Saturday, March 22, 2008

New Beers This Week

Well, these aren't exactly new, but they haven't been around for a while. Both are from Dogfish Head, one of my favorite craft breweries. First is one of their once-per-year releases, the Burton Baton. This beer is sort of a cross of their 90 minute IPA and an English Strong Ale aged in oak barrels. A full-bodied, rich beer with strong malts and strong hops. Get it while it's around - this beer will be fine for months if stored properly.

Next is Dogfish Head's spring seasonal, the Aprihop. Aprihop is basically an India Pale Ale brewed with apricots. Dogfish Head does a great job with fruit beers because they don't just add fruit juice to the final beer, they actually brew the beer with the fruit, so you get the flavor without too much sweetness. This beer is a great thirst quencher for the warm spring days.

So why do I like Dogfish Head so much? They are extremely innovative. If I wanted to demonstrate to somebody from abroad what's special about American beer, Dogfish Head would be one of the first breweries I would point to. Some American craft breweries imitate European styles of beer and can do them rather well, while others may focus on traditional American style beers. Dogfish Head, on the other hand, uses recipes of their own creation to basically make entirely new beverages (although obviously they rely on traditional recipes as a starting point). That's very difficult to pull off. I love trying new stuff, so I'm always excited when Dogfish Head comes out with something. These are beers for the adventurous palate.

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