October 16th, 2007

beer

Dogfish Head

If you know me, you probably know that Dogfish Head is one of my very favorite microbreweries.

They just opened up a Dogfish Head Alehouse near my house, over in 7 Corners.  I've been there twice now - well, three times if you count last Friday night when we walked in, saw the 45-60 minute lines for a table and a bar area that was absolutely PACKED, and left.

Their 90 Minute IPA is one of my favorites - though it can be a bit expensive at Total Wine ($10 for a 4 pack of 12 ounce bottles) I get a bit annoyed with it at the Alehouse ($6.25 for a snifter of it).  On the other hand, at the Alehouse you can get an "Alehouse 75", a mix of their 90 Minute IPA and 60 Minute IPA, coming in at about 7.5% ABV and $5 for a pint of it.

If I'm going to get an expensive snifter of IPA, I'll go for their 120 Minute IPA.  And by looking at the ABVs, I'm sure you see why I make it a point not to drive myself over to the Alehouse.

One thing I do miss - at a beer festival down in Richmond a couple of years ago, Dogfish was pouring their IPAs over fresh hops in a pitcher before serving them.  DELICIOUS.  I loved it.  One thing that makes me a bit excited about homebrewing with Roy may be experimenting with doing something like that occasionally.  (I wouldn't do it all the time.)

Going there last night, I started off with their Punkin Ale (7% ABV), their seasonal which I've liked quite a bit.  I followed it up with two of the Alehouse 75s to wash down my blackened chicken sandwich.

Heck, after that the Sam Adams Oktoberfest at home was a bit of a disappointment, and the Pilsner Urquell pub can I had was almost undrinkable.  Then again, I've been "eh" on Pilsner Urquell and Stella Artois lately.

Back to Dogfish Head - they also make their own liquor.  Thanks to ABC regulations, you can't get it in Virginia yet (they don't have the capacity to provide it to all ABC stores and restaurants that may want it, but aren't allowed to only import it for their one restaurant) but you can get it in Maryland and Delaware.

Their Honey Brown Rum is quite good.  I have a bottle of the Wit Spiced Rum but haven't tried it yet.  I see now they have a number of other kinds of rum: Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, White Light, and Dark Side.

They make a "Dogfish Jin" - which tmfiii had a bottle of, and compared to "Prohibition gin" - it wasn't that it was that bad but it simply wasn't as good as the gins we usually have around (such as Plymouth, Hendricks, or Tanqueray).  On the other hand, I had it in a mixed drink at the Rehoboth Beach location over Memorial Day weekend, and it was good there.

There's a "Ta-Kee-La" - which I hadn't seen yet and appears to only be out during the summer.

And finally, they have a Blue Hen vodka, which I haven't tried either except in a mixed drink at Rehoboth.  They also make a number of "infusions" of it - I don't know if (right now) I'd go for those, personally, as my consumption of vodka has dropped dramatically.  Also, when I do drink it, I usually prefer just plain "vodka", and the various flavored ones can make it hard to make cocktails of the kind we're working on a lot.

(I always did like vanilla vodka in my White Russians, though.)

If you haven't tried Dogfish Head I highly recommend it - especially their IPAs.  And the food at their Alehouses is good, too!