Troy, NY: Preview of The Return of Dogfish Head Night at The Ruck [#DFHNight]

Quick little preview of what’s in store for The Return of Dogfish Head Night for those who haven’t made it in yet. I stopped by this morning around 11 and grabbed some of the rares and will be back to party later on. Don’t forget DJ Jared Kingsley starts at in a few short hours!

After checking out my Dogfish Head Night Beer Stats spreadsheet I put together this morrning, I settled on these for my morning/afternoon libations (all 5-10 oz tastings):

  • Poppaskull – huge fan of Three Floyds so I had to check this out.
  • Saison Du Buff randalled through pineapple and habanero – I’m a HUGE hot spice fanatic and this beer absolutely made my day. I LOVED it.
  • Mile’s Davis Bitches Brew – I’ve had it before but it’s phenom and not that easy to come by.
  • Fort – Nuzzy’s recommendation. Interesting fruit beer, I’ve had it before (on his birthday and probably past DFH Nights) and it’s good, but a little fruity for my tastes. Hides the alcohol extremely well.
  • 75 Minute IPA – 90 minute and 60 minute are probably DFH’s best mainstay all year round brews. Mix to the two together and cask condition it with maple syrup and it’s a no-brainer: beervana. I have no idea why they bother trying to bottle this when it’s so fucking kickass on cask.

That’s all for now. I’m taking a little breather until the rest of my crew shows up later on tonight. Met a lot of new folks from my various beer forums and social networking websites today, hopefully I’ll meet a few more tonight. See ya then!

West Springfield, MA: Beer Run at Table and Vine [Beer]

Knew I had to hit up Table & Vine on the way home from Worcester today. I’ve heard plenty about it from friends and BAers alike. This place is dangerous for my wallet! Didn’t pick up anything too fancy but they have plenty here I haven’t picked up yet locally or just can’t get here in general. Prices are very reasonable.

Today’s Payload (from left to right):

  • Dogfish Head – Saison Du Buff
  • Victory Brewing Company – Saison Du Buff (going to hold on to both of these until I get the Stone and drink all together)
  • Sierra Nevada – Hoptimum
  • Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – Saint Botolph’s Town
  • Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – Fluffy White Rabbits
  • Firestone Walker – Sucaba
  • Allagash – Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)
  • Left Hand Brewing Co. – Nitro Milk Stout

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats [East Coast Road Trip]

OK, finally got most of my pics processed and uploaded so I can start telling you about the trip! We left around 6 AM and hit our first stop right on schedule: Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. As far as I know, this is Dogfish’s only (official) brewpub, as the Dogfish Head Ale House chain is a franchise, and La Birreria is a collab.

Now, let me preface this post with something that’ll probably piss off some of my beer nerd friends: I’m not a Dogfish Head fan. That does not mean I won’t drink Dogfish Head, and it doesn’t even mean that they don’t have beers I enjoy, because some of them I absolutely go crazy about. My problem is that they really, truly live up to their slogan: Off-Centered Ales for Off-Centered People. And lot of their beers are just too god damned “off-centered” for me. Ta Henket tastes like it was aged with old gym socks. Noble Rot taste like a glass of white table wine from a red and white table-clothed family-style Italian restaurant for $5 that you never get to see the label of. And there are countless others that just don’t do it for me. I dunno, maybe I’m too traditional with my beer tastes but I want my stout to taste like a stout, unless it tastes like an imperial stout, unless that tastes like a barrel-aged imperial stout. Et cetera. And I’m all for subtle hints of this spice or this extra flavor as long as it compliments the base beer, but you can keep all of that other whack shit to yourselves.

But I digress. We picked DFH because it was good stopping point, we’ve never been, you can pick up their Blue Hen vodka infusions, and like I said there are some of their beers that I genuinely enjoy. Fortunately I have some amazing friends at The Ruck that have allowed me to taste more Dogfish Head beers than the average person, but it was the day before their Weekend of Compelling Ales and Whatnot and I wasn’t hopeful there was going to be much on draft I hadn’t had. Luckily (or maybe not so luckily) there were a handful that neither Elise nor I had tried so we did a sampler to get a taste of each. Sadly, none of them knocked our socks off.

