It May Be In PA, But You Can Still Get Your Delaware On at Kennett Brewfest

Tomorrow, October 13th marks the 21st time that Kennett Brewfest will open its gates to the beer loving public. While many fine festivals have materialized during those 21 years (and yes, sadly some have ceased) Kennett has grown into what I consider the template for a successful beer festival.

From the food, to the music, to the sheer number of breweries, to even something as simple as having more than enough (free) water available, Kennett gets it right year after year. But what really raises the bar for this festival is its VIP session which it dubs the “connoisseur session”.

While other festivals VIP tickets get you into the event early, Kennett requests that the breweries participating in the connoisseur season bring something special, something unusual, or maybe even something rare, to pour during the one-and-a-half-hour period before the regular session begins.

To be honest, with in the neighborhood of 50 breweries (just about half of the total attending) pouring during this year’s connoisseur session, it is practically its own festival and this year, Delaware is nicely represented.

Below is an edited map for the connoisseur session highlighting the Delaware breweries that are participating this year, plus a quick rundown of what they will be pouring. Click here for a full map from the festival’s website, and if you were unfortunately not lucky enough to get connoisseur tickets this year (although they didn’t sell out nearly as fast this year as they have in the past) but you have tickets to the regular session, you can find that map here.

KBF 2018

If you’d like to print out the Delaware Map, simply click here, right click on the image and select view image. Then print from your browser, or you can copy the image or save it and print it from you favorite graphics program.

Here’s what these Delaware breweries are planning on pouring at the connoisseur session (notice: plans change last minute and so sometimes do the offerings, so don’t take this list as written in stone). These breweries will also be pouring in the regular session (again, subject to change) along with fellow Delaware representatives Wilmington Brew Works, Twin Lakes, Dogfish Head (Seaquench, Liquid Truth Serum), and Dewpoint.

Argilla Brewing: Tent 113 – Will be bringing their Dregs of the Earth, a barrel aged sour which currently rates a 3.83/5 on Untappd.

Bellfonte Brewing: Tent 111 – Will be bringing their Claymonster, which has been described as “One Helluva BIG Dark Strong Belgian Ale!” (10.2%ABV). With nearly 100 check ins on Untapped, Claymonster has a rating of 3.8/5.

Brick Works: Tent 124 – Will be pouring their Love Vigilante Biere De Garde, a recent offering from the brewery with the beer being added to Untappd as recently as September. It doesn’t have many ratings yet, but sits at a respectable 3.6/5.

MIspillion River: Tent 123 – No word yet on what MR will be bring to the festival, but if the past is any indication, we shouldn’t be disappointed.

Rebel Seed Cidery: Tent 83 – Hey, cider is more than welcome at a beerfest, and if you’re the type that can’t get enough pumpkin in your diet this time of year the fine folks from Marydel have you covered with their Pumpkin cider (3.73/5).

2SP Brewing: Tent 90: – OK, I know, Aston PA. but come on…we still consider Mike and the gang as family, right? The guys will be pouring two beers: Uísque Fumaça, a smoked beer (4.09/5) and their recently brewed High Strangeness, a session IPA (3.69/5).

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New Label Art – Dogfish Head’s Dragons & YumYums

Dogfish Head must have their artists working overtime. Here’s another label from the brewery, although this time it’s a revision of the already existing Dragons & YumYums.

For those who haven’t caught this one on the shelf yet, here’s what the brewery initially had to say about this Flaming Lips inspired beer:

An explosion of fruit in every sip, Dragons & YumYums is an intensely tropical – yet subtlety bitter – pale ale brewed with a combination of dragon fruit, yumberry, passionfruit, pear juice and black carrot juice. Clocking in at 6.5% ABV and 25 IBU, Dragons & YumYums is a first-of-its-kind beer and vinyl collaboration with American rock icons, The Flaming Lips.

The new label keeps the vibe of the original by Marq Spusta (I don’t know if he supplied the artwork for the new one) but almost has a more candy wrapper feel to it with its more whimsical themes and cartoon like characterizations. It almost wouldn’t surprise me if it had “Taste the Rainbow®” typed at the bottom.

The new Dragons and Yumyums label (top) and the original one (below):

New Dragons and Yum Yums

 

New Label Art – Dogfish Head’s Wet Hop American Summer

Wow, Dogfish Head has been busy lately. Back around September, the brewery announced a new series of beers coming out as special Milton brewery only releases.

