First Of The First

Location of Origin: 6 Cannery Village Center, Milton, DE, 19968, USA
Date Established: June 1995
Category: Independent, Regional Craft Brewery/Distillery and Soda Producer With Moderate National Distribution, Multiple Brewpub Locations, and 75,000 Barrels of Annual Output.

If you can't remember from US History, or you haven't seen a Delaware State Quarter since 1999, then let us remind you that our 2nd smallest state was the first state to ratify The United States Constitution. That gave the state the right to stamp "The First State" on their quarter and license plates. But if you look at their quarter and license plate, they're basically the most boring in the entire country (Sorry Caesar Rodney, but it's true). On top of it being a very small state, Delaware has no major professional sports teams, no cities with a population of over 100,000, and no tv stations operating only within the state. And with the exception of its history of ending segregated schools and its banking industry, Delaware isn't really known very much these days. Unless of course, you know your beer. Founded by former NYC bartender Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head is a widely recognized craft brewery whose name originates from Dogfish Head, Maine, the location where Calagione spend summers as a kid. Aside from their world class beers, the brewery is known for being the first brewery in Delaware, having been established in the summer 1995, a time when the rest of the country was still deciding whether certain beers had "great taste" or "less filling". Dogfish Head is also Delaware's most prominent and respected brewery. Their beer has earned them countless national and international awards, and just about all of their beers hold high marks on Beer Advocate and RateBeer. The brewery itself has been the subject of massive growth, quadrupling in size between 2003 and 2006. In 2010, the brewery as well as its founder were the focus of Discovery Channel's Brew Masters one season, six episode show. The show demonstrated the entire brewing process, as well as the company's search around the world for new and exciting inspiration for their beer recipes. Dogfish Head also headlines the annual Extreme Beer Festival in Boston, MA along with hosts Beer Advocate. Their most popular line of beers is their famous IPA range, which consists of three continuously hopped India Pale Ales at three different levels: 60 minutes, 90 minutes, and 120 minutes. A limited 75 minute variety is also available. Essentially, this means that during the boiling process, hops are added into the wort for the duration of the beer's label. The longer a beer is hopped for, the more bitter and aromatic it becomes. The brewery also lists ABVs for each beer being higher for longer hopping varieties.

Calagione is known for his "stand out" approach to building his business and his brand. Rather than focusing on what other prominent craft breweries are doing, his company explores industries and areas outside of beer, giving him and his employees new and different ways of running the brewery. "The ability to roam," he says, "is critical for building an entrepreneurial brand that stands out in a crowded marketplace." And he's right. As the craft beer industry gains more mainstream popularity and demand in the coming decades, more craft breweries are going to spring up around the US, and independent and creative thinking are the only ways to succeed. Look at German automakers BMW, Audi, and Mercedes Benz. Each one is so focused on what the other is doing that they essentially end up making the same cars. The M3 competes with the S4 and the C63 AMG. The X5, Q7, and the ML. The 7 Series, the A8, and the S Class. They're all basically the same. They all come in the same grey colors, black trim, wood panels, heated leather, and painted alloy wheels as well. So while craft beer leaders like Harpoon, Sierra Nevada, and Sam Adams do what they can to better the others, Dogfish Head is making their own way work. And quite well, we should add.

Reviewed Beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

6-25-12 - Chicory Stout

All rated Beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

12-19-17 - 120 Minute IPA - 4.02, American Double/Imperial IPA, 18.00%
10-27-17 - Romantic Chemistry - 3.35, American IPA, 7.20%
5-06-17 - World Wide Stout - 3.90, American Double/Imperial Stout, 18.00%
2-10-17 - Beer For Breakfast - 3.70, American Stout, 7.40%
12-15-14 - Indian Brown Ale - 3.91, American Brown Ale, 7.20%
8-23-14 - Burton Baton - 2.89, American Double/Imperial IPA, 10.00%
7-25-13 - ApriHop - 3.15, American IPA, 7.00%
6-22-12 - Chicory Stout - 3.85, American Stout, 5.20%
Please see review above.
12-28-11 - 90 Minute IPA - 3.45, American Double/Imperial IPA, 9.00%
Labeled by Esquire Magazine as "perhaps the best IPA in America," this is one of Dogfish Head's oldest beers, being first offered in April of 2001. This year round beer has a good amount of hoppy notes derived from 90 minutes of continuously hopping the boil, as well as being dry hopped. From this beer came the 60, 120, and 75 minute IPAs. This beer's flavor profile is a bit more complex than its smaller sister, delivering more broad fruity and citrusy notes, as well as a small bit of spice to accompany the good amount of hops you'd expect from an IPA. This is a medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation, and an average viscosity. It goes best with fish, pork, and stilton cheese.
12-13-11 - 60 Minute IPA - 3.78, American IPA, 6.00%
Named for the amount of time that this beer's fresh Northwest American hops are boiled for, this is one of Dogfish Head's most popular year-round brews. First crafted in February of 2003, this traditional IPA has a very hoppy flavor, aromatic, citrusy character, and a grassy undertone. Medium light bodied, this is a refreshing beer with a good amount of carbonation, a lighter weight, and a low viscosity. This beer pairs well with pizza, fish, spicy foods, and sharp cheese.
10-29-11 - Punkin Ale - 2.68, Pumpkin Ale, 7.00%
This is a fall time seasonal brewed with pumpkin, spices, and brown sugar, delivering a subtle array of autumn like flavors. Named after the punkin chunkin event at the Delaware Extravaganza festival, this beer has a full presence, a somewhat alcoholic character, and is available starting September through usually Thanksgiving in 27 different states. This malty beer goes well with any sort of traditional Thanksgiving food.
6-09-11 - Festina Peche - 2.84, Berliner Weissbier, 4.50%
This is a very sour beer which gets its style acidic trademark character from lactic cultures. The Festina Peche is a summer seasonal which has a lighter body, a fruity secondary note balancing the overall sourness, and a somewhat dry finish. This beer is lightly hopped and pairs well with grilled meats and salad. First brewed in June of 2007.