Posts Tagged ‘dogfish head’

For some time now I have been longing to divide my blog posts into 5 different themes:

  1. Drink With The Wench (tastings & reviews)
  2. Cook With The Wench (recipes with beer – both created myself and others)
  3. Travel With The Wench (brewery tours, bar adventures etc.)
  4. Brew With The Wench (home-brewing & guest brewing – this category is still in beta)
  5. The Wench -Uncensored (name is in beta, this is the section in which I will detail my non-beer-yet-beverage-related passions such as wine, scotch and cigars)

Beer Will Change The World

Tonight marks my first ever Cook With The Wench post. And it is about damn time. Those who know me well know that I’m a devil in the kitchen. I love food, I love cooking – and I can pretty much out eat anyone I’ve come across (just ask my friend Matt from A Good Time With Wine).

mussel & beer

I originally wanted to make mussels in a beer sauce. Not one single store (including a seafood market) had fresh mussels … so I scratched the plan and went with what I am calling The Wench’s Drunken Shrimp Scampi.

MISC Beer 087

The greatest part about cooking is that there is no science to making food taste good.

As long as you have quality ingredients and treat them with the respect they deserve – the end result is almost always pleasant. BUT then again, I take for granted the fact that I am very knowledgeable about food, ingredients, herbs, classic pairings and culinary techniques. Despite that, though, I still believe that anyone can be a wizard in the kitchen.

So on to my recipe, eh? Oh but wait. I need a disclaimer.


WARNING: This is not your mother’s shrimp scampi. In fact, it is probably unlike any shrimp scampi you have ever had in your life. Many chefs will probably “spit in my general direction” (note: Monty Python reference). This recipe is not for the faint of heart … or the faint of palate. No sir. The Wench’s Drunken Shrimp Scampi is for hopheads … and those who do not like hops should stay far, far away. The recipe is bold, bitter and insulting … yet adventurous and deliciously satisfying.

MISC Beer 088

Featuring Dogfish Head 60 min IPA

1 lb. large fresh shrimp – whatever kind you want – shelled, gutted & deveined
1/2 stick of unsalted BUTTER (real butter you sissies)
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic – minced, sliced, or chopped to preference
1/4 yellow onion – diced
3 (firm) Roma tomatoes
Juice of one lemon
Flat leaf parsley – finely chopped
2 12 oz. bottles of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper (if you are like me and need to kick EVERYTHING up a notch)
A loaf of FRESH baked bread

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The first instruction is vital. It must be followed EXACTLY as written or the whole recipe is a big FAIL.

  1. Open the first bottle of Dogfish Head 60 min IPA. Pour into a brandy snifer, tulip glass … oh hell … pour it into a freaking glass and take a big long sip. Ahhhh. Isn’t that nice? Thought so … but don’t get soft on me now. There is still work to do here. dogfish-head-60-ipa
  2. Fill a super big pot – the bigger the better – with water. Salt the water. Put it on the stove and bring it to a boil. While you are waiting you can either:
    1. Shell, gutt and de-vein the shrimp
    2. Mince the garlic, chop the onion and dice the tomatoes
    3. Continue drinking the 60 Minute IPA as you watch family members and/or friends complete the previous tasks.
  3. When the water reaches a boil – add the pasta. Cook until is is “al dente” – aka slightly undercooked, with a bit of a “bite.” Strain pasta at the point and set aside. boil pasta
  4. At the same time the pasta is cooking … Heat the EVOO in a large skillet heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté the shrimp, until just cooked through. Takes approximately 2 minutes. This is a good time to open another beer. Once the shrimp is cooked (ie: turns PINK) … transfer those bad boys over to an adequate sized bowl with a slotted spoon (we want to retain as much oil as we can in the pan so a regular spoon esta no bueno).MISC Beer 067
  5. Add the garlic to the oil remaining in skillet. Heat for a hot minute (i.e: just long enough to release some juices, yet not burn). Add the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, salt, pepper, lemon juice and (optional, yet HIGHLY suggested) red pepper flakes. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced down to desired thickness. According to The Wench, this will take around 10ish minutes. Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted. THIS IS A CRUCIAL STEP. The fat in the butter helps to cut the intense flavor of the IPA. Stir in the shrimp. Remove skillet from heat.
    MISC Beer 073

Somewhere in this process, either you or your sous chef (aka – child, friend, random guy off the street) will have chopped the flat leaf parsely. This, my friend, is the opportune time to add the parsley to the garlic butter beer shrimp mixture. Toss the pasta into the skillet with all of the other ingredients and ….

