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Dogfish Head introduces new saison for summer

PrintSam Calgione of Dogfish Head Brewing Company has always been a rebel in the craft beer industry. His brews are creative, intriguing and often confounding. Beers brewed at the brewery often contain exotic ingredients like rooibos tea from Africa, grape juice infected with noble rot and doum-palm fruit. Not your everyday beer ingredients.

For the summer season, the brewery has introduced a new beer with even more unusual ingredients. Biere De Provence, is a saison brewed with lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil as a nod to the aromatic herbs used in Southern French cuisine.

To learn more abut the brewery’s summer offerings, read the full press release below:

MILTON, DE (April 27, 2016) — Dogfish Head is proudly celebrating 21-years of boycotting the Reinheitsgebot. Highlighting a commitment to creating off-centered ales with creative and unexpected ingredient and flavor combinations, Dogfish Head has curated an ‘Off-centered Summer’ releasing three beers that pair perfectly with the sweaty months.

Brand new for 2016 is  an ode to Dogfish Head’s celebrated tradition of creating culinary-focused brews. Inspired by the aromatic and flavorful Herbs de Provence of Southern France, this complex and refreshing Saison was brewed with lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil. Fermented using a Belgian yeast strain, the golden amber beer clocks in at 8.3% ABV and 30 IBUs, and will be available on taps and retail shelves beginning late May.

Back by popular demand and also available beginning late May is Festina Peche, Dogfish Head’s tart summer session sour brewed with peach juice. This neo-Berliner Weisse is unique in that the fruit complexity is woven into the aroma and taste through the natural fermentation of the peach sugars. No need to doctor this beer with fruit wedges – just open and enjoy! The pale straw-colored brew clocks in at 4.5% ABV and 8 IBUs, making for a unique and highly sessionable summer beer.

Continuing Dogfish’s commitment to the art community, Festina Peche’s label features original custom illustrations by Drew Millward. Millward’s art has been featured on iconic labels, posters and apparel for clients such as Nike, Foo Fighters and Phish. He also created the labels of three other Dogfish seasonal beers this year, interpreting the flavors of each beer into eye-catching and intricate works of art.

“We are proud to release these two culinary ingredient-infused beers on the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot,” says Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione. “We have always believed this law is nothing more than a relatively modern form of art censorship.”

Rounding out the Off-centered Summer releases is Namaste, the summer brew bursting with good karma. The Belgian-style Witbier quenches thirst with every sip, filling the palate with notes of dried organic orange slices, fresh-cut lemongrass and coriander. Clocking in at 4.8% ABV and 20 IBUs, this beer is an ideal session beer for hot days in the sun. Dogfish Head fans have also been known to mix Namaste with orange juice to create a “beermosa,” perfect for summertime brunches. Namaste is available on taps and retail shelves year-round.

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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Acid spill evacuates Dogfish Head brewery

Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Del. suffered a spill of 300 gallons of nitric acid forcing the evacuation of the plant. Known for outrageous brews, the brewery is relieved that no workers were injured in the accident.

View video here.

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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery

 

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Reflections on a beer weekend with family

familyAfter a great weekend of beer sometimes it is nice to sit back and reflect on the fun that was had and the memories that were made. Followers of this column have often read that beer is a social beverage. It started over 9,000 years ago as the driving force behind binding our nomadic ancestors in civilized communities and continues to bring people together. Whether it is family, friends, or date night, beer can – and often does – helps people connect.

This week I had the pleasure of conducting my sister and brother-in-law around to several of my favorite beer destination here in Jacksonville.

First, we dined at the always fun and delicious Kickbacks in the King Street Beer District. And, even though the draft list is truncated due to the on-going construction of Guttyworks & Goozelpipes – Kickbacks’ soon-to-open sister restaurant and beer bar, owner Steve Flores manages to keep excellent brews on the menu. I accompanied my perfectly cooked ribeye with garlic-cream sauce with the tasty Ipswich Dark Ale, a satisfyingly hoppy brown ale. Others at the table sampled Tucher Helles Hefe Weizen, a smooth and refreshing brew with delightful fruity notes.

Following Kickbacks we meandered over to Bold City Brewing Company where I sipped on their newest release Big John Miller’s Apricot Wheat. This is a worthy edition to the Bold City lineup and perfect for a warm summer evening sitting al fresco in the parking lot of the brewery. It is a golden hued, cloudy wheat beer with all the notes one expects in a well-crafted wheat – flavorful malts with just the right touch of sweetness and subdued bitterness. The edition of fruit provides a delightfully tart apricot bite that is perfect for drinking with friends and family while catching up.

