Wednesday, June 1, 2011


In case you're unaware, that's Lauren and me with Sam Calgione, founder of Dogfish Head, pretty badass, I know. A huge thanks to Ken and Colleen for catching this one and getting us tickets to the 2nd Annual Weekend Of Compelling Ales And What Not at the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton DE (something I hope turns into an annual trip for the four of us). Speaking of Ken and Colleen....they are also badass.

Not our first trip there, but definitely a special one. This trip was back in April, but as I'm trying to get this whole blog thing going here, I feel there are things from the past that I need to mention. We got to meet not only Sam, but also the head brewmaster Floris, both are super guys. There were also tons of special and limited released DFH beers to buy and try.

The beer...there was a first for me on this trip, Randall The Enamel Animal. This character first came on the scene when the folks at DFH wanted to take their hoppy beers even further. Think a 60 Minute is hoppy? Imagine it run through Randall full of hops...ya. I got to try three beers through Randall, Midas Touch Mojitos (Midas Touch run through mint leaves), Chicory Stout Coffee (you guessed it, Chicory Stout run through fresh coffee beans) and Namaste run through fresh lemon grass and orange peels at Sunday's brunch. All were good, the Midas Touch was the winner though. The Chicory had some unexpected sweetness to it after being run through the beans. The lemon grass and orange peels didn't add much to the Namaste, but it's a fine beer all by itself.

The hands down highlight of the weekend was Saturday night at the brew pub when Ken and I were lucky enough to hear that they had tapped another keg of Johnny Cask 75 Minute IPA. I think Ken will agree with me when I say, I have never had a beer that tasted like this. It has the hoppiness of the 60, the smoothness of the 90, and then a completely unique character that I really can't describe. Lets put it this way, if you're ever at the brew pub in Rehoboth and they have it on tap, call me, I'll be in the car driving down before I hang up the phone.

First off, in it's most basic form 75 Minute IPA is simply a blend of our 60 Minute IPA and our 90 Minute IPA. Some accounts which have both beers on tap have been serving the 75 Minute IPA blend for quite some time now. You can even make your own - just get both beers and blend away!

So what's different about the cask version? The cask version of 75 Minute IPA takes the concept to the next level! To create the cask version, we retrofitted a 15-bbl tank at the Milton brewery (we've named the tank Johnny Cask) to perfectly produce this blend. The cask-version of 75 Minute gets a special whole-leaf dry-hopping session in this tank, then gets transferred to firkins and dosed with fresh yeast and maple syrup from the ole family homestead (Red Brook Farm in western Mass.).

It was a great weekend in Milton with great friends. An extended brewery tour, some Randall experiments, some new beers, and of course...a full trunk on the way home. If you travel to the Deleware beaches this summer, stop in at Dogfish Head, you won't be disappointed.

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