To start at the end, when we left the brewery, I had an overall feeling of well-being. More than just the very light buzz (they wisely have started splitting up the samples: 2 before the tour and 2 after). Dogfish Head is just plain old feel good beer! Maybe part of it is that – after you take the tour – you know that it is good for the environment! What a delicious feeling.
Ha! Jealous yet? Yeah.
Although I’m not hired by the company, I plug them everywhere because they are awesome, so in case you want to learn more, their website is www[dot]dogfish[dot]com. (Also, they’ve stopped distributing to Indiana, so I hope to become an ambassador for them and create the demand to change that!)
This is Red’s Dogfish Head Show & Tell There really is some cool stuff in here. (keep in mind I’d had two before the tour):
This tree out front...
is left from some artists’ environmental gathering in the American Southwest. All these artists designed and built it out of recycled materials but couldn’t leave it out there to rust in the desert. Pretty cool.
There was a guy wearing a Stormtrooper t-shirt, so I thought it would be fun if I could get him in all my pictures. (See if you can find him...it's like Where's Waldo but with a t-shirt.)
I couldn’t do it because we were usually facing the same way, but at least it gave me a chance to practice my photo-ninja skills. (I bow to the master, Misty of Mistyslaws ). It’s really hard! I got some awesome shots of my own hand, and I think by the end of the tour he was hiding behind his lady’s ample bosom. (So I had a few shots of that, too.)
Oh, that little window high up the wall in this photo? That’s the brewmaster’s room, where he oversees the brewing tanks.
These pipes look plain ...
but are another “green” feature. The hot water from one step in the process runs in one direction through one pipe, and inside the pipe is a skinnier pipe of cold water that needs to be warmed up. So instead of using the energy to heat it, the hot water in the outer pipe brings it up to temp. ...Or maybe it's vice versa. Either way.
This is funny. Sam Calagione, the founder, was an English major before discovering his talent for beer, so there are puns all over the place. DFH has several continuously “hopped” beers, and their hops infusers have names.
This one is “Me So Hoppy”.
When we came to the bottling room...
I was surprised that no one – including myself – broke into the Laverne & Shirley theme song. It really did look like that scene! We got there just when the machine started up.
And the machine that fills the kegs is called the “Tunnel of Love”.
(See the sign over the tunnel-entrance?) Ha! Love in a keg.
"Capacity 12,400 gallons". That's the label on one of the vats. I don’t know about you, but to me that is A LOT of beer!
This next – vat? Urn? Cask? – is made from the wood of the Palo Santo tree that grows in Paraguay. (The one on the left is regular old oak.)
Apparently the guide showing it to Sam shot a gun at it and the bullet ricocheted. Tough wood! DFH uses it for its caramel/vanilla aroma. ...and yes, the Palo Santo Marron beer is rich and caramel-y. Yum. Also, expensive.
After our final 2 samples, and some shopping, we left the Dogfish Head facility. But we were not done. Oh no!
Tour guide Dwayne had told us about a beer float we wanted to try: DFH Chicory Stout and coffee ice-cream. We stopped to get the ice-cream and some food because, well, even though the four samples weren’t huge…have you ever toured oh, say, the Anheuser-Busch factory or something? Those mass produced beers are about 3-5% alcohol. The four samples we were given were 6.8-12% abv.
Yeah. Food was important.
ANYway, just for fun: