Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1995
Founder(s) Sam Calagione
Headquarters Milton, Delaware, USA
Products Beer, Spirits
Production output 75,000 US beer barrels (8,800,000 l; 2,300,000 US gal; 1,900,000 imp gal)

Dogfish Head Brewery is a brewing company based in Milton, Delaware founded by Sam Calagione.[1] It opened in 1995[2][3] and produces 75,000 barrels of beer annually.[4] Dogfish Head has been a rapidly growing brewery - it grew nearly 400% in between 2003 and 2006.[5] The brewery was featured prominently in the documentary Beer Wars. It is the subject of the currently-airing Discovery Channel series Brew Masters, which premiered Sunday, November 21, 2010.[6] The brewery takes its name from Dogfish Head, Maine where founder Sam Calagione spent summers as a child. [7]



Dogfish Head's output tends toward experimental or "extreme" beers, such as their tongue-in-cheek "Liquor de Malt," a bottle-conditioned malt liquor which typically comes in its own brown paper bag. Their products often use non-standard ingredients, such as green raisins in their "Raison D'Être". Some of their beers, including the WorldWide Stout, 120 Minute India Pale Ale, and the raspberry-flavored strong ale Fort, are highly alcoholic, reaching 18% to 20% alcohol by volume (typical beers have around 3% to 7% alcohol by volume).

One of Dogfish Head's more notable odd beers was a green beer called Verdi Verdi Good, produced in 2005 and sold only on draft. The beer was not colored green artificially; rather, the green color was derived from brewing a Dortmunder style beer that contained spirulina, or blue-green algae.

Pangaea, first released in 2003, is a Belgian-style strong pale ale made with ingredients from every continent on Earth, including: crystallized ginger from Australia, water from Antarctica, Basmati rice from Asia, and more.[8] The name Pangaea refers to the super-continent of the same name which is theorized to have existed about 250 million years ago.


Bottle of 90 minute IPA

Dogfish Head's signature product is its line of India Pale Ales (IPAs), which are offered in three varieties: 60 Minute, 90 Minute, and 120 Minute IPA. Their names refer to the length of the boil time of the wort in which the hops are continuously added. The longer hops are boiled, the more hop isomerization takes place, and the more bitterness is imparted to the beer. The 60 Minute is described by the company as "A session IPA brewed with Warrior, Amarillo and Mystery Hop X. Bottle-conditioned 6-packs and draft available. 60 IBUs." To further enhance their beers, Dogfish Head introduced a device in 2003 jokingly called Randall the Enamel Animal, an "organoleptic hop transducer module" which "Randallizes" a given beer by passing the beer through a large plastic tube filled with a flavor enhancer, often raw hops though adaptations with fruits and coffee beans, amongst others, have taken place. The alcohol in the beer lifts oils off the raw hops and imparts even more hop flavor and aroma to beers that were already hoppy to begin with.

A fourth IPA variety, the 75 Minute IPA, was developed in 2008, and is currently produced in very limited quantities, and typically distributed to vendors in firkins. The beer—nicknamed "Johnny Cask" and featuring a mascot resembling a young Johnny Cash tapping a firkin with a mallet—is made from a mixture of the 60 and 90 Minutes IPAs, and undergoes a separate cask conditioning which further includes the addition of maple syrup.[9] As a variation on the 75 Minute IPA, the Alehouse 75 is also available. It is a mixture of the 60 and 90 Minute offerings, yet is served in a standard Sankey-style keg, rather than a firkin.

Ancient Ales

In the late 90s, Dogfish Head started a unique "Ancient Ales" series, in which beer recipes were created based upon the chemical analysis of residue found on pottery and drinking vessels from various archaeological sites. These beers have been produced in collaboration with molecular archaeologist Dr. Pat McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania. As of 2010, four such brews have been crafted, and only one (Midas Touch) is produced year round. The others are produced on a limited basis.

