As you probably know, Dogfish Head has a thing for producing whimsical beers with the common trait of an alcohol content high enough to sterilize barber’s tools. Because of this, I prefer to attend DFH tastings on nights where I’m not hosting my own beer event first. You can’t have everything. So, slightly buzzy from running a roomful of drinkers through a gamut of craft beer at Monty’s Korner, I tottered on down to The Old Toad to remind myself that Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione made it his mission in life to damage morning worker productivity wherever his beer is sold.
One of the things I love about DFH is how much of it I hate. Sure, I’ll never order most of their beers, but that’s no skin off the backs of Caligione and his crew. When it comes to their specialty products, they have a vision, a creative obsession to find out what beer can be, and they’re not swayed by lowest common-denominators and market research. They listen to their passionate fans, traverse the ends of the earth for ingredients, and they’re not afraid to make a mistake.
OK, sometimes their marketing is a bit much, as was the case for the Ta Henket, ostensibly an Egyptian ale, the recipe for which was gleaned from heiroglyphs, using an Egyptian yeast strain captured by Indiana Sam in Cairo. Not sure I buy all that, but nonetheless it takes a brave brewery to boil up an ale that tastes like oat bread, honey and chamomile, in a nearly successful way. It goes to show, fear doesn’t pay, but chutzpah does. And thank God for aspirin.