Dogfish Head began as a brewpub making modest amounts of beer using a 12-gallon tank. More and bigger tanks became necessary until the brewery outgrew the brewpub. Now the brewpub makes potions and experiments strictly for its own patron while the brewery focuses on nation-wide distribution of its formidable lineup. Dogfish Head, from the mighty state of Delaware, sells to more than half the states in the union. Happily, Massachusetts numbers among those states. That does not means we can get enough of Dogfish Head’s brews.
The brewery’s reputation hangs particularly on its IPAs. As The Thing routinely would declare when the Fantastic Four swung into action: “It’s clobberin’ time!” Dogfish Head produces several startlingly hoppy beers using an interesting approach to get as much hops flavor into the beer as possible. Pelletized hops are added continuously as the mash boils. The brewery produces three bottlings this way: 60 Minutes, 90 Minutes, and 120 Minutes, each named for the length of its hopping process. Dogfish Head also dry hops these brews. For stats fanciers, the numbers are impressive:
- 60 Minute reaches 6% alcohol and a reading of 60 IBU
- 90 Minutes reaches a hefty 9% alcohol and 90 IBU
- 120 Minutes reaches 18% alcohol (sometimes more!) and a world record 120 IBU. 120 Minutesis a strictly allocated rarity, so leap if you see it, you hopheads.
IBU stands for International Bittering Unit. It measures the hoppiness of beers. For perspective, Sam Adams Boston Lager hits 30 IBU and Harpoon’s India Pale Ale reaches 42 IBU. Don’t let numbers tell the story. Malt can mute or mellow the impact pof hops. 60 Minute actually tastes hoppier than 90 Minutesbecause it is drier and less malty. 90 Minute’s sweet malt presence softens the effect of the hops. With the caveat that you must like hops, and that you accept over-the-top as an ideal, these are delicious brews.
Not all Dogfish Head fare requires such devotion to hops. Indian Brown Ale has hops a-plenty (50 IPU) but also a sweet malty richeness. Its deep, warm flavors bring porter to mind, but made livelier by the hops.
Raison d’Etre, made with Belgian sugar and green raisins, has a comparatively gentle 25 IBU and a splendid aroma of dates and raisins. Nothing about it says over-the-top except its downright deliciousness. It makes a luscious match with a good ole hamburger.
Palo Santo Marron is aged in wood, specifically the palo santo wood of Paraguay. A powerful and mighty brew (12% alcohol), showing deep roasted flavors with malt support.
* Special * Hofbrau Maibock
We’ve got a goodly supply of Hofbrau Maibock at the just right price of $6.99 6-pack / $25.99 case. Maibock is a traditional Munich beer in the helles style.Helles means “light”, but that refers to the beer’s color, not its strength. It is a hearty bock at more than 6% alcohol. Brewed for enjoyment during the warmer months, it carries more hops and less malt than other bocks. As such, it offers more refreshment during the hot weather than the darker dunkel style winter brews. A case or two should get you through the summer. The stacks will shrink quickly, so make your move.