The next night, Friday, was date night and my girlfriend and I decided a stop at Intuition Ale Works was in order. As most people who know me will tell you, I am not shy about talking of my love for this local gem of a brewery. The consistent quality and friendly servers – who I am proud to call my friends – make this a favorite tap room for nearly all who enter. I enjoyed their distinctive Belgian-style Golden Ale, Duuval first and enjoyed the unique twist given to this stalwart style of beer. But, the star of the night was their popular rye ale Shotgun Shack served on nitro. The addition of nitro lent a smooth creamy character to the beer that I had never experienced before – but, will definitely drink again!

Intuition was followed by Dahlia’s Pour House another King Street Beer District bar that is always adding interesting and difficult-to-get brews to their tap line. My girlfriend is on a bit of a lambic kick lately and went for the Framboise while I went for Dogfish Head’s fruity and hoppy seasonal Aprihop. While we enjoyed our drinks, a follower of the blog and his wife stopped in to chat and enjoy a beer or two. In all it was another very enjoyable evening.

And then on Saturday I had the pleasure of pouring beer at the funky and fun Green Man Gourmet store in Avondale. Pete, an advertiser on the television show I appear on, I Know Jax, and a friend had asked me to pour the new Belgian Trappist ales he is selling and talk to his customers about the brews. Of course I agreed and, as always had a great time pouring. The first brew on the pour list was Westmalle Tripel an elegant, fruity and exceptional ale that is perfect for special occasions or dinners at home. Next in order of lightest in color to darkest was the always delicious Orval that presents itself with a hop-forward character due to the dry-hopping done during fermentation and the slight tang of brett yeast added in secondary fermentation. The third brew that was offered for tasting was Westmalle Dubbel a slightly sweet beer with hints of toffee, dark fruits and chocolate. The final beer poured was the astoundingly luscious Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout. This heavy stout pours thick and rich and is redolent with chocolate balanced with subtle hints of coffee. It just begs to be drunk with desserts like cherry pie, raspberry tart, or even crème brulee.

For dinner I met my sister at Lola’s in the King Street Beer District and had the always amazing La Fin du Monde from Unibroue. This elegant Belgian-style triple is sweet and delightful with a floral bouquet that was a perfect accompaniment to the spicy jerked chicken burrito I ordered for dinner. Lola’s boasts over 50 drought beers and always has a great collection of brews from Unibroue.

The capper to the weekend was the Friends and Family soft opening of Jacksonville’s first World of Beer. The doors were opened to us because my daughter Taylor, aka The Beer Princess, will be working at this location. It was a who’s who of the Jacksonville beer industry with representatives from Champion Brands, Brown Distributing, Micro Man, North Florida Sales, Sierra Nevada, and Highland Brewing. On tap were some fantastic brews such as Petrus, World of Beer’s C’est la Vie brewed exclusively for them by Bavik, and a special firkin from Engine 15.

So, as you can see, the weekend was one full of great beers, great food and great family fun. We enjoyed our time together, chatting about the past as well as the future, and enjoyed good beers along the way. As a social lubricant, one could not ask for a better medium. So, as many archaeologists will tell you, beer brought civilization together, and in the case of my family, is an integral part of our gatherings. I would have it no other way.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Beer, Relaxing, Restaurant

 

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World of Beer set to open on Jacksonville’s Southside

World-of-Beer-logowob

Last September an article appeared on this blog about the soon to be open World of Beer on the Southside in the Tinseltown area. At that time the estimated opening date was November 2012. Then, in October, another article appeared here that said the opening date had been moved to February 2013. Well, those articles were clearly not accurate. But, take heart! World of Beer – Southside is definitely opening next week to the great relief of its owners and management and the great enthusiasm of Jacksonville beer lovers.

World of Beer started in 2007 as the dream of two entrepreneurs from Pensacola. Scott Zepp and Matt LaFon, brain-stormed and opened the first World of Beer in the Westchase community of Tampa, Fla. Since then things have only gone up. In 2010 the duo’s concept caught the eye of former Outback Steakhouse president Ben Novello and former Outback Steakhouse Executive Jim Pollard. With the backing of these industry titans, World of Beer (known affectionately as WoB) expended its concept of an approachable craft beer bar nationwide.

In fact, according to the company’s website, World of Beer is, “…is a truly uncommon establishment where the experience is as essential as the product.” And this philosophy is evident in the extensive training the company puts all new-hires through. Before any team member can hit the floor of a WoB location, they must go through two weeks of Beer School where they learn not only what beers they will serve, but also the history, flavor profiles and characteristics of the brews they will serve.

