Tag Archives: Dogfish Head

HopCast Episode 204

Episode 204: The Alchemist Heady Topper & Dogfish Head Burton Baton

In episode 204 of the Hop Cast, Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski crack open a couple IPAs. It’s been a while since they’ve featured an IPA on the Hop Cast which is a bit of a surprise. First up is the Heady Topper from The Alchemist. This 8 % ABV IPA is currently the number one beer on beeradvocate and for good reason, it’s delicious. What’s surprising is how different this beer is in the can, then when it was poured out into a glass. The Alchemist does recommend drinking it from the can but we had to test this for ourselves. Next, Ken pulls out a 5 year old Burton Baton from Dogfish Head Brewery that had been hidden away in his basement. This beer really shouldn’t of been aged for this long but it was interesting to see how well it held up over the years. Remember when you drink those IPAs, the sooner the better.

Cheers and thanks for watching the Hop Cast.

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Hop Cast – Episode 148: Dogfish Head Olde School

Its time for a little vertical tasting in episode 148 of the HopCast. Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski have been sitting on these two bottles of Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine for quite a while. They picked up the 2004 and 2008 bottles while they were out at the Dogfish Head brewery a few years ago. This beer was a perfect example of what proper cellaring can accomplish. Keep an eye out for this beer, its usually available in November. Olde School is around 15% ABV so when you are ready to taste it, either cellared or fresh, make sure to share some with others!

Thanks for watching the Hop Cast!

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (161.3MB).

Hop Cast – Episode 144: SAVOR Flowers & Portamarillo

Ken Hunnemeder and Brad Chmielewski get to sample a couple harder to find beers from Dogfish Head in episode 144. The first one they open is the SAVOR Flowers. This beer was a collaboration with Dogfish Head and Samuel Adams for the SAVOR American craft beer & food event in D.C. The SAVOR Flowers was made with rosewater, rosebuds, jasmine, hibiscus, lavender, a specialty hop known only as #369, then aged in oak barrels. Ken and Brad then move onto their next beer, Portamarillo an American Porter from Dogfish Head and Epic Brewing. Many of you might of seen this beer being brewed in the Discovery show Brewmasters. These beers are unique and are very different from each other; once again showcasing Dogfish Head’s incredible range as a brewery. It was a rare treat to sample of both these on the Hop Cast. So thank you to the ones that hooked it up with these two wonderful brews. And thank you for watching the Hop Cast.

Having issues watching this video? Try the Quicktime (288.5MB).

Hop Cast – Episode 120: Dogfish Head 60, 90 & 120 Minute IPA

As 2010 comes to a close Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder have made it to episode 120. And what better way to celebrate this milestone then with Dogfish Head’s 120 minute IPA. Rather then only featuring the 120 Minute IPA, Brad and Ken open up and compare the 60 Minute IPA, the 90 Minute IPA and the 120 Minute IPA. It’s great to see how the beer changes from each one. Joined with them on this IPA adventure are special guests Brian Gallagher and Katie Sirles.

Brad and Ken hope everyone has a great holiday and appreciate the continued support of the Hop Cast. Thank You for watching.

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5 Favorite Craft Beers Of 2009

2009 was a great year for us at the Hop Cast and for the craft beer world. There were so many great beers that were released and some really excellent new breweries that appeared on the scene. With 2010 already in full swing the Hop Cast wanted to take a look at the previous year and pick five of our favorite beers that came out last year.

Big Hugs from Half Acre
Sah’tea from Dogfish Head
Torpedo Extra IPA from Sierra Nevada
Monk’s Blood from 21st Admendment
Duck Duck Gooze from Lost Abbey

Also check out and vote for your favorite craft beer of 2009 over at The Full Pint.

Home Brewer Profile – Joseph Lemnah


Where are you from?
A small town just outside of Burlington, VT. Essex Junction.

What is your favorite brew pub in the area?
The not very local brewpub Stewarts Brewing is forty five minutes away up in Bear, DE. So, some of my favorites from back home are, The Alchemist, Zero Gravity at American Flatbread, and of course Vermont Pub & Brewery one of the original gangsters back in 1986.

