Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let There Be Good Beer

Originally uploaded by Troy
Dogfish Head's Sam Calagionne is featured in a long-form story in the November 24 issue of The New Yorker. In A Better Brew, author Burkhard Bilger examines the rapidly growing "craft brew" movement by tracing the steady rise of the Dogfish Head brewery to one of the top beer makers in the country.

Sam and Mariah Calagionne are Lewes folks. I see them at Lewes Planning Commission meetings sometimes and at other gatherings. Sam is one of our local celebrities; as The New Yorker notes, he has a knack for making a splash.
This is partly a matter of clever marketing and partly of a genuine creative temperament.
Early on, he rowed his first export of beer to New Jersey across the Delaware Bay himself. I remember hearing about that at the time. It made an impression.

Dogfish Head makes very good beer. Some of it is fairly odd; Sam will make beer out of almost anything, if he thinks it will be interesting. He is in a battle against sameness in beer.
“I’m not afraid to pay compliments where compliments are due. Anheuser-Busch’s quality—if quality is consistency—is second to none. But I’m frustrated that that one beer has been hammered down people’s throats. I mean, banana cream pie may be your favorite fucking food. But if you ate banana cream pie every day you would hate it, too.”
I hang out with other beer lovers. My family is a beer family; we drink it for taste and for pleasure. When I head to my parents' place for Thanksgiving next week, I'll bring about a case of various Dogfish head beers.

Many of my friends in the National States Geographic Information Council are also beer connoisseurs. This spring, when we held our regular mid-year gathering in Annapolis, I realized that I was perfectly positioned to bring great beer across the Chesapeake.

There's a lot you can say about beer. I admit that at one time I drank beer for the buzz. Now, it is for the taste and the companionship that can come with the sharing of that taste.

And beer is good food. It is made from grains and yeast. Like liquid bread. Here in southern Delaware we have a talented creator of this great food.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Languge Michael!

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