So we had another ‘wild’ idea…

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

We’ve been producing and perfecting the sour ale for over two decades now, and we got to thinking … wouldn’t it be nice if you could get your hands on even more wild ales from Dogfish Head? Well friends, your wildest dreams are about to come true thanks to our new, funky wild beer program, ‘Wooden … it be nice!

With three wild ales primed for a 2018 Milton-only release, our brewers have already hand-bottled over two thousand cork and cage 375ml bottles, each one hand-painted with a special stripe signifying its uniquely crafted touch.

 “About fifteen years ago, we first started experimenting with sours, beginning with Festina Lente - a peach wild ale that won us a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup the first year it was produced - then went on to produce SeaQuench Ale which is currently the top selling sour in America,” says Dogfish founder & CEO Sam Calagione. “Now, we’re amplifying our wild beer program with ‘Wooden … it be nice!,’ as it’s another step forward in our journey and evolution of goodness incorporating everything from herbs and spices, to local fruits, and of course, bringing it all together in wood.”

So what makes a beer wild? It’s different from traditional brewing in that it’s fermented with wild yeast variations, like Brettanomyces. The yeast is carefully introduced to the wood-aged beer, which can develop a wide array of flavors, including degrees of sourness, fruitiness, and hop-level variations that occur during fermentation. Due to the untamable nature of the yeast, the beer can sit in barrels for months or even years until brewers deem it ready for consumption. This uncontrollable process can sometimes delay the release of the beer, but when it’s finally ready, it’s truly remarkable. Isn’t that wild?!

Our ‘Wooden … it be nice!’ program kicks off with the release of KnottyBits - a wild ale aged on sweet and sour cherries, and rhubarb. Teaming up with our friends at Fifer Orchards, KnottyBits was first wood-aged for a year with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis, then racked onto several hundred pounds of sweet and sour cherries, and locally sourced rhubarb from Fifer Orchards at a rate of more than 2 lbs. of fresh fruit per gallon! KnottyBits is bottle conditioned for an elevated carbonation that resembles a rose-colored sparkling wine of sorts, and is a perfect balance of funk and acidity. Clocking in at 8.2% ABV, KnottyBits is priced at $10 per 375ml bottle, with 2,000 bottles available for purchase at our Milton Tasting Room & Kitchen beginning Sept. 29 at 11 a.m.

KnottyBits will also be available at our Rehoboth brewpub while supplies last. Bottles are $14 each and for onsite consumption only! 

Following our debut release, look for Wet Hop American Summer - a wild ale dry-hopped with wet-hops - in early November! After aging in barrels for over a year, this beer was racked onto freshly harvested and hand-selected whole leaf Citra hops, still wet from the fields. In their unprocessed state, hop cones lend an earthy aroma and flavor to the beer, which is a perfect complement to the rustic nature of the farmhouse ale base. Wet Hop American Summer will clock in at 7.75% ABV, with complex hop and funky Brett aromas accentuated by its dry mouthfeel and high carbonation. Priced at $10 per 375ml bottle, 1,500 bottles will be available for purchase at our Milton Tasting Room & Kitchen. Exact date to be determined, so stay tuned!

To round out the year, we’re bringing you Eastern Seaboard - a wild ale (8% ABV) brewed with blackberries and beach plums - in mid-December! After spending almost a year and a half aging in wood barrels, the beer was met with several hundred pounds of blackberry and Eastern Shore beach plums, handpicked and selected by our brewers. The jamminess of the blackberry and tartness of the plums perfectly pair with one another in this deceptively dry beer. Eastern Seaboard is bottle-conditioned to achieve champagne-like carbonation and is ruby red in color. Priced at $10 per 375ml bottle, 2,000 bottles will be available for purchase at our Milton Tasting Room & Kitchen … exact date to be determined!