1. 60 Minute IPA: I can appreciate the finely-crafted nature of this beer and I can see why hop enthusiasts might enjoy it. A little citrusy, very crisp, and very hoppy, it definitely has a kick to it. A very nice specimen of the style–unfortunately, it also reinforced that IPAs just aren’t really my beer style of choice.
2. 90 Minute IPA: After finding the hoppiness of the 60 minute a bit too much for my taste, I was a little leery of the 90 Minute–and was very pleased with the smoothness of this beer. There was still the grassy freshness I associate with hops, but it was balanced with some more malty notes. It didn’t finish with as much bitterness as the 60 Minute. This is an IPA I could get behind.
3. Burton Baton: We waited until we could get this beer filtered through Randall the Enamel Animal (see above picture). Basically, he’s a way to allow the draft beer to get a little extra kick by filtering through fresh hops on its way to my glass. It seemed to add an extra freshness and brightness to the beer. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. The hops weren’t overpowering, and the beer was smooth and complex. This was definitely my favorite of the day.
4. 120 Minute IPA: This was the fourth and final sample after the tour. Another one in the category of “things I’m glad to have tried,” this beer was a little too extreme for me. Too much hops character, too much sweetness, and too much alcohol. It contained that caramel-syrupy-sweetness that tends to overlay beers of such high alcohol content–this one clocks in at anywhere from 16-20%, though it usually ends up around 18%. There wasn’t much carbonation, something that Chris liked. He enjoyed this one more than I did.
(Dinner) Black and Red: A strong, nearly overpowering minted stout. There was some fruitiness and some chocolate character that you would expect from a stout, but I found the spearmint flavor to be a bit too much. While I’m absolutely glad to have tried it, it’s not one of my favorite Dogfish selections–not even necessarily a favorite that I tried today.