One of the best beer articles I’ve read in a while appeared in the most unlikely source – The New Yorker.
“A better brew: the rise of extreme beer” by Burkhard Bilger covers drunken elephants and the foundation of Dogfish Head brewery – and that’s just page one.
Sam Calagione was used to odd suggestions from customers. On Monday mornings, his brewery’s answering machine is sometimes full of rambling meditations from fans, in the grips of beery enlightenment at their local bar. But Gasparine’s idea was different. It spoke to Calagione’s own contradictory ambitions for Dogfish: to make beers so potent and unique that they couldn’t be judged by ordinary standards, and to win for them the prestige and premium prices usually reserved for fine wine. And so, a year later, Calagione sent Gasparine back to Paraguay with an order for forty-four hundred board feet of palo santo. “I told him to get a shitload,” he remembers. “We were going to build the biggest wooden barrel since the days of Prohibition.”
Glass Tip – Barrie Osborne, producer of Lord of the Rings and the most famous person to do a Wild about Wellington boutique beer tour