Brewery of the Month – April 2020

Written by: Kyle R. – Beer Guru

Dogfish Head, based in Milton, Delaware, made North Dakota its 46th state with distribution when it first became available in draft in late 2019. This January, package beer was made available throughout the state with its four core brands: 60 Minute IPA, 90 Minute IPA, Slightly Might and SeaQuench Ale.

Sam Calagione

Sam Calagione







The story of Dogfish Head begins in the early 1990s when founder Sam Calagione, a Massachusetts native and English major taking classes at Columbia University in New York, discovered a thirst for good beer and decided a career in brewing sounded better than trying to become the next great American novelist.

Starting as a home brewer after leaving Columbia, Sam decided to move to Delaware where his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Mariah lived and open a brewery. With $220,000 in funding and big dreams, Sam opened Delaware’s first brewpub in June 1995 inside Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. The name Dogfish Head came from the town in Maine where Sam spent his childhood summers.

Dogfish Head Brewing

Dogfish Head’s original brewery in Rehoboth Beach only produced 10 gallons of beer per day, but it quickly expanded, first bottling its beer in 1996 before opening a second brewery in Milton, Delaware, the next year. Since then Dogfish Head has opened a distillery in Rehoboth Beach; the Dogfish Inn hotel in Lewes, Delaware; and Dogfish Head Alehouses in Gaithersburg, MD; Falls Church, VA, and Fairfax, VA.

Known for its unconventional brewing methods, Dogfish Head quickly became a craft beer darling, growing from brewing just 10 gallons of beer a day upon its founding to the 13th-largest craft brewery in the country in 2019. Sam’s unique approach to brewing led to the creation of Brew Masters, a weekly show that ran on Discovery Channel in 2010 and revolved around the creation and production of unique beers inspired from imaginations around the world.

First brewed in 2001, Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute Imperial IPA has been recognized as “one of the most important American Craft Beers” due to its continual hopping method of brewing. While watching a cooking show that emphasized salt should be added throughout a boil and not just at the beginning or end, Sam wondered if he could do that with hops in a beer. A trip to a thrift store resulted in an old-school vibrating football game, that when plugged in vibrated pelletized hops continuously down into the boiling beer. The result was an Imperial IPA that was incredibly hoppy, yet without an overwhelming bitterness. Two years later 60 Minute IPA made its debut and has since gone on to be the flagship of the entire Dogfish Head portfolio.

In 2019, Dogfish Head merged with the Boston Beer Company, makers of Sam Adams, Angry Orchard, Truly and Twisted Tea. Due to the complicated brewing recipes (only one Dogfish Head beer can even be brewed in a Sam Adams brewery), Dogfish Head will continue to only be brewed in its Delaware breweries as it has since 1995.


90 Minute IPA: First brewed 2001, 90 IBUs, 14 SRM, 9.0% ABV
1. Appearance: Golden amber
2. Aroma: Intense piney, woodsy, and citrusy hop notes
3. Taste: Balance of sweetness from the malt and strong citrus hop character
4. Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied
5. Finish: Lingering piney bitter notes from the Northwest hops

60 Minute IPA: First brewed 2003, 60 IBUs, 9 SRM, 6.0% ABV
1. Appearance: Golden amber
2. Aroma: Hop forward with pine and citrus notes
3. Taste: Punch of citrus with a slight malt sweetness to balance
4. Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied
5. Finish: Crisp with slight lingering bitterness

SeaQuench Ale: First brewed 2017, 10 IBUs, 6 SRM, 4.9% ABV, 140 Calories, 9g Carbs
1. Appearance: Golden yellow; hazy
2. Aroma: Spiced citrus; lime
3. Taste: Tartness from the green limes, slight bitterness from the black limes, touch of salt
4. Mouthfeel: Clean and light-bodied
5. Finish: Touch of malt sweetness

Slightly Mighty: First brewed 2018, 30 IBUs, 2 SRM, 4.0% ABV, 95 Calories, 3.6g Carbs
1. Appearance: Hazy and golden
2. Aroma: Pineapple, mango, coconut, citrus fruits
3. Taste: Sweet fruit notes with balanced hop bitterness
4. Mouthfeel: Light bodied and crisp
5. Finish: Clean with a slight lingering hop character


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