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Is that "annals" or "anals?"
November 18, 2008 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head, spent some time talking to the New Yorker about his experiments in brewing, many of which are considered to be "extreme beers." The article (very briefly) portrays Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery, as waving a dismissive hand at such brews, but Oliver steps in to say that his opinion was misrepresented.

As one can expect from internet drama, the article's author shows up to insist that he has represented Oliver's quotes fairly.

Also available: an audio log of a taste-test and "extreme" beer discussion; the New Yorker article on a single page.
posted by uncleozzy (104 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't you mean eXtreme? Or Xtreme? Or something insipid like that? That's how these things are done in modern marketing, right?
posted by Caduceus at 11:57 AM on November 18, 2008


Caduceus: It would be X-Treem!! if it was marketing bullshit, but fortunately for us all, Dogfish Head is the real thing.
posted by rusty at 12:00 PM on November 18, 2008


I really don't generally like to treat food as an "extreme" endeavour, but I did try a bottle of this recently. It was a peculiar experience.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2008


Dogfish Head is the real thing.

Indeed. That 120-minute IPA is a true thing of beauty. S'got more hops than a rabbit on a trampoline.
posted by Spatch at 12:03 PM on November 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I kinda agree with Oliver on the 120, myself. It's a little much. The 90-minute is just about perfect.
posted by rusty at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2008


120-minute IPA is only 30 minutes more extreme than the 90-minute. Just thinking about them does something to my salivary glands.
posted by mrmojoflying at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2008


Dogfish is fantastic. Right now 60 minute IPA, 90 minute IPA and Indian Brown Ale are in the fridge. Some of the others (120 Minute, Palo Santo) are a little hard to find. This is a great article, and I was gonna post it here when I saw it yesterday. The BA discussion adds some, uh, depth and complexity. Garrett Oliver comes off a sort of a tool, despite his fine product and obvious love for beer. His blazer looks nice and lends him lots of credibility, but most of the brewmasters I've seen are wearing rubber boots and old t-shirts.
"When a brewer says, 'This has more hops in it than anything you've had in your life--are you man enough to drink it?,' it's sort of like a chef saying, 'This stew has more salt in it than anything you've ever had--are you man enough to eat it?' "
This is a supremely dumb analogy. Would it not be 'hot pepper?'
posted by fixedgear at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2008


Oddly, even though I love beer, most "extreme" beers really don't do it for me. I'm all for experimentation--I had a jasmine beer that I really liked--but something as big as a 120-minute is unpleasant in my book. Not that I'm not a hophead, but there's a point where you lose balance in favor of just being bigger and hoppier.

I had a 60-minute for the first time in a long time a few weeks ago; that's the kind of bright, hoppy flavor I really dig. The 90-minute is good, too, but it can be both too cloying and too acidic.

This is a supremely dumb analogy. Would it not be 'hot pepper?'

Oliver does make that (much better) comparison when explaining the quote.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:12 PM on November 18, 2008


At the unholy intersection of "extreme", beer, New Yorker and internet drama.
posted by DU at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


The nontroversy aside, Dogfish Head is an excellent brewery. I try not to play favorites, but in reality, I think they are it. I could drink their 60 and 90 Minute IPA all day long -- it is just that good! (I'd be pretty damned drunk, though) The 120 minute is also excellent, though I tend to think of it as more of a "special occasion" item.

And Midas Touch is also delicious. As is Raison D'Etre. As is ...

Well, let's face it: it's all fucking great.
posted by tocts at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2008


Maybe someone who knows what the hell they're talking about can explain me how the Samichlaus I linked to, despite using up so much sugar in fermentation, still tasted so sweet I had to just treat it as dessert as the meal.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:18 PM on November 18, 2008


If I have one complaint about Dogfish Head's beers -- and trust me, this is a tiny one -- is that they use very distinctive hops. Dogfish Head beers are very recognizeable.

I thought the 90-minute IPA was better than the 120-minute IPA. I forget why. The 120 wasn't bad -- I just liked the flavor of the 90 better.

But I've never had a bad Dogfish Head. Some I like more than others, but I will happily try all of them. Sometimes in large quantities.

I'm very happy it's nearly time for Fort again. I have a bottle from last year that I've managed to resist drinking since I'm trying to age it (I hope to give it another year -- but we'll see when I cave).

