Brewers had to wear protective gear to make the new beer, called In Your Mace! 
dogfish head in your mace
Credit: Courtesy of Dogfish Head

Remember the days when Grapefruit IPAs seemed like a novel concept? Or a sriracha beer was a far out idea? The experimentation of the craft beer industry has led to an amazing assortment of ingredients from Count Chocula to Chick-fil-A, but just when it seems like everything has been done, some new crazy concoction comes out of the woodwork – like a beer brewed with the active ingredient in Mace Brand pepper spray.

“In Your Mace!” is the latest limited-release from Delaware’s Dogfish Head – and in all fairness, the brewery understands just how wild this Mace-laden stout sounds. That’s the point. It was specifically brewed for this year’s Extreme Beer Fest hosted by Beer Advocate in Boston this Friday and Saturday. As the name implies, only the most outrageous beers are allowed to showcase at the event – and for Dogfish Head, that meant spiking its offering at the event with an ingredient intended to literally incapacitate you.

“We’re always in search of unique, avant-garde, experimental beer ideas that push the boundaries of traditional brewing while still delivering rich aromas, flavor profiles and culinary ingredients that Dogfish beer fans count on and love,” said Sam Calagione, the brewery’s CEO and founder. “In Your Mace! is one of our most fun and personal partnerships to date and I’m super proud of this small-batch team-up with our friends at Mace Brand pepper spray. Any day we get to brew a beer wearing full body suits, face masks and respirators is a memorable day in the brewhouse.”

When Calagione says “friends,” he’s not just being polite. This collaboration came about during a conversation with his high school pal, Eric Crawford, who also happens to be the current Vice President of Sales at Mace Security International, Inc. The old friends came up with the idea while reminiscing over a few beers. “We haven’t had this much fun together since we flipped my F-150 pickup truck rushing to high school football practice in 1987,” Calagione told us.

As for the beer itself, it’s a coffee milk stout brewed with cinnamon verum chips from the Zanzibar Islands, milk sugars, coffee, chicory, and two types of “mace.” The first is mace spice, which is derived from nutmeg shells, and the second is oleoresin capsicum, a food grade version of chili oils that are the primary ingredient in Mace Brand pepper spray. “This smoky, moderately sweet stout gives off spicy nutmeg, anise and espresso aromas with a palette-warming chili spiced finish,” the brewery explains. “[The oleoresin capsicum] won’t burn your palette but still has noticeable heat. In its raw form, the pepper oils used in In Your Mace! are so extreme – the team needed to wear protection gear to brew with it!”

In Your Mace! will be pouring during all three Extreme Beer Fest sessions as well as at the Dogfish Head Tasting Room in Milton, Delaware. There will also be an extremely limited bottle run – just 200 bottles in total – which will be sold out of the taproom on February 17 at 11am.

Dogfish Head and Calagione have been active supporters of Beer Advocate and its Extreme Beer Fest. Last year, they teamed up to pen the book Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home.