As my love for craft beer strengthens, my longing for more information increases. The premier of the new hit TV show,
Brewmasters comes at the perfect time. Brewmasters is on the Discovery Channel Sundays at 7pm and Thursdays at 5pm. The show is a reality series highlighting the day-to-day operations of Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, Delaware.
The star of the show is founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, Sam Calagione. Sam started off as home brewer in his apartment in New York City and decided he wanted to start his own brewery. Now Dogfish Head is one of the largest craft brewers in America. Saying ‘large craft brewer’ is kind of like an oxymoron because craft beer only makes up 1% of the beer market in America of which Dogfish Head has to take their small piece of the pie.
Sam and Dogfish Head live by the motto “off-centered ales for off-centered people.” It is this motto that allows them to create fun, interesting, and innovative beers by thinking outside of the bottle. Sam is accompanied by his Bremaster, Floris and Head Brewer, Bryan. Sam uses their brewing expertise to help bring his crazy ideas back down to Earth to see if his ideas are actually possible to brew, whether it be on a small or large-scale.
The season started off with Dogfish Head making a special and limited edition brew for Sony’s re-release of Miles Davis’ classic album “Bitches Brew.” There is the obvious play off words with “brew” so it seemed like a great partnership. Sam and his team used the different traits from the music to craft a beer that mimicked the music. Bitches Brew is a dark beer made with the combination of an imperial stout and honey beer with gesho root. This combination is representative of the yin and yang/dark and light album cover.
The next episode Sam brings back an old idea of brewing Chicha. Chicha is a beer that is made by fermenting chewed up corn that is perfected by the ancient Peruvians. It may seem disgusting but any of the saliva is cooked off when boiled producing a low-alcoholic beer that has floral nodes that bring out the true flavor of the corn. This off-centered ale was so time intensive that he had all of his employees chewing/spitting corn like dip, while they worked just to make a small batch for his local brew pub in Rehoboth, DE.
The most recent episode was too-fold. Half of the episode focused in on a problem they had with one of their most famous and profitable beers, their 120 Minute IPA. Their 120 Minute IPA take three months to brew compared to the average ten days for most ales. With this length of time there is a lot of room for error and there was one. Something went wrong throughout the brewing process causing Sam to have to cancel and dump 20,000 gallons and over $500,000 worth of profits of one batch of their famous IPA.
The second half of the episode brings out Sam’s entrepreneurial side where he was approached by an eco-friendly surfboard company in Maine, called Grain. Grain hand-carves surf boards out of planks of cedar wood. They approached Sam to see if Dogfish Head would be able to use their scrap cedar to brew a beer. The inner stoner in Sam obviously accepted as he brewed his “Grain to Glass” beer for his local brew pub as well.
If you like beer, like to drink, or just appreciate good small business then this show is definitely for you. Sam lives the American dream everyday by doing what he loves by providing quality craft beer for people who appreciate trying something new. This was a shorter blog so as to leave you with a teaser and urge to watch because it really is a good show that is both educational and entertaining.