MISC Beer 090

VIOLA! There you have it … The Wench’s Drunken Shrimp Scampi. Don’t forget to slop it up with some fresh baked bread (garlic bread if you feel ambitious). And I would be utterly insulted if you did not pair this dish with a beer – preferablely the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. But I would not be insulted if you paired it with and equally delicious IPA … or craft brew of some sort.

NOTE: If you do NOT like to drink IPAs, you will not like cooking with them either. This dish definitely has a BITE. I do not suggest using the DFH 60 minute IPA unless you love the flavor of the beer, otherwise the meal will be a disaster. Feel free to substitute the IPA with your favorite beer – I suggest a Hefeweizen or Belgian-style white ale.

MISC Beer 075

Any questions? EMAIL me at – drinkwiththewench@gmail.com

Otherwise, enjoy! And, as always … CHEERS!


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My friend Josh Christie and his blog “Brews and Books” has inspired me to write a post about my personal “library.”

Growing up, I was definitely a book geek. On my 10th birthday, my parents gave me 50 books. I woke up to a trail of books from my bedroom door, down the stairs … and into the living room. I was ecstatic. (Especially since a good number of them were R.L. Stine’s Goosebump books.)


My love for reading has never stopped, although my habits of reading have changed quite drastically. Instead of burying my nose in a book, I now find my eyes glued to the computer screen. In order to write my blog, I must read. I do almost all of my research on the Internet and, from time to time, I get a small percentage of information from books.

I am obsessed with all things food and beverage. Food, beer and wine consume my life. So naturally, my current book collection almost entirely involves food & beverage.

My newest toy is  “What to Drink With What You Eat.” I wanted it so bad that I bought it for full retail price (which is odd for me because I usually try to buy my books used online).


Product Description
The most comprehensive guide to matching food and drink ever compiled, by the James Beard Award winning author team of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, with practical advice from more than seventy of America’s leading pairing experts

In a great meal, what you drink is just as important as what you eat. This groundbreaking food and beverage pairing reference allows food lovers to learn to think like a sommelier, and to transform every meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Wench’s Description
This book is ridiculously fun. As someone who knows food & beverage extremely intimately, it is  a great reference tool. But more than that, this book helps to confirm and support my own beliefs and decisions about pairings. I do not find myself using this book for suggestions, but more as a checks and balances for my own personal ideas. Sometimes I use this book to give my pairing suggestions. However, sometimes instead of creating a pairing menu based on the information in this book, I turn to the contents of this book to defend my decisions.


Another book in my library is Michael Jackson’s “Great Beers of Belgium.” This book was given to me by one of my best friends, ironically another guy named Josh (having the name Josh might be a predisposition to drinking good beer.)


Product Description
Many a beer sophisticate is surprised by the diversity, individuality and ubiquity of Belgian beer. Here, beer expert Michael Jackson enthusiastically discusses the history and inner workings of this quiet, quirky brewing behemoth of Belgium. He explains the origins of manstic brewing, the good fortune of spiders on Lambic breweries, the reasoning behind using orange peels, coriander seeds and stale hops in the brewing process. Thorough tasting notes are oncluded, providing a reference point for the reader’s own beer hunting. Fully revised with a brand new layout and 300 more photographs than previous editions, this book contains a list of addresses of the most important Belgian brewers, plus all the practical information on brewery visits, overnight accommodation and local restaurants and eateries.

The Wench’s Description
It is no secret that The Wench admires “The Beer Hunter” … aka Michael Jackson. In fact, I am rather obsessed with him. And I strive to be the female version of him. I understand, however, that his knowledge of beer is not something I can acquire overnight. Heck, it will take decades of studying beer, making beer, traveling the world … to gain even a quarter percentage of his knowledge. However, reading his books is a good starting point.

Plus, I love Belgian beers. And this book is the FOREMOST resource on Belgian beers. Hands down.


The last book that I want to mention (I don’t want to bombard you with my entire collection of food, wine & beer books all at once!!!) … is “Brewing Up A Business”by Dogfish Head Founder, Sam Calgione.