I like Brooklyn Brewery's beers quite a bit, too, but sometimes I wish they'd push the limits a little more. I don't need "extreme" but I want more like the Black Chocolate Stout and Post Road Pumpkin Ale, which tells me they can be awesome while still being very refined (Dogfish Head is obviously more "fun" but sometimes that not what I want. I just don't want boring.)
posted by darksong at 12:18 PM on November 18, 2008


Man, now I want a beer.

Dogfish Head is a fantastic brewery. I do find that many of their more experimental beers are too weird for my taste, but many of their beers are excellent. The 60 / 90 / 120 minute are all really good though the 120 minute (and to a lesser extent, the 90 minute) are too strong to drink routinely.

I once had a bottle of 120 minute IPA sitting around my fridge left over from some party or beer tasting. One day after work I opened it without really thinking about it and poured myself a glass. An hour later I was wondering how a single beer had gotten me so drunk.
posted by pombe at 12:19 PM on November 18, 2008


Now I want beer...*sigh*
posted by schyler523 at 12:19 PM on November 18, 2008


Who hosts the 120 Minutes IPA - Kevin Seal, Dave Kendall, or Matt Pinfield?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:23 PM on November 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


An hour later I was wondering how a single beer had gotten me so drunk.
Heh heh. My wife dropped me off at the Dogfish pub while she went shopping. I had only two beers, but one of them was the 120 Minute IPA. She drove home.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:27 PM on November 18, 2008


Beer is a soft drink. They serve it with 7-Up to children in Europe. I'm not surprised it's been marketed like an energy drink.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM on November 18, 2008


meh. brooklyn and dogfish head are both incredible breweries. Oliver may in fact hate the idea of the name Extreme Beers, but the idea that he doesn't like outlandish beer is laughable if you've ever seen their experimental varieties. I could care less what one says about the other. IPAs, in my opinion, are not great beers, so I've never had the 120 minute and I probably never will. Give me an Arrogant Bastard, or a Rogue Dead Guy Ale, or a Stone Smoked Porter over it any day. That is, of course, if you don't happen to have any Maredsous or Chimay Grande Reserve lying around. Those deep woody beers do a body good.
posted by shmegegge at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can't say I'm on-board with the current "Xtreme" fetish among brewers, including the trend to make Imperial-damn-near-everything. Give me a well-crafted brew that I can sit with and enjoy, as opposed to merely survive.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:34 PM on November 18, 2008


Palo Santo Marron, the one in the weird wood casks, is one of my favoritest things. It just makes me go "yum, this is good" even if it's not on the same planet as your typical beers. It's like a dessert beer.
posted by smackfu at 12:34 PM on November 18, 2008


Beer is a soft drink. They serve it with 7-Up to children in Europe.

What does this even mean? They serve wine to children in Europe too.
posted by smackfu at 12:35 PM on November 18, 2008


I'm not a huge fan of really hoppy beers (I've never met an IPA I actually liked), but I adore the rest of Dogfish Head's line. The new Midas Touch is really nice and the Raison line are favorites of mine.

Brooklyn also makes some really great, if more conventional beers. I think the fact that the article mentions that they regard each other as good friends makes me think that the conflict was played up in order to have a hook. Other than that, I enjoyed reading about that brewery. Now if only New Belgium Brewing was available on the east coast....
posted by Hactar at 12:35 PM on November 18, 2008


I'm not surprised it's been marketed like an energy drink.

These guys are hardly marketing their beer at all, let alone marketing it like an energy drink.

IPAs, in my opinion, are not great beers ... Give me an Arrogant Bastard

I haven't had an Arrogant Bastard in a long time, but I seem to remember it having a big hop aroma and plenty of bitterness. It's winter; have a Sierra Nevada Celebration for a mild IPA with a fair amount of malt in the background.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:39 PM on November 18, 2008


Great article. When I drink Brooklyn's stuff I think, "Mmm, beer." When I drink Dogfish Head, I think, "MMM, BEER!"
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 12:40 PM on November 18, 2008


Oh, man...60 minute is *just* perfect after a day working in the yard. I've never had the pleasure of the 90 or 120 minute, but the Raison d'Etre was given to us for our wedding...man what a great present!
posted by notsnot at 12:44 PM on November 18, 2008


Brooklyn Brewery puts out Monster Ale, an 11.8% ABV barleywine in a shiny silver labelled bottle, which makes their comments rather amusing. It seems tailor-made for "are you man enough to drink it?"
posted by smackfu at 12:44 PM on November 18, 2008


They serve wine to children in Europe too.

