Popped open a bottle of Dogfish Head’s Pangaea the other day, which I bought last March in Arizona. The idea behind it was to make a beer that contains ingredients from every continent: crystallized ginger from Australia, water from Antarctica, basmati rice from Asia, muscavado sugar from Africa, European yeast and North American maize.
Here’s Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione explaining the beer:
After trying the beer, I’m honestly not sure what to say. It was a little bitter and a little sour with notes of the ginger coming through. I don’t think I was quite prepared for it. If you find it on your travels when it’s available, then take the plunge. But be warned, it’s definitely unique.
- Matt Pritchard
A couple of weeks ago I went to Arizona to watch some spring training games (go White Sox!). While down there, I stopped by a Total Wine & More store, which has a large selection of wine, liquor and, most important, beer, for sale for some pretty decent prices. The beer aisle is set up with individual bottles and cans for sale, as well as six packs, 12 packs, etc. The store boasts plenty of brews that can’t be found in Montana, in addition to a good selection of Big Sky Brewing Co. beer.
I decided to pick up a few Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, among others. If you’re not familiar with them, Dogfish Head is based in Delaware and was started by Sam Calagione in 1995. It’s known for making creative beer with unusual ingredients, as seen in the show Brew Masters on Discovery Channel.
Anyway, I only recently got the beers back to my house (thanks Toni and Dan) and I opened up one of the 90 Minute IPAs for a test run the other day.
The 90 Minute is an Imperial IPA and comes in at 9 percent alcohol by volume and a whopping 90 IBUs. Dogfish Head describes the beer on the bottle as “featuring a single, constant 90-minute hop addition. It’s balanced by a ridiculous amount of English Two-Row Barley. Then we dry-hop it in every tank.”
It’s an amber-gold color with a fairly strong floral aroma. There are two things that stand out about this beer: One, how smooth and clean it is for its alcohol content; and two, the complexity. The beer is citrusy upfront and yet has a chocolate/espresso flavor on the finish, but not too much of either. Bottom line, I enjoyed it.
If you happen to run across this beer on your travels, don’t pass it up.
- Matt Pritchard
I don’t like making beer lists, because finding new beers to try is what I’m all about. However, I have a few readers out there who live for beer lists, especially those featuring seasonal varieties. And since we’re just entering spring in the Northern Rockies, I thought I’d do a little bit on what I’m liking right now.
Spring, in the Northern Rockies, can be downright nasty. From frequent showers and snowstorms to a pleasant 60-degree day all in a few hours is not uncommon.
With that in mind, it can be tough to pick your favorite spring beers. Here’s what I do. I want a spring beer that still has a little alcoholic warmth to it and a little body as well. You know, for those cold April nights.
This year’s picks:
Lagunita’s Imperial Red Ale: Ever since a few skater punks began handing out beer in their small Santa Rosa brewery, I’ve been stoked on nearly every style they brew. The Imperial Red Ale kind of defines spring beers for me.
Inversion IPA: Aside from the fact that this one the IPA category at the Garden City Brewfest this year, Deschutes Brewing Co.’s Inversion IPA is a phenomenal spring beer with enough kick to get really take the sting out of that early season hiking or the chill off when you wade the rivers.
Dead Guy Ale: Many of my fellow bloggers usually pick this beer in their fall lineups, but I find it to be a great spring beer as well. This malt bomb delivers a great combination of flavor and warmth without the heaviness of a stout or porter.
India Brown Ale: Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale just might be the perfect hybrid for spring. Characteristic IPA hoppiness with lush brown malt accents in a great blend of fantastic styles.
Highlander Scotch Ale: With its distinctive sweet maltiness and silky smoke flavors, Missoula Brewing Co’s Highlander bears no resemblance to its namesake. However, as a spring beer, this one stands out for its balance of easy drinkability and developed tastes and flavors. Oh, and it just won Best Montana Beer at the Garden City Brewfest.
Get out and get some beer and enjoy spring to the fullest.
Occasionally I come across a good article about beer. Usually these are found in some beer-themed magazine or publication, and they are about as widely read as this blog. Just kidding, some beer publications are very well read.
When my friend Cory sent me this link, to this very fine article, which you can also find here, I was astounded that craft beer has made it to the intellectual elite. A New Yorker article on craft beer, how about that?
The only thing that might anger some beer snobs is the fact that the article centers around Dogfish Head Brewing Co. But if you’re open minded, and if you’re willing to concede that we’ve only just begun to discover beer’s awesome potential, the article is well worth a read, even if you aren’t a fan of Sam Calagione’s concoctions.