Dogfish Head in the New Yorker

Hat tip to my brother-in-law Scott to the New Yorker article about extreme beer in general, and Dogfish Head in particular. It explores the idea of so-called “extreme beer,” it’s definition, and at what point “extreme beer” blurs the line and becomes … well, not beer at all.

Please click above to read the full article, but a couple points I found interesting that I didn’t know previously:

  • Belgian brewing acts as a rebellion against the Reinheitsgebot (Germany’s ancient beer purity law).
  • Brooklyn Brewery’s — and Beerjanglin’ patron saint — Garrett Oliver doesn’t like DFH 120 Minute IPA and calls it “unbalanced and shrieking.” (Great minds think alike.)
  • Palo Santo isn’t just an outstanding Shearwater album, but also one of the hardest woods in the world. (It means, literally, “blessed wood.”) The barrel made of this wood in which DFH’s Palo Santo Marron is made cost $140,000 and was made in Buffalo.
  • Dogfish Head is the 38th largest brewery in the United States, and makes more beers with 10% alcohol or more than any other brewery in the country.
  • DFH founder Sam Calagione helped make wine as a kid and didn’t graduate high school.
  • A craft brewery produces less than two million barrels a year, a microbrewery produces less than fifteen thousand, and a brewpub serves at least a quarter of its beer in house.
  • A lot of Calagione’s inspiration was derived from Michael Jackson’s “World Guide to Beer.”
  • Dogfish Head was the first legal brewpub in the state of Delaware, and only became legal after Calagione petitioned for it.
  • The inimitable 60 Minute IPA was inspired by a tv chef making soup, and originally made using a vibrating “electric football” game.
  • “Mother nature makes wine; Brewers make beer.”
  • Trappist monks like Budweiser … sort of.
  • Wine finds its roots in aristocracy, due to the relative rarity in it’s regional and seasonal limitations; beer trickled down to the working class once the technology needed to produce it was created.
  • Marketing to craft beer enthusiasts, and all the while chastising darker beers for their impurities is “beer racism”!

Of course, I left a lot of good stuff out, so make sure you read the article.


~ by William H on November 21, 2008.

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