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Hey! Why can't I find Dogfish Head? (or, How a beer gets from us to you)

In a perfect world, we'd package a batch of beer one day, and the next day it would appear on taps and shelves in all 27 states where our off-centered ales are sold.

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In a perfect world, we'd package a batch of beer one day, and the next day it would appear on taps and shelves in all 27 states where our off-centered ales are sold.

But if you've ever hunted for a highly sought-after beer from Dogfish Head or any other small, independent brewery, you know we don't live in that perfect world.

Take our fall seasonal, Punkin Ale. We release Punkin every year on Labor Day weekend. We're in coastal Delaware, and that's the unofficial end of summer around here, so that just feels right. Any earlier would give us that feeling you get when you start seeing Santa in September.

So if you come to our Milton brewery or Rehoboth Beach brewpub on Labor Day weekend, you'll find Punkin Ale on our taps and shelves. Easy-peasy.

The rest of our distribution footprint? Well, that's a little trickier.

Join Dogfish for grassroots bocce fundraiser in Chicago

Who says bocce can’t make the world a better place?

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Who says bocce can’t make the world a better place? What started with a few Chicago food-industry friends looking to get together and enjoy some downtime has turned into the Wicker Park Bocce Club, which has transformed an unused urban lot into two bocce courts.

To celebrate the transformation and support the club, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is bringing its Intergalactic Bocce Tournament to the Midwest for the first time. The tournament – similar to ones Dogfish holds on the East and West coasts – is expected to raise more than $1,000 for the club.

“Bocce is in our blood – or maybe I should say beer – here at Dogfish Head,” says Founder and President Sam Calagione. “What other sport can you play with a beer in your hand? We love the grassroots work Wicker Park Bocce Club is doing and jumped at the chance to show them some love.”

Searching for a friendly solution

We've heard a lot of chatter and gotten a few questions today about a trademark dispute involving our Belgian-style white beer Namaste.

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We've heard a lot of chatter and gotten a few questions today about a trademark dispute involving our Belgian-style white beer Namaste.

For more than five years, we’ve sold Namaste throughout the U.S. We originally brewed it to raise funds for Drie Fonteinen brewery after a disaster hit and ruined 100,000 bottles of their beer. To reflect this spirit of collaboration and respect for the brewing industry, we named the beer Namaste. What started as a fundraiser quickly became a fan favorite, and we’ve been brewing and bottling it ever since.

A few months ago, a retail account and restaurant in Austin, Texas, began brewing under the name Namaste Brewing Company. The brewery owners also run a retail store that has sold Dogfish Head, including our Namaste beer. As many of you are probably aware, there is no point in having a trademark unless we actively defend it (and if we don’t defend it this time, anyone can name a beer Namaste), and Dogfish does have a federal trademark for Namaste in the beer world, which covers both breweries and beer.

Because we believe in working collaboratively with other brewers in handling these disputes, we have called and emailed Namaste Brewing in hopes of resolving the matter brewer-to-brewer. (We have not sent a cease-and-desist and have not taken any legal action, as has been reported.) We have given them several creative solutions in an effort to alleviate any hardship they might face in making the changes, including the option to continue to sell the beer at their existing location and at festivals. Another option was to allow them ample time to phase out the name.

We want to point out a quick distinction, as we’ve seen some of our fans point to Sam’s trademark troubles in the past, as seen on "Beer Wars." Our issue in "Beer Wars" with Punkin Ale was actually quite different from the one here. Back then, the company that tried to block our trademark application for Punkin Ale was arguing that Punkin Ale was not a distinct enough name for a beer. They did not have a trademark they were trying to protect, and we did not brew a beer or open a company with a name similar to theirs. With Namaste, we have to protect the name of our beer or we lose it.

That's all we plan to say publicly about this, and we're looking forward to a friendly solution with the folks at Whip-In.

'Celest-jewel-ale' brewed with moon dust, served in space-suit koozies

The newest small-batch beer from Dogfish Head, released Sunday to celebrate the fall equinox, is out of this world.

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The newest small-batch beer from Dogfish Head, released Sunday to celebrate the fall equinox, is out of this world.

Celest-jewel-ale is made with lunar meteorites that have been crushed into dust, then steeped like tea in a rich, malty Oktoberfest. These certified moon jewels are made up primarily of minerals and salts, helping the yeast-induced fermentation process and lending this traditional German style a subtle but complex earthiness. (Or is it mooniness?)

Our friends up the road at ILC Dover, a company that creates space suits for NASA, helped us get this unique and incredibly rare ingredient. We also used German malts and hops, and fermented this beer with our house Doggie yeast, giving Celest-jewel-ale notes of doughy malt, toasted bread, subtle caramel and a light herbal bitterness.

The Dogfish Inn: Let's spend the night together

Here at Dogfish Head, we have places to eat, places to drink and places to play. The missing link? A place to stay.

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Here at Dogfish Head, we have places to eat, places to drink and places to play. The missing link? A place to stay.

We're fixin' to change that. In late spring of 2014, the 16-room Dogfish Inn will open in downtown Lewes, Del., at what is now the Vesuvio Motel.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of craft beer fans from around the world make a pilgrimage to Dogfish Head’s coastal Delaware brewpub and brewery. For nearly a decade, we've helped host some of these folks at the Dogfish Head Brewmaster's Suite at the lovely Inn at Canal Square. Our migration a few boat-lengths down the canal will give us a bigger home base dedicated to exploring all of the off-centered opportunities in this beautiful part of the state.

Lions and dandies and beer, oh my!

Dandelions? Yup, that scourge of many a lawn doctors is entirely edible and a worthy bittering agent for ales.

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Dandelions? Yup, that scourge of many a lawn doctors is entirely edible and a worthy bittering agent for ales.

Lion Dandy, the latest brew in our year-long Province Ale Company project, is brewed with a French biere de garde yeast, floor-malted pale malts, brown sugar, French Strisselspalt hops and a load of dandelion greens. The recipe, passed down to Nicolo from his brewing mentor, Henri Hillion (of French origin, as the story goes), is for a traditional French country ale with the addition of fresh dandelion greens to assist the hops in adding bitterness to balance the malt sweetness.

 
 
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