I first read about Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE in Smithsonian Magazine. So when we arrived in Delaware and discovered that it was just an hours drive away, or course we had to go for a visit.
The first thing you notice when you arrive is the strange treehouse outside the main doors. This 8 ton treehouse was originally created for the Burning Man festival, and apparently was bought by the brewery for $1, and it cost a few thousand dollars to move it (at least according to the tour guide).
The brewery is home to some unusual but yummy beers (but at 12%, be careful. Some of these beers will knock you down). My favourite was Midas Touch, which according to their website is made to a recipe which
“…is the actual oldest-known fermented beverage in the world! It is an ancient Turkish recipe using the original ingredients from the 2700 year old drinking vessels discovered in the tomb of King Midas. Somewhere between wine & mead”
At 9%, Midas touch is quite a light beer (by their standards). Smooth with a lovely honey taste (but not sweet), a very refreshing drink. The brewery offer a free short guided tour, followed by a tasting of four of their beers (it is best to book for the tour well in advance – we were lucky to get on the tour at the last minute).
Some of the beer is fermented in these huge wooden tanks, made from a really heavy and hard wood (you need diamond blades to cut it), and the tanks last for 10 years.
About 20 minutes drive from the brewery is their restaurant, where you can (again) drink their beers along with a selection of pub meals. A very civilised way to spend the day. If I could get their beer in South Africa, I would be stocking up.
Finally, thanks to much to the waitress that gave me a free pack of beer coasters for my braai room, much appreciated and they are safe in their new home.
To find out more or to contact them, call 1-888-8dogfish.