Do you focus on one style or do you mix it up depending on the conditions and mood?
I Mix it up.  Many times I’m inspired by chefs and global flavors.  Using different grains, spices, and herbs is both challenging and rewarding.  I enjoy discovering what unusual fermentables taste like and how to use them.  What I brew is dependant on what inspires me more than anything.  Finding out about a citrus fruit grown here or a type of heirloom rice grown there. A spice I’ve never heard of.  Every day the world challenges brewers to brew and use the cornucopia of ingredients available the world over.

How long have you been brewing and what made you decide to start? Did anyone inspire you to start brewing?
I’ve been home brewing for a little over four years now.  Growing up in Vermont I was surrounded with craft beer.  Drinking Long Trail, Switchback, Otter CreekRock Art, and Magic Hat. Late Gen X’ers and early Gen Y’ers are the first generation to grow up in an America with beer choices. I developed an early appreciation for local products made by people in the community.  Beer being one of them. So I guess timing and location inspired me to start brewing.

Would you mind giving us a run down of your brewing career to date?
It was late 2006, I was twenty four years old and had been home brewing for a few months when realized that brewing might be it for me.  I was living in upstate NY at the time and went up and down the Hudson River valley looking for a job while also looking into the different brewing schools across the country. Lots of doors closed, but I got a job on the packaging line at a contract brewery, Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. in Saratoga Springs, NY opening empty cases and six packs by hand then stuffing the six packs in the cases.  There were paper cuts.  I expressed interest in moving into brewing from the beginning, sharing home brew and talking to the brewers about what the heck they were doing.  After months on packaging I moved into cellaring, learning how to CIP (clean in place) and sanitize tanks first. Wait, I think they taught me how to scrub floors and parts first, lots of floor scrubbing.  Then I learned how to harvest and pitch yeast, dry hop, filter and force carbonate.  During my time at Olde Saratoga Brewing I attended the American Brewers Guild, completing the five week residential Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering course.  After returning from brewing school I was trained in the brew house.  While at school I found out about the job board on Probrewer and saw a job for a brewing position at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.  I applied, interviewed and a couple of months later I was hired and moved down there.  Just like that, and I’ve been there since.

Is there any brewers you look to or anyone you think is at the top of your list?
Patrick Rue- The Bruery, Jean Francois Gravel- Dieu du Ciel!, Matt Bryndilson- Firestone Walker, Ken Grossman- Sierra Nevada, Paul Saylor- Zero Gravity, Ron Jeffries- Jolly Pumpkin, John MaierRogue, and of course Charlie Papazian and Randy Mosher.

You have been working at Dogfish Head for about two years right?
It will be two years November 5th.

How’s working for them?
Working for a company like DFH is an honor.  To be a part of a company that has helped pave the way for the craft beer community to grow and take chances teaches me something new every day.  The brewers at the production facility in Milton are given the chance to go to the original DFH pub and brew whatever the heck they like.  I brewed a pumpernickel porter last year called Daily Wry.  It was pretty cool to get my beer reviewed on beer advocate.  Working in an atmosphere like DFH definitely inspires to create.

What is different working and brewing at Dogfish Head versus doing your own stuff at home?
The experiences are very different.  At DFH were knocking out every 3 to 4 hours, making 3,000 gallon batches all week, non stop, while working around dangerous chemicals and particulates as well as dangerous quantity’s of carbon dioxide.  We are focusing on consistency and flavor profiles of each batch and working to understand and control the processes to make more consistent beer.  While at home every batch is a test batch.

How often do you brew? Is it hard to find time with all the work brewing?
I’m Home brewing about once a week right now but I need to start brewing at least twice a week to keep up with the drinking habits of everyone that comes by.  I always have at least a couple draughts of homebrew on, up to five at once.

