Several weeks ago we decided to attend a Dogfish Head beer tasting at Morton’s Steakhouse, located in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Blake, a Fresh Beer Inc Rep, craft beer Jedi-In-Training and an all around highly evolved individual, hosted the event. Having lived in Delaware, we were already very aware of Dogfish and had been lucky enough to visit both their Rehoboth Beach Brew Pub and the Milton brewery.
We were running a little late to the event, but once we arrived we were greeted warmly at the door by Valerie, the event’s coordinator. We were issued wine glasses (what, no mugs?) and our Dogfish Head tasting was underway.
We started off with the Midas Touch (9.0% ABV). Dogfish uses an ancient Turkish recipe that is apparently the oldest-known fermented beverage in the world. We picked up a definite sweetness with hints of honey along with a slight earthiness. Notes from Dogfish: Pair with Pan-Asian dishes, risotto, curries, baked fish and chicken. Wine Comparison: Sauterne and Champagne
Next up was the Raison D’Etre (8.0% ABV). This is a Belgian-style Brown Ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast. There is a slight sweetness again but many more layers in this complex beer. Notes from Dogfish: Pair with wood-grilled steak.
Moving on to the 90-Minute IPA (9.0% ABV) we were definitely starting to appreciate the Dogfish way.
This beer was hoppy but not as much as you would think. It had a nice balance of the bitter andsmooth. Notes from Dogfish: This Imperial IPA was brewed to be savored from a snifter per Dogfish’s website. A big beer with a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate. 90 Minute IPA was our first continually-hopped beer, which is a method of hopping that allows for a pungent, but not crushing hop flavor.
The final beer for the evening (and our favorite) was the Palo Santo Marron (12% ABV). We definitely picked up caramel and vanilla in this brown ale. Notes from Dogfish: An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. This beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means “holy tree” and it’s wood has been used in South American wine-making communities. Wine Comparison: Oak Aged Cabernet Food Pairing Recommendations: Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar
Morton’s pass around appetizers to accompany the event were plentiful and very tasty. We dined on several mini flat bread pizzas topped with Salmon; grilled lamb chops, tenderloin sandwiches, four beer friendly cheeses and tuna tartar served on thinly sliced cucumber. Also, a big shout out goes to our new friend in the biz, Blake. He was very generous with the pours and offered a lot of background on each of the beers and shared a unique blending of the the Palo Santo and 90 Minute IPA.
Most, if not all, of the guests in attendance appreciated the beer 101, if not the beers themselves. At the end of the event we had a chance to talk more in detail about beers we enjoy with fellow enthusiasts. The extra post-event beer pours were much appreciated, too.
Our only “beef” with the event, and it’s a minor one, was how many glasses of unconsumed beer we saw sitting on the tables. I have no problem with leaving a half-empty mug of Bud or Coors (hell, I’d leave those full). I take umbrage at anyone who would leave a sip, swirl or swig of a fine craft beer like Dogfish Head behind. Are these people crazy? You can’t muster up the will power and stamina to finish even the tiniest bit of beer sitting at the bottom of your glass? That’s blasphemy in our house. This was a quaint event that had good food, great company and of course, outstanding craft beer.