Big Heads at Dogfish Head September 9, 2006Posted by Andy in beer, Dogfish Head.
Last Wednesday, I went on the free tour of the Dogfish Head brewery in Milton, Delaware. I’ve always been a fan of brewery tours, and not just for the free samples. I think it is fun and interesting to see how things are made. One of my dreams in life is to tour the M&M’s factory so I can see for myself how they get those M’s on there. But I digress.
Dogfish brewery is fairly large and rapidly expanding to keep up with the expanding demand for their brews. The tour began at 3:30 with the tour meister, whose name I never learned, greeting us from between the bar and wall o’ merchandise. He spoke over a wireless headset that broadcast from a handheld speaker that he carried around. The fidelity and background noise was such that I often found it hard to understand what he was saying (thus me not knowing his name). The gist of the first part was that they started off really small but are so great that they keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. The “how great they are” was kind of the theme of the whole tour. During this stage, we got to try samples of their seasonal Punkin Ale and their 90 Minute IPA. I enjoyed the first so much that I bought a case to take home, so I have that to look forward to, which is nice. I liked the second more that I expected since I am not heavy into hops.
The next part of the tour went through where the beer is brewed (picture dozens of large silver tanks) and bottled (picture many bottles rolling down a line like in the opening to Laverne & Shirley, minus the glove and Laverne, and Shirley). Unnamed Tour Gguide seemed to phone in this part of the tour like he did it three times a week, and it also seemed rushed. We got a peek into the warehouse, which was about as exciting as you’d expect a warehouse to be. I think he showed it to us for us to gasp at it’s size. They also gave out more samples.
The third part of the tour was back to the bar, where we were encourgaed to try more samples, and purchase t-shirts. Because of all the samples, the t-shirts really seemed like a good idea (I got the long sleeve mocha shirt and Shelley got a hat). This shot is a fairly accurate depection of how things looked at this point.
This is also the point at which Unamed Tour Guide said something that really turned me off. I mentioned to him how I lived down the road from Frederick Brewing Company (now called Wild Goose Brewery though they actually are part of Flying Dog). He remarked how he was glad that I now had a chance to try good beer. Okay, Mr. Dogfish Head Man. Sorry I didn’t realize you guys made the only good beer in the world. I guess that’s why Delaware is considered a beer capital of the world.
All that aside, and ignoring the fact that between the case of Punkin Ale, the shirt, and the hat this free tour cost me around $80, I still ecomendend you check out the Dogfish Head brewery tour next time you find yourself in Milton, DE.