Well, it finally happened: Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, won a James Beard award last week. If you’re not familiar with the James Beard awards, they’re the pinnacle of excellence and respect in the culinary world. Just to be nominated for an award is a career-changing honor. Since 1990, The James Beard Foundation has searched all over the country for the best chefs, restaurants and bars, and they give an award for the Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional as well. Calagione has been nominated in that category every year since 2011. This year, he pulled down the top prize and joined a very short list of brewers who have nabbed the honor (Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery).
Under Calagione’s supervision, Dogfish Head has grown to be one of the biggest independent breweries in the country, hitting the number 14 spot on this year’s list from the Brewers Association. They brew more than 250,000 barrels of beer a year, distribute to 34 states, but have managed to maintain their reputation for brewing “off-centered” beers. They put out hop bombs and beers with no hops whatsoever (seriously). They put out beer designed for drinking while listening to music, and beers brewed from recipes found on Egyptian hieroglyphics.
So, in honor of Calagione’s award, we decided to put together a gallery of beers that make Dogfish Head Dogfish Head. Take a look and hit up your local bottle shop to see if you can put together the ultimate Dogfish Head six pack.
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120 Minute IPA
You can't talk about Dogfish Head without talking about 120 Minute, which comes in between 15-20% ABV and breaks the IBU scale. It's continuously hopped throughout the brewing process, then dry-hopped and bottled unfiltered. They're releasing it twice this year, too.
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Beer To Drink Music To
A beer inspired by music? Ambitious. This year, it's a tropical blonde brewed with kiwi juice and hibiscus flowers. As always, it's the official beer of Record Store Day.
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Burton Baton will knock you on your ass. It's a blend of imperial IPA and English strong ale aged in oak barrels. It ain't for everyone.
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Dogfish Head loves sessionable sours, and they've been brewing this Berliner Weisse since 2007. Think, green apples and apricots and a low ABV.
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Saison du Buff
We're putting this beer on the list because it shows off Dogfish Head's spirit of camaraderie. In 2003, Dogfish Head, Victory Brewing and Stone all joined forces to form the BUFF Alliance (Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor). Each year, a different brewery takes turns brewing Saison du Buff.
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Beer for Breakfast
Exactly what it sounds like, this beer is brewed with breakfast foods. Specifically, cold press coffee, maple syrup and Rapa Scrapple (leftover hotdog bits).
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Oak-Aged Noble Rot
Noble Rot is a "science experiment" of a beer that includes the addition of two white wine grapes. The Oak-Aged version is obviously aged in oak (for a year). It's like if you spilled white wine in your beer. But better than that.
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Dogfish Head used ingredients and traditions taken from Egyptian hieroglyphics to brew this beer. They used an ancient form of wheat and loaves of bread, chamomile and various herbs from the Middle East. They even went to Egypt and captured a native yeast strain.
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This imperial stout was released in honor of the 40th anniversary of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew album. It's actually three parts imperial stout and one part honey beer.
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Liquor de Malt
It's a 40 because it comes in a paper bag, but it's fancy cause of the name. They claimed it was the world's only bottle-conditioned malt liquor.