[Author’s Note: August is the Dog(fish Head) days of Summer here at The Dogs of Beer. All throughout the month I’ll be looking exclusively at the beers from DFH.]
As one of the “big boys” in the craft beer world, it should be no surprise to anyone that DFH has on occasion teamed up with like minded breweries to produce that super group of the beer world – the collaboration beer. Whether you love them or just think they’re beer buzz hype, everyone is collaborating now and DFH is not slight on dance partners. Here’s a short list of beers they’ve already produced with other breweries:
Wells & Young Brewery – DNA UK
Maui Brewing Company – Liquid Breadfruit
The Bruery – Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Gradually, Quietly, Steadily)
Portsmouth Brewery – Fru-it Gru-it
3 Floyds Brewing – Poppa Skull
Epic Beer of Auckland, New Zealand – Portamarillo
Norrebro Bryghus Brewery – Old Odense Ale
Allagash Brewing, Avery Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Repoterroir
Perhaps one of their favorite (or at least their most consistent) collaborators over the years has been Sierra Nevada. First it was the Life and Limb, and Limb and Life beers, and then in February of this year, the two breweries released the second in the series, Rhizing Bines an Imperial IPA which promised to be an East-Coast meets West-Coast IPA. Did they succeed? Let’s Taste.
THEM: This beer is actually a nice combination of techniques that both breweries are known for. FIrst, DFH used Bravo hops utilizing their continuous hopping process. Then, SN had a Torpedo system that was destined for their new brewery in North Carolina detoured to make a quick stop in Milford and used it to dry hop RB with a hop simply know as Hop 644. RB uses a red winter wheat from the East coast and SN’s estate-grown caramel malt in the mash along with an undisclosed base malt which mostly likely is just ordinary 2-row pale. It is fermented with two yeast strains, SN’s “Chico” yeast and DFH’s “Doggie” yeast to an ABV of 8% and bittered to 70 IBUs.
ME: This beer showcases how sometimes in the collaboration world, the whole is not always bigger than the sum of the two parts. Don’t get me wrong this is a tack-on and respectable IPA, but there’s nothing really new here. Nice caramel in the nose along with some citrus hops, and a slight touch of pine. That creamy continuously hopped taste is prevalent in the beer along with a hop smack that just seems to scream Sierra Nevada. The malt also carries over into the taste, along with a hint of breadiness, touch of spice and of course citrus. But that’s kind of it. I guess I was hoping there would be something about this beer that would wow me. You know, like hearing a symphony wows you compared to just hearing each instrument play its part individually. But as I always say, review the beer for what it is not what you want it to be. And what it is from a conceptual standpoint, is a beer that delivers exactly what’s promised, a tasty representation of ingredients and techniques from two of the major players in the craft beer game. So that being said, this is a very good IPA. and a very pretty beer in the glass with it’s reddish tinge and long lasting white, frothy head. If you want a bench mark beer on how I like my pale ales/IPAs carbonated, I’d hold up this beer with its lively stream of bubbles and awesome lacing. Although the beer doesn’t strive to be much more than what it is, what it is is still pretty damn good.
I’m shouting out to my IPA loving readers here and giving this one a CASE. Once you get past all the analytic stupidity that comes from beer reviewers on “how we wish this” and “how we want that”, you’re left with a fine drinking beer that I think most would put up there with the other IPAs that come out of DFH. If you like DFH and SN, then you’ll most likely swoon for Rhizing Bines.
Time for another beer…