Saturday, April 14, 2012
Dogfish Head Saison Du BUFF – Dogfish Head Craft Brewing Company – Milton, DE
Quick, name three of the most influential Breweries in North America? No, I’m not talking about Budweiser or Coors; I’m talking about quality breweries that put their craft ahead of the bottom line. Well, I guess the list can be long, but I think that we can all agree that tops on anybody’s list would be Dogfish Head, Stone and Victory. That said, what if these three fantastic breweries were to collaborate on one particular brew, and what if that brew consisted of a recipe that all three would replicate in their own corners of the craft brewing market? Well, the end result would be Saison Du BUFF. Imagine, One great recipe duplicated by the finest craft brewers that this great nation has to offer? Now this has got to be good. Here’s what the website has to say:
Saison du BUFF
This beer is collaboration between Dogfish Head (Milton, DE), Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, CA), and Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA).
The idea for this beer germinated way back in 2003 when the three guys (Sam from Dogfish, Greg from Stone and Bill from Victory) formed the BUFF alliance (Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor) - a noble endeavor with the goal to highlight the passion and camaraderie of the American craft brew movement.
So, BUFF didn't really do anything (beyond talk a lot of talk) until 2010 when the three brewers finally got together to jointly brew at beer at the Stone Brewery. Saison du BUFF was first brewed at Stone and then replicated at each of the other two breweries - same recipe, same ingredients, three different breweries throughout 2010. The brewers have a repeat performance planned for 2012!
Saison du BUFF is a 6.8% alc/vol Saison brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The beer is brewed three times, once at each brewery using the same recipe. The expected release dates for each brew are as follows:
Dogfish Head - March 2012 release
Victory Brewing - April 2012 release
Stone Brewing Co.- Late May 2012 release
Each brewery’s distribution partners will distribute the beers, once released. Please check with each brewery about availability of their Saison du BUFF.
Original Release Date:
The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when we opened Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the first state's first brewpub opened in the resort beach community of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The plan was to bring original beer, original food, and original music to the area.
Not only was Dogfish Head Delaware’s first brewpub, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. Our very first batch, Shelter Pale Ale, was brewed on a system, which essentially was three little kegs with propane burners underneath. Brewing 12–gallon batches of beer for a whole restaurant proved to be more than a full time job. When the doors to the pub first opened, we brewed three times a day, five days a week! The one benefit to brewing on such a small system was the ability to try out a myriad of different recipes. We quickly got bored brewing the same things over and over – that’s when we started adding all sorts of weird ingredients and getting kind of crazy with the beers!
The beer wasn't the brewpub’s only draw. The pub's menu centered on a wood-burning grill. We soon became known as the place to enjoy fresh grilled seafood, burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. The wood–burning grill imparts a unique flavor to everything on the menu, whether it's a hearty sandwich, a delicate piece of fish or our signature pizza dough.
With the popularity of the pub growing, it was quickly apparent that the 12–gallon brewery would not keep up with demand. We built a new brewery and underwent a thirty-fold expansion of the brew house!
The reputation of Dogfish Head ales quickly grew beyond Delaware's borders. Calls from Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and beyond poured in, as thirsty restaurant patrons demanded their favorite beach beer at home. We began bottling our Shelter Pale Ale in 1996 and just 1 year later we expanded again – this time we separated the packaging operation from the restaurant, and kept on brewing! By 1999, we were up to five year–round bottled brands in about a dozen states.
We outgrew our distributing brewery in a couple years and in the summer of 2002; we moved our entire production brewery up the road to Milton, Delaware into a 100,000 square foot converted cannery. Around the same time (just to keep thing interesting), we built a distillery on the second floor of our Rehoboth Beach brewpub, so we could make vodka, rum and gin.
Thanks to all our employees and every one of our customers, Dogfish Head continues to grow today! We’re now up to nearly 20 styles of beer that are sold in more than 25 states, and a half–dozen kinds of hand–crafted spirits... and we still have some ideas in the back of our collective heads.
