Black, Blue and Confused

No one questions the sanity of the guys over at Dogfish Head Brewery – they’re nuts. They don’t make ordinary beers – their brews are always unusual and often extraordinary. But they swing for the fences every time and you gotta appreciate that.
The other night at the beer store, I came across something I hadn’t seen before – big bottles of Dogfish Head. These beers were weirder than usual by Dogfish standards. Three were recreations of ancient beers, their contents based upon experiments conducted on fragments of beer-holding pottery found by archeologists.
These beers are similar to their Midas Touch brew, which itself came about after scientists used gas chromatography to determine what substances had been contained in a beer urn dating from the rule of the king with the golden touch. Dogfish took this info and then recreated the brew for the opening of a museum exhibit featuring the items found during the same dig. Weird, cool and an awesome, sweet beer, especially good for hot summer nights.
But I digress. Alongside these three historic beers (which we’ll review here at some point) there was another big bottle. This one was called Black and Blue. It’s a beer infused with over 300 pounds of blackberries and blueberries. Now I typically turn my nose up at beers with anything but, well, BEER in them, but this is Dogfish Head we’re talking about and they get a pass in my book. They could make meat beer, and I’d probably say, “hmm, meat beer, could be interesting…”
So I gave this brew a try with my friend Frank and came away impressed (again) with Dogfish’s ability to push me outside my comfort zone and create truly unique tastes. Upon pouring, you’re greeted with a beautiful deep golden beer with a sweet fruity taste. The aroma had a hint of burning tire smell to it (my wife’s astute observation) which you’d associate with white grape juice. The taste was sweet and smooth, gushing with berry flavor. It was quite refreshing. The aftertaste was bitter fruit with a little of the burning tire taste mixed.
Here’s the part that gets me – it smelled and tasted slightly like burning rubber, but I enjoyed it anyway. The first sip was kind of harsh, but then your brain compensates and bulk of the rubber fire taste disappears, replaced by the sweet flavors of the brew.
And that’s why I’m confused. I object to fruit beers on principle, but I enjoyed this one. And it had the faint smell and taste of burning rubber, yet I went back for another glass. Maybe I look at Dogfish Head like I look at eating abroad.
When I was in Germany, I ate and enjoyed sausages that were essentially cooked blood clots. I’d never do that in the States, but the sense of adventure and the desire to really experience what a place has to offer allowed me to put my self-imposed food limitation aside. I think Dogfish Head beers do the same thing for me. It’d be a shame to miss out on an adventure just because it’s outside the ordinary. These guys are telling stories with their beers, and each one is worth listening to and celebrating. Even if there’s fruit involved.

Black&Blue

No one questions the sanity of the guys over at Dogfish Head Brewery – they’re nuts. They don’t make ordinary beers – their brews are always unusual and often extraordinary. They swing for the fences every time and you gotta appreciate that.

The other night at the beer store, I came across something I hadn’t seen before – big bottles of Dogfish Head. These beers were weirder than usual by Dogfish standards. Three were recreations of ancient beers, their contents based upon experiments conducted on fragments of beer-holding pottery found by archeologists.

These beers are similar to their Midas Touch brew, which itself came about after scientists used gas chromatography to determine what substances had been contained in a beer urn dating from the rule of the king with the golden touch. Dogfish took this info and then recreated the brew for the opening of a museum exhibit featuring the items found during the same dig. Weird, cool and an awesome, sweet beer, especially good for hot summer nights.

But I digress. Alongside these three historic beers (which we’ll review here at some point) there was another big bottle. This one was called Black and Blue. It’s a beer infused with over 300 pounds of blackberries and blueberries. Now I typically turn my nose up at beers with anything but, well, BEER in them, but this is Dogfish Head we’re talking about and they get a pass in my book. They could make meat beer, and I’d probably say, “hmm, meat beer, could be interesting…”

So I gave this brew a try with my friend Frank and came away impressed (again) with Dogfish’s ability to push me outside my comfort zone and create truly unique tastes. Upon pouring, you’re greeted with a beautiful deep golden beer with a sweet fruity taste. The aroma had a hint of burning tire smell to it (my wife’s astute observation) which you’d associate with white grape juice. The taste was sweet and smooth, gushing with berry flavor. It was quite refreshing. The aftertaste was bitter fruit with a little of the burning tire taste mixed.

Here’s the part that gets me – it smelled and tasted slightly like burning rubber, but I enjoyed it anyway. The first sip was kind of harsh, but then your brain compensates and bulk of the rubber fire taste disappears, replaced by the sweet flavors of the brew.

And that’s why I’m confused. I object to fruit beers on principle, but I enjoyed this one. And it had the faint smell and taste of burning rubber, yet I went back for another glass. Maybe I look at Dogfish Head like I look at eating abroad.

When I was in Germany, I ate and enjoyed sausages that were essentially cooked blood clots. I’d never do that in the States, but my sense of adventure and the desire to really experience what a place had to offer allowed me to put my self-imposed food limitation aside. I think Dogfish Head beers do the same thing for me. It’d be a shame to miss out on an adventure just because it’s outside the ordinary.

These guys are telling stories with their beers, and each one is worth listening to and celebrating. Even if there’s fruit involved.

-Jim

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Categories: Beer

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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