The website goes on to say, “…having the most extensive beer selection is not enough. It is important that a broad spectrum of patrons, from the beer aficionado to the casual beer fan, can enjoy the best beers on the planet and increase their beer knowledge in a comfortable and upbeat setting. By combining a friendly environment with an exceptionally knowledgeable staff, World of Beer creates an atmosphere where patrons feel at home, as if they are visiting a neighbor and not just a neighborhood bar.”

Tony Vera, General Manager of the store opening next week in Jacksonville, has been with the company two and a half years and is a believer in the company’s deeply-rooted belief that craft beer should be approachable to all.

“Hospitality and product knowledge are what separate us from other bars,” Vera says. “Our goal is to be a neighborhood bar where you can go to meet great people and enjoy great beer.” It does not hurt that his store will open with 50 craft beers on tap and approximately 550 bottled beers.

“We have an entire cooler of Belgian beers that includes an entire shelf of Trappist ales. We also have a cooler of German beers, and a wide selection of craft ciders.”

To encourage guests to continuously learn about and taste news beers, WoB also has a Loyalty club that rewards members for trying new beers. “It costs $15 to sign up, but for that you immediately get a WoB t-shirt,” Vera says. “At different levels of achievement members get different awards. At 50 different beers tasted, members receive a commemorative t-shirt; at 100 they get a mug. But, when member reach 250 different beers they get a plaque with the saying of their choice on it, displayed at the store for all to see along with a commemorative polo-style shirt.” Vera went on to say that elite members who reach the 500 different beers mark get a catered party with a $250 bar tab.

There are also nightly specials to entice guests to visit. On Mondays, service and health care industry workers enjoy 50% off select drafts from 9:00 p.m. to close. Tuesdays are reserved for Loyalty Card holders who receive 25% off all bottles – the better to drive up their tally towards those great rewards. On Wednesdays college students and faculty get half off select drafts from 9:00 p.m. until close. Ladies get 50% off wine and select drafts all day Thursdays along with active duty and retired military. As if that were not enough, one Sunday per month WoB hosts a Customer Appreciation cookout. And, do not forget about happy hour weekdays until 7:00 p.m. when all drafts and wine is $1 off.

Vera also shared that WoB – Southside plans to obtain several firkins that it will ask local breweries to fill with special treatments of their brews for the exclusive enjoyment of their guests. He also expressed that he is interested in putting in a beer engine that would further educate and delight guests on real ales.

The first Jacksonville World of Beer is schedule to open to the public on Monday, July 1st. The list of brews on tap opening day is impressive and held rather close to the vest. But, after a bit of arm-twisting, portions of the list were shared for publication here.

Look for these beers on tap opening day:

Dogfish Head 61 Minute IPA
• Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
• Petrus Aged Pale
• Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot
• Pyramid Weiss Cream
• Chimay White
• St. Bernardus Abt. 12
• Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
• Victory V12
• Dogfish Head Aprihop
• Stone Self Righteous
• Brooklyn Silver Anniversary

In addition to the fanfare, and exceptional tap list, of opening day, plan of swinging by Wednesday, July 3rd for a huge Intuition Ale Works event that will feature 25 kegs of the Riverside brewery’s beers and visits by the owner and brewer, Ben Davis.

Vera, who started with WoB as the GM of the chain’s second store located in Sarasota, Fla., says that the Southside store is only the beginning for North Florida. He is charged with helping to develop the area and has his sights on opening locations in Jacksonville Beach and St. Augustine. If the success of the company at its other locations is any indication, Vera’s dreams are likely to soon become a reality.

World of Beer — Jacksonville Southside is located at 9700 Deer Lake Court. Hours of operation are 12:00 noon to 2:00 a.m. daily.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Pubs

 

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Beer gimmicks: the good, the bad, the bizarre

aprihopIn the world of beer, there are many whacky ideas. Just recently the Internet was all atwitter with news that some enterprising soul (pun intended) had decided to start brewing Star Trek themed beers. But, there have been many other odd, misguided and downright bad beer ideas. Some are almost to unbelievable too be true, but be assured, they are.

