If you bellied up to a bar in 18th-century America on a winter’s eve, chances are the colonists on either side of you would be nursing a warm, spicy flip. The eggnog-type beer cocktail repeatedly appeared in the journals of the Founding Fathers and was a near constant on the expense accounts of George Washington.
But like powdered wigs and hoop skirts, flips fell out of fashion. Until now.
Here at Dogfish Head, we often look to the past for inspiration, and on Friday, Nov. 22, we’re releasing the first beer ever brewed specifically to make a flip beer cocktail. Why? We’re celebrating the grand opening of Eataly Chicago, the latest U.S. location of the epic artisanal Italian food emporium run by the Farinetti family, the Saper family, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.
To get a little Italian DNA into our FL!P Ale, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione reached out to a man who knows cocktails as well as he knows food. Chef Mario suggested that we use Saba, a red wine reduction typically used in the production of balsamic vinegar. He also requested green cardamom, or ellateria, a spice native to Bhutan, Nepal and India. For complexity, we added a touch of crystalized ginger.
FL!P Ale is a toasty, malt-forward winter warmer with notes of toasted bread, biscuits, toffee, caramel and stone fruit. The cardamom and candied ginger give it some spicy herbal menthol notes. It’s a delight on its own, but to add a dash of 18th-century authenticity, we’re taking it a step further.
According to Gregg Smith's "Beer in America: The Early Years," flip cocktails called for a raw egg, sugar and a dash of rum. "Into this mixture a red-hot loggerhead, made of iron and heated in the fire, was thrust." The loggerhead caramelized the unfermented sugars and "flipped" the egg, creating the warm and spicy Colonial favorite.
So, while this beer lasts, we’ll be serving hot FL!P Cocktails during our Wednesday Happy Hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Thanks to Kerry Rhoades of Forged Creations, a traditional blacksmith from Delaware City, we have half a dozen loggerheads to throw into the fire of our wood grill and “flip” our Flip Cocktails.
* FL!P Ale will make its debut at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach, Del., at noon on Friday, Nov. 22. The beer will be available anytime, but from 3 to 6 p.m. that Friday and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays after that, we’ll be heating up the loggerheads and serving them Colonial-style. FL!P Ale is expected to last about a month, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. More info here.
* On Monday, Nov. 25, at Eataly New York, Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione will host a brewer’s lunch at the rooftop pub Birreria with the two other Birreria Brother Brewers: Italian craft brewers Teo Musso from Baladin and Leo di Vincenzo from Birra del Borgo. FL!P Cocktails will be served, and the three brewers will be working on a new batch of FL!P Ale in the Birreria brewhouse. Tickets for the three-course lunch are $40 per person, and the menu and tickets are available here.
* Later this fall, the FL!P Beer Cocktail will be served at the grand opening of the new Eataly location in downtown Chicago. A fresh batch of FL!P Ale also will be brewed. Stay tuned for details.