Catching Up With Dogfish Head – Sour Ale, 120 Minute IPA, Expansion and More

Dogfish Head BrewingWe had a chance to catch up with craft brewing legends Dogfish Head. We talked about many things including a future sour ale, Palo Santo Marron’s wood tank, new East Coast competition and more. Hope you enjoy!

The Full Pint: Any new markets being targeted, any new books in the works, any plans for a West Coast brewery or establishment?

Dogfish Head: None planned for the immediate future. No new markets targeted for 2013.

TFP: Is Dogfish Head able to meet demand in their current markets?

DFH:  We are in the fortunate position of still having demand ahead of supply.

TFP: With the rise in popularity of sour ales and lambic-like barrel aged sour ales, can we expect Dogfish Head to put any sour ales on the market?

DFH:  Good question! When we brewed Festina Lente in 2003 and sent it to distributors, many sent it back claiming that it was “sour and had gone bad.” There has been chatter about revisiting that one now that there’s a taste for sours in the market (and many co-workers are hoping we do), but nothing is planned right now.

TFP: How is the tank that Palo Santo Marron doing? I recall hearing it will eventually have to be replaced and that it would be a big deal to do such.

DFH:  Palo is still tasting spot on from the original tank, so no plans to replace it. We are, however, working on a second Palo tank for our wood room.

TFP: How will the presence of New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Oskar Bues on the east coast impact Dogfish Head’s bottom line, if at all.

DFH:  We are happy to see those guys growing and brewed a beer with Sierra to welcome them to the East Coast!

Editor’s note: A very typical response from any major player in the craft beer industry.

TFP: We recall the problems the brewhouse had in 2010 when trying to get batches of 120 Minute IPA to ferment properly. Could you share with us how you resolved that issue?

DFH:  Smaller batches seems to have done the trick. We had three successful releases last year and are planning three more this year. It’s better than ever fresh, and we’re looking forward to cracking open the ones we’re aging.

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