Product Description
Entrepreneurial dreams do come true! Starting with nothing more than a home brewing kit, Sam Calagione founded Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and made it America’s fastest growing independent beer. This unconventional business story reveals how Calagione found success by dreaming big, working hard, and thinking differently-and how you can do it too.

The Wench’s Description
When I first started reading this book, I was in a huge crossroads in my life. I had left a job in the industry that I loved more than anything itself to pursue what I thought was a more prestigious career in business. Don’t get me wrong, it was a GREAT job with an AMAZING company and WONDERFUL people. But my love for all things food & beverage haunted me every day. I knew that I needed to do something different. But I needed the courage to move on.  Reading this book did not help me find my path in life or help me realize who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do and accomplish in my life. BUT it did inspire me to follow my passions. And so … I did.

Not to mention, Sam Caglione is one cool (and very good looking) dude. His approach to entrepreneurship is both refreshing and inspiring. I love his style of writing and the way he speaks to his readers. Regardless of your love for beer, this is a great read!


This is a just a brief peek into my personal library. I hope that some of your will find these books as important and useful as I have and continue to every day.

For more on Brews and Books, check out Josh’s blog!


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This post is dedicated to my Ma, for reasons you shall discover later on…

I am sick and tired of hearing people bitch and complain about calories, carbs and fat.

Okay, I understand that these things exist. However, there are more important things in life to obsess over …

When it comes to health, beer has a bad rap.


“Belly Belly” … “Beer Gut” … Beer makes people fat, right?


Allow me to present an arguement in regards the caloric content of beer. Please note that there is no “scientific evidence behind my assertions. All of my observations are …  well, just that. Observations. And my conclusions are neither “credible” nor “official.”

However, I am not exactly uneducated … so there may be truth to what I have to say.

If you know nothing about nutrition, know this: not all calories are created equal.


Some calories are readily transferred into energy, while some are stored as fat.

The 100 calories in a glass of coke are NOT digested and processed the same as the 100 calories in a plate of vegetables.

Once upon a time, monks in Belgium started brewing “bread water” [aka Trappist ales] as a way to sustain themselves throughout fasting. To this day, Trappist beers are produced with only the best and highest quality ingredients. Said monks were able to sustain themselves on this “bread water” for several days at a time. Why? Because the beer that the monks brewed was full of readily digestible matter. AKA … it was actually nutritious.


Truth be told my mother inspired this blog.


She responded to my post: “Please Put Down The Budweiser.” In her comment, my mother said: ” So here’s your newest task, Wench. Find me a less caloric, tasty, crafted beer.”

DEAR MOM: YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER! And I say this with love.

My mother is a brilliant woman: She’s a vegetarian (her choice, NOT mine), a liberal, a feminist, an environmentalist … and the list continues for miles. But the point is: my mother is UBER healthy and ridiculously conscientious.

(No offense, Ma … well then again, you are a New Yorker born and raised … so you, more than anyone, should be able to handle the truth)


So why the hell is my intelligent mother drinking crap like Michelob Ultra Light? (Aka … this beer sucks, has virtually no nutritional benefits WHATSOEVER and tastes like watered down piss)

Because she is a CHICK. And like most chicks, she fears gaining weight. And most people equate drinking beer with being fat.

NO ONE WANTS THE “BEER BELLY”. Trust me, even those who have it don’t want it.


Try this experiment: Ask people who have these “Beer Bellies” and “Beer Guts” … what beer do you drink the most? And your response will be something like “Bud, Coors, Corona, Miller and so on and so forth.”

Hmmm COINCIDENTALLY, people who brew and drink craft beers are less likely to have these things that people call “beer bellies” or “beer guts.”

Evidence? Well , I drink beer and seem to be relatively healthy and of a “decent” size.

My friend and renowned beer writer, Stephen Beaumont, is virtually stick thin.

Another chick beer blogger, The Beer Babe, is anything but fat and absolutely STUNNING.

1WineDude drinks almost as much beer as he does wine … and he is as fit as a fiddle (and cute as a button).

And then, of course, there is the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery. Sam Caglione is definitely a hottie (… ummm I mean an extremely attractive gentleman whom I respect emmensely).