Yes. Wine is also a children's drink.

I stick to hard liquors.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:49 PM on November 18, 2008


Anybody who knows me, knows I love my beer. I'm obsessed with it, write about it and make it. Guys like Garrett and Sam and Jim Koch have all done a remarkable job getting people to think about beer differently and they've approached it differently.

Wolfdog, about the Samichlaus, the real key is what brewers refer to as Apparent Attenuation. You measure the beer density at the start and at the finish of brewing and that gives you a notion of how much sugar has been fermented (or attenuated).

Sami starts at ~32P (degrees plato, a measure of density) and after fermentation it finishes typically around 8P. There are some beers that start at 8P! But here's the kicker, ethanol messes with the density readings because it's less dense than water. So where it appears you're at 8P, in reality, if you replaced the alcohol with water to get a true reading of density, you'd be up at almost 13P! The vast majority of the beer served around the world starts at a lower density.

Hope that helps
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:51 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Getting curious about the 120, can anyone compare it to an european beer?
I am really fond of belgian beers, especially in this rainy fall, surely the best period to drink full flavored, heavy beers..
Sorry, need to go, my 3 year old is bugging me, she needs me to roll her a bed-time spliff...
posted by borq at 12:51 PM on November 18, 2008


I haven't had an Arrogant Bastard in a long time, but I seem to remember it having a big hop aroma and plenty of bitterness.

It's not an IPA, because it's not a pale ale, it's a strong ale. Stone does make an IPA, and a "double" IPA, Ruination.

I think both are fairly weak as IPA -- all hops, no balance. Arrogant Bastard -- which is probably hoppier -- has a strong malt flavor to balance it, which is what makes is such an outstanding beer. YMMV.

Stone Pale Ale is a very solid beer -- too hoppy for a regular pale, but very, very good. Of course, they're on the West Coast, which means you're going to get hoppy beers.
posted by eriko at 12:53 PM on November 18, 2008


shmegegge did you really just name most of my favorite beers in a single comment? Add some Horny Devil and a bottle of Allagash Curieux and I'll be over in about five minutes.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:55 PM on November 18, 2008


Maybe someone who knows what the hell they're talking about can explain me how the Samichlaus I linked to, despite using up so much sugar in fermentation, still tasted so sweet I had to just treat it as dessert as the meal.

It's a matter of hop (im)balance. Even with little residual sugar it comes of as sweet since it lacks gobs of hops to rein in the sweet side.

FWIW, the WP entry and brewery.org style notes on doppelbock backs me up on this.
posted by turbodog at 12:56 PM on November 18, 2008


"His chiselled features are set in a squarish head and topped by a thick black ruff."

Beer is the reason I don't have "chiselled features".

Looking at Dogfish's distributers, I see nothing in Minnesota. Does anyone know if it's available in the Twin Cities area?
posted by bonecrusher at 12:57 PM on November 18, 2008


Maybe someone who knows what the hell they're talking about can explain me how the Samichlaus I linked to, despite using up so much sugar in fermentation, still tasted so sweet I had to just treat it as dessert as the meal.

14% is about the hightest alcohol content yeast can achieve without jumping through all sorts of hoops. If you add enough sugar, the yeast will essentially poison itself in its own waste product (alcohol) before it eats all of said sugar.
posted by TungstenChef at 12:58 PM on November 18, 2008


I went to a brewpub in San Francisco that was selling Bock Obama last week. Big seller.
posted by smackfu at 12:59 PM on November 18, 2008


Beer wars. The arguments are so heated because the stakes are so tasty.
posted by allen.spaulding at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2008


shmegegge did you really just name most of my favorite beers in a single comment? Add some Horny Devil and a bottle of Allagash Curieux and I'll be over in about five minutes.

it's not hard when you simply stomp into a thread with the arrogance to name drop 5 of the best beers ever at the slightest provocation. never heard of allagash curieux, though, or horny devil, so those are some bottles I'll have to look into. I have this incredible Beer Connoisseur's shop near my house. Maybe you've heard of it? It's called "Beer and Soda."
posted by shmegegge at 1:04 PM on November 18, 2008


It's winter; have a Sierra Nevada Celebration for a mild IPA with a fair amount of malt in the background.

