© Justine Sterling
Always pushing beer boundaries with styles like the Raison d’Etre made with beet sugar and raisins and the grape must-infused Sixty-One, Dogfish Head is making a garlic beer. Made in collaboration with Eataly’s Bierreria Brothers (in which Dogfish Head has been a partner since its inception), the Garlic Breadth is a porter-style beer brewed with chopped cloves of funky, fermented black garlic from Obis One farms in Pennsville, New Jersey. The unusual ale is the newest addition to Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales line, a series of beers inspired by ancient styles of beer that includes the Midas Touch made with ingredients found in 2,700-year-old drinking vessels and the Birra Etrusca Bronze made from a 2,800-year-old recipe. The Garlic Breadth—not named for garlicky breath but because garlic is added throughout the breadth of the brewing process—was inspired by the ancient symbol for beer, which also meant bread. Founder Sam Calagione wanted to pay homage to that concept by making a drink that was both food and beer.
F&W tried the seasonal fall beer this week at Eataly in New York and found it to be a dark and delicious, perfect-for-autumn sipper with just a hint of rich and roasted garlic flavors on the nose and at the finish. While the garlic is subtle, Calagione assured us, “you’ll be able to taste it if you have two pints.” The brew is ideal for fall dishes like roasted mushrooms or earthy stews, but is friendly enough to be drunk on its own. It is currently only available on draft at the Dogfish Head brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, but will be available at La Birreria in New York in late October and at Chicago’s Eataly not long after.
We were so pleasantly surprised at how good garlic beer could be, that we’ve come up with a list of some potential strangely flavored beer ideas that could turn out to be great.
Ironic Beer from Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn Brewery has been a Williamsburg stalwart since long before the neighborhood garnered its hipster paradise status. And while many of its beers pay homage to the city (the Brooklyn Pennant Ale ’55 is named for the 1995 World Champion Brooklyn Dodgers), there is no beer that directly nods to the neighborhood’s core population: hipsters. We suggest the Brooklyn Ironic: craft beer flavored with PBR. It would be meta; it would be strange; but if anyone can do something great with it, it’s Brooklyn brewmaster and author of The Oxford Companion to Beer, Garrett Oliver.
Doughnut Beer from Founders
Known for their beers made with coffee like the Breakfast Stout and the limited edition Frangelic Mountain Brown brewed with hazelnut coffee, the next obvious step for Founders is a coffee beer’s best friend: doughnut-flavored beer. We’re thinking a yeasty brew with a touch of chocolate. The perfect pairing, of course, would be coffee cake.
Zatarain’s Beer from Abita
Zatarain’s crab boil spice mix is a quintessential concentration of Cajun flavor. It’s a spicy, salty and zesty mix of salt, cayenne, lemon, black pepper and paprika. While spicy beers brewed with hot peppers like jalapeños already exist, there isn’t a beer out there that is infused with the flavors of a crawfish boil. The only producer worthy of such a task is New Orleans’s preeminent brewery, Abita.