Pilsner’s Progress: Postcards from Dogfish Head Brewing

Pilsner’s Progress is obviously a play on The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come. Other than being cute, there’s no resemblance (well, it was a pilgrimage of sorts, though not by a pilsner).

Dogfish Head Brewing headquarters, Milton, Delaware

My wife and I toured Dogfish Head Brewing in Milton, Delaware on September 1 (note: you need to make reservations in advance). We had a great time and enjoyed conversing with the employees and our fellow tour-groupers. Once you go from the gift shop/tasting room into the brewing area, you go from Heavy Metal to heavy machinery. The scale of everything is magnitudes higher than my 5-gallon homebrewing. If it can be automated, has been automated. The stainless tubes that go from here to there seem to go to ‘infinity and beyond.’ After the tour, we tasted 90 Minute IPA, Indian Brown Ale, Punkin’ Ale, and Midas Touch.

The steampunk-themed ‘treehouse’ is constructed of iron and wood and had been at the 2007 Burning Man Festival before Sam Calagione bought it and brought it to Delaware.

After the tour and tasting, we went to their brewpub in Rehoboth Beach. You will see in the slideshow the sampler we shared: Lawnmower, Shelter Pale Ale, 60 Minute IPA, Cask-aged 75 Minute IPA, and Midas Touch.

None of Dogfish’s lineup that I tasted lit my wick. I admire their methods and philosophy, but their brews follow (lead?) the mold of east coast malt-forward ales. I like hop-forward brews of the west coast. On the east coast, I much prefer the Flying Dog brews such as Classic Pale Ale, Snakedog IPA and Raging Bitch.

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Have you been on the Dogfish Head brewery tour? What do you think of their lineup?


2 thoughts on “Pilsner’s Progress: Postcards from Dogfish Head Brewing

    • I’d love to go again, Justin. The Dogfish team is enthusiastic, informed, and committed to their product. Sam appears to be everywhere stumping for craft beer. I hope that episode six of Brew Masters airs here in the U.S. It was a great way to learn about the fun of discovery of the ways beers are and have been made for 10,000 years.

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