Dogfish Head 2020 Beer Release Calendar

– Every Year They’re Shufflin’

Greetings fellow beer lovers! It’s 2020, so it’s time to wind up the new year and get ready for all the new beers that are sure to be coming. To get the ball rolling (and your anticipation growing) let’s look at the beer release calendar for Dogfish Head and see what is staying, what’s been added and (sadly) what you will possibly be doing without in 2020.

As usual, the calendar (which was released back in December, but I’m behind as always) is split into three categories: Year round, art series, and occasional. And, as has been the case in past years – the list is prone to some shuffling.

First, let’s look at the year round. SeaQuench, 60 minute, 90 minute, Liquid Truth Serum, Midas Touch and Palo Santo Marron remain on the list which should be no surprise to anyone. This year they’re joined by relative new comer Slighty Might and the rebranded (and reformulated?) American Beauty Hazy Ripple IPA; as well as SuperEIGHT which graduates from last year’s occasional ranks.

Sadly, that means if you were fans of the beers Flesh and Blood IPA, Lupa-Luau IPA, Burton Baton, and Wood-Aged Bitches Brew you’re out of luck as these beers did not make this year’s list. Don’t give up hope though, DFH often drops beers throughout the year that aren’t on their release calendar (the calendar tends to be more for national distribution) so there’s still hope that if one of these beers is a favorite of yours, you still have a chance to come across it on a store shelf or beer bar in 2020.

So now let’s jump over the Art Series temporarily and go to the Occasional list which not not only sees some changes, but also some loses. Try just about everything. The only beer to survive this grand culling (other than SuperEIGHT mentioned above) is 120 Minute which will be released from Sept to Nov. Everything else that appeared on this list last year: Regular American Beauty, Raison D’Extra and World Wide Stout are gone. Not even the summer and winter variety packs are listed. So what’s taking up all that space?

Well, shockingly not a lot. Two beers make the list, Vibrant P’Ocean which I wrote about here, being release from Feb through May. The second is Costumes and Karaoke which the brewery describes as ” A complex oat cream ale brewed with turmeric, ginger, yellow cardamom, cinnamon and smoked star anise, and aged on Madagascar vanilla beans.” which will be released Nov through Dec.

OK, so now we back track to the Art Series which, as normal, includes four beers and this year includes two changes. Perfect Disguise keeps the “spring” slot again (remember, I use these seasonal descriptions loosely) and perennial favorite Punkin Ale stays firmly planted in the fall. Dragons and Yum-Yums gets replaced by Sun-Day-Feels in the summer slot and (sadly for me because I love this beer) 75 Minute loses its winter slot to Campfire Amplifier. So who are these new additions to the Art Series that will feature Dan Stile’s art work on their labels?

Well Sun-Day-Feels is described by the brewery as “a brunch-inspired, beermosa sour brewed with puréed peaches, wine grapes and a medley of citrus fruit.”, and Campfire Amplifier is given the description, “a s’mores-centric milk stout brewed with marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate and a touch of smoked malt. ” I will definitely be looking forward to trying this one.

And that’s the list as it stands for now. But as I’ve said, you never know with DFH what might pop up on the shelves at any given time. Either way, there is plenty to look forward to from DFH in the coming year.

You can read all about the 2020 planned beers from DFH here.

You can see DFH’s version of their 2020 beer release calendar here.

Peace.

Brew Review – Shmaltz Brewing Co’s Coney Island Human Blockhead

Shmaltz Brewing's Human Blockhead IAB

So it’s a beautiful summer day and you find yourself on the boardwalk at Coney Island.  The smell of the water lingers lazily across the beach being broken every now and then by the alluring aroma from a near by venue of a Nathan’s hot dog cooking.  And if you’re going to eat a Coney Island hot dog, what would be better than a Coney Island beer to go with it?

The Shmaltz Brewing Co (He’Brew) has you covered.  Their Coney Island series pays homage to its well know freak show attraction, each beer being named after a noted performer in the show.  In this review I taste their Human Blockhead Imperial American Bock.

Them : Their Human Blockhead is not a simple beer.  The grain bill consists of specialty 2-Row, Munich, Vienna, Pale Crystal and Crystal malts.  Also added to the mash are wheat, rye, rye ale and flaked oaks.  This is a well constructed beer.   The hops are not skimpy either.  Added to the kettle are Warrior, Tettenang, Crystal, Liberty and Cascade.  At 10% ABV it’s probably a little too strong for a ballpark beer.  It was awarded Grand Champion Alternative Lager at the World Beer Championship.

Me : Human Blockhead pours with a medium head that reduces down to a fine, glass clinging lace.  In my tasting glass the color graduates from a light copper to a dark, almost brownish hue.  The noise contains a nice combination of deep malt with some twinges of caramel.  In the mouth, the beers starts malty in the front and transitions into a crisp bitter finish in the back.   The aftertaste is a slight lingering malt.  All this balances the 10.0% alcohol pretty well.  It has all the malt backbone for a Bock (minus the -ator suffix that most Bock beers get) and the hops and alcohol to earn it’s Imperial name (which I’ll address in an up coming post).

An awesome aspect of the Coney Island brands is the fact that proceeds from them help Coney Island USA(TM), a none profit organization dedicated to helping keep Coney Island, well, Coney Island.

A Nathan’s dog with onions, a Coney Island beer AND I get to help a cause?  I’ll sign  up for that any day.

Have you tried any of the Coney Island beers?  What did you think of them?