  • Midas Touch Golden Elixir (first released in 1999). A strong ale based on residue found on drinking vessels from the tomb of King Midas, dating back to the 8th century BC. Defining ingredients include Muscat grapes, honey, and saffron. (See section below for more information.)
  • Chateau Jiahu (first released in 2006). A spiced strong ale based on residue from pottery found in the Neolithic village of Jiahu (in central China), dating to the 7th millennium BC. Some defining ingredients include rice flakes, wildflower honey, hawthorn fruit, and Chrysanthemum flowers. As of 2009, this is the oldest known beer recipe to be brewed in the modern age.[10]
  • Theobroma (first released in 2008). A chocolate beer based on residue found on pottery discovered in Honduras dating to approximately 1200 BC. Some defining ingredients include Aztec cocoa powder, honey, and annatto.
  • Ta Henket (released in 2010, only available on draft at Rehoboth Beach brewpub). This beer was created to incorporate ancient ingredients and techniques described in Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was brewed with emmer, loaves of hearth baked bread, dom-palm fruit, chamomile, and zatar. Fermentation was carried out by a native Egyptian saccharomyces wild yeast strain captured from the air in Egypt.

Midas Touch

Midas Touch Golden Elixir, marketed as Midas Touch, was first marketed in June 2001. The recipe for this beverage is based on the chemical analysis of residues found in clay vessels believed to date back to the 8th century BC. Originally discovered in Gordium, Turkey during a 1957 dig by archaeologist Rodney Young, the content of these vessels was left unknown for 40 years. In 1997, molecular archeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern received a phone call from a former student of his informing him of a residue on clay jars from the tomb of King Midas. Dr. McGovern quickly did chemical analysis finding all aspects of the drink except for the spicing agent but made an assumption of saffron due to regional availability.[11]

In March 2000 the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery, Sam Calagione, attended a special dinner for beer writer Michael Jackson. At this time Dr. McGovern and Mr. Calagione met and discussed recreating the brew. In early 2001 the new beverage was served at a dinner recreating the funeral feast of King Midas. At $150 a plate the meal was a benefit to support the Chemical Archaeology program at University of Pennsylvania.[11]

Dogfish Head brewery dispenses approximately 1,700-1,800 cases per month to distributors. At the time of discovery Midas Touch Golden Elixir was the oldest fermented beverage recipe discovered. Dogfish Head brewery still today holds the record with a 9,000 yr old recipe used for Chateau Jiahu, which was released in July 2007.[12]

The ingredients for the original 7.5% abv recipe in 2001 included yellow muscat grapes, lightly toasted 2-row barley malt, thyme, honey and saffron.[13] The ingredients for the 9% abv recipe include barley, white Muscat grapes, honey and saffron.[14]


Dogfish Head also operates a microdistillery at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub.[15] Spirits are hand-distilled in a small pot still and often, like their beers, tend toward unique and non-traditional formulations. The distillery is very small; Dogfish Head spirits are distributed only in Delaware and a handful of other states. Select brews (including many of the brewery's seasonal and one-off selections) can be found in 27 states across the country. Dogfish Head also licenses "Dogfish Head Alehouse" with three locations in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Falls Church, Virginia, and Fairfax, Virginia. Beer-paired food and vintage bottles of Dogfish's seasonal beers are available at their alehouses, as well as kegged offerings of their staple beers.