The new series “Wooden…It Be Nice” is a salute to wood aged, wild ales, something that not only was of interest to the brewery, but that they also had some experience with:

 “About fifteen years ago, we first started experimenting with sours, beginning with Festina Lente – a peach wild ale that won us a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup the first year it was produced – then went on to produce SeaQuench Ale which is currently the top selling sour in America,” says Dogfish founder & CEO Sam Calagione. “Now, we’re amplifying our wild beer program with ‘Wooden … it be nice!,’ as it’s another step forward in our journey and evolution of goodness incorporating everything from herbs and spices, to local fruits, and of course, bringing it all together in wood.” (From Dogfish Head’s blog)

The program started releasing back in September with KnottyBits, a wild ale (8.2%ABV) aged for a year with Brettanomyces and then racked onto several hundred pounds of sweet and sour cherries and locally sourced rhubarb from Fifer Orchards.

Now it’s time for the next in the series as November brings Wet Hop American Summer, a farmhouse ale (7.75%ABV) aged in Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces before being introduced to wet (freshly harvested) whole leaf Citra hops.

WHAS

Look for the third release Eastern Seaboard, a wild ale (8%ABV) some time in December. The beer sat on blackberries and beach plums after ageing over a year in wine barrels.

New Label Art – Dogfish Head’s The Perfect Disguise

New label art (and this time I mean that literally), for the next installment of Dogfish Head’s Off-Centered Art Series. The beer is The Perfect Disguise, an 8%ABV double dry-hopped IPA, and the artist is Vienna, Austria’s Michael Hacker who is no stranger to DFH, having provided the art work for their 2017 Record Store Day.

I think the label certainly captures Michael’s style – his work seems full of heads opening up and things popping out of them, usually brains that seem to have the desire to escape, which is probably best illustrated by the rabbit in his Cardiff, Wales, Blink 182 concert poster.

The Perfect Disguise will be released in 12oz bottles. I would suspect this might be part of their IPA holiday pack, but as an entry in the off-centered art series, I wouldn’t be surprised if this has its own stand alone release.

The Perfect Disguise

Below is Michael’s art work from the 2017 record store day. While the animal in the chair with the fish album over its face was used on the posters, this expanded version was painted on the side of the truck used as a mobile gallery that visited 29 cities last year. The gallery was part of a collaboration between Dogfish Head and Crosley turntables.

mk

Michael also supplied the artwork for DFH’s up coming 75 minute IPA release:

75 IPA

New Label Art – Blue Earl Brewing’s Clockwork Orange

Blue Earl has some new label art coming down the road which is sure to make you and your droogs happy. Clockwork Orange is a 4.6%ABV pale ale that is brewed with “the essence of freshly-squeezed orange juice and sweet orange peel, then dry-hopped with Cascade and Lemondrop producing a delightfully refreshing citrus aroma and flavor” and will be packaged in 12oz bottles.

So, no need for you to travel down to the Korova Milk Bar for some Moloko Plus. Simply pick up some Clockwork Orange – and leave the ultra-violence to the movie.

Clockwork orange

New Label Art – Dogfish Head American Beauty

– Now with one more bear!

Dogfish Head has a new 12oz bottle label for its music series, Grateful Dead collaboration American Beauty.  American Beauty is now listed as a pale ale brewed with granola and honey and clocks in at 6.5%ABV which is down quite a bit from the 9.0%ABV it contained when it was classified as an imperial pale ale during its large bottle run.

American Beauty was not on DFH’s release list this year, so I suspect this might be another addition their end of the year holiday IPA pack (although yes, the label says pale ale), the other being 75 minute which, like American Beauty, also recently got a new 12oz label while not having a slot on the release calendar.

American Beauty

New Label Art – Mispillion River The Nor’Easter

– New England Rye IPA

New out of Mispillion RiverThe Nor’easter, a New England Rye IPA clocking in at 7.5%ABV. I love the artwork on this one.

“Legends tell of an ancient storm bird from the North who brought wind, lightning, and destruction. Because I’m running out of sentences, you should know that she’s a BAMF who does what she wants. She has returned, bring clouds to Nor’ Easter, a 7.5% ABV New England Rye IPA.”

 

Noreaster