In need of some time off from my day job, I decided it was time to take a few days of vacation. Â I headed South to the beaches of Delaware for a few days. We packed plenty of food and good brews, but our sole purpose of this journey was to attend a brewery tour of Dogfish Head. With every one of their beers you could think of available, as well as an abundance of Dogfish HeadÂ paraphernalia including dog treats and "Festina Peach" chapstick, it was everything I expected.
We got there a little early and no one was there so we grabbed a seat in this awesome waiting area before checking in.
When you check in for the tour, they give you four of these little sharks to turn in for a tasting. As a side note to anyone that plans on going; get your tickets online beforehand because tours fill up fast. If you dont want to do the tour, stop by any day at 3pm and they will give you four sharks anyway so you can sample the greatness that is Dogfish Head.
On to the tour...
Say hello to our tour guide John. Here he is explaining the basics of the beer making process and the different ingredients needed.
First stop on the tour was a piece of Dogfish Head history. This is Sam Calgione's first home brew setup that he used in the early days, back in 1995.
To keep up with increasing demand, Dogfish Head is brewing beer 24hrs a day, 6 days per week... You can imagine how loud it is in this room with the grain mill running. Sorry for the lack of mash tun/kettle photos, but because they were in the middle of a boil we couldn't get near them. Unsafe or something...
Onto the fermentation room...Check out the small batch system in the back!
Handmade 10,000 gallon Paraguayan Palo Santo tank it cost about $120k..
A lot of the facility is under construction so we didnt get to see the big fermenters that they show on Discovery's Brew Masters, but I have a feeling when things are buttoned up here the tour will be a bit lengthier. At this point, the tour was complete. Let's see what they had available for us to sample...
By law DFH is allowed to give theÂ equivalentÂ of one beer per person per day. Tough, I know, but the brew pub is just minutes away in Rehoboth Beach. Time to find those cardboard sharks I was given earlier. Now I have had all of their beer before but to taste it Â fresh and at the source is an awesome experience! I would have to say Palo Santo Maron isÂ exquisiteÂ on draft as well as the famous, 18% ABV - World Wide Stout. Aside from the offerings on the board they will always offer to pour you up a 60 minute IPA if you cant tolerate the higher ABV brews.
The merchandise they have to offer here is amazing! I picked up a Johnny Cask shirt and a bottle of My Antonia, which I will soon be writing about.
Dogfish Head is a really fun place and has a very upbeat atmosphere. The employee's seem to have a great time and my fellow tour takers also enjoyed this wonderful experience. I hope to get back and visit again in the future and perhaps a private performance from The Pain Relievaz is overdue?