21 June 2013

WILK Friday BeerBuzz - 21 June 2013 Dogfish Head Sixty-One & Festina Peche w/Sam Calagione

Over the last three years we’ve had a lot of great guests on the WILK Friday BeerBuzz…from Jim Koch & Garrett Oliver to Dale Katechis & Mitch Steele, we’ve had a chance to talk to some of the rock stars of the brewing industry…but somehow today was different.

Over 15 years ago I wandered into a small brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, DE and my craft beer world was changed forever by one man.  That experience for me was like suddenly discovering music for the first time and wondering how I ever did without it.  My palate and my taste-buds for beer were changed forever and I attribute much of my love for great beer to that day.

The brewpub was Dogfish Head, the beer was India Brown Ale and the man was Sam Calagione…so you can forgive my gushing on the show today as we welcomed Sam on to the WILK Friday BeerBuzz.

Sam Calagione is an icon in the craft beer industry, and many of the guests we interview and much of the beer we sample can directly be attributed to Sam’s early influence in the craft beer & microbrew world.  Sam’s book Brewing Up a Business has been the inspiration and bible for many of today’s rock star brewers and Sam is an absolute evangelist for craft beer.

It was an honor hearing about the beginnings of Dogfish Head as well as the recent expansion and the future of DFH.  As a family business it’s interesting to see how Sam handles the pressures of managing growth at Dogfish Head while protecting the size & market for their beer.  From recipe creation to label artwork and everything in between, Sam has his hands on the pulse of DFH and that certainly comes out in the product.
Of course we sampled some beer with Sam today.  Dogfish Head Sixty-One is a really unique beer with a decidedly vinous influence & flavor.  Sixty-One began as an experiment with Dogfish Head 60-Minute IPA and red wine and it has resulted in not only a great beer, but the first new core beer for DFH since 2007.  Sixty-One uses Syrah grape must and it was cool to hear that Sam designed this label using watercolors and substituting beer and wine for water in the green & red colors (and melted chocolate for the brown).
We also sampled one of my favorite summer beers from Dogfish Head…Festina Peche.  This tart and slightly sour summer beer was influenced by the 2003 Festina Lente, and it uses Lactic cultures to bring out a green apple character that I really like.  I love Peach-based beers and this one is certainly a favorite.

Our 15-minutes ended all to quickly today, but I suspect if we had allotted 2 hours for the show, I’d still have one more question to ask Sam.  Whether it’s the Dogfish head core beers, or one of their series of Ancient Ales, everyone can find a craft beer home in DFH beers.  Be sure to get out and try both Festina Peche and Sixty-One and be sure to raise a glass to Sam Calagione when you do.

Thank you to Sam Calagione from Dogfish Head, Nancy, John & Joe for yet another

fun Friday.

The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together. As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.

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