List of beers brewed

Name Original Release Date Availability Style ABV% IBU
60 Minute IPA 00 Feb 2003 Year Round IPA 6.0 60
90 Minute IPA 00 Apr 2001 Year Round IPA 9.0 90
Indian Brown Ale 00 Dec 1999 Year Round Brown Ale brewed as a mix with an IPA and Scotch ale 7.2 50
Lawnmower 00 Jul 2007 Limited, Draft Only American Pale Ale 4.0 9
Midas Touch 00 Mar 1999 Year Round Herbed/Spiced Beer [16] brewed with honey, white muscat grapes, and saffron 9.0 12
Palo Santo Marron 00 Dec 2007 Year Round Unfiltered Brown Ale fermented in Paraguayan palo santo wood 12.0 50
Raison D'Etre 00 Mar 1998 Year Round Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins 8.0 25
Shelter Pale Ale 00 Jun 1995 Year Round Pale Ale 5.0 30
120 Minute IPA 00 Apr 2003 Limited IPA 18.0 120
Bitches Brew 00 Jun 2010 Limited Imperial Stout mixed with Tej 9.0 38
Black & Blue 00 Feb 2007 Limited Belgian style Fruit Beer fermented with blackberries and blueberries 10.0 25
Burton Baton 00 Nov 2004 Limited English Old Ale mixed with Imperial IPA 10.0 70
Chateau Jiahu 00 Jul 2006 Limited Herbed/Spiced Beer brewed with orange blossom honey, muscat grapes and hawthorn berry 10.0 10
Fort 00 Oct 2005 Limited Fruit Beer brewed with over a ton of pureed raspberries 18.0 49
Hardtack 00 Mar 2011 Limited Barley wine brewed with Tibetan purple highland prairie barley, agave nectar, rhodiola rosea, dried sour cherries, and aged for two months in port wine barrels filled with forty pounds of sour morello cherries 10.0 40
Hellhound On My Ale 00 May 2011 Limited IPA brewed with dried lemon peels and flesh 10.0 100
Immort Ale 00 Jul 1997 Limited American Strong ale brewed with maple syrup, peat-smoked barley, juniper berries, and vanilla 11.0 50
Liquor De Malt 00 Feb 2009 Not Available Malt Liquor
My Antonia 00 Oct 2008 Limited Imperial Pilsner 7.5
Namaste 00 Jun 2009 Limited Witbier brewed with dried organic orange slices, fresh cut lemongrass, and coriander 5.0 20
Noble Rot 00 Feb 2011 Limited Saison fermented with Botrytis-infected Viognier and Pinot Gris grapes and Botrytis wine must 8.3 35
Olde School Barleywine 00 Oct 2002 Limited Barley wine 15.0 85
Pangaea 00 Nov 2003 Limited Herbed/Spiced Beer brewed with ingredients from every continent including Australian crystallized ginger, water from Antarctica, Asian basmati rice, African muscavado sugar, South American quinoa, European yeast, and North American maize 7.0 28
Red & White 00 Jan 2007 Limited Witbier fermented with Pinot Noir juice 10.0 35
Sah'tea 00 May 2009 Limited Sahti brewed with rye, juniper betties, black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper, and wort caramelized over hot rocks 9.0 6
Squall IPA 00 May 2009 Limited Unfiltered, bottle-conditioned Imperial IPA 9.0
Theobroma 00 May 2008 Limited Chili Beer[17] brewed with Aztec cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and annatto 9.0
World Wide Stout 00 Dec 1999 Limited Imperial Stout 18.0 70
Aprihop 00 Mar 2004 Seasonal American IPA brewed with apricots 7.0 50
Chicory Stout 00 Jul 1995 Seasonal Stout brewed with roasted chicory, organic Mexican coffee, St. John's Wort, and licorice root 5.2 21
Festina Pêche 00 Jun 2007 Seasonal Berliner Weisse fermented with peaches 4.5 8
Punkin Ale 00 Nov 1994 Seasonal Brown Ale brewed with pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices 7.0 28
Wrath of Pecant 00 Feb 2010 Limited/Collaboration Brown Ale brewed in collaboration with Beer Advocate for Extreme Beer Fest 2010 with pecan-wood smoked malt, plantains, and carob 6.0 35
Portamarillo 00 2010 Limited/Collaboration Porter brewed in collaboration with Epic Brewing Company of New Zealand fermented with tamarillo which were smoked using wood chips from the Pohutakawa tree 7.0 50
Life & Limb 00 Oct 2009 Limited/Collaboration American Strong ale brewed in collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico, California, then carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska 10.0
Saison du BUFF 00 2010 Limited/Collaboration Saison/Farmhouse ale brewed in collaboration with Stone Brewing Company and Victory Brewing Company once at each brewery with different ingredient ratios. Brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. 6.0
Poppa Skull 00 2010 Limited/Collaboration Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed in collaboration with Three Floyds Brewing spiced with cardamom. Aged on palo santo wood and in oak brandy barrels 10.0
Repoterroir 00 2011 Limited/Collaboration Lager brewed in collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing, Avery Brewing Company, Allagash Brewing Company, and Lost Abbey. A distinct lager with native terroir from Sierra Nevada (wild rice, beets, cucumber, mint, and carrots), Avery (alfalfa honey), Allagash (purple potatoes), Dogfish Head (Atlantic "beach" wood), and Lost Abbey (Pacific "beach" wood). 5.5

