Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, DE

In 2014 we finally made it back to Delaware to visit the Dogfish Head Bistro again.  We planned to stay in the area for two nights so we could enjoy the Bistro thoroughly.  The first night we were able to have dinner there, but found out that the Bistro would be closed the next evening, because the company was entertaining distributors.  The solution:  lunch at the bistro and then a trip out to the main brewery, as suggested by the staff at the bistro.  Our lunch was very nice, and this time we chose to sample their distilled products, even though we do not drink much hard liquor.  Needless, to say, they do a good job with distilling.

On September 18, 2014 we drove the 16 miles from Rehoboth Beach to Milton, and headed inside to do the brewery tour.  They gave us tickets and told us where our tour would meet.  We had a good-size tour group and a lively tour guide.  The brewery is simply amazing.  They have recently done a $52 million expansion project, which includes a new brewing area, plus a huge warehouse with an excellent bottling system.

While we were in the new brewing room we got to see a display of the original brewing equipment, and learned about how the owner, Sam Calagione used an old electric football game (the vibrating kind) to do continuous hopping of his brews.  The name Dogfish Head was Sam’s father’s suggestion (command…) after Sam told him that he wanted to forget the college degree he had just gotten and wanted to go into brewing.  The name request accompanied his father’s blessing of Sam’s endeavors.

Part of what is so amazing about Dogfish Head is that despite its huge size, it is still truly a craft brewery.  Apparently Anheuser Busch tried three times to buy the brewery, and when Sam refused to sell, hit him with a lot of petty lawsuits for every imaginable possible patent/copyright infringement.  Sam never caved and has come out the other side with a wonderful, thriving business.

Once the tour was through, we had to write the names of four beers we wanted to try on our tickets and take our tickets to the bar, where we received our four samples one at a time.  Once we had finished that we decided to order a sampler of four vintage beers, one of which was the 120 Minute IPA which Harry had just sampled the current version of.  Getting to taste the difference was very interesting.  All of the vintage beers had aged very well.  

The brewery does not sell food to go with its beer, but there is a food truck on the premises that sells Dogfish Head’s brats.  The brewery makes four different varieties of brats, and they are all very good.  No surprise there!  The food truck also had four different condiments to go with the brats, all of which were interesting and tasty.

Even though we had initially been sad that we could not have dinner at the bistro on our second night in town, we were glad that we made the trek to Milton to tour the main brewery.  It was well worth our time and effort.  

There are additional pictures from our visit in the photo album.

© Susan L. Stone 2015