Speaking of Winter Beers: The Harpoon Winter Warmer (Harpoon also makes the IPA I'm most likely to be found drinking) is a seriously excellent Seasonal. Nutmeg in a beer. Whodathunk?
posted by shmegegge at 1:05 PM on November 18, 2008


Getting curious about the 120, can anyone compare it to an european beer?

Maybe not as extreme as 120, but this article lists a few potential candidates.

If I, personally, had to pick just one to sample it would be De Dolle Arabier which they claim is dry-hopped. I've had all their other beers and found them to be absolutely first rate.
posted by turbodog at 1:08 PM on November 18, 2008


The Harpoon Winter Warmer is a seriously excellent Seasonal

You know, somebody else told me how great Harpoon's Winter was last week. I'll have to pick up a few sometime.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:09 PM on November 18, 2008


Beer is just immature whisky.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on November 18, 2008


I've made two experimental beers over the past couple months which came out pretty well. First, an American ale dry-"hopped" with green tea. Second, an apple brown ale.

I tried rinsing off the apples after I moved the beer into the secondary fermenter, but they didn't taste very good. The beer's fine, though.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:16 PM on November 18, 2008


It doesn't qualify as extreme, but I might prime half a batch of really light cream ale with some Rose's Lime come springtime.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:19 PM on November 18, 2008


Mrs. Moonpie rocks.
posted by Mister_A at 1:21 PM on November 18, 2008


Wish they sold this stuff in Canada - when I am south of the border I often pick up a couple of sixes of Dogfish Head to bring back (60-minute IPA floats my boat.)
posted by pascal at 1:24 PM on November 18, 2008


I don't think I've ever even seen something by Dogfish or Brooklyn Brewery. I live in Oregon*, though, where everyone and their mother owns a brewery or a brew pub, so the choices here are kind of overwhelming. I'll try and keep an eye out for Dogfish, but I somehow suspect they're not carried much out here, just because the shipping costs would keep them from being competitive with all the local breweries.

*technically southwest Washington, but when the I-5 bridge is fifteen minutes away and I spend four or five days a week in Portland at school, I may as well be living there.
posted by Caduceus at 1:32 PM on November 18, 2008


I went to a brewpub in San Francisco that was selling Bock Obama last week. Big seller.

There's a brewpub here in Vermont doing the same thing. I've been meaning to go try it.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 1:33 PM on November 18, 2008


Actually, by strange coincidence, I'd just reached the section about Oregon breweries and vineyards in the manuscript I'm editing when I decided to take a break and see what was new on Metafilter.
posted by Caduceus at 1:34 PM on November 18, 2008


For my Dad's birthday last month I bought him a huge and diverse collection of domestic and international beers over at this place. He'd drink one every day or so and compare his impressions to the reviews over at beeradvocate.com. As a gift it was a big success - he's told me that this was his favorite birthday present ever, and two of his favorite beers were from Dogfish Head.
We've been waiting for their Theobroma Aztec Chocolate Aztec beers to arrive. ("...based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions... As per the analysis, Dogfish Head’s Theobroma (translated into 'food of the gods') is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs (from our friends at Askinosie Chocolate), honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds). ")
posted by Auden at 1:40 PM on November 18, 2008


Also speaking of winter beer: It's just about Prelude time. Yay! I can get a 22oz mug of that at the local pub for $4. Hey, there has to be some compensation for living through a Maine winter.
posted by rusty at 1:41 PM on November 18, 2008


Looking at Dogfish's distributers, I see nothing in Minnesota. Does anyone know if it's available in the Twin Cities area?

It is not, unfortunately, so you'll have to travel to get some. While the closest option is Wisconsin (e.g. Hudson,) I usually do my stocking up when I'm in Chicago.

Its absence in the market, so I've been told, is due to the implosion of a regional distributor a few years back; several craft breweries lost a ton of money, and many of them have never returned.

