The latest release from Dogfish Head Brewery is not a beer and has been hundreds of years in the making.
For the past 15 years, Dogfish Head has been using maple syrup harvested from founder Sam Calagione's family farm. Some of the maple trees on this farm in Western Massachusetts are over 300 years old. The original beer we made with this pure syrup is our Immort Ale which also has juniper berries and vanilla beans. Other Dogfish Head beers incorporating maple syrup include 75 Minute IPA and Life & Limb; the strong dark beer Dogfish produced in collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewery in 2009. We've been making unique, exotic all-natural flavored beers using maple syrup all of this time and we recently realized nobody has been making unique, exotic all-natural flavored maple syrups. Until now! Introducing....
Dogfish Head Immort Maple Syrup simmered with organic juniper berries and Madagascar vanilla beans.
Dogfish Head Wit Maple Syrup - simmered with organic orange peel and coriander.
Here's how it came to be....
We started with a smaller volume of this syrup that has been boiled and reduced over a rustic wood fired evaporator in the sugarhouse down the hill from Sam's family farm. This is Ripley Farm Sugarhouse and the proprietor is Gary Billings whose family has been producing maple syrup on this farm for four generation (the Ripley Farm Syrup is considered to be among the best in all of New England).
We then took this syrup back to Dogfish and applied our brewing resources and experience to testing different volumes and techniques of natural spicing. We came upon a system of diluting the syrup with water, adding mesh sacks of fresh spices and fruit peels, then simmering the syrup with submerged sacks until the flavorings added the perfect intensity.
We then drove this flavored pure maple concentrate up to Ripley farm and added it to the rest of the pure maple syrup and packaged each of them in our traditional 12 ounce beer bottle with a re-usable cork closure. (Below is the ultra-hands on process of Gary filling the syrup bottles - he, Sam and Dave took turns filling the bottles!)
Here's a little video we made about making the syrup:
These flavored syrups are perfect for traditional pancakes of course, but they also taste great in hot teas and coffees, over ice cream, and can spice up the recipes for everything from a maple vinaigrette to a steak marinade.
The first annual, limited-run, small batch syrups go on sale in our online store and at the gift shops of our Milton, DE brewery and our Rehoboth Beach, DE. brewpub Wednesday, May 19, 2010
They will retail for $14 per 12-ounce bottle.