Evolution Craft Brewing Co. is Delaware's other craft brewery... at least that's the way it seems when you're at a package store in the Mid-Atlantic, there's plenty of Dogfish Head but not much else from Delaware. I made the trek to Delmar, on the southern border of Delaware and Maryland, a couple months ago to check out some of more exotic beers Evolution has in the works and I was quite impressed. Exotic beers don't pay the bills for most brewers so I decided to pick up a six pack of their Primal Pale Ale to see how these guys approach a more mainstream style.
16 Mile is a tiny brewery in Georgetown, Delaware. It's a brewery I'd never heard of from a place I'd never heard of until I moved to Delaware about a month ago. I'd only heard a few mentions of 16 Mile in passing and the reviews were decidedly mixed, so I figured I'd give them a shot and see for myself. The first thing worth mentioning about 16 Mile is that their beers are pretty easy to spot. They come in big 22oz aluminum bottles and are priced about two or three dollars a bottles. It's pretty cheap, which is actually a downside because most liquor stores have these bottles right next to the macro tall boys where they can get lost toward the bottom of the case.
The best part about moving to Delaware has to be all the new breweries I have access to. Part of the fun has been trying beers from breweries I'd never heard of before. Some of the beers have been good, others have been less than great, but it's still fun nonetheless. The beer I opened up today is from Fordham Brewing Company in Dover. I'd never heard of Fordham before so I really don't have a lot to go off of... I do like Doppelbocks so I figured I'd start there. This beer's label is pretty simple and straight forward, it's black and white with Fordham in gold across the top. At the bottom of the label is says "est. 1703" ...cool.
Ever since I had my first 90 Minute it's been the beer I compare all other IPAs to. That doesn't mean 90 Minute is my favorite IPA, but I think it's one of the best brewed IPAs out there. I happen to like Hopslam a little better, but 90 Minute will never be a disappointment. 90 Minute has a great rich maltiness that really balances out the huge hop content. Then, along came Burton Baton. I'd only heard the name of this beer a few times before moving to Delaware, I'd certainly never tried it. From what I'm told, it's basically a oak aged 90 Minute with a bit more alcohol and lots of vanilla flavor. Awesome.
16 Mile Brewing Company is a small Delaware brewery in Georgetown, not far from Milton or Rehoboth Beach. 16 Mile has a small lineup and is currently packaging their beers in 22oz aluminum bottles. I nearly overlooked these beers when I was at the liquor store because the design is so slick they blended right in with the Bud, Bud Light and Michelob bottles surrounding them. I knew absolutely nothing about this brewery or their beer, I figured I'd pick up a couple bottles and try it out. What's the worst that could happen?
Like every other beer drinker who owned a television set in the Fall of 2010, I really wanted to try Bitches Brew. This was the inaugural beer of the Brewmasters show, brewed for Savor to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album of the same name. Living 10 hours from the nearest Dogfish distributor meant I completely missed out on this beer. I recently moved to Delaware and was able to find several bottles of Bitches Brew sitting on the self at the Dogfish Head brewery, so I brought a few home to commemorate my move to The First State.
I stumbled upon this bottle of Dogfish Head Red & White a couple weeks ago while visiting Colorado. I wasn't really seeking this beer out, and never thought I'd have an opportunity to try it. So, I really knew nothing about this beer going in to it... The label says this is an ale brewed with coriander, orange peel and Pinot Noir juice. Sounds interesting enough, like a Witbier with red wine grapes added. At 10% alcohol by volume, the Red & White will definitely be the strongest Witbier I've ever had and with the Pinot Noir juice & barrel aging, this has got to be the most complex as well.
Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA may be their best selling beer but I've always regarded 90 Minute as the beer that took them to the next level. 60 Minute is a solid beer and back when it was first brewed, it may have been revolutionary... but now, it's just another continuously hopped IPA. It's a good beer, which is why it sells in such huge quantities, but it's not what I'd call World Class. 90 Minute is a different story, it was more than just 1.5x the beer 60 Minute was.
I had a serious amount of trepidation about picking up a bottle of Dogfish Sah'tea. I've never had anything with Gin or juniper berries before that I've actually liked. I beer with juniper berries as a main ingredient is a tough sell for me. Sah'tea is also brewed with black chai, which is something I really like quite a lot, so I figured to take a gamble and buy a bottle. Actually, I bought two... you know, just in case. This wasn't the smartest bet I'd ever made but I was hoping maybe this would be the first juniper brewed beer that I'd actually enjoy.
This first time I had Raison D'Être was in Vegas. I've been to Vegas twice, the trips were a decade apart. After the end of the first day back in Vegas I thought to myself, "Alright, I've had enough of Vegas for another ten years..." There's something very temporary about Vegas, probably all the fake architecture or fake parties. I did my best to find decent craft beer on the strip but it was harder than you'd expect. The macro brew over-saturation was disappointing but not nearly as bad as Sin City Brewing. It says a lot about your craft brewery when you offer four styles and one is a Light... We finally found a couple quality beer places by the second day and the first decent beer I had in Vegas was Dogfish's Raison D'Être.