Beer pilgrimage – Dogfish Head

This weekend I made a long overdue beer pilgrimage to Rehoboth Beach to visit the Dogfish Head restaurant and brewery. It did not let me down.

Sadly, there were no tours available at the main Milton brewery, but I spent about five hours eating and enjoying some beer flights.

The food was good, but not my main concern. While no beers really, truly blew me away, I was very surprised by the quality of Dogfish spirits. I shared a “flight” of six one-ounce shots. Of note are Dogfish’s flavor-infused vodkas. I had a peanut butter version that was amazing and forced me to buy a bottle, of which I never do for liquors. It was ridiculously good, very peanut buttery and will probably go well with a liqueur flavored of chocolate or banana. Here’s some beers that stuck with me:

Lawnmower – This is a brewery exclusive as Dogfish’s “lite” beer. It certainly plays the part at about 4 percent ABV, which helps the taste act very smooth. It’s got a nice, traditional American pilsner-ish taste without a particularly discernible smell.

Shelter – Also a brewery exclusive, this is Dogfish’s pale ale. Like Lawnmower, it has a good taste and smell like any quality pale ale and is super easy to drink.

Fort – I had never heard about this until I got to Dogfish. It’s about 18 percent ABV and brewed with tons of raspberries. So much so that it smells and tastes like raspberry cough syrup. It is arguably the most offensive beer I’ve ever had, which made me a bit sad coming from Dogfish. It’s as if you took a Belgian beer and threw in raspberry syrup and drank it right away without letting it mellow at all. Pretty off-putting.

Positive Contact – I really liked this one, a beer-cider hybrid that mostly tastes like a Belgian but then has a slightly hidden aftertaste of apple. Dogfish’s website says the beer was also made with organic cilantro and dried cayenne pepper, but I couldn’t tell. I wouldn’t say this is a good beer for non-beer drinkers, but it’s almost there.

Tweason’ale – I bought a four-pack of this at the Dogfish store before I even tried it, so my hopes were high. It’s the only gluten-free beer I’ve heard about that’s worth trying. Or so they say. I did like it – the strawberries are good but not overpowering – and would liken it to any other fruit beer. It’s sweet enough that I’ll enjoy one bottle (or glass) but that would definitely be enough.

There were other beers I had (as seen), but those are the ones I think I enjoyed the most. The experience was great and would most definitely go back when I have another chance. The food, alcohol and service are all fantastic.


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