Bottom line: the higher quality shit you put in your body (whether it be food or booze) … the more likely your body will transfer the calories to energy as opposed to FAT. Stephen Beaumont wrote an excellent article entitled “Beer Makes You Fat, or NOT” that, very eloquently, argues this very same issue. “I’ve said it before and no doubt I’ll say it again: Beer is as dignified and sophisticated a beverage as any other, and in and of itself, does not make you fat or lazy or stupid or boorish. And stereotypes suck.” – Stephen Beaumont’s A World Of Beer

When it comes to the caloric content of brews, one must ALWAYS consider ABV – aka Alcohol By Volume.  Most people need to drink 2 or 3 “so called lite beers”to reach the same ABV of the “heavier beers.”

Need further proof? Let’s play the math game.

Coors Light= 104 cal/ 4.15% abv

Bud Light= 110 cal/4.2% abv

Miller Lite= 96 cal/ 4.2% abv


New Belgium Trippel Ale= 215 cal/ 7.8% abv

Dogfish Head Midas Touch= 309/ 9% abv

Dogfish Head 120 Min IPA= 450/ 18% abv

And with the few examples we have, let us play math …

In theory, one bottle of Dogfish Head 120 min IPA is equivalent to FOUR and a half bottles of any of the corporate light beers on the market.

One more time, I will CLARIFY this to all you calorie obsessed kids.

ONE WHOLE bottle of Dogfish Head 120 IPAalso known as one of the best damn beers on the planet … is equivalent, both in caloric and alcohol content, to FOURwhole bottles of ANY FREAKING Joe Schmoe lite beers on the market.


It is like telling you that you can have one scoop of the most decadent ice cream made from the most amazing ingredients in the entire world … or 4 scoops of sugar-free, fat-free … wanna-be ice cream made of chemical ingredients.


Hello, what is the point of ice cream without cream?

FLAVOR … is the most important factor to all things consumable, including beer.


Instead, drink craft beer … and know that your calories are being converted into something other than FAT.

Yes, I have opinions. I am The Wench. Cheers.

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In this post I am going to attempt to recap the Dogfish Head Twitter Taste Live event from Saturday March 7th 2009. Now mind you, I did use the word attempt.


Yesterday I made a last minute decision to purchase a webcam and setup a live ustream feed for the event. Having neither used ustream nor a webcam prior to last night, I think that things went fairly well. Obviously, I could have been more organized … but that is something to work on for the future.

The DFH Twitter Taste Live started out as all TTL events seem to start – early. Several tweeters joined the TTL feed earlier in the day – posting updates about the beer and wine they were drinking at the time. Even the “official” Dogfish Head Tweeter (@dogfishbeer) started the night out a bit early with Dogfish Head Aprihops. After addmitting his lack of patience, Dogfish Head brewer zymoid popped open a DFH 60 min IPA prior to the event. Naturally, my day began early as well. I started off with some Tom Eddy New Zealand (aka TENZ) Sauvignon Blanc during lunch. I then moved onto Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir just prior to the DFH TTL.

The three Dogfish Head beers that were “officially” tasted for this event were: Red & White, Fort, and Palo Santo Marron. Instead of posting my personal tasting notes as usual, I have decided to post the tasting notes of the tweeters from the DFH TTL event. However, I will try to follow the format that I usually use in my beer reviews. This should be interesting … and fun.


All the picutres of the beers are compliments of @kallardnyc. Thanks! For other really great picutres from the night, check out @lemasney’s FLICKER PAGE.

I appologize in advnace to those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter and do not understand the way in which I am presenting my tasting notes. Hopefully you can get the jist! Cheers!

Red & White



Brewery: Dogfish Head

Style: zymoid: @beertweeter Calif pinot noir grape juice is used. Yeast is Belgian wit type.

zymoid: @panache We like to play with wood, and originally started with pinot noir barrels from CA. Thought a suped up wit beer would be fun.

Color: angelostzelepis: Nice copper color, a lot of sediment

stfler22: the sediments in the red & white give the brew a unique texture and balance beautiful color!!

Carbonation: lemasney: carbonation is not visually evident, but very evident in the palate. Like an ocean. The body is a summer sunset, with rain in the morn.

Aroma: zymoid: I’ve got the 09 R&W. Some bubble gum esters in the nose, tannins/oakiness and all kinds of fun. A party in the mouth.

beercommdood: fruity and tart smelling, nice solid finger of creamy head, picking up the wine notes in the nose

Mouthfeel: bsimi: Very creamy texture… nice beer !

Flavor:  beercommdood: Very sweet and malty, high fruity taste with wine coming through strong.