The food was OK. Nothing earth shattering but still good. It was Pizza Day, and seeing “woodgrilled pizza” with some pretty interested toppings sealed the deal for me. Summer sausage (more like pepperoni), house made bacon, and pesto pizza? Yes please. Any place south of Philly is “crab country” to Elise, so naturally crab cakes were for her.

They have a little gift shop in the front where you can pick up most of their bottles and other swag to go.  We spend some time bullshitting with guy manning the window about where we were from and about our trip (the boner this guy got about Ommegang was pretty funny). Picked up the peanut butter and chocolate infused versions of their vodka along with some other trinkets.

Overall I enjoyed the stop and will definitely be back again, next time for more than just lunch. It was a really easy drive, and we made it to Rehoboth Beach by 1PM. I can see a weekend or long weekend with friends there in our future.

East Coast Road Trip Advice [Road Trip]

(This is a copy and paste of my post on BeerAdvocate but if I can get some FB and Tumblr friends to help that’d be great!)

Hey guys, need some advice. I’m making my annual drive from Albany, NY to Orlando, FL next week and I’m looking to find some stops along the way (to and from). I leave on Thursday morning, hoping to make a very quick stop at DFH Brewpub Rehoboth Beach and make it to my brother’s place in Ocoee, FL some time on Friday. I’ll be there for the week and leave the following Friday morning. I have a few options and questions and maybe you guys can weigh in here and give me some help.

First, I plan on leaving Albany as early as I can Thursday morning and stopping at the DFH Brewpub sometime after lunch. I unfortunately cannot stay for long and need to keep on driving so I’ll be limited to one or two drinks (although worst case my girlfriend can take the wheel afterwards so I don’t mind if they’re two extremely high alcohol drinks!). What are the must-haves at the Brewpub? Is there anything there that I absolutely can’t get any place else? Can I get DFH vodka there? How about food recommendations? Swag recommendations are helpful, too. Also take note that I’ll be there the day before The Weekend of Compelling Ales and Whatnot is happening and I’m not sure if that goes for or against my favor.

Last year we stopped at Sweetwater Tavern in Virginia and we’re looking to find someplace new this year. We also stayed overnight in Richmond but this year we’re going to be driving straight through the night.

As for Cigar City, while I’ll be arriving in Ocoee some time on Friday and technically I could drive over to Cigar City and make Hunahpu Day, I’d be wasting most of the only Saturday I’ll have to spend with my two nephews who I only get to see them a couple of times a year. This would make me feel like a huge douche so I’m not going to do that. However, I do plan on making a visit to Cigar City on one of their school days, probably that Monday or Tuesday. The same questions for DFH Brewpub apply. Must-have beer, food, swag recommendations? Also, if anyone is looking to do an in-person trade for Hunahpu I’d be will to bring whatever I have access to up in NY down with me. I even have some Heady Topper from The Alchemist I can keep in a cooler the whole way to trade as well. Let me know, I don’t mind making a run to the beverage center before leaving for this trip.

Usually we take one night for the boys to go off to drink and smoke cigars and the ladies stay at home with my brother’s kids and drink wine by the pool. Last year we hit up a World of Beer. This year I’m leaning towards going to Redlight Redlight. My brother has never been and it’s so highly rated I figured I’d try to make it there. If that’s not the right decision or if there’s anyplace else I should stop too, feel free to chime in.

Lastly, I’m looking for other ideas to stop while on the road itself. It’s a shame to go through so many states and only eat at crappy fast food and rest stops so I try to go local whenever I can. It does not have to beer related but it does have to be delicious and relatively quick so whatever you suggest I can try to work in a stop either on the way or back. I usually use my trusty TV Food Maps app to hit up places that have been on Man vs Food or Food Network, etc. but if I can plan ahead of time that would be great. Thanks guys!