REHOBOTH BEACH, DELAWARE
Year-round beach resort, Rehoboth Beach, with its one-mile boardwalk, featured sundry boutiques, galleries, gourmet restaurants, and renowned brewpub, DOGFISH HEAD BREWERY (open since ’95 with bottling plant in nearby Milton). Three blocks from the ocean, Dogfish Head was absolutely packed upon two-day November ’07 quest.
Using converted dairy tanks for brew kettles, this row house-styled restaurant-saloon had quaint hop-vined beer garden with side entrance leading to 25-seat right bar, mid-size dining space, convertible left stage, wood-fired stove, ceiling-hung canoe and loft level with rum, vodka, and gin distillery plus billiards tables. Manager Jason Weissberg presented two non-bottled brews for premise consumption.
Firstly, tangy orange-centered, grapefruit rind-soured, floral hop-embittered, candied malt-thickened Fed Ex Mild. Then bourbon-burgundy-etched Baltic Porter, a superb full body, matched sticky wood-smoked tar-embittered molasses malts, pureed cherry-raisin-prune tartness, and sweet whiskey whir to black chocolate-y French roast coffee finish. Bottled selections could be found in Beer Index.
During April 2016 dinner revisit, tried 2014-vintage 18% ABV version of Dogfish Head Raison D’Extra, a richly creamed pureed raisin elixir that gained a crystalline brandywine likeness above the prune-stewed chocolate sweetness and mild cognac elegance.
Brought the wife and dog to Dogfish Head January ’21 to taste seven more previously untried variants as night fell at the covered wood-tabled side patio.
Sessionable ‘super gose,’ Super Eight, combined dry tropical fruiting with Hawaiian sea-salted toasted quinoa herbal graining, bringing lemon-limed prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry and kiwi juices to the delicate surface.
‘Approachable sour ale,’ Sultan Of The Aviary, anchored demerara-sugared pineapple to oaken cherry and raspberry rhubarb tartness, leaving sharp cinnamon spicing and slight botanical florality in the recess.
Herbal black peppered lemon spicing and zesty orange whims crept thru Re-Gen-Ale, a complex saison with pithy lemongrass, sage and allspice illusions dotting the banana rum-sugared honeyed wheat spine.
Laidback mimosa-styled champagne spritzer, Sunday Feels, sparked peachy orange tartness by spritzy lemon-limed green grape esters.
Tropical low calorie IPA, Slightly Mighty, a flavorful (despite meager 4% ABV) monk-fruited moderation retained spritzy lemony grapefruit bluster, tangy pineapple-mango salting, mild coconut whims, latent gooseberry snips and crisp cucumber watering above a delicate barley base.
Lactic cocoa-powdered Porter Pounder sidled dried milk chocolate tartness with vanilla-creamed pistachio, pecan and almond sweetness with fine resolve.
Bittersweet dark chocolate glazed Scorcher Selector, a Jamaican-styled Export Stout utilizing vanillin Tonga ginger to upend its walnut-seared hop char (and resembling a molasses-sapped gingersnap cookie at times).
During November ’21 sojourn, re-revisited Dogfish Head, Rehoboth, on a chilly Sunday at noon, grabbing seats on the covered left side beer garden to eat delectable perogies and crab-corn chowder while enjoying eight previously untried brews.
Dry wet-grained lager, Snappers For Buttons, let corny pilsner malts surface next to orange blossom honeyed florality as its herbal-hopped lemon spritz provided snappy fizz.
‘Toasty’ amber lager, Binoculager, let nutty sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeding gain peated whiskey tones as well as orange-oiled tartness and delicate peppery herbage.
Sessionable English-style pale ale, Firefly, retained a buttery citrus spicing for guava pureed coconut palm nectar above mildly sweet Maris Otter malting.
Tart session sour, Whoa, That’s Tangy, let salty lemon liming influence its tropical passionfruit, gooseberry and naranjilla pucker.
Fruitful Berliner Weiss, Daily Serving: Pomegranate & Blackberry, brought Concord grape tannins to blackberry-seeded pomegranate juicing before sour cherry and cranberry tartness contrasted sweet grape soda spritz.
A soft-toned double dry-hopped collaboration with Trillium, Tru-Action IPA allowed subtle lemony orange-peeled grapefruit rind bittering and passive pineapple tanginess to receive sharp piney hop insistence above delicate floral-spiced pale malts.
Another Trillium IPA collab, murkily hazy golden Double Past Present Pretzel, placed limey mango, guava and pineapple tropicalia atop pretzel-salted multigrain breading.
Lactic nitrogenated milk stout, Nitrochargedturboblaster, plied dry cold-brewed coffee to tarry black chocolate nuttiness for a relaxing moderation.