I am sort of a purist. I like my meat with salt and pepper; I like my pancakes with syrup and butter only; and I like my beer with hops and barley. There are, however, a few instances in life where something comes along and knocks you on your ass. Mirco-brewery genius, and fellow Muhlenberg College Mule, Sam Calagione has created something special at Dogfish Head Brewery. For those of you who know beer and live in the greater Philadelphia/Wilmington, DE, Maryland area, I am preaching to the choir.
There are several traditional, but exquisite, ales crafted by Sam and Dogfish Head. His "60 Minute Ale" is the flagship. The 60 Minute name comes from the length of time the wort is boiled while hops are added. This long boil time accounts for the hoppy IPA taste. There is also a 90 Minute Ale and a famously potent 120 Minute Ale, which hits the ABV (alcohol by volume) of 18.0%. It is a real shot of life and a rare treat. Two and thats it.
But this is about an oldie but a goodie. The Dogfish Head Punkin (this is a link) pumpkin flavored ale is fantastic. It is everything you want in a specialty beer and nothing you don't. The pumpkin is subtly fused with a smooth full-bodied brown ale. There are clear hints of nutmeg and allspice, but I don't really taste the brown sugar. It pairs incredible well with a little chocolate. I never would have really thought of this, but I bought my wife some chocolates the other day, popped one in my mouth and opened one of these Punkin Ales. The cocoa really brought out the flavors of the beer.
All said and done, everything (well almost everything) Dogfish Head brewery creates works. There are a few low points, but nothing worth even listing because I think everyone is entitled to a bias-free taste-test. I suggest the 60 Minute Ale highly. For something more hoppy, go to the 90 Minute. If you are daring and want to spend the money, get a bottle of the 120 Minute Ale. For those of you within an hour of Wilmington, DE, it is worth while to go to Total Wine and buy by the bottle. (Sorry people in PA) Also try the FANTASTIC Aprihop Ale, it is a hoppy fruit ale that is really enjoyable.
Eat, Drink and Get Drunk.