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Photo TR: Dogfish Head Brewery Tour


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The Jaycees' 2008 day trip series continued today with a tour of the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware. If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, are a fan of micro-brews or have ever seen the movie version of "Reno 911," you've heard of Dogfish Head.

 

Basically, if Ben and Jerry had opened a brewery instead of an ice creamery, this would have been it. The entire business seems laid-back and quirky--and extraordinarily friendly. We were late for the tour (MapQuest sucks--'nuff said), which left 20 minutes before we arrived. We explained our situation to the guy behind the counter who said we wouldn't be able to see the bottling area, but otherwise, he would be happy to take us on our own private tour!

 

Apparently the guys on "Orange County Choppers" are fans, as well. When one of our party told the tour guide she thought she recognized him from a Discovery Channel show on the history of beer, he told us that he'd actually been filmed a number of times not only for that, but for a pilot that would be a reality show about working in a brewery. The production company found out about Dogfish Head through the Orange County guys.

 

Anyway, enough idle words. On to the photos!

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Of course, my Dogfish Head-battered fish and chips turned some heads, as well. You can't tell here, but that's three HUGE fish fillets on the plate! I still have one in my refrigerator.

 

Thanks for reading!

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We were all envious of Brian's bacon cheeseburger.

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The calamari with Old Bay seasoning and jalapenos was out of this world! That would be soy sauce on the left, cocktail sauce on the right.

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After the tour we headed down the road to Rehoboth Beach for some tax-free dinner at the brew pub where Dogfish Head got its start.

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A few for the road....

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Apparently our good friends with the Delmarva Shorebirds Class A baseball team (Baltimore Orioles affiliate) were at the brewery, as well, though we didn't see any of them there.

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Dogfish Head had a number of random signs scattered throughout its tasting area/gift shop. If you've never been to Punkin' Chunkin', you don't know what you're missing! Basically, the weekend after Halloween each year people gather in a big field in Delaware to see who can shoot pumpkins the farthest from cannons and throw them the farthest from catapults. Honest!

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Even Paul Bunyan likes Dogfish Head! We got to sample four different products.

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And me! Cheers!

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As are Mike and Shannon!

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Angela and Brian are happy!

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At the end of our private tour, we met up with the people from the real tour. Time for beer tasting!

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This is where the magic happens! If by "magic" you mean "hops and yeast storage."

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These huge wooden vats were the first ones constructed for beer aging since the 1920s, our tour guide told us. Dogfish Head ages its beers anywhere from one to three months each.

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A small (really small) "museum" shows off some of the early equipment from the company's opening in 1995. I suspect it's only there because someone decided making signs was a lot easier than hauling it upstairs into the attic.

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And this is a truck for... some random reason. But it looks cool sitting in front of the tour entrance.

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These are some of the old vats. Pay no mind to them. They're tiny compared to what we're about to see.

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Welcome to Dogfish Head!

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Thanks, brilinjo! TPR was especially great for this trip because it allowed me to use some of the photos I couldn't post on our chapter's website for insurance reasons.

 

Our insurance policy has a clause that states none of the photos on our website can show any of our members holding or consuming alcoholic beverages unless it's for an event that falls under another organization's insurance coverage (like when the local county tourism office or chamber of commerce hires us to staff the beer wagons at their events). It's a little strange, but that's the extra "price" for low-cost non-profit insurance.

 

Needless to say, if the carefully cropped photos on our website are to be believed, we took a brewery tour and attended the free sampling session without ever touching or consuming a single drop of beer.

 

Don't believe those pictures!

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