The old Bavarian beer purity law from 1516 called the Reinheitsgebot declares that beer shall only be made from malt, hops, and water. Nothing else. But rules, after all, are meant to be broken, especially in the food and beverage spheres.
Putting culinary ingredients in beer is practically the norm these days, but back in the ‘90s, the thought of putting things like apricots and raisins into a brown ale was akin to blasphemy. So, when the founder of Delaware’s Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Sam Calagione, started doing just that, a curious public of purists and flavor skeptics flocked to try his tongue-in-cheek beers like Aprihop and Raison D’Etre. Luckily for Calagione, the brews were a hit.
Calagione’s gamble came at a time when the American craft brewing landscape was awash in ambers, brown ales, and lagers. There were some West Coast-style IPAs out there, but they were few and far between, meaning a continuously hopped Imperial IPA from an East Coast brewery was quite literally unheard of. That’s where an early morning cooking show, a Tudor Tru-Action Electric Football Game, and a fat bag of hops come in.
Today on “Taplines,” host Dave Infante is joined by bonafide rule-breaker Sam Calagione to hear the story of his genre-defining 90 Minute Imperial IPA. Tune in for more.