New Label Art – Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Brewery continues its association with Vienna, Austria’s Michael Hacker for the next addition to this year’s Off Centered Art Series, the brewery’s fall favorite Punkin Ale.

Michael has been cranking out some great labels for the Delaware brewery having contributed to previous Art Series beers Perfect Disguise and 75 Minute IPA and as always, the Punkin Ale label captures his unique style.

Sadly, I believe this will be the last label for the brewery from Michael as I believe they’ll be announcing a new artist sometime in the fall who will take over the honor in 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing who Dogfish Head decides to work with next, but there’s plenty of beer drinking time between now and then.

Below is Michael’s new label plus below that, the excellent label by 2018’s Off Centered Artist, Marq Spusta, simply because I love it.

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Fordham and Dominion Step out from the Shadow of AB InBev and Some Changes are Coming.

To me, it always felt like Fordham and Dominion were a bit like the Rodney Dangerfield of Delaware brewing – some people just refused to give them any respect.

Which was sad, because in every way one could measure a vibrant, community active brewery, F&D seemed to either fit the bill or go above and beyond. But unfortunately there was one blemish on their otherwise fine looking resume which some people simply could not get past. No, try to say or write anything nice about the myriad of things F&D do that can be presented in a positive light, and some people would quickly pull the shades closed and declare, “they’re owned by AB InBev!”

I have to be honest, I’d heard it or read it so many times, that chorus of disdain that was presented with so much damnation that one could literally hear the dismissive “whatever” snap at the end of the statement.

So many times I’d heard it in fact that I finally broke down and asked the brewery about their official standing with AB InBev that resulted in me having a nice chat with F&D President Jim Lutz, in which I admit, though I might not have found it as satisfying as I was hoping for with the percentage of stake that AB InBev held in the breweries, I did find comfort that the corporate giant was not involved with the day-to-day operations and decisions at the brewery.

But still people would cast stones and I feared the brewery, to some people’s eyes, would never step out of the shadow of being owned to an extent by a company that unfortunately caused the Brewer’s Association to label them as “non-craft”. But that was until recently.

Last week I posted some new labels from the brewery for Copperhead Ale and Gypsy Lager, pointing out changes in the designs and the branding. There was one other change as well, but one I did not want to comment on without first reaching out to the brewery to see if I could get some more clarification. This is the change that got me excited:

That’s the Brewer’s Association Independent Craft Brewer Seal, that can only be placed on the label of a beer made by a brewery that meets the BA’s definition of independent – a definition that until quite recently F&D did not meet.

So I reached out to F&D for some information concerning the seal and what that meant for the brewery and Vice President of Sales, Giuseppe Desilvio was nice enough to pass on some good news, “Yes, just [a] few months ago we signed our “divorce papers” from Anheuser-Busch InBev, so Fordham & Dominion is now 100% independently owned.”

That’s great news for the brewery and a win in general for Delaware beer scene. But, Giuseppe informed me that there will be a few other changes due to this new found independence.

“We just started a full package re-fresh, and all of our products moving forward will have the Independent Craft Seal on it and will come out under the “Fordham & Dominion” logo. We are merging our two portfolios and will no longer release beers under just “Fordham” or “Dominion””.  

That was interesting as the two portfolios were kept quite separate and indeed were quite distinctive from each other – especially the Pin-up series. How will those labels change? We’ll just have to wait and see. As for now, I’m just glad that the old retort, “Yeah, but they’re partially owned by Budweiser” can be laid to rest once and for all.

As always, I’d like to thank Giuseppe Desilvio for taking some of his valuable time to talk to me.


New Label Art – Fordham and Dominion Gypsy and Copperhead

When I saw these new labels from FoDo, my initial reaction was, “it’s kind of soon for a rebranding isn’t it?” But as I looked over the new artwork, I began to believe that there was possibly more here than initially meets the eye.

The repeating pattern of these labels really strike me as beer can labels and at 7 x 5.25 in dimension, puts them at around the right size for can art. Still, they could be bottle labels, I guess we’ll see, but being able to soon pick up some FoDo beers in cans would be a nice thing.

