Standing head and shoulders above all their fabulous Delaware competition, DOGFISH HEAD BREWERY is the long-lasting brainchild of highly respected and dutifully diligent brewmeister, Sam Calagione, a worldly zymurgist whose capacious Milton-based complex continually expands to meet international demand for his luxuriously ‘off-centered ales for off-centered people.’
In a multifarious art-deco New World designed complex just off the beaten path in rural colonialist Victorian haven, Milton, the incomparable Dogfish Head compound contains a roomy brewpub, bottling plant, red-bricked warehouse and several large grain silos. A rust metal treehouse sculpture with winding steps guides privileged customers to the laithe wood-fronted tasting room (with several barrel tables, a quartz-countered bar top and large exposed ducts). A food truck serves bratwursts, but will convert to Cuban sandwiches, Curry Chicken Salade, Reuben and chili menu June ’16.
On my pleasurable mid-afternoon April ’16 venture, I sampled two previously untried elixirs, one enhanced fruit ale and a cask version of one fabulous milk stout.
Firstly, stylistically superior Firefly English Pale Ale delivered oats-sugared Maris Otter barley malting to dewy peat earthiness, grassy hop astringency and floral lemon drops, staying mildly creamy to its mossy finish.
Next, approachable Alternative Takes #1, a sharp piney fruited Imperial IPA, parlayed its tropical pineapple, papaya and passionfruit adjuncts into lemony grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering, leaving a distant apricot tea remnant.
By upgrading Dogfish Head Aprihop with mango and ginger, the resulting apricot-dried Imperial IPA really gains vigor, from its syrupy peach sugaring, honeyed melon sweetness and cantaloupe-juiced mango tang to its mellow herbal-hopped scamper and bitter grapefruit respite.
For dessert, the lactic coffee bean-enhanced cask version of Chicory Stout hit the tongue softly with its lightly creamed dark-roast coffee entry, heavenly milked espresso undertones, roasted chicory influence and peat-smoked innuendo.
During January ’20 revisit, consumed four brews available onsite only (as of this date).
Rustic light-bodied pre-Prohibition lager, Corn Stalker, allowed oats-dried maize astringency and cereal-grained barleycorn grist to pervade lemon-rotted hop bittering.
Peculiar sour IPA, Kernel Haslet, let bacterial brettanomyces funk soak into lemony perfumed white grape esters, dry lime zest and tangerine snips over its corn grit adjunct and oats-flaked pilsner malting.
Delightful Medieval Dutch-styled Koffee Koyt utilized pilsner-malted white wheat and lemony Hallertau hop musk to back up its light-roast Guatemalan coffee tumult as well as cocoa-shelled Madagascar vanilla beaning.
Heavenly Knob Creek bourbon brought light oak-charred bourbon vanilla sweetness to dry whiskey tones for Assemblage, a barleywine-stout mix draping dark chocolate syrup upon tertiary maple syrup, burnt caramel, toffee and espresso nuances.