What are you brewing with? I know a lot of home brewers end up building there own equipment. Do you have any untraditional brewing equipment that you won’t find at a home brew shop?
It’s a pretty basic setup.  I have a hot liquor tank and a mash tun/kettle.  I mash into the mash tun and run off into marked plastic buckets.  Sparge from the hot liquor tank while running off using gravity.  Once I’ve collected the wort I dump the mash tun, a quick rinse and dump the wort in.  The only piece of equipment I’ve made so far is a grist case to hang above the mash tun during mash in so I can control the flow of water and grain while focusing on hydrating the crushed malt.  I’ve started building brewing stands for the back deck with plans of putting a burner on each.

Can you tell us about the first beer you ever brewed, what was it and how did it come out?
The first beer I ever home brewed was a brown ale extract kit.  The kit contained chocolate malt, crystal malt, and roasted barley to steep and a pound of brown sugar for the boil.  I used dry muntons yeast.  My friends liked the green apple flavor, but I knew that acetaldehyde was not a good thing.

What was the last thing you brewed?
At this moment I’m brewing a chocolate vanilla almost baltic porter.  The last five brews have been an oatmeal stout, a Bhutanese red rice brown ale, a summer and fall saison, and a cherry wood smoked porter.

Anything in the works you would like to share?
Next weekend I have plans to brew a pumpkin ale and ferment it inside a 7 gallon pumpkin using 4-5 pounds of sweet baby pumpkins roasted in the oven and added to the mash. Spiced with meadowsweet, and other fall spices in the boil. During cool down I plan on carving a pumpkin and prep it for fresh wort.  I’ll seal the top with wax and drill a hole for an air lock.

Do you do all grain or extract?
My first sixteen batches were extract.  Since then I have been doing all grain.  Today’s brew is batch fifty five.

What type of yeast do you use and how do you maintain your culture?
Whatever I can get my hands on.  I like blending yeastx, using dry and/or liquid.  I really enjoy both Wyeast and White Labs strains, especially: German Ale 1007 Wyeast, Saison Yeast 3724 Wyeast/WLP566 White Labs. Chico yeast liquid or dry is what I usually ferment with to keep at least one control. It’s a great neutral strain that allows the brewer to showcase whatever they want.  I will re use yeast up to three generations.  I really want to start brewing funky ales but I’m afraid of bringing the funk in house.  I would like to make a Kombuch-ale by just dumping a bottle of kombucha in some wort.

What about hops… do you use whole or pellet hops? Why?
I like using whole leaf hops in my home brew setup because with the false bottom it knocks out crystal clear wort.  Pellets really muddy what goes into the carboy, but I have to use pellets for all the hoppy beers I want to brew because the selection is so much better with pellet hops.

Do you do any sort of collaborations with other home brewers in the area?
I’ve collaborated with two other brewers at DFH recently.  Brent Baughman on two RyePA’s and an Imperial Stout. The pumpkin in a pumpkin beer is with Jon Talkington and we’ve also brewed a black wit together in the past.

Are you part of any home brewers club or organizations?
When I was in Saratoga Springs I joined the Saratoga Thoroughbrews.  It was a great experience getting critique from experienced homebrewers on my first dozen batches or so.  I haven’t joined any local homebrew clubs in Delaware yet but I will be teaching some upcoming homebrew classes at my local homebrew store.  We’re still working on the dates.

Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for anyone looking to brew?
Read and brew, brew and read. There is a small commitment with brewing.  You have to get some random equipment to start and/or you end up thinking you need it.  Either way pick up a brewing book, try some craft beer, brew with a friend if you can, think of your favorite beer and try to brew it.

Finally, when can the Hop Cast come out and get a special Dogfish Head tour?


You are welcome to email Joseph Lemnah with any questions to hopfentreader@gmail.com and be sure to check out his blog http://hopfentreader.blogspot.com or follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/HopfenTreader.

