Photography & travel tips from an award-winning photographer, educator & wanderlust

Dogfish Head Brewery visit

No trip to Delaware, USA is complete without visiting the bad-ass brewery that is world famous and is even importing to my home away from home (South Korea) – Dogfish Head!

Why Dogfish Head? The founder, Sam Calagione, started brewing at home (like my hubby) on just a 10 gallon brewing system. Seeing his immense operation now is very inspiring to what is possible for someone with a dream. He is a leader and innovator, always experimenting with funky ingredients in a variety of unique ways. They even give it a name:

off-centered goodness for off-centered people. 

Before you find yourself driving to Milton, DE, don’t forget to check the visiting hours of their Tasting Room.  We happened to be there on a Friday and were happy to see a Farmer’s Market setting up right after we finished our tour (win, win!). Despite it being a week day, the crowds were still heavy, especially around the bar area ( figures…). Since we missed the next tour, we had to wait only about 45 min-1 hr for the next tour to commence.

Nobody was complaining, since you get 4 free samplers just for coming to the tasting room (love when that happens!). You jot down what you desire on a card provided and hand it over to the bartender. First two beers were already chosen for us – Festina Peche and 60 Min IPA. I also went with Biere de Provence (8.3% Saison) and Burton Baton (10% Oak Aged Imperial IPA). Man, were they strong, but that’s not surprising with Dogfish Head’s Average ABV being 9% !

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Click on the image to see a larger version.

Walk around the property, take in the massiveness of it all. Get inspired by random quotes on buildings or eat a beer-infused food from a food truck nearby.

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We got our hands on a Reuben Sandwich and an IBA Vegetarian Chilly. While the sandwich was just alright, the chilly was dynamite!allaponomareva-dogfishhead-tour-dekaware

Be sure you’re familiar with tour’s info on safety, policy, etc.  In all the commotion you may not hear that you need to wear goggles and closed shoes (both are provided) and No Beers allowed on tour (my ears decided to skip that information, while I gulped down a very strong brewsky in 2 seconds).  By the way, they also have a more in-depth-tour available, if after the free one you just need to see that Steampunk Treehouse, the Distillery, try something from Sam’s stash and more. More info on “From grain to glass” tour here. 

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With Dogfish Head Brewery being the biggest brewery I’ve ever visited, making 175,000 barrels of beer a year, I was impressed by the size of the entire operation. Just look at the size of those brewing tanks (it would take a 10 gallon system 3 years to make as much as this one tank makes in a day – thank you for the information tour guide!).allaponomareva-dogfishhead-tour-dekaware

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Did you know that Dogfish Head grew by 400% between 2003 and 2006?

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The free tour was very informative with lots and lots of information, which is hard to take in and retain after 4 glasses of highly alcoholic beer. With food in our bellies, we prevailed!

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At the end of the tour we walked past a new venture for Dogfish Head – a distillery! Who knew you can make vodka and gin out of beer…I didn’t. At the gift shop were were able to try the three varieties that they now offer. While not my favorite alcohol – the Gin, especially, was very smooth. I liked the enthusiasm and easy going-ness of the sales girls and the presentation of the cases.

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Oh, and if having a distillery wasn’t enough, Dogfish Head is also kicking ass and taking names, while running a Dogfish Inn in Lewis, DE and multiple restaurants (find the closest location here). Wow, this brand is definitely trying to get it’s fingers in various ventures, all the while brewing some mean, mean brews. So, if you’re in or around the First State, hop on over to Milton and while you’re driving through it, enjoy it’s small town charm.

Dogfish Head Brewery

6 Village Center Blvd, Milton, DE 19968, USA

 302-684-1000

 

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What is your favorite DFH beer? Have you experienced this tour/location yet? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Do you like reading/tasting/making beer? Jump on over here to keep the party rolling. Or read more about beer scenes in Smyrna, DE, Dover, DE or Georgetown, DE.

Not from around here, how about Breweries in Montana or Korea.  Cheers!

8 comments

  1. I went on one brewery tour back in downtown Toronto and it was a blast! We had so much fun and drank with the brewmaster afterward. Breweries are so much less stuffy than wineries. I wish I could find a winery with the same vibe. Where do they serve this beer in SoKo?

  2. I’d kill for a Reuben and a good beer right now!! The only brewery tour I’ve been on was the Guinness one in Dublin, and it was fantastic! I’ll keep this in mind if I every get my butt to Delaware 🙂

  3. Our family motto involves beer, so I would love to explore this brewery. The beer sounds uber potent and the tour sounds very informative, had no idea you could make him from beer! Wowzers!

  4. How many breweries did you tour while on vacay? Hahahaha… And this one has 4 free samples! Who knows, as enthusiast your hubby might have his own brewery someday. He has planted the dream and you have started to explore:-).

  5. I didn’t know Dogfish was from Delaware??? Yea seriously the most well-known craft brewer in the States! Loved they have a beer-infused eatery of American comfort food! Reubens are so yum… am craving one right now after reading this! And 400% growth rate?!? What?! That’s absurd!

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