As far as the DFH 120 is concerned, I had a bottle a couple of weeks ago which was FEROCIOUS, full of solventy higher alcohols and unpleasantly medicinal in its hoppiness. As I've enjoyed it several times in the past, I'm pretty sure I drank this one too young; I plan on waiting at least another year before cracking one of the remaining three bottles open.
posted by Captain Swing at 1:49 PM on November 18, 2008


Screw Brooklyn Brewing. It's literally easier to find their (delicious! argh) beer in Shanghai than on the west coast.
posted by mullingitover at 1:49 PM on November 18, 2008


Caduceus - Belmont Station in Portland carries a variety of Dogfish Head beers.
posted by Auden at 1:53 PM on November 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


An hour later I was wondering how a single beer had gotten me so drunk.

I had the same experience with a bottle of Gulden Draak a few weeks ago. My girlfriend didn't believe that I had only had one, and when I managed to convince her, she made fun of me.

Dogfish Head and Brooklyn are two of my favorite American breweries. I recently finished off the last of the Dogfish Punkin Ale, just in time to pick up some Black Chocolate Stout for Thanksgiving dinner.
posted by Cassilda at 1:55 PM on November 18, 2008


Screw Brooklyn Brewing. It's literally easier to find their (delicious! argh) beer in Shanghai than on the west coast.

Minnesota is also a Brooklyn-free zone, which means both of the breweries in question have to be "personally" imported into the Twin Cities. That said, it's totally worth the effort to seek both out and collect them: Brooklyn Local 1 is an incredible beer (the packaging of which just got Brooklyn Brewery into a serious kerfuffle over trademark infringement with the Trappists) and just about any Dogfish Head product is worth trying just for the experience (though I have to say that, while I adore Fort and 90 Minute IPA, I'm not a huge fan of Black & Blue or Palo Santo Marron.)
posted by Captain Swing at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2008


Turbodog: sounds like an heavy amber beer but not to sweet?
I'll just have to find some over here. man on a mission!
If any of you beer lover ever come to Amsterdam, be sure to drop by brewery 't IJ
posted by borq at 2:04 PM on November 18, 2008


Yes. Wine is also a children's drink.

I stick to hard liquors.


Hard liquors are children's drinks.

I stick to injecting pure heroin directly into my balls.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:06 PM on November 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Captain Swing writes "Minnesota is also a Brooklyn-free zone, which means both of the breweries in question have to be 'personally' imported into the Twin Cities."

What's the deal? Why does Brooklyn brewing hate America?
posted by mullingitover at 2:08 PM on November 18, 2008


21% is no fooling:

1 12 oz bottle of 21% = 2.52 oz of pure alcohol = 6.3 oz of 80 proof vodka = 4 shots.
posted by smackfu at 2:12 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thirding the Harpoon Winter Warmer. Delicious seasonal. If we're name dropping I want to suggest Hop Wallop by the Victory Brewing Company. Delicious IPA.

Also, thank god for City Beverage in Winston-Salem. Don't know what I'd do without them.
posted by lyam at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2008


If we're talking seasonal brews for winter, I've yet to meet a beer that tops Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale. It tastes like Fin du Monde + magic (not Magic Hat, just magic. You know, like tricks illusions.) Two of those after work and it's gooooooodnight nurse!
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:21 PM on November 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, Hop Wallop. They had something called 123 cents on the beer engine the last time I was at Victory, and it was tremendous. All the Victory stuff is great. In fact, Philly is one of the top beer cities in the USA.

In other news, the AB/InBev merger is a done deal.
posted by fixedgear at 2:25 PM on November 18, 2008


fixedgear writes "In other news, the AB/InBev merger is a done deal."

I've already started harassing my Bud Lite-drinking neighbors for drinking snobby imported beer.
posted by mullingitover at 2:43 PM on November 18, 2008


I had the same experience with a bottle of Gulden Draak a few weeks ago. My girlfriend didn't believe that I had only had one, and when I managed to convince her, she made fun of me.

Gulden Draak is one of the best beers I have ever had (and I have tried a lot). There is a nearby off license that stocks it. This almost makes up for living in Brum.
posted by srboisvert at 2:57 PM on November 18, 2008


Coincidentally, just pulled the latest issue of Brew Your Own out of the mailbox. Big article on Stone Brewing which includes Stone's Keys to Dry Hopping and 6 Stone clone recipes. Also an article on smoking your own malt. (insert "don't inhale" jokes here).

