So, I’m now back in the UK after almost two weeks in Western Pennslyvania and Eastern Ohio with my wonderful girlfriend, who drove me around to many bars and breweries. A fair bit of beer was drunk over that period, and much griping about the lack of smaller measures in some places, especially when it came to beers of certain strengths. I didn’t really want to be drinking a whole pint of them, especially when there were others I wanted to try as well.
Enough moaning however, and on with the beer. To make things easier, I’ll be splitting my notes into several smaller posts, with this one focusing on the Dogfish Head beers I drank whilst in Pittsburgh.
Dogfish Head is a brewery I’ve wanted to try more of for some time. I managed to try at least seven different beers that were new to me, and reaquaint myself with 90 Minute IPA. There were some odd beers, some very welcome beers, and one that was nice, but didn’t really do anything for me.
The week started with Midas Touch, a 9% Ancient Ale made with ingredients found in the drinking vessel of King Midas. I’d say that this was an acquired taste. The first impression is that of a rather musky aroma, and the taste is quite dry at first, but a sweetness comes through in the aftertaste. This isn’t a beer I’d rush to drink more of, but perhaps it would work better paired with some food.
The same night I shared a bottle of My Antonia. My Antonia is an Imperial Pilsner, which has been continuously hopped. As a result, the aroma reminded me a lot of 90 Minute IPA. In the 90 Minute IPA, I think that the continuous hopping is a good thing. I like how it tastes and smells. In My Antonia however, I found it to be too much. It wasn’t how I expect a pilsner to be. I liked it, but as a pilsner, I wasn’t a fan.
The next beer came in the shape of Chicory Stout, a good enough stout, though I’m not too sure what happened to the chicory. Saying that though, I’d still drink it whenever the opportunity arose.
On the Saturday Evening we shared a bottle of Bitches Brew, Dogfish Head’s beer brewed in honour of the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album. My notes have just two words by this beer, “wonderfully tasty”, and it was. My girlfriend was asked to perform at a show that evening, which turned out to be longer than she had been told, and the second worst show she had performed in. By the time we got back, I think any beer would have been “wonderfully tasty”. We have another bottle which is being saved for my return in November. Hopefully it will still be “wonderfully tasty” then.
For Memorial Day we returned to Pittsburgh, and once again I raided the beer shelves of the Shop and Save, this time picking up the Victory and Dogfish Head versions of Saison Du Buff. Saison Du Buff is a collaboration beer between Victory, Dogfish Head and Stone, first brewed at Stone in 2010, and then replicated at the other breweries using the same ingredients. The beers have been brewed again this year, and the Dogfish Head version isn’t bad (I’ll say one word about the Victory version, soap.), there seemed to be a malt base that the Victory Saison was lacking, which gave the beer a much better overall taste.
A return in the other direction to Columbus brought with it another return to the Shop and Save, and this time a four pack of Burton Baton, Dogfish Head’s IPA flavoured with oak spirals. I found it to be a rather nice IPA that gives way to oakiness in it’s after taste. I’ve left two bottles behind to see how it ages. I think it could go well.
As well as all of these bottles, I also got the chance to try Urkontinent on tap at McGrogans Taphouse in Canonsburgh (a place I’d like to be taken back to in November, due to it’s nicely sized bottle selection). It’s a nice little beer, which really came good once it had warmed up to it’s optimum temperature, and the flavour started coming out. I didn’t think to take notes when I was drinking it, I just enjoyed it. After all, that’s the whole point of drinking beer, isn’t it?
As well as this lot, I also bought back with me bottles of Sahtea and Black and Blue, which I’ll be drinking when the right time comes. With the amount of Dogfish Head I drank you could easily be mistaken for thinking I was in Delaware rather than Pennslyvania or Ohio. I was though, and beers from those states will be coming up soon…
Pictures will come later, when I can actually upload something.