Finish: darknova306: @beertweeter The alcohol isn’t noticeable at first, but I’m getting a nice warmth after the swallow. Works well with the wine flavor.

kingfarmwine: the pinot noir barrels really enhances the complexity

Pairings: beertweeter: http://twitpic.com/1x5q5 – so earlier I decided to pick up some Chatham Littlneck clams and steam them in Red&White

beertweeter: this works nice with dank cheese http://twitpic.com/1x4l5 as well – Raw Blue Cave Aged

Interesting Facts: dogfishbeer: @zymoid And Sam’s fave wine is Pinot Noir.

zymoid: Tooting the horn alittle here: R&W won gold medal in last years GABF.

Comments:beertweeter: the Red & White is one of the top 3 I’ve had from Dogfish…huge bonus for creativity!

zymoid: @AngelosTzelepis R&W is great in a wine goblet. Lets it warm up and releases the aromatics nicely




Brewery: Dogfish Head (lemasney: Dogfish head is brewing beers that make you rethink the very state of beer as an idea. They ask you to set aside your beer definition.)

Style: zymoid: @panache We brew a strong ale base and then add a BUNCH of raspberry into secondary ferment.

zymoid:@beerphilosopher Some sugar is used in the kettle, but the fruit really carries the load.

zymoid:@beercommdood Not many hops in this, mostly malt and fruit doing the work.

Color: boothbay: For it’s powerful raspberry taste and aroma…it’s color seems lighter/tricky.

Carbonation: beercommdood: Fort is very fizzy. The head was very crisp and popping like Rice Krispies. 😉 Head now completely gone, no lacing.

Aroma: beercommdood: Getting some caramel on the nose with the berries. Anyone else?

darknova306: Lots of raspberry in the nose, with a little bit of caramel malt. Smells like a little tartness is there, too.

Flavor: lemasney: taste is deep, layered with flavors: raisin, cherry, plum, raspberry, citrus, bitterness, burns on the way down. So nice.

lemasney: definitely brandy, wheat, raspberry, and honey. Delicious. Agitation brings a strong aroma of whiskey, oak, and leaf mold.

Finish: kallardnyc: Fort is warm in the chest like a Port or Madeira.

Pairings: dogfishbeer: I’d drink this with a sliver of great dark chocolate.

Comments: beertweeter: this is like Raspberry Rock Candy…insane!

beerphilosopher : Friends don’t let friends drink Fort and Tweet

panache: Well the Fort was great. Don’t know if I would have bought it before today, but now I definitely will! Nice work @zymoid !

Palo Santo


Brewery: Dogfish Head (dogfishbeer: You HAVE to come to the brewery and see the massive tank made from Palo Santo Wood. it’s way cool.)

Style: zymoid: @rgrace99 Gotta say, the wood is the key, yeast is 2nd ary for this beer.

zymoid: White@BrewDad Yes, it almost comes off as a fruit beer– cherries esp. it is all from the Palo wood. Amazing tree.

zymoid: @beertweeter We source yeast from both Whitelabs and Wyeast.


Color: hopwild: – PSM – pours like used motor oil – more like a black ale than a brown!

erikboles: as we say on @BeerTapTV “Dark as a struck match”

Carbonation: hopwild: – PSM – pours like used motor oil

Aroma: semperfifi: Partner says “Cherry wood flavor…”

beertweeter: Burnt Campfire Wet Wood Next morning with a malt sandwich?

beercommdood: Palo Santo nose: molasses, vanilla, peat, and burnt sugar cookies

Mouthfeel: brewdad: 12% it does not come off this strong in the flavor. The wood must have mellowed the flavor.

Flavor: angelostzelepis: Coffee, caramel, vanilla working for me today. I love this beer.

Finish: erikboles: there is a very very subtle taste of how fired ceramics smell on the back-end of the PSM

Pairings: zymoid: Y’all, save some of your chocolate for the PSM. It’s a great pairing.

zymoid: Palo Santo is a great mixer too. Try 50/50 with our Punkin ale.

Interesting Fact: kallardnyc: After the 1906 San Fran earthquake, wire insulators were made from Palo Santo wood because the was a shortage of materials.

Comments: thebeerwench: Dudes Palo Santo wood is a fucking bitch. Do you know how hard it is to cut down, let alone make a huge ass fermenting tank with?



