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Beer Review #129 Namaste

Now that I live in Delaware I feel a special allegiance to Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, DE. I have a number of their beers that I need to review on this site, but most recently I reviewed their Aprihop. I appreciate Dogfish Head for being bold and making beers that not everyone will like. I think sometimes their strive to be unique takes them down dangerous paths, but for the most part, I really enjoy what they brew. Sam has written three books and even had a short lived show on the Discovery Channel (when is that last episode coming out anyway?). I have a lot of respect for what they do and Namaste is one of those beers that I have been meaning to purchase.

Namaste is an Indian word that is used as a common greeting. My wife told me that. The label on the bottle says that Namaste is an ale, “brewed with coriander, orange, and lemongrass.” It also comes in at, for Dogfish Head, a paltry 5% ABV. This beer pours, what I am calling, a “straw orange” color. It isn’t orange and it isn’t straw blonde, but when you combine those colors, you get the color of this beer. The first pour was pretty clear but later pours came in cloudy from the yeast that rests on the bottom of the bottle. There is also a thick white head to go along with everything else.

The nose gives off the orange and lemon that were mentioned on the label. I found that it had a “Blue Moon quality.” It didn’t smell exactly like Blue Moon, but it wasn’t far off either. On the first taste the orange and lemon delivered on the things they promised in the nose. The coriander made an appearance on the back-end of the flavor profile. The coriander is very strong and I am surprised that I didn’t get any on the nose. It almost numbs your tongue.

I wouldn’t call this one of my favorite Dogfish Head beers but it is certainty refreshing. If you are looking for a big bottle of slightly unique, drinkable beer, try this one out. (more…)

Dogfish Head Brewpub visit

As an end of summer trip my wife and I agreed to meet some of my friends for a day at the beach at CapeĀ Henlopen State Park in Lewis, Delaware. We decided to head down to the beach a little early so that we could stop by the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to grab some quality food and brews before beaching it up for the day.

We arrived right around 12:30 and somehow found a spot in their parking lot. We decided to eat on the deck because the temperature was in the low eighties and there was a slight breeze. There wasn’t anyone on the deck for the most part either, which is always a plus in my book. To begin with I ordered a Limb and Life, which was delicious. Limb and Life is made from the second runnings of the Life and Limb ale, a collaboration of Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Limb and Life was very refreshing and fully flavored. It had all of the right notes and body to be a dangerously drinkable beer.

Once our drinks came we ordered lunch. My wife went with the “healthy” option and ordered a turkey sandwich of some kind. I went with the indulgence burger, pictured below. Needless to say it was delicious and I am craving another one already.

We also ordered a custom sampler since Smalls, my wife, couldn’t decide on just one beer. I don’t blame her at all for that. Our choices are pictured below.

  • Black and Red: I never had this one before and I don’t think I’m going to get it again. The beer is “dry hopped” with mint leaves. I thought it had a very medicinal taste and it was the only beer of the day that we didn’t finish
  • Chateau Jiahu: I dig this beer, but my wife digs it more. It has a bubble gum like sweetness and Smalls says it tastes just like candy.
  • Midas Touch: Another beer that both my wife and I dig. The grape flavor goes really well with this beer.
  • My Antonia: It was hoppier than my wife expected but I really like this Imperial Pilsner.
  • 90 Minute IPA: We went on a Monday and they run the beer though the Randall on Mondays. 90 minute was as good as always but I didn’t think that the Randall added a ton to the flavor

After we kicked the sampler we ordered desert. Smalls decided on the Warm Brownie Raison DEtre Sunday. The ice cream is partly made with Raison DEtre. I didn’t care for the ice cream all that much but the brownies were wonderful.

To finish it all up I had a Shelter Pale Ale before meeting my friends. I really like the brewpub in Rehoboth. It is much nicer towards the end of the summer around noon, since the crowds haven’t really hit yet. The outside seating was a big plus. We were under the cover of burlap and hop vines and the table centerpieces were DFH growlers with rope lights inside. I thought the prices were pretty reasonable and I am looking forward to heading back. One final note, Dogfish has the coolest coasters anywhere around.

