This June, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will release Rosabi, a well-hopped Imperial Pale Ale brewed with musician Julianna Barwick. An exclusive run of 1,000 cases of six 750ml bottles will be packaged with a 10-inch record of original songs that Julianna composed using sounds from Dogfish Head’s expanded brewery.
Late last year, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione and his 180 co-workers celebrated the brewery’s 18-month expansion by inviting Julianna to perform in the new cathedral-like 200-barrel brewhouse.
Julianna, who builds ecstatic choirs by looping and layering her voice, was enamored of the brewery. Remarking on the symphony of sounds that surrounded them – the hum of a grain belt, the firing of a pneumatic valve, the drone of the whirlpool – Sam challenged Julianna to compose an album tracing the creation of a beer. To do so, Dogfish gave Julianna recordings of its new equipment at work – from brewing, through fermentation, filtration and bottling – and she layered those sounds into four new songs.
“I just love Julianna’s sonic palette,” says Sam. “Her layered style reminds me of the art of brewing. Her songs are beautiful but completely unconventional, just as our beer recipes are completely nontraditional. But in the end, they are both distinct and find an adventurous community of enthusiasts."
The four-song mini-album will be available in a limited edition of 1,000, sold only in sealed cases of six 750ml bottles of the 8% ABV Rosabi. The vivid rose hue of Rosabi comes from a combination of Munich and Caramel malts and a touch of red rice from Julianna’s home state of Louisiana. Citrusy Simcoe and Centennial feed Julianna’s love of hops, and the star of the showis her go-to ingredient: wasabi. What’s hoppy? ... Wasabi. The Japanese root adds bittering and herbal notes similar to hops, with its subtle heat creeping in after the kick of carbonation.
Sam Calagione and Julianna Barwick brewed a test batch of Rosabi in Dogfish Head's experimental brewery.
On her visit to coastal Delaware, Julianna rolled up her sleeves to brew a test batch of Rosabi, even grating the wasabi herself.“I’m a huge beer fan,” says Julianna, “and I had as much fun incorporating the sounds of the beer-making process into the songs as I did learning about it all. It was an honor to have the opportunity to collaborate with Sam and everyone at Dogfish on this project!"
Dogfish Head has previously bottled Music Series beers inspired by Miles Davis (Bitches Brew) and Robert Johnson (Hellhound On My Ale) and collaborated with Pearl Jam (Faithfull Ale) and Bonnie Prince Billy (Sixty-One), among others.
"Thinking back to the earliest days of Dogfish, there was a great possibility that it could have remained very small,” says Sam. “But because so many talented people have chosen to join me on this journey, we’ve grown so much, and each one of our co-workers adds a layer that makes us stand out from anything else in the brewing world. To have Julianna on board – and her complementary ability to layer and grow and explore – has been a perfect fit."
Julianna adds, “It was an honor to christen the new brewery, collaborate on a unique beer with someone like Sam, and create new music for an incredible company like Dogfish. It’s clear that the people of Dogfish are happy and proud of what they do and they should be. I can’t wait for people to try Rosabi!”
Description: Imperial Pale Ale brewed with Simcoe and Centennial hops, Munich and Caramel malts, Louisiana rice and wasabi.
Packaging: 750ml bottles
Release date: June 1
Suggested retail price: $9.99 per bottle
Distribution: Rosabi will be released throughout Dogfish’s 31-state distribution network, in accordance with local laws. To find retailers who have received shipments in the past 60 days, try the “Fish Finder” at www.dogfish.com.