An Ode to the Pumpkin

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting at the Dogfish Head Alehouse, enjoying copious amounts of their recently-released 2012 Punkin ale. As usual, I was not disappointed. Why would I be? The spices – hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove – were present, as was the malty sweetness that gives it the ever so popular pumpkin pie effect. I was mostly excited for the release of the new Dogfish Head beer; but I soon realized that this could be the start of a cascading effect from hundreds of breweries throughout the U.S. The pumpkin beer craze of 2012 had begun. As a matter of fact, a few other breweries were already getting their stuff on the market (Blue Moon, Shipyard, etc.). But I am always more interested in the tried and true or unknowns. I’m excited for Southern Tier’s Pumpking, Heavy Sea’s The Great Pumpkin, Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin, and New Holland’s Ichabod Ale.

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Flying Dog Trip

I had the awesome opportunity to visit Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland recently. This included a tour, tastings, and a great stop off at a local restaurant that specialized in some great beers in cans and bottles, to include Flying Dog of course. Flying Dog moved from Colorado to Maryland a few years ago when they decided that their most demanding market was on the East Coast. We started off arriving early to our tour and were told to check out AKA Frisco’s around the corner. We drove over for a quick bite and were greeted at the kitchen island, situated at the center of the restaurant. We were given complementary tastes of their chicken chili. We loved it and ordered a bowl along with some exploded potatoes. I also had a bottle of the Anchor Bock. Man that was a good pairing. Spicy, chunky, chili to be followed by a sticky sweet springtime bock. We hurried back to Flying Dog to make our tour appointment, which was part of a Living Social deal we took advantage of that included a hotel nearby the brewery.

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Meet the JackHawk 9000s

Skip Chapington, a humble, debonair, ascot-sporting gentleman, touts the JackHawk 9000s as the greatest invention in the past 100,000 years. Liquid Shades, the company behind the beer-opener sunglasses put together a 4 minute spot where Skip shows you the hilarious and practical ways in which you can use the JackHawk 9000s to improve every aspect of your life.

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A Tribute to Stone Brewing

This is a love story about a boy who met a brewery who introduced him to a whole new world. This is a tribute to the Stone Brewery in San Diego, California. Stone embodies the vision of what I see craft beer culture to be. Before Stone, I was wasting money on what Stone’s founder, Greg Koch, likes to call “fizzy yellow beer.” To me, there are two rock stars in craft beer. You have Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head, who is your nice guy leader from the East Coast. Then you have Greg Koch of Stone Brewing, who is your arrogant warrior from the West Coast. I grew up learning the way of the warrior.

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Brew Masters – Chicha, Punkin & Portamarillo

MIGUEL: Ahh, man! The Chicha show is about Sam’s quest to make an authentic Chicha, which is a thousand-year old recipe that hails from Peru. I forgot to mention that authentic meant germinating the corn with the saliva of his employees. Yes. Saliva. Okay, I’m passed it. So the corn is added to a small amount of malt and spices to make a delicious corn-based beer for the folks at the Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. As scary as this beer sounded, it made me want to go to the Rehoboth Beach brewpub even more. So I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that I am going to spend my 30th birthday next year visiting the Dogfish Head brewery and Brewing and Eats. I’m excited. Everyone’s invited. Sam, if your reading this, get ready for California Castaway.

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