Friday, March 25, 2011
Sam Calagione is the founder and brewmaster of one of my favorite breweries, Delaware-based Dogfish Head. I ran into a nice interview with him over at the Atlantic the other day, and enjoyed seeing the snapshot it provided of a man who loves what he does.
What do you say when people ask, "What do you do?"He also offers some thoughts worth pondering by beer aficionados:
I'm very proud to say or write on any vocational inquiry document that I am a brewer. My title is "president and founder" but I am a brewer first and a businessman second, and I think Dogfish's commitment to making a wide array of quality off-centered ales brings me more pride then growing from the smallest brewery in the country to where we are today.
What's an emerging trend that you think will shake up the beer world?A couple of weeks ago, we hosted one of my brothers and his family for a short visit to Boston. On the last day, my brother and I visited the Sam Adams brewery, making a stop afterwards at Doyle's, the first pub to serve Sam Adams. There, we imbibed from a new type of drinking glass developed by the brewery. (It's pictured at right. (Go here for more detail.) People who had been on the tour got to keep the glasses, and I think they do enhance the taste of the beer. I now usually drink from one of these at the end of the day.
Glassware and temperature. The majority of what we think we are tasting we are actually smelling, so a balloon-shaped glass, whether it's a sniffer or red wine glass, is best for almost all beers, as it captures more of the aromatics. With temperature, the perception as dictated by the largest breweries is that beer is best served ice-cold. But of course anything you drink ice-cold is going to numb and retard your taste buds and nothing is good about that if you care about enjoying what you are ingesting.
I'll end this post with four beer recommendations. The first and the last I have known about for years. The middle two I purchased since moving to Boston, each time because the name made me laugh and become curious. The name of each is linked to its brewer's product description, and the short blurb is linked to the review page at Beer Advocate.
- 90 Minute IPA -- an imperial IPA by Dogfish Head
- Blithering Idiot -- a barley wine by Weyerbacher
- Ten Fidy -- a Russian imperial stout by Oscar Blues
- Session -- a lager by Full Sail