Somehow I missed this tweet from later in the tasting – zymoid: @TheBeerWench So who are you?

My bragging rights – dogfishbeer: @TheBeerWench That’s why we love you!

 Great comment – beertweeter: @dogfishbeer @zymoid @thebeerwench the best! great peeps, great brews! I’m sticking around

Another great comment – hopwild: thanks @dogfishbeer and @zymoid for joining us! thx @thebeerwench for hosting!

And lastly dogfishbeer:@TheBeerWench – Thanks so much for hosting the tasting tonight, that was great fun! – YOU ARE VERY WELCOME. Thank you Dogfish Head for making the best fucking off-centered ales for the crazy off-centered people like myself! Cheers!

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Welcome to the year 2009! Here is to another great year full of drinking beautifully crafted, unique and excellent beers! Cheers!


The current trend amongst many of my favorite bloggers has been to create some sort of list to commemorate the past year. Some have written posts about the top ten blogs that they have either written or read in 2008. Others have listed the top ten wines or beers that they had tasted in 2008. Some have done both.

Technically, my blog is not even a year old. (The Beer Wench was born February 7, 2008) This makes it a little difficult for me to make a compilation of my favorite posts or blogs or even just Beer Wench experiences for the entire year.

HOWEVER, since my blog is only in its first year … it and I have experienced tremendous leaps and growth in the seemingly small amount of time that we have existed.


As a way of welcoming in the new year as well as reflecting upon the last year, I have chosen to create a list of the 3 most influential people on The Beer Wench (both blog and person) in 2008. Honestly, several people have made a tremendous impact on my beer tasting … beer drinking … beer writing experiences. Although most of these people will go unnamed, I hope they know how much I appreciate them and the education, encouragement and experiences of which they have provided me!

I have chosen to highlight the 3 most influential people on both myself and my blog in 2008. In my opinion, these 3 individuals have educated, inspired and helped develop me and my blog into what we have become today. And without any further ado … allow me to present The Beer Wench’s 3 biggest influencers of 2008.

Drum roll please…

3. Sam Caglione. It is no secret that The Beer Wench is obsessed with Dogfish Head beers. In many ways I attribute my passion for craft beers to Dogfish Head. Not only is the beer DAMN GOOD, but the stories that accompany each ale are equally intriguing. Drinking Dogfish Head is more than just mere consumption of beer. It is an experience. Each ale has a compelling story. Each ale is brewed with unique and interesting ingredients. Each Dogfish Head ale is brewed with an obscene amount of TLC … and trust me, you can taste it.


I have many of these extraordinary “off-centered ales” sitting in my “cellar” at this very moment. (And by cellar I mean the several cardboard boxes of beer I have sitting in my closet. Currently, I have Raison D’Extra, World Wide Stout, 120 Minute IPA, Pangea, Theobroma, FORT, Red & White, Punkin Ale, Midas Touch, Chicory Stout, Palo Santo Marron, Olde School Barley Wine…)


My preoccupation with everything Dogfish Head resulted in my reading of “Brewing Up A Business” … written by the brilliant founder and owner of Dogfish Head, Sam Caglione. His book was extremely compelling and surprisingly inspirational. Sam’s dedication to producing the highest quality “off-centered” ales is rather amazing. His passion for beer is contagious.


One of my most memorable moments of 2008 was my first visit to the Dogfish Head Brewery and Brewpub in Delaware. Unfortunately, Sam was not around at the time. HOWEVER, I am intent on meeting him (and his wife Marnie) in person … in the very near future. Until then, I will just have to stalk them via Twitter (@dogfishbeer).

PS: Rumor has it that The Beer Wench will be co-hosting a Twitter Taste Live beer event with Sam Caglione in mid-February. Stay tuned for official confirmation. (‘The virtual tasting will definitely happen … when and who will be involved is TBA.)

I encourage you all to raise your glass to Sam Caglione and the ridiculously awesome beers he has created at Dogfish Head Brewery! CHEERS!


2. Michael Jackson. My number two is a no brainer. Almost all homebrewers, brewmasters, beer bloggers, beer connoisseurs, etc. can attest to the fact that Michael Jackson, even after his death, is and was the most influential person in the modern day beer world to have ever walked the planet.


