Beer Me

The New Yorker has a brilliant article on the Dogfish Head Ale craft brewery:

“I looked around and saw three breweries basically ruling the United States,” he told me. All but one per cent of the beer sold in the U.S. was still made by Miller, Coors, and Anheuser-Busch, along with mid-sized and foreign breweries such as Pabst and Heineken. And while craft breweries made wonderful beer, they were mostly focussed on classic German and British styles, such as pale ale and Pilsner. Calagione had something else in mind. “I’d read a copy of Michael Jackson’s ‘World Guide to Beer,’ and I thought, Holy shit! There are people out there making beer with fruit! There are Scottish ales made with heather flowers! Maybe I can make a living making beer that isn’t like anything else.” It was an opportunity to play David to the beer industry’s Goliaths, he says.

Selders arrived about an hour after we did, driving a van filled with sacks of grain. He was wearing what looked like a gas-station attendant’s uniform, with his name stitched over one front pocket and the Dogfish logo over the other. His hair was gelled into a miniature Mohawk—more Tintin than Billy Idol—and his eyes, framed by thick black glasses, wore their usual look of ironic bewilderment. Selders, who is thirty-three, was a painter and ska guitarist before he became a brewer. When he and Calagione aren’t making beer, they sometimes perform together at the pub as a beer-themed hip-hop duo called the Pain Relievaz (sample lyrics: “You’re the barley virgin that my malt mill will deflour”).

Great stuff. At present, my favorite craft brews are Brother Thelonius Abbey Ale, Flying Dog Hefeweizen, and Delirium Tremens.

brother-thelonius2

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