Also, I have to throw in some props for Unibroue. Maudite is the best thing I've ever tasted, coming out of a bottle. It's higher alcohol, but without the alcohol burn. Good stuff!
posted by spock at 3:27 PM on November 18, 2008


"Give me an Arrogant Bastard, or a Rogue Dead Guy Ale, or a Stone Smoked Porter over it any day."

Arrogant Bastard doesn't hold up to its name. It's too much like a little guy in a big truck—yeah, you got hops, OK, what else? Dead Guy's OK, but I tend to like, well, about everything else from Rogue more, including their fantastic Brown.

But if you like the Stone Smoked Porter (which is pretty good), you should make a point to try the Great Lakes Brewing Edmund Fitzgerald, which is pretty much the best damn porter I've ever had.

Oh, and the other one you may like, if you like that smoked porter, is the Stoney Creek Vanilla Porter.
posted by klangklangston at 3:32 PM on November 18, 2008


I really wanted to like the bottle of Raison d'Etre I got about a year ago, because it had all these awards and everyone talked about how good it was and how much they loved Dogfish Head. But when I drank it, all the other flavors were completely blown away by a disgusting metallic taste that almost made me sick. What gives? There's a Dogfish Head Alehouse in my hometown, and I'd like to go there and try some beers over the holidays -- but first I'd like to make sure that my bad experience was unique and I don't just hate their beer for some odd reason.

That said, I love Brooklyn Brewery, and I'm sad that there are only a couple of places that sell bottles of it around here in Texas. Back in the DC area (and my college town of Blacksburg) it was something you could get on tap in a lot of places.
posted by malthas at 3:44 PM on November 18, 2008


Sam Calagione is the Steve Albini for the beer drinking set.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:51 PM on November 18, 2008


Ooh, winter beers! It's Goose Island Bourbon County Stout time again. Take an already delicious stout, age it in bourbon barrels for a couple of months, and voila, pure deliciousness. Thick as oil, dark as night (and oil), it's the best beer I've ever had.

And somehow, they finally got their west coast distribution setup. I never expected to see it in LA.

But somehow, the concept of winter beers doesn't make a whole lot of sense out here. I guess it gets chilly at night, but it's not the same thing.
posted by hwyengr at 3:57 PM on November 18, 2008


Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA is my favorite beer that I can regularly find at the local supermarket.
And I just want to plug http://www.beermenus.com/ for my NYC brethren.
Lansdowne Road is mhy favorite place in the city to have a bottle of Dogfish Head 90 minute, or a pint of 60 minute. Their ice rail won me over, since I tend to drink my beer slowly.
posted by bashos_frog at 4:42 PM on November 18, 2008


Oh yes, we have the Dogfish Head out here in Portland. There are many places to find it -- more often bottled, but even in a region so densely populated with microbreweries, I'm surprised at how many establishments still have a crummy beer list. If you have 6-8 taps, why serve Pabst, Bud, Miller, 2 IPAs and a red? This makes me grumble. I demand at least 1 stout, 1 porter and a Belgian. My choice of where to drink or eat is often dictated by their beer list.

For those outside the USA NW, look for the Terminal Gravity IPA (Enterprise, OR), The Abyss (almost a barely wine) by Deschutes Brewing (Bend, OR) and the Oak Aged Yeti Stout by Great Divide (Denver).
posted by asfuller at 5:31 PM on November 18, 2008


Most winters I make a 90 Schilling Scotch Ale from a kit from the local brew shop. This ends up around 9 or 10% alcohol, but is smooth with the right balance of bitter. It is an excellent sipping beer for a cold winter night. Drinking more than a pint knocks you on your ass. Soundly.
posted by plinth at 5:44 PM on November 18, 2008


Hmm.. just finishing up a 2x2 of the 90 minute. Listening to brother playing basketball on the radio. Swimming. Nice night.
posted by xorry at 6:01 PM on November 18, 2008


I had a bottle of the 120 Minute IPA once. Great stuff. Then I wondered how I could get so freaking hammered off of one bottle of beer.