Not surprisingly the majority of beer gimmicks are brought to you by the mega brewers such as Anhueser-Busch, Miller and Coors. The big dogs always seem to be chasing each other’s tails, each trying to out gimmick the other. Who could forget the Bud Light bottle with a label that features a blank spot for you to write your name with a finger nail or key? As if the beer would last long enough to require a name tag. Or what about the Vortex bottle from Miller Lite? The advertising for this bottle claimed it “lets the great pilsner taste flow right out.” But, does that mean that it flows more quickly than it did before or that it merely comes out of the bottle? The jury is out. And then there is the gimmick that seems to draw the most attention – both positive and negative – the Coors Light Cold-Activated can. This beauty has graphics of mountains that turn blue when the beer is cold. The geniuses in marketing seem to have forgotten that most folks keep their brew in an ice chest or refrigerator meaning that the mountains are blue most of the time.

But, the domestic mega brewer have not cornered the market on beer gimmicks, There are plenty of other breweries that have marketed their brews with gimmicks. Scottish brewing mad scientists Brew Dog have been pushing the envelope of alcohol content in beer for years with soaring ABVs, But oddly, that is not the biggest gimmick. The brewery actually took bottles of their 55% ABV beer called The End of History and stuffed them inside a real squirrel or stoat. PETA members were appalled.

Other breweries are slightly less ambitious with their gimmicks than using stuffed animals as decanters and, to a degree some might call them trends rather than gimmicks. That is for you to decide. But, a gimmick that seems to have gained quite a bit of traction is the notion of barrel-aging beer. At first brewers gravitated mostly towards whisky and scotch barrels to age their beer. This process imparts complex flavors from residual liquors in the barrels and the wood of the barrels themselves. But, of late, brewers have begun taking the barrel-aging craze a step further by employing everything from gin to tequila barrels – not that there is anything wrong with that. Brews that have become legendary because of the barrel-aging include 3 Floyds Dark Lord and Cigar City Hunahphu.

An emerging gimmick – or trend if it makes you feel better – is that of fruit flavored IPAs. Seminal Delaware brewer Dogfish Head has had an apricot flavored IPA on the market for a few years with its Aprihop. Word has it that there is another fruit-flavored IPA coming from Sam Calgione’s off-centered brewery soon. Another brewer that has infused fruit into its IPA is Burnt Hickory Brewing of Kennesaw, Ga. The brewery’s Didjits is brewed with blood oranges and is said to not surprisingly have a bitter citrus flavor.

Gimmicks and beer seem to go hand-in-hand, so we may as well get used to it. That is not to say they are all bad. Who could argue with the genius of ageing beer in liquor barrels or infusing fresh new flavors? But, some truly are outlandish. Then again, if vented, wide-mouth cans help you to enjoy your beer more, who are we to judge?

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Beer

 

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Dogfish Head founder speaks about American Beauty Ale

Not too long ago, I published a post about Dogfish Head’s collaboration with the Grateful Dead to produce a beer. Well, here as a short video with Dogfish Head owner Sam Calgione talking about how fans can get involved in the process.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Beer, Beer Styles

 

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European Street to give away servings of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA for free

Every once in a while a brew attains legendary status. Beers such as Westvleteren 12, Three Floyds Dark Lord, and Russian River Pliney the Younger are all legends in their own rights. These beers take the art of brewing to unimaginable heights and, when they make their rare appearances, send beer aficionados into absolute spasms of joy.

So, when I received a private Tweet yesterday from my friend, and the owner of the European Street restaurants locally, that he had a special beer tasting coming up on November 13 my ears perked up. Especially since he said he is going to give the brew away free to 65 lucky ticket-holders.  This, my friends, is big.

What beer will be tapped and served to those lucky few on that Tuesday night in November? None other than the devilishly hard to find Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. But that is not the end of the story. Not only will European Street on Park be pouring tis legendary brew, they will be pouring it through a Randall full of hops!

Perhaps a bit of back story is needed here. Dogfish Head founder Sam Calgione, set out to create the world’s hoppiest beer and succeeded with 120 Minute IPA.  The brew is boiled for two full hours while being continuously hopped to bring out the bitterness and then dry-hopped daily for a month. Finally, the brew is aged for another month on whole-leaf hops to provide a staggering 120 IBUs. The additional step of running the beer through a Randall (essentially a device that allows the finished beer to run through even more hops) will amp the IBUs up even more to unknown levels. By comparison, the popular macro lagers or the world clock in at about 7 IBUs.

This is a tasting you do not want to miss.

In order to learn more about how you can get one of the 65 available tickets, simply log in to Twitter and follow European Street’s feed at @estreetcafe. More information will be released – a little bit at a time – over the next few weeks.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW http://www.JaxBeerGuy.com.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Beer, Beer Styles, Beer Tasting

 

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