His books are my bibles. Especially when it comes to Belgian beers. And we all know how much I love my Belgians. Any time I need information, confirmation, further education about a Belgian beer, style or brewery … I consult MJ (my pet name for Michael Jackson). He is my go to reference when it comes to beer.

Unfortunately, the infamous Beer Hunter died before The Beer Wench was even conceptualized. His death occurred just as I was coming in to my beer obsession. And sadly, I will never have the honor of meeting him. He will never be forgotten, though. I have aspirations to keep his legacy alive and lofty dreams of becoming a female version of The Beer Hunter. (After all, like MJ, I combine a passion for beer with a “skill?” for writing.)


And now I ask you all to raise a glass to my number 2 … quite possibly the most infamous man of the beer world … Mr. Michael Jackson. CHEERS!

1. Brian Van Zandbergen. Who is this mystery man, you ask? How on earth can any one person out rank THE Michael Jackson? Why have you not heard me mention him before now? Or have I …

Allow me to explain. Brian has had, without a doubt, the biggest impact on my beer world yet. He completely revolutionized the way I thought about and tasted beer.


Need elaboration?

I met Brian in Chicago. I was in town for the National Restaurant Association show. 2008 was the first International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event at the NRA show. Naturally, after the day long event … everyone involved spent a good amount of time eating and drinking throughout the entire city of Chicago.


One night, I found myself in the same Irish restaurant as a Mr. Brian Van Zandbergen. A mutual friend introduced us … knowing that I was an aspiring beer connoisseur and that he was not only a beer connoisseur and the Merchant Du Vin representative for Illinois … but also the infamous author of The Beer Enthusiast’s Guide to Chicago!


When I first met Brian, I thought I knew about beer. BOY WAS I WRONG. Although I was the biggest advocate of American craft beer, I still had a thing or two to learn about the world of beer. And Brian made sure to school me … and school me he did. We traveled around the city of Chicago to all of his favorite, and arguably the best, beer bars in the entire city. And learn about beer I did.


Because of Brian, I am obsessed with Belgian beers. And because of Brian, I am head over heels … completely in love with Lambics. And because of Brian, the GUEUZE is my absolute favorite style of beer.

I told Brian that I loved IPAs and Double IPAs. He schooled me on what a real IPA was. And then he schooled me on the Belgians.

Brian gave me one of the most memorable beer experiences of my young Beer Wench life … and for that I am eternally grateful. He is an amazing mentor … and friend.

And now I ask you all to raise a glass to my friend, my mentor … a fellow beer lover and connoisseur … Brian Van Zandbergen. Thanks, Brian. You have inspired me in more ways than you will ever know. I look forward to visiting you in Chicago sometime in the near future! Cheers!

And so kids … we begin a brand spanking new year. Cheers to making this year better than the last!


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After taking a kick-ass tour and enjoying a tasting flight of beer at the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton – my friend and I made the trek down to the Dogfish Head Brewpub (called DFH Brewing & Eats) in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

Along the way we stopped off at an enormous liquor store (whose name currently escapes me) in hopes of finding the extremely coveted Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Despite my excess begging and threats to handcuff myself to the bar, the actual DFH brewery did not have one single bottle of 120 minute on hand.

DFH was lucky – this time. I was able to locate a few bottles of 120 Minute IPA at local liquor store and did not have to handcuff myself to the bar in protest!

While at the liquor store, I also picked up a bottle of World Wide Stout and Rogue’s latest release – DOUBLE DEAD GUY ALE.

After the brief – yet successful – stop at the liquor store, it was on to Dogfish Head Brewing & Eats for some brews and eats!

The Dogfish Head Brewpub is the original location of the DFH Craft Brewery. The teeny tiny little brewpub was the sole production facility for all of Dogfish Head’s beers for several years – until demand exceeded production SO MUCH that DFH was forced to expand into its operations to its current brewery in Milton, DE.

After Dogfish Head relocated its brewing operations to Milton, Dogfish Head replaced its brewing equipment upstairs in the brewpub with small pot still. Dogfish Brewing & Eats is currently Delaware’s ONLY legal distillery. Although small, it does produce enough to liquor to sell throughout the state – in limited quantities.

Here is a little more information about DFH Brewing & Eats. Source: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in downtown Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is where Dogfish Head all began back in 1995. It’s a cozy place, finished with antique barn wood and great old black & white photos – a great place to meet friends for a beer, a meal, or just stop by to hear some of the live, original music we book every weekend!