Beer Of The Month – October

Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale

October is here and that means Halloween is just days away. It’s hard to think of Halloween and not think of pumpkins. So for the October beer of the month, the Hop Cast is choosing an excellent Pumpkin Ale; Dogfish Head’s Punkin’ Ale. Brad and Ken previously reviewed this on episode 10 of the Hop Cast with Charlie Drews. The Hop Cast picked the Punkin’ Ale for this months beer for two reasons; one it rocks and two, it’s relatively easier to find then some of the other pumpkin beers. Now just to note this pumpkin ale is more beer then pumpkin, it isn’t overly spiced and not heavy on the sweetness. When it pours out it is a burnt light copper color with thin light white head. The smell of the spice drifts up to your nose from the glass. Those great aromas of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and caramel all come through and work wonderfully together. When you finally take a sip, the malty sweet caramel hits you but quickly disappears. There is some cinnamon and brown sugar in the finish and then you get this nice hop that kicks at the end and finishes it all off. The hops are a nice treat in the end, almost as a reminder of the summer that is now gone. All around, this beer is drinkable and smooth. With and ABV of 7.0% you can have a couple and not get knocked on your ass. While this beer is still around, head down to your beer store to pick up a few and say hello to Fall.

For even more Dogfish Head beer and info check out the mobile episode Brad and Ken did from the brew pub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and stay tuned for a home brewer profile with Joseph Lemnah who is one of the brewers over at Dogfish Head.

Hop Cast – Episode 51

In Episode 51 Nick Campbell joins Hop Cast hosts Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder for a couple exotic beers. Both beers they sample and review in episode 51 have some unusual ingredients you don’t usually see in beer. The first beer the three of them try is the ginger pale ale from Trade Route Brewing. Trade Route Brewing used be called Laughing Buddha, so if you have a bottle, it may say Trade Route or Laughing Buddha, don’t worry it’s the same beer. As you can guess from the name the ginger pale ale is brewed with ginger and it comes in with an ABV of 5.0%. They follow that up with the Sah’tea which is the latest bottle release from Dogfish Head. Both Brad and Ken were extremely excited to try this one and were happy it lived up to the hype. The Sah’tea is brewed with juniper berries foraged directly from the Finnish country-side and comes in at 9.0% ABV.

Download the Podcast (700.2 MB).

Hop Cast – Episode 41

Brad Chmielewski and Ken Hunnemeder welcome you to the wood episode. They might have had a few too many at Rock Bottom’s Rockfest before shooting episode 41 of the Hop Cast. The two beers they sample and review are beers that use wood to age or for additional flavor. The first beer is the Palo Santo Marron from the great brewery Dogfish Head. They follow that 12% ABV beast up with a beer from Brad’s favorite brewery Hair Of The Dog. It is the Fred From The Wood, coming in at 10% ABV. Both of these are high alcohol beers.

Download the Podcast (207.2 MB).

Night of the Living Ales

Saturday March 7th marked the annual Night of the Living Ales festival at the Goose Island Wrigleyville location in conjunction with the Chicago Beer Society .  The festival involves cask/real ales from many local breweries as well as others from around the country.  This is one of my favorite events of the year.  There were quite a few standouts this year including last years’ winner, Surly Tea-Bagged Furious.

Much hype surrounded the premier of Popskull , a collaboration between Three Floyds and Dogfish Head.  This brown ale was aged on the famous Palo Santo Wood and will also be available at Dark Lord Day according to rumors.  Goose Island also had quite a showing with their Madam Rose(Kriek), Bourbon Sherry Beer, and Saison Le Chance. 

There were some great IPA’s tapped that night and the Hop Cast wouldn’t have it any other way!  Rock Bottom Chicago impressed with their Neil Diamond IPA and Flossmoor Station’s Ore Gone IPA was wonderful as well.

Rock Bottom Orland Park brought their experimental ShamRock Stout.  Looking at the name, I was hoping it was a take on the delicious Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s.  They didn’t disappoint!!  This mint stout was delicious and would probably make a damn fine beer float.

Overall this was a fantastic event, especially since this was the first year that they split into two sessions.  I would certainly say this was a success because the crowd was much more maneuverable than years past.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience so many great craft beers.  Don’t miss it next year!!