There are some more pictures if you hit the more button after this sentence. (more…)

Beer Review #102 Aprihop

Aprihop is a spring seasonal beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery located in Milton, Delaware. This is one of the fest seasonal beers that they product that I have never had, so when I saw it in the store recently, I grabbed it up. Dogfish has this to say about their beer:

Aprihop is our fruit beer for hopheads!

It is an American IPA brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts massively hopped in in the continuous fashion. The flavor is complemented by the addition of Apricots.

After fermentation the beer is dry hopped with irresponsible amounts of Amarillo hops. The beer is hoppy in the aroma with the apricots playing a supporting complimentary role.

It sounded like an interesting combination to me. Generally I’m not a fan of fruit beers, but I have never had an IPA version of a fruit beer. The bottle clearly says “an Indian Pale Ale brewed with real apricots.” I enjoy their Punkin Ale so I figure that this beer will also be a nice balance. The beer pours a ruby/amber color and comes with a slightly off-white head. The nose has a faint hoppy odor but it is very strong on the apricots.

On the first taste the apricots really hit home. They are then followed by a slight roasted malt flavor and then the hops kick in. It was actually a very nice progression. The hops and apricots mix wonderfully in the aftertaste as well. After drinking this beer for a bit of time, the apricots fade out of taste and the hops really start to come out. I thought this beer was pretty good but the apricots do get old quickly. Aprihop comes in at 7% ABV and it was a nice attempt at something that hasn’t really been done before. I’m not a huge fan of fruit beers butĀ  I found this to be one of the more drinkable ones out there. (more…)

Brewmasters one week away

The Discovery Channel has taken the first big step in opening up television to the craft beer world. There have been a few smaller shows out there, but this one looks like it will blow them out of the water. Next Sunday, November 21st the new Discovery show Brewmasters will debut. It is hosted by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, and looks to have an awful lot of Dogfish branding going on as well. After reading Sam’s book Brewing Up a Business, I can see why the show looks to be branded so heavily.

I am a big fan of the Discovery Channel, so I am excited to see this show. I regularly watch Stormchasters and Myth Busters. Cash Cab has also been know to grab my attention from time to time. I am sure excited to see where they take the show and about how Sam approaches a beer.

I still think that Dogfish Head is the most adventurous brewery out there, producing 30+ different kinds of beer in a given year. Most breweries will produce a few key beers, and then some specialty beers, but Dogfish really seems to push the limits of what can be done. The biggest thing they seem to do is incorporate ingredients that have never been used in beer or have not been used in hundreds of years. I want to see how the thought process that Sam goes through when designing a beer and bringing it to reality. Below is the promo for the show if you haven’t seen it yet.

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Again the show appears next Sunday, November 21st at 10:00 PM EST.

I hate beer snobs!

Out in Texas I ran into a few beer snobs at the local homebrew club, but overall, they didn’t bother me all that bad. They knew what they liked and what they didn’t. No problem with that. Now that I live in Delaware, I have run into more beer snobs than I have ever met. I think this is do to a larger number of educated beer people, but it is getting annoying.

I was at my new favorite beer place yesterday trying to grab a bottle of Dogfish Head’s Bitches Brew and I ran into the worst beer snobs I have ever met. It started with my wife and I looking around the store trying to see if they had it. We could not find it in any of the coolers or on the shelves so we asked one of the guys who works there if they had it. Limit two per customer, cool. As the worker descended into the back room, a couple who overheard the conversation came over to us and said, “we had a bottle of that this morning, it was alright, not really that great.” What! The rules of being in public say that you don’t listen in on other peoples conversations and make comments on them.

You also do not give your opinion on a beer that someone else specifically asked for unless they ask you for one. We were in the store for about a half hour getting what we wanted and the couple did not move from one shelf the entire time. They were in the way, and were on their iPhones looking up each and every beer on the shelf. If it didn’t have an “A” rating, it did not go in the cart. I hate that. Get something that you like, don’t depend on other people’s tastes. I love the craft beer world and love the community surrounding it, but those kinds of people drive me up the wall.