirst-quenching, and the addition of lemongrass is a nice touch. But Namaste is also pretty easy to get your hands on. The orange and coriander will play really nicely with strawberry rhubard pie. This will be one of the more refreshing pairings out there and a very good palate cleanser.
Beer #2: Raw Creation (Spice beer / 9.1%)
In Their Own Words: "Raw Creation is a collaborative effort between Dogfish Head and D.C.-based Goûter, producer of raw, organic tonics and cleanses. For this beer we decided to go with a Midas Touch recipe base sans saffron (same grain bill, honey, and white Muscat grape juice) combined with Goûter’s Hydrate Tonic, made from Lemon, Cayenne Pepper, Coconut Nectar, Cucumber, and Lemongrass. The result is a refreshingly acidic and earthy brew with light honey notes and combined with cooling cucumber and woody finish. Despite the close relationship to Midas in recipe, the result is amazingly different with the addition of the Tonic. A perfect pairing for lighter fair – salads and grilled fish will balance out the beer perfectly."
Food Pairing: Saffron and Coconut Crab with Shaved Cucumber and Harissa
Our Thoughts: Certainly one of the more interesting beers out there that you'll see, and this may be your only opportunity to see it that isn't at the brewpub. Not sure about the whole "tonic" aspect here, but certainly all of those flavors will play nicely with each other. This could wind up being one of the most refreshing 9+% beers you'll ever have, especially when you talk about having the cucumber in the accompanying food pairing.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.