Brewed in Delaware

Food-friendly beers from an “off-center” craft brewery.

Dogfish Head's main brewery in Milton, Delaware

Dogfish Head’s “off-center” brewery headquarters in Milton, Delaware

While other American craft brewers followed time-honored European beer-making criteria, Dogfish Head Brewery founder Sam Calagione crafted his beers based on global cuisine, cult films, prehistoric pottery, music, 18th century books, and more. During a recent visit to his Delaware headquarters (the state’s first legal post-Prohibition brewery), Sam told us more about his innovative brewery and why he still loves his job.

“We build our beers on what beer lovers are thirsty for.”

 

—Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head founder and brewmaster

Keeping an off-center balance

Dogfish Head Brewery got its start as America’s smallest commercial brewery in 1995. It’s become the country’s 13th largest craft brewery by staying true to its self-proclaimed “off-center” philosophy. “We weren’t just the smallest brewery,” says Sam Calagione, founder and brewmaster. “We were the first committed to using culinary ingredients like fruit or spices. That’s not unique in the craft beer world now, but at that time, it wasn’t considered cool. We were considered more heretics and weirdos than pioneers.”

 

Fire pit focus groups

“Customer feedback has always been part of our creative process,” says Sam. “We’re really a creative collective first and a business second! We’ve loved telling our story face-to-face with beer lovers and beer professionals over the years, preferably around a fire pit, beer in hand,” says Sam. “We build our beers on what beer lovers are thirsty for.”

It’s all about the food

Developing beers to complement specific dishes on their on-site brewpub menu means Dogfish Head brews are incredibly food-friendly. It’s also why teaming with Wegmans is a natural. “Wegmans is a great partner,” Sam says. “We share a passion for pairing great beers and food. It warms my heart that so many Wegmans customers have joined Dogfish Head on our off-center journey!”

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