In the fall of 1994, Dogfish Head was just a twinkle in the eye of an ambitious homebrewer named Sam Calagione. Sam caught wind of a local cooking contest at Punkin Chunkin, at the time a tiny and raucous pumpkin-tossing contest for a handful of southern Delaware good ol' boys, and now a huge and raucus pumpkin-tossing contest with its own TV show.
Sam showed up with a full-bodied brown ale brewed with pumpkin meat and spices and entered alongside all the pies and cupcakes.
"The judges were all, 'Pumpkin in beer?'," says Sam. "And we were all 'Yup!', and they were all 'We love it. First place!' "
A legend was born, and we've been brewing Punkin every fall since.