The menu features lots of tasty wood-grilled food – pizzas, seafood and steaks are our specialties, but we do some mean salads too!

Our small experimental brewery is housed in the Rehoboth Beach brewpub, so we always have something interesting on tap or in the fermenters. Upstairs is the state’s only legal distillery where we make lots of hand-crafted spirits.

Since prior to my Dogfish Head visit I had tasted just about every DFH beer that was available to me, I was extremely intrigued by its spirits.

Now, EVERYONE knows that the Beer Wench loves beer. That is a given. Most know that I also love wine. What most do not know is that I am OBSESSED with the Bloody Mary. In fact, I have dreams of owning my own bar with an extensive Bloody Mary list. But more on that another time.

And so, it was only natural that I order one of Dogfish Head’s own Bloody Marys – made with a housemade Bloody Mary mix and house distilled Blue Hen Vodka.

The vodka was ultra smooth and the Bloody Mary mix was very delightful. For a brewing company, this drink was pretty damn tasty. (Although it was not as spicy as I would have liked!)

My friend ordered a rum & coke with the housemade Honey Rum. Personally, I am not a fan of rum & coke. In fact, I detest the drink. Yet, for the sake of research – I gave it a taste. The Honey Rum was extremely delicious and ALMOST made the drink bearable!

By this point, the Beer Wench was starved and craving some wood fired pizza. There were a lot of tasty combinations to choose from as well as an option to create your own. Dogfish Head makes all of its pizzas with crust made from bits of wheat, barley and pre-fermented ale “to impart a rich earthy taste.” All the pizzas are available with either basil pesto, red sauce, or olive oil & fresh garlic.

Being in the Chesapeake Bay area, it was common sense to choose “The Chesapeake” pizza. The incredients included: Lump crab, asparagus, vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil. I chose red sauce for the base.

After scarfing down The Chesapeake pizza and my Blue Hen Bloody Mary, I decided to give myself a self run tour of the brewpub. Here are some pictures from my adventure:

Decoration upstairs in the brewpub!

Mmmm barley.

The upstairs

The Wench is all ALE baby … ALL ALE!

Article on the wall

Another article

Kiss goodbye for Sam Caglione, MY BEER HERO!

BIG THANKS to my good friend Chris, who shuttled me around to the DFH Brewery and Brewpub! Good times! Great memories! Amazing beers!

I will be back soon! GUARANTEED!

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This September, Dogfish Head -one of my all-time favorite American craft breweries- is releasing a rather unique and delicious sounding ale. Naturally, the name of the ale -Theobroma- is as off-centered as the ingredients used to brew it.

The scientific name Theobroma translates to food of the gods.” It is the genus name for 22 different species, one of which is cacao. Theobroma cacao, or the cocoa plant, is a small evergreen tree. Its seeds are used to make cocoa and chocolate.

The Mayan believed that the kakaw (cacao) was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other delectable foods to be used by the Mayans. According to Mayan mythology, the Plumed Serpent gave cacao to the Mayans after humans were created from maize by the divine grandmother goddess Xmucane.

The first Europeans to encounter cacao were Christopher Columbus and his crew in 1502. The first real European knowledge about chocolate came in the form of a beverage, which was first introduced to the Spanish at their meeting with Montezuma in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in 1519.

And now in 2008, Dogfish Head Brewery has bravely constructed its own godly recipe combining the “nectar of the gods” with the “food of the gods.” Fortunately, one does not need to be a god to enjoy this heavenly off-centered ale. Unfortunately, it is a limited release – which means you may need the power of the gods to find it. Either that or you may have to engage in some sort of Mayan ritual and animal sacrifice to appease the gods into sharing it with you. You can guarantee I will be doing back flips over hot flaming coals if it means I get to taste this ale!!!

Here is Dogfish Head’s description of Theobroma from its website:


Availability: Limited Release – 750ml bottles

Release Date: September 2008

This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions. The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1200 BC. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head’s Theobroma (translated into ‘food of the gods’) is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs (from our friends at Askinosie Chocolate), honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).

Theobroma is 10% abv and will be available in Champagne bottles for a September 2008 release.

Special kegs from our test batches may be available earlier in the year at Dogfish events around the country… keep yer eyes peeled!

Label art for Theobroma was designed by our friend Marq Spusta.

Source: Dogfish Head Brewery

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