Dogfish Head Brewery, hailing from the great state of Delaware, is groundbreaking in the craft beer world. So much of what this brewery releases receives rave reviews, and for good reason. The brewers use ingredients from around the globe to create unique and exquisite craft beers. Much of what they produce is significantly higher in alcohol content than your typical Budweiser or Miller Lite, and the quality of their brews is significantly better too. Here I have listed some of their more inventive beers to maybe inspire you to try one.
- World Wide Stout- 18% abv . Imperial Stout. The beer is dark, heavy, and syrupy; you almost feel like you’re drinking a meal. Complex flavors, heavy with chocolate and cherry. This is a beer to sip and enjoy instead of chug. Works well paired with meat or dessert. This is a brew that every beer lover needs to try, but be aware of the high alcohol content. This is one of the strongest beers they sell. World Wide Stout is only available on occasion, so grab it while you can.
- Olde School Barleywine: 15% abv. Barleywine. Very malty but balanced with a bit of bitter hoppiness. It is aged with figs and dates which help create a bold but beautiful flavor. The beer’s aroma of caramel and spices really adds to the experience. You can definitely taste the alcohol here, though it is in no way unpleasant. This is a good beer to let age on the shelf for a while because over time, the hops fall back and the fruit flavors become more noticeable. This brew is only released once a year, so it’s a great one to buy in bulk when it’s available (around November) and save for later.
- 120 Minute IPA: 18% abv. Double/Imperial India Pale Ale. Dogfish Head takes hops to the extreme with this brew; this is one of the hoppiest beers available on the market. The flavor is sweet and citrusy with orange undertones and the bitter hops are heavily present (especially in a fresh bottle). It’s almost like a whirlwind in your mouth—tremendously complex. This brew also improves with age because, again, the hops recede somewhat to let the other flavors come out. 120 Minute IPA is brewed three times a year, but according to the Dogfish Head website, the next batch won’t be available until early next year. It should be noted that the brewery distributes 90 Minute IPAs and 60 Minute IPAs year round.
- Black and Blue: 10% abv. Belgian-style Golden Ale. This spectacular beer tastes and smells heavily like fruit, due to the fact that it is fermented with tons (literally) of blackberries and blueberries. An explanation of the process and why it is superior to other ways of adding fruit to beer can be found here: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/black-blue.htm. Black and Blue may not be the best beer for hops fans or those who dislike their alcohol tasting strongly like fruit. On the other hand, if you have a sweet tooth like me and like the idea of tasting delicious fruit while drinking, this is definitely a beer to try. Like the others, it has limited availability.
- Raison D’Etre: 8% abv. Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Because this beer is brewed with beet sugar and raisins, those flavors are very noticeable upon first sip. There is just a little bit of hops, and the taste of the alcohol is very present. Craft beers can sometimes be more enjoyable when paired with food, as is the case here. Sharp cheeses or beef (particularly grilled) pair quite nicely with this.
- Palo Santo Marron: 12% abv. American Brown Ale. One of the most interesting things about this beer is that it isn’t aged in normal vessels; it is aged in 10,000 gallon barrels made from Palo Santo wood from Paraguay. How does that affect the flavor? The wood gives the beer a nice caramel, vanilla flavor, and a hint of cocoa is also present. The 12% alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming at all, and the texture is almost a little bit creamy but not thick. This awesome brew is available in 4-packs year round, which makes me very, very happy.
This brewery is much more versatile than just these beers. Whether you love or hate beer, I suggest going out and trying a Dogfish Head beer or two. It might just open your eyes to new delicious beverage opportunities!