Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I DID IT - I DRANK THE DOGFISH HEAD

So me & the family went to Seattle this past weekend, and before leaving for a 3-day vacation I did a little online reconnaissance to figure out where I was going to sneak away to drink some incredible craft beer. Sure, I lived there a couple of years in the late 90s and spent some quality time in probably every microbrewery in town, but 7 years have passed & I wasn't sure what ruled the roost these days. I found this bar called the Collins Pub's website, & lo and behold, not only did they have a bevy of Northwestern beverages on tap, but they had bottles of the fabled Dogfish Head for sale!! For real! I've been figuratively dying to try that outfit's beer for like, months now. But being in possession of a rat-nasty cold & having a bunch of familial obligations to boot, it wasn't looking like I was going to tromp on over there & would have been unwise as well. As it turned out, it didn't matter, because right there in the Pike Place Market (every tourist's first stop in the Queen City) was a fancy-schmancy food & drink seller called Delaurenti Specialty Food & Wine, and they had three different beers from Deleware's DOGFISH HEAD BREWING (I guess they have a Washington State distributor) & a whole bunch of other fine ales as well.

I picked up the ones I've read the most about, Dogfish Head's 60-MINUTE IPA and their 90-MINIUTE IMPERIAL IPA. The first one - the 60 - was a bit of a disaster. I put it into the fridge at the hotel but the cold gauge must've been set incorrectly, because when I poured it a few hours later it was lukewarm & kinda gross. I bravely drank the limp golden concoction, but it would be a big mistake to even think that I'd enjoyed it in the way it was meant to be downed. Que lastima! What a horror! But all was well the next evening when I busted out the 90-Minute "Imperial" (that usually means Double) IPA. Ah yes. Now I can see where the reputation comes from. A highly hopped, golden-amber ale with a mouthfeel I can only describe as "bursting". Totally smelled like a beer should smell & just made me want to get going as soon as I popped the top. I can see why some folks call this the best beer in America, as it's one for the real discerners of quality out there - and definitely not for the ballgame or picnic drinker. I wish I'd had it on tap somewhere - maybe on my next trip to Wilmington or Dover (right!) -- but I'd give even this lonely bottle a robust 9/10. Now - what other beers of theirs are worth flying to another state for?

7 comments:

tedo said...

I think their IBA (India Brown Ale) and their Raison D'Raison D'Etre are really good. I also had their Midas Touch Golden Elixir which was incredibly interesting.

Brian said...

Among their "regular" brews, I like Raison d'Etre and Indian Brown Ale the best.

If you can get a hold of a bottle of Fort, it is not to be missed.

And of course, there is a 120-minute IPA as well...

Greg Clow said...

Too bad about the 60 Minute - although I like it so much that drinking it warm probably wouldn't bother me.

Sadly, it's not available in Ontario on a regular basis - our government liquor monopoly brought in a one-off order of a few hundred cases back in the spring, and the bottles flew of the shelves pretty quickly. I managed to snag a few six-packs before they disappeared, and I'm selfishly rationing my few remaining bottles. Luckily, my private order of a case of Great Divide Titan IPA just came in, so I have a suitable substitute when my 60s run dry.

Dave Martin said...

While I consider myself very far from being any sort of authority on this stuff I can say that I am rather obsessed with Dogfish Head Brewery. Everything I've tried I have liked with my favorites being the 90 Minute IPA, the Raison d'Etre. I'd add the Midas Touch to the list too if I could afford it more than every once in a while (Although I only had it on tap, not the bottles.)
Yay Dogfish Head!

Dave

Dave Martin said...

While I consider myself very far from being any sort of authority on this stuff I can say that I am rather obsessed with Dogfish Head Brewery. Everything I've tried I have liked with my favorites being the 90 Minute IPA, the Raison d'Etre. I'd add the Midas Touch to the list too if I could afford it more than every once in a while (Although I only had it on tap, not the bottles.)
Yay Dogfish Head!

Dave

Anonymous said...

I remember trying the 90 Minute for the first time at their main brewpub in Rehoboth, $2 pints courtesy of a coupon they used to have... ah the memories.

It's amazing how much we take breweries like DFH for granted on this coast, and yet I'd kill for more Hair of the Dog, Russian River, etc.

Kyle said...

Had a bottle of the 90 minute last night. Very good stuff indeed. Definitely on a high plane. Glad I saw this review.