Dogfish Head (Delaware) is the first brewery to market their craft beersin a completely new light. Never before has a brewery accomplished what Dogfish Head has just done and they may have just stumbled upon a new niche in craft beer and quite possibly begun an entirely new trend.
Back in June of 2010 Dogfish Head and Sony Legacy came together to make a collaboration, Bitches Brew, a tribute craft beer to Miles Davis and the 40th Anniversary of his album Bitches Brew. This releases was very limited and highly allocated and made its first debut on June 5th during SAVOR, an American Craft Beer and Food Experience. Shortly after it was bottled and released across the country. Bitches Brew is a 9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout that is definitely on the lighter side.
Dogfish Head also did a second collaboration with Sony Legacy, Hellhound On My Ale, a tribute craft beer to Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson has been said to have sold his soul in order to change the Blues scene forever. This beer takes the hellhounds off his heels and throws them into this lovely IPA. Hellhond On My Ale comes in at 10% ABV and 100 IBU’s.
Jump to today and there’s news of Dogfish Head and Columbia Records coming together to make another tribute craft beer; Faithful Ale. This one will be dedicated to Pearl Jam and their 20 years of success in the music biz. This is the last of the 2011 scheduled releases and was labeled “Brand X” as not give away the surprise.
Faithful Ale will be a Belgian Golden brewed with black currents and coming in at 7% ABV. Originally scheduled for release in November, which a lot of markets may not see this beer till then, but Dogfish Head says they will release this beer mid October along with a release of Bitches Brew and Hellhound On My Ale.
Dogfish Head also just got done working with Google in creating what I like to think as an “upgraded” version of Pangaea. Google came to Dogfish and asked if they would be interested in making a collaborative craft beer. Dogfish of course said yes and debuted this beer at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. They named it URKontinent.
URKontinent is a Belgian Dubbel that has been created using ingredients from around the entire world, similar to Pangaea, however the ingredients used were suggested and chosen by the Google staff from the entire world. You can checkout the video that shows you what ingredients are used, who picked em, and the entire brewing process here.
So what does this all mean? Dogfish Head is considered the most sought after craft beer on the planet. Everything they make sells out within days if not the day of release yet they do zero forms of advertising; or do they?
When I heard about Twisted Pines making their chili pepper beer, Ghost Face Killah, I joked that someone should contact Eminem and see if he’d be down to make a Golden Imperial Russian Stout. Blonde on the outside and well.. Stout on in the inside. It seems Dogfish Head had the same idea but with some different artists and companies.
With Dogfish Head partnering up with companies such as Google, Columbia Records, and Sony Legacy, what’s next? I don’t want you to take this the wrong way- I think it’s fucking fantastic in every way imaginable! For the first time in the history of craft beer people that don’t drink craft beer have a chance to be exposed to it and with huge backing from these companies.
The average American drinks Light American Lagers. Fact. Here’s an opportunity for them to step out of that little cubicle of comfort and try something amazing. Why would they do that? Because the craft beer is a representation of what they like. Whether it’s the music they listen to or the websites they visit. Here’s a chance for them to try something that they feel they can relate to when previously you either understood craft beer or you didn’t.
So while the small American craft brewery, such as Dogfish Head, might not do any advertising in terms of commercials or billboards, they have found a way to advertise to a boarder public much larger than the beer geeks of this world. Every bottle is an advertisement. They found the loop-hole – the glitch! I think in the coming years, five at most, you’ll start to see more and more breweries pairing up with more and more companies to get their name and the product out there.
I joked a few months back on Twitter that someone should make Twitter a beer. That reality might be coming sooner than anyone could imagine.