Source: Dogfish Head Brewery - The Brews [18]

Brew Masters

Sam Calagione and the brewery are currently the focus of Brew Masters, a Discovery Channel series that gives viewers an inside look at the brewery's operations, starting with the recipe development process and through the bottling and packaging process. The series premiered on Sunday, November 21, 2010 with an episode focusing on the creation of the Bitches Brew beer to commemorate the Miles Davis album of the same name.

Birreria at Eataly

Dogfish Head will be one of the main partners in Birreria, the roof-top brewpub being constructed at Mario Batali's Eataly project in New York City. They had originally planned on collaborating with 3 other breweries - Russian River Brewing Company, as well as Birrificio Le Baladin and Birra del Borgo, both from Italy, but Russian River Brewing Company withdrew. They aim to craft rustic, artisanal beers that will pair directly with food served at the restaurant. The beers will be brewed in a copper-clad brewing system and will be unpasteurized, unfiltered, naturally carbonated, and hand-pulled through traditional beer engines, recalling old world Italian craft brewing. The Eataly brewpub is anticipated to open in April 2011. [19]

Extreme Beer Fest

Dogfish Head is the annual lead sponsor of Beer Advocate's Extreme Beer Fest in Boston, Mass. Each year, Dogfish Head brews a special beer for the festival in collaboration with the Alström brothers of Beer Advocate. This special beer's name is voted on by visitors to the Beer Advocate website. The beer brewed for 2010's festival was "Wrath of Pecant". In addition to the year's special beer, Dogfish Head (like most other breweries) bring specially-altered version of normal beers such as 120 minute IPA pressurized through whole-leaf hops, Red & White pressurized through orange peels, and World Wide Stout pressurized through espresso beans in 2010. [20]


  1. ^ Bilger, Burkhard (November 24, 2008). "A Better Brew: The rise of extreme beer". The New Yorker. 
  2. ^ Perman, Stacy (November 19, 2007). "Dogfish Head: Brewing Up Relationships". BusinessWeek. "In 1995, Calagione opened...Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, in Rehoboth Beach." 
  3. ^ Delaware Governor's Office (February 3, 2005). "Dogfish Head Brewery Receives ... Loan to Update its Manufacturing Facility". Archived from the original on 2007-05-21. "Dogfish Head Craft Brewery opened in 1995..." 
  4. ^ Spence, Kevin (December 21, 2008). "Dogfish Head beer: Luxury meets affordability: Sales continue to soar in Milton". Cape Gazette. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Dogfish Head. "Pangaea". The Brews: Occasional Rarities. 
  9. ^ Dogfish Announces 75 Minute IPA Simul-cask.
  10. ^ Dogfish Head (August 2006). "Chateau Jiahu". The Brews: Occasional Rarities. 
  11. ^ a b Modern Brewery Age (July 22, 2002). "Recreating King Midas' Golden Elixir: in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, an American brewer makes a beer for the ages". Modern Brewery Age. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ "Midas Touch". The Brews: Year Round Beers. Dogfish Head. 
  15. ^ Erace, Adam (September 10, 2007). "Fresh, Local Beer". 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "The Brews". Dogfish Head Brewery. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links

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