Thursday, March 8, 2012

BBA Roadtrip: Delaware Part 1

BBA crew in front of Steampunk Tree House at DFH
When one courteous e-mail to Sam Caligione's assistant at the Milton, De headquarters of Dogfish Head Brewery was returned with stunning news, that we could sit down and interview Sam, the first ever BBA trip was set in motion.  After that, we set up interviews with other Delaware craft breweries: 16 Mile, Evolution, and Dominion.  With cheap flights from Columbus to Baltimore bought and two idiot brothers offering transport and a place to stay, the trip was on!  And what an experience we all had!  I will try to share it with you loyal Better Beer Authority followers!

Mark and Mitch drove and left early Thursday for Rehoboth Beach, DE.  James, Scott, Joby and Chef flew in around 7:45pm that night.  We were all eager to get to the beach house and pop open a few brews!

With Mark and Mitch's early arrival, they had growlers of DFH India Brown and 90 Minute IPA waiting for the rest of us.  We shared a few home brews and some other stuff, Sixpoint Bengali Tiger, Hopslam, etc... then we had a BBA meeting and it was off to bed for an early rise!

James attaching the mic to Sam
We arrived at the Dogfish Head Brewery early and were escorted into the tasting room/swag shop.  Everyone's eyes were wide-open as we were staring at almost every production beer they do.  It took a bit to set up the equipment for the interview, but I think we nailed it.  Sam came in and introduced himself and disappeared for 10 minutes.  He came back ready to talk with some nice gifts, including some great hats!  It was super classy of him, and he really was a great person.  He really epitomizes what craft beer is about, sharing good beer with friends. You may notice in the interview, James didn't focus too much on specific beers and how they were made.  The interview was more about the Dogfish Head way of life and its employees.
Mark Smith holding a sample of Palo Santo on the wood's namesake.

After the interview and our goodbyes to Sam, we packed up the equipment and all went on a shopping spree of beer and DFH swag.  Mark was by the far the most stoked and walked away with a shopping cart full of beer and clothing.  We then had a tour set for 11am and the other people on the reservation did not show.  So, all eight BBA guys got a private tour!  It was a great tour. We even saw a new batch of 120 Minute getting bottled!  Afterwards, we had four small samples: Tweason'ale, Noble Rot, Burton Baton, and 120 Minute IPA.

I highly recommend visiting the brewery if you have not done so.  Every employee that we came across was really nice, and seemed to love their job!

Next we hit a crappy fast food lunch on the way to Georgetown, DE to tour and interview the great folks at 16 Mile Brewery.

Being at 16 Mile was a stark contrast to being at DFH.  But, that's OK.  I am really glad they are different.  Claus Hagelman gave us a really nice, in-depth tour of the facility, which just completed a nice expansion project.  The final part of the tour was in the new tasting room.  The first thing you notice there is the beautiful bar top.  It is made from a giant fallen tree, and really is a work of art.  We then sampled every beer on tap, including the yet to be released oyster stout! (It has now been released and used for the Georgetown, DE Fire Department annual Oyster Eat!)  Claus described all of the beers as being "bold session beers."  And I think that description is perfect.

James talking with 16 Mile's Chad Campell.  BBA members in background
After the tasting, we set up an interview with Co-Owner Chad Campbell next to some of the tanks.  As it is a working brewery, we had a lot of noise to battle, including the CO2 tanks being refilled.  Chad gave a great interview, and I can't wait to watch it when it is released.

16 Mile Tap handles
After the interview, we went back to the tasting room and bought a couple of pints each before we retreated back to the beach house to prepare for a big night ahead!

If you are in outhern Delaware, I recommend you visit 16 Mile, their beers are good and the new tasting room is fantastic!

Both 16 Mile and Dogfish Head welcomed up with open arms and gave us an incredible experience.  To both, thank you so much!

PART 2 tomorrow:  The Big BBA Night OUT!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let the Better Beer Authority know what you think. Leave us a comment!