Friday, December 07, 2007

Dogfish Head brewery

So, I haven't yet done a post about beer, another of my favorite things. What better way than to review my one of my favorite breweries?

Dogfish Head brewery is a New Jersey-based, self-described "off-center brewery." I interpret this to mean that they think outside the box, and it's evident in many of their craft beers. They seem to have a real interest in recreating exotic, ancient, or historical styles of beer. The range of their products is truly astounding. See below for a list and short reviews of all the beers I've tasted so far.

If you live in the Northeast U.S., chances are good that you will be able to find Dogfish Head 60-minute IPA on tap at a local bar or restaurant. This is by far the most popular Dogfish Head brew, and for good reason. If you are into hoppy, crisp, cleansing IPAs, you will absolutely love this beer.

At some point, I'm looking forward to making a trip to New Jersey to hit up the Dogfish Head brewery and brew-pub (at which they sample brews that they exclusively serve in the brew pub). I have heard that the tours and service at the brew pub are not stellar (I guess they have trouble retaining good servers and bartenders since it's sort of a tourist-y area), but it would still be worth it.

As a side note, Dogfish Head also distills small batches of its own hard liquors, which you can only get in New Jersey and some parts of Maryland apparently. I'd be interested to taste those as well!

60-minute IPA Like I said, this is the most popular and widely distributed brew from Dogfish Head. A great example of the classic, hoppy India Pale Ale!

90-minute IPA If you like your IPA a little stronger, try the 90-minute. I actually like this one more than the 60-minute, though if you are less into the bitter, citrus-rind elements that accompany many IPAs, you may not enjoy this one as much as the 60-minute.

Indian Brown Ale This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted. It has a delicious roasted, nutty flavor that goes down so smooth you'll swear it's a porter.

Midas Touch Golden Elixir This one is really interesting: it's an honeyed herb-beer that is created to replicate the earliest known fermented beverage recipe, discovered in what is believed to be King Midas's tomb. Interestingly, there was no actual recipe: the components for the beverage were chemically determined by analyzing residue found in some of the gold chalices in the chamber.

In the same vein, I wonder if Dogfish Head will now set about attempting to recreate the fermented cacao beverage that was recently discovered in much the same way in excavations of Mayan ruins.

R'aison D'Etre I didn't really care for this beer or the next: they were both sweeter than I like my beer. If you enjoy Belgian beers, though, these have that caramelly, sweet element that many Belgian beers have.

R'aison D'Extra This one is much like the R'aison D'Etre, but MORE so. Though they are both brewed with raisins, I really didn't taste them, though this is definitely a sweeter, darker beer.

Punkin Ale I cannot encourage you to try this enough: This is one of the best pumpkin beers you will ever have: it tastes exactly like pumpkin pie! Dogfish head brews it with the classic pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. But watch tastes like dessert and goes down easily, but at over 7% ABU, it can take you by surprise!!

Enjoy, and please drink responsibly.