And yes, FoDo beers, because for years Fordham and Dominion have kept the two brands independent of each other when it comes to their respective beers, each brewery having its own distinct style. But, notice that on these labels both brands are predominantly displayed together, not just in one place, but in two, with one of them echoing the branding that the breweries use on their merchandise and marketing.

Keep an eye out!

Dogfish Head 2019 Release Calendar – What’s New, What’s Gone.

Tuesday I was surfing the interwebs looking for something to distract me from doing what I should have been doing when something from Dogfish Head popped up and reminded me that I should (once again) check to see if they had posted up their 2019 beer release calendar yet. Sadly, they had not, which caused me to wonder why considering we’re starting to chip away at the month of December.

But, about a hour later I was on Facebook (still not doing what I was supposed to be doing) when I saw that Sam was live going through next year’s releases with the calendar being posted on the website soon after. This could have been one of those great cosmic coincidences that occasionally happens (like when you think of a song you haven’t heard of for a long time and then it happens to be the next song to play on the radio) or it could be (as I like to think of it) a case of great minds thinking a like. Anyway, let’s see how it shapes up this year.

As with last year, the releases are broken up into three categories: Year Round, Art Series, and Occasionals. And, don’t be surprised if a few beers that aren’t listed pop up throughout the year, DFH can be sneaky that way.

Year round is pretty much the same as last year with only one notable change, Liquid Truth Serum graduates from last year’s Art Series. The beer is currently available out there in 16oz cans, but you can also expect to see it in 12oz cans soon.

Sadly, something had to apparently go, so Indian Brown has been dropped this year, so if you’re a fan get it while you can.

The Art Series still sees Dragons & Yums Yums and Punkin Ale anchor down the middle of the year while last year’s Romantic Chemistry has been replaced with The Perfect Disguise (Feb-Apr). Liquid Truth Serum, due to its promotion to year round will be replaced by 75 Minute IPA (Nov-2020J) which you can pick up in stores now even though it wasn’t on last year’s calendar (see, sneaky).

Occasionals? Well let’s just say if you’re a huge fan of any of the beers on last year’s list, you might be disappointed this year. Festina Peche, Mixed Media, Fruit-Full Fort, Pennsylvania Tuxedo, and Siracusa Nera all disappear. The only beer that survives the culling is 120 Minute IPA (Aug-Dec).

Replacing that troop is American Beauty (which in a total contradiction is “ocssionally” available from Jan to Dec next year), Raison D’Extra (Jan-Apr), World Wide Stout (May-Aug), and SuperEIGHT (Apr-Dec).

Also on the calendar are the Summer Variety pack (May-August), and the IPA for the Holidays pack (Nov-Dec).

Below is my annual, no thrills version of the calendar. You can find DFH’s snazzy version here.

Now go drink some beer!

New Label Art – Dogfish Head’s Super Eight Super Gose

Yeah, it will develop your film

Dogfish Head is gearing up to release another new beer, Super Eight which is listed by the brewery as a super-fruit gose style beer. Ok.

The 5.3%ABV beer boasts an impressive list of ingredients including Hawaiian Red sea salt, prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, and kiwi juices, and toasted quinoa. I’m not going to lie, it sounds like someone went wild at a Jamba Juice. Still, DFH has a habit of making this kind of thing work, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be a hit.

But in doing a little reading on the web, the ingredient list wasn’t the most interesting thing I found out about this beer. Buried in a Brewbound article about DFH’s overall market plans for the future I found the following paragraph:

To help bring the brand to life, Dogfish is partnering with Kodak to produce a documentary film chronicling an East Coast boat journey (from Key West to Maine) that Calagione and his son will take next year. And the beer itself – which is acidic and has a high vitamin C count — is capable of developing Super 8 film, which Calagione said will give the company an opportunity to market the brand with an “off-centered approach to storytelling.”

