"Everyone in Mahattan / is high hattin'," sang the lady in satin as I turned into the parking lot of the Finger Lakes Beverage Center, my local, in time for the beer tasting of the week. I tasted four varieties of Dogfish Head: three of their core brands (Raison d'Etre, Midas Touch, and Palo Santo Marron) as well as the seasonal Festina Peche (a smooth and tart wheat beer with a touch of peach). The latter was lovely as was the Midas Touch, which the brochure characterizes as "somewhere between wine and mead." Festina Peche would go down well on an extremely hot day in July.
The names of their brands intrigued me. They have "Bitches Brew" ("three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root"), which they expect you to drink while listening to Miles Davis, and "My Antonia" (a citrus inflected pilsner), which is ideally poured when in a Willa Cather frame of mind. The brewers (www.dogfish.com) are a literary bunch. One of my favorite quotations from Emerson (beginning "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist" and continuing with "Nothing is at last sacred but the integirty of your own mind") graces the back of their brochure.
Now people who know me know I favor cocktails made with gin, bourbon, rum, or anther hard lkiquor. I had planned to serve Plymouth gibsons tonight, or possibly daiquiries with Key West lime juice and Cruzon rum, in honor of summer, but it's chilly and gray in an Ithaca way and I guess I'll have to change my plan and drink, in a chilled stein, the Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, their brown ale, which "picks up caramel and vanilla complexities from the 10,000-gallon handmade wooden tanks it ages in." -- DL