I looked at the label - 20% ABV! Holy!!!
posted by smoothvirus at 6:09 PM on November 18, 2008


BTW if we're talking our favorite beers, mine would be St. Bernardus Abt 12. Chimay Bleue would be a close second.
posted by smoothvirus at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2008


Thanks for the link. The Calagionnes are neighbors here in Lewes, Delaware. Sam is one of our celebrities. It was fun to read about him in a ling-form New Yorker article. I'm a fan of the 60-minute IPA. I think I'm too old to drink the 90 and the 120 puts me on my ass.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:18 PM on November 18, 2008


"I really wanted to like the bottle of Raison d'Etre I got about a year ago, because it had all these awards and everyone talked about how good it was and how much they loved Dogfish Head. But when I drank it, all the other flavors were completely blown away by a disgusting metallic taste that almost made me sick."

YES, malthas speaks the truth. Something bad happened with Raison d'etre. It used to be luscious, not anymore. That said, Raison d'Etre is the only DFH brew that I actively avoid. As others have said, the 90 Minute IPA is nectar of the gods. And I thank those gods that I can get it out here in ORegon. This state is brewery capital of the US or whatever, but I have a soft spot for the excellent east coast breweries like DFH, Victory, Yard's, Troeg's, Weyerbacher, etc. (being an ex-Philly gal.)
posted by medeine at 6:32 PM on November 18, 2008


Heh. I'm on my second bottle of 90 right now. Had a 120 the other night. Delicious stuff, but the 120 is pricey. The 90 is a better daily beverage. The 60 is respectable as well.

For those that like the Raison d'etre, they make a more potent version as well, the Raison d'Extra.
posted by yeti at 7:20 PM on November 18, 2008


Ahh spok mentions Maudite.. I'd rather q a 750 of that than anything. All I can find these days are a 2x2 of it though.. and I'm sad for the hate on Raison d'Etre.. it was my favorite beer a couple of years ago but I haven't been able to find it since ( perhaps because of the quality decline? )
posted by xorry at 7:20 PM on November 18, 2008


And while I'm poking my large reddish nose into everything here, I'm also finishing off some sierra nevada celebration ale which is an nice rinse from the 4x90 from before ( I forgot to mention that you bastards led me to crave this dish ) Oh! And is there anyone else here who is addicted to Rouge's Chipotle Ale?
posted by xorry at 7:24 PM on November 18, 2008


Rogue even..
posted by xorry at 7:25 PM on November 18, 2008


Had this article opened from my RSS feed to read tonight, and before I could it was already up here. Beautiful.

I've been a fan, lately, of the Ommegang Abbey Ale. A couple of days ago I also managed to pick up a bottle of their Chocolate Indulgence Stout, which is apparently made with Belgian chocolate. Looking forward to that one.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:17 PM on November 18, 2008


If we're having a beer nerd party in here, may I offer up jolly pumpkin brewery. If you're a fan of sour beers like I am, good times await.
posted by fillsthepews at 9:44 PM on November 18, 2008


I gotta remember to keep baiting MeFi with a beer article every few months. This is fun.

Also, since everybody loves Victory, I'll add that I love 'em, too. Prima Pils is practically transcendent in the summertime.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:50 AM on November 19, 2008


I've been a fan, lately, of the Ommegang Abbey Ale.

Weird, I just starting getting this myself. And I know a few other people who've recently adopted it as an affordable alternative to your Chimays and such. Is this a new beer or did a bunch of people randomly notice it at the same time?
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 6:51 AM on November 19, 2008


According to Wiki, they've been around since '97.

I found them when I went to buy some Duvel, and the man at the store recommended Ommegang because it is owned by Duvel.

"Since its opening, Ommegang has grown rapidly — in early 2005, its owner said they have been unable to meet demand for their ales and as a result would add 40 percent to their production capacity over the next year." [wiki] So I guess they are fairly popular.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:11 AM on November 19, 2008


Thanks for that. And I'm happy for them, because they're damn good.

On topic, the first time I heard of Dogfish Head was when I saw, scrawled on a chalkboard outside a bar, "we have dogfish head today only" and I thought it was some sort of entree and I became severely grossed out. It was a while before I could bring myself to try it.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 9:48 AM on November 19, 2008


Does Ommegang only sell the 750ml bottles, or is that just a failing of my local beer store? They're not badly priced for that sized bottle ($6 here), but I'm not always in the mood for that much beer.
posted by smackfu at 12:12 PM on November 19, 2008


Ommegang comes in 12 oz as well as the 750ml bottles. Try the Hennepin and the Rare Vos (Sly Fox), too.