If you haven’t had the chance to taste Dogfish Head... find a beer, track down one of our spirits – or visit one of our restaurants! You will see why international beer writer Michael Jackson calls Dogfish Head "America's most interesting and adventurous small brewery."
What's it like to work at Dogfish?
Well, we're a crazy, kooky bunch of somebody’s... but we work hard and get the job done. Within our work environment, we try to keep the day-to-day activities light and fun. Not everything has to be so serious. We are serious about our jobs and our company, don't get us wrong, but we still like to keep the group dynamics a bit crazy and off-centered.
Even though we use the term "off-centered" a lot, it really does describe our work philosophy. I mean, seriously, we have a pseudo-urinating statue in our brewery; we sell a belt buckle that doubles as a bottle opener and have our own bocce courts at our Milton brewery. Sound a bit unconventional to you? Yea, we thought so...
There are more than 100 of us now.... So lots of people all work together make Dogfish Head a huge success. Here's a little bit about a few of us ... to meet more, come for a visit!
Sam Calagione | Dogfish Head Founder & President
Sam Calagione is the founder and President of Dogfish Head. Sam got the brewing bug back in the early 1990s while working at a bar in NYC that featured microbrewed beer. After a number of homebrew batches, Sam put his English degree to the test while writing the brewpub business plan. Sam is the brainchild behind all the wacky things that happen at Dogfish Head. He's often on the road promoting Dogfish Head through beer, song, dance and words!
Mariah Calagione | Dogfish Head Vice President
Mariah is more the right-side of the brain inside the workings of Dogfish - she is also Sam's wife. After supporting her husband with an actual paycheck for the first few Dogfish years, Mariah came on board fully in 1997. Mariah works with our marketing, web, merchandise, tour and community teams.
Nick Benz | Chief Operating Officer
Nick is the Chief Operating Officer at Dogfish (geez, that sounds kinda official huh?!). He works with all our co-workers on a day-to-day basis to make sure things are moving in the right (meaning slightly off-centered) direction.
Cindy Dunson | Human Resources
Cindy is the lady to know if you are looking to become part of the team Dogfish Head. Cindy is our HR Director. She is always looking for fantastic, fun, hard-working folks to join our slightly off-centered team of co-workers. Whether you are looking for opportunities at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub/distillery or the Milton, DE brewery, she's involved!
Adam Lambert | Brewery VP of Sales
Adam Lambert is the Vice President of Sales at Dogfish Head - that means he works with our entire Sales team to make sure we get as much Dogfish beer to you as we possibly can! Adam joined our team in 2008.
Jason Weissberg | GM of Rehoboth Brewpub
Jason is the General Manager at the Rehoboth Beach brewpub/distillery. Jason and the great team at the pub are there to provide an off-centered, tasty time when you come by and visit.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats take pride in partnering with local nonprofit organizations through donations of our great beer, brewpub gift certificates and offcentered Dogfish merchandise. Our goal in any Beer & Benevolence partnership is to help you achieve your goal of making a substantive difference in our community.
Some of our Beer & Benevolence initiatives are things we work to make happen right here in coastal Delaware. Our biggest effort of the year is our Dogfish Dash - a slightly off-centered 5 & 10K. Over the past few years, the Dogfish Dash has raised more than $80,000 for the Delaware chapter of The Nature Conservancy. In addition, we host Beer & Benevolence benefit nights at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub and create all sorts of other fun, worthwhile partnerships!
So this one had me a little intrigued. I mean a collaboration brew made with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…from three of the top Craft Breweries in North America? Wow…what a build up. The pour with The Buff was crystal clear, producing a nice tight head. There is a little carbonation here…but not much. The aroma that surrounds the brew is very flowery, and fresh. At first sip, you’re truly struck with how “Organic” this brew feels. You can taste the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme almost immediately…it’s very overpowering. Although the ABV is up there, you really can’t taste it. In the end, you get a very smooth drinking beer with The Buff. One downside though is how dry it finishes. You’ll be chasing down a glass of water pretty quickly. Overall though, this is one fine collaboration brew, which will have me looking forward to its other releases.
8/10 - A fine brew