Dogfish Head Brewpub

6 07 2010

One of the more memorable dining experiences while vacationing in Ocean City was my trip to the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach. I have always liked Dogfish’s selection of beers, and having a chance to visit their actual point of origin was an exciting prospect. I had originally booked a tour of the actual brewery, but their location in Rehoboth had a restaurant built in – which meant tons of beer and food to sample.

Speaking of samples, I started off with the sampler –

A great selection overall. Most of these beers can be found in liquor stores in the Maryland area. Included in the sampler was everything from a lager to a stout, including one of my favorite India Pale Ales – Dogfish Head 60 min IPA.

Here were my initial thoughts on each beer –

  • Shelter Pale Ale – A decent, somewhat generic pale ale. Slightly hoppy, with a cool, bitter finish. Definitely palatable but I wouldn’t make an effort to search for it again.
  • Indian Brown Ale – I am not usually a fan of brown ales, and this wasn’t an exception.  Very earthly, chocolaty flavor that fills you up like a meal.
  • 60 min IPA – This is the little brother of my all-time favorite beer, 90 min IPA. It is a little milder than 90 min, and some may believe – more drinkable as well.  Beer drinkers used to Bud and Miller light should stay away, however. This beer packs a lot of hops and character. Highly recommended.
  • Raison D’Etre – This was the underdog of the bunch – the “Raison” in the name made me think of fruity beers, which I usually try to avoid. I was pleasantly surprised by my first taste – smooth, slightly hoppy, with a mild undertone of raisins and other complex flavors. The fruit essences were not overpowering in the least.
  • Chicory Stout – I am a stout lover on occasion, and this one was average. It had more of a round, malt flavor, with more taste than Guinness. This did come at the price of feeling slightly heavier going down. A decent beer if you are in the mood for a stout, but Dogfish brews better beers.

After sampling these beers, I was already pretty full (and feeling good). For my main course, I decided to go with a small bowl of chili. But not just any chili…

Duck Chili!

Duck is a meat that you don’t see quite as often as the run of the mill chicken, pork, and beef. Its a shame too, because this chili was delicious. The meat had the consistency of slow roasted, melt in your mouth dark meat chicken. The chili sauce was mildly spicy with a strong cinnamon base. Each bite of this chili made me want to have another drink of beer, and each drink of beer led to another bite of chili. They compliment each other well. Normally I would think a combination like Bud Light and Hormel canned chili would be gross, but there is something about the complex flavors of each Dogfish creation that makes it work perfectly.

If there is a lesson to be learned here – try new things! You never know what you might like. More OC meals to come, stay posted.

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