Chris Furnari , Brewbound

Using beer to develop film? That struck me as odd but as it turns out it is not unheard of as i was able to dig up a couple of examples on the web. Here is an article from someone who tried several different homemade developers, one of which was beer, that he states he got good results with, and here is a Youtube video from 2013 of a guy from Australia using beer. The things you learn.

Dogfish Head’s American Beauty to be released in Collector Cans.

Dogfish Head brewing will be releasing their Grateful Dead collaboration American Beauty in special collector cans. The pale ale, brewed with granola and honey will be released in 1 pint, 3.25 oz cans, which are the taller, thin cans or what I like to call the energy drink cans. I would expect these to possible show up in 4-packs and individually. No word on the release date yet, but I suspect you will have to wait until 2019 for this one.

 

American Beauty Can

Wilmington Brew Works Partners with Local Beer Historian to Place Grave Marker to Honor the “Father of Lager Beer” – Press Release

Wilmington Brew Works is hoping to raise funds to place a marker on the grave of Christian Kruauch, who Delaware beer historian John Medkeff Jr refers to as “one of America’s earliest lager beer brewers and perhaps the most significant figure in the state’s brewing history”. As always I’d like to thank John Fusco for forwarding me the information.

…………………Press Release Below……………….

 

WILMINGTON BREWERY UNVEILS CAMPAIGN TO COMMEMORATE PIONEER BREWER

Delaware’s Forgotten “Father of Lager Beer” Inspired an Industry

WBWWilmington, Delaware, November 6, 2018 – The gravesite of Delaware brewing pioneer Christian Krauch has been without a marker since his death 148 years ago. With the help of the public, Wilmington Brew Works is aiming to correct this historic oversight and honor the man known in his time as the state’s “Father of Lager Beer”.

The brewery has been working with Delaware beer historian John Medkeff Jr. and Krauch descendants on plans to place a granite monument upon Christian’s cemetery plot at the Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery. The organizers hope to raise the $2,700 needed for the memorial within the next several months.

According to Medkeff, author of Brewing in Delaware (Arcardia Publishing), Krauch was “one of America’s earliest lager beer brewers and perhaps the most significant figure in the state’s brewing history”. Krauch got his start brewing ale in his Philadelphia saloon after his arrival from Bavaria in 1838. Two years later, John Wagner brought the first lager yeast from Germany to Philadelphia. By 1850, Krauch relocated his saloon and brewing business to the burgeoning city of Wilmington and introduced lager beer to the First State. He was a respected elder of Wilmington’s German community and helped found the singing club that would later become the Delaware Saengerbund.

Though Krauch never expanded his business beyond his King Street saloon, he inspired and greatly influenced the generation of Wilmington brewers who followed him. With the popularity of and demand for lager beer dramatically increasing after the Civil War, Krauch disciples John Fehrenbach and Joseph Stoeckle helped transform what was once a modest occupation into one of Delaware’s most profitable industries.

Fate would not be as kind to Krauch. With his humble brewing operation eclipsed by Wilmington’s larger breweries, he died penniless in 1870 and was buried in an unmarked grave. Over time, Krauch and his contributions to Delaware brewing history have been largely forgotten.

Wilmington Brew Works recently paid homage to the pioneer brewer with a helles bock named “Krauch’s Creation”. The brewery is now advancing the tribute with the Christian Krauch Memorial Fund. The public is encouraged to help memorialize Krauch and celebrate Delaware’s rich brewing heritage by donating to the online campaign at www.plumfund.com/memorial-fund/krauch. In addition, Wilmington Brew Works will be donating a portion of proceeds from beer sales to the effort.

Media Contacts
John Fusco, Creative Director, Wilmington Brew Works, john@wilmingtonbrewworks.com, 302-507- 4100, www.WilmingtonBrewWorks.com
John Medkeff Jr., historian, delawarebeer@comcast.net, 302-981-5972, www.DelawareBeerHistory.com

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John Fusco
Creative Director
Wilmington Brew Works
Cell: 302-507-4100

3129 Miller Rd, Wilmington, DE
Taproom: 302-722-4828
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