With respect to Dogfish Head Raison - isn't a strong metallic taste the result of spoiled beer, like from a bad cap? My friends all love Victory Golden Monkey. To me it has a faintly metallic taste, but that is a product of the Belgian yeast. Is this what folks are describing?
posted by fixedgear at 12:28 PM on November 19, 2008


Allegedly, Ommegang sells 4-packs of 12ozers, but I've never seen one.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:29 PM on November 19, 2008


And oh yeah, I had some Rare Vos with a steak frite not too long ago... f'n perfect.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:31 PM on November 19, 2008


Pardon me. I'm just dropping my 2000th comment in a thread about good beer.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:05 PM on November 19, 2008


I can attest to Ommegang in 12oz. I usually get the750ml and split it with my wife, but I have seen 12oz bottles of the Three Philosophers and the Abby.

I've been thinking about buying the Dead Guy Ale, while I can still find it in the Halloween glow-in-the-dark bottles, but I worry that I will find the beer too fruity for my taste, and saving a neat bottle of a beer you didn't especially like seems stupid.
posted by paisley henosis at 1:27 PM on November 19, 2008


Dead Guy is another one I hadn't had in awhile until I bought a bomber a few weeks ago. We enjoyed it with some rare prime beef at home. I liked it a lot, and don't remember it being too fruity. Maybe more bready or biscuity, with more fruit in the nose than on the palate. Unless I'm misremembering. I've had a lot of different beer in very small quantities lately.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2008


Thanks for the information. It turned out that they had Samuel Smith gift sets with a bottle each of Oatmeal Stout, Nut Brown Ale, and Pale, with a pint glass and some other stuff, for under 10$ each, so I picked up a set each for the misses and myself.

I mention this, because I know the entire internet lives and dies by my beer purchases.
posted by paisley henosis at 5:09 PM on November 19, 2008


I care! I love buying gift sets... for myself. Usually interesting beer and a glass to add to the collection. (Although to be perfectly honest, the Chimay glass I got in one of those packs is rather inferior.)
posted by smackfu at 5:45 PM on November 19, 2008


Yeah, I love gift sets and glassware, too. Corsendonk, Chimay, Chouffe, Duvel, my Weeping Radish pilsner glasses from our trip to the Outer Banks...
posted by fixedgear at 6:11 PM on November 19, 2008


~ (Although to be perfectly honest, the Chimay glass I got in one of those packs is rather inferior.)

I'm glad you mentioned that; I went to the store planning to buy the Chimay gift set, with one of each of their beers and a chalice, but they had sold out of them in the 3 days between my last trip and this one, so I got the Sam Smith, instead.

Sorry about your glass, but it did perk me up.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:30 PM on November 19, 2008


Can anybody else only afford steel reserve and beam's 8-star?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:18 PM on November 19, 2008


STEEL RESERVE STORY TIME!

A well-lubricated buddy of mine was one time "enjoying" a Steel Reserve at a party. We, his responsible friends, decided it was time to cut him off, but wanted to do so in hilarious fashion. So, when he placed his mostly-full Steel Reserve can down, we grabbed it, dumped it out, and filled it with tap water. We placed it back in its original location, then sat back quietly and waited.

A few minutes later, lubricated buddy grabbed the can and took a hearty swig. He paused, looked thoughtfully at the can, and then went for another swig. Wide-eyed, he announced to the party: "Oh man! I'm so wasted, this Steel Reserve tastes like water! Wooooo!"
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:49 AM on November 20, 2008


Steel Reserve is slowly driving me to madness.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:03 AM on November 20, 2008


I went to the store planning to buy the Chimay gift set, with one of each of their beers and a chalice

Yeah, that's the one I got. YMMV, but the silver coating on the rim of my glass is flaking off which is rather unattractive. The beer was good though.
posted by smackfu at 9:11 AM on November 20, 2008


Oh, that sucks! It is such a nice looking set, and with the quality of their beer, and the price point, it doesn't make any sense to cheap-out on that.
posted by paisley henosis at 1:27 PM on November 20, 2008


Since it's finally Friday night, I'm drinking Palo Santo Marron thanks to this thread. "Holy" is correct. I'm floating.
posted by naju at 5:48 PM on November 21, 2008


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