Brewing Up A Business by Sam Calagione

A Few Facts about Dogfish Head & the founder Sam Calagione that I learned while reading this great book:

  • The founder Sam designed the Dogfish Head logo
  • Sam’s wife Mariah runs the Social Networking side of the business
  • Sam designed (carved) the original fish-shaped tap pulls that you see replicas of at bars today
  • Dogfish Head made 30 different beers in their first year
  • When Sam decided to open he opened as a Brew Pub not a Brewery so they could fall back on the food sales if the beer wasn’t a hit … the beer was a hit by the way

I have a friend that is wanting to open a brew pub. The other day he was bemoaning the fact that all the equipment costs so much.  He is certainly correct that all the equipment is pretty expensive, but…  I thought it would be inspirational to post a picture (and quote from the founder) of the original equipment that Dogfish Head started with.  If you do the tour they will take you by to see it (note the “Sir Hops Alot” in the corner).

 “We started in 1995 right in this building where you are. The banks didn’t really feel like lending me money and I didn’t really have a track record for business. We opened with really the smallest commercial brewery in the country. We made our brewery out of three kegs. We cut the top off the kegs and put propane burners underneath and we could yield about 12 gallons every time we brewed.”

Dogfish Head Brewing Company Interview with Sam Calagione

By Pete Ricks.


Our friend and frequent visitor at Ace Hotel New York, Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales invited us down Delaware to hang out. He showed us around his brewery in Milton, and his pub in Rahoboth Beach. After schooling us on beer with multiple tastings of both fan-based homebrew and seasonal Dogfish Head beers, we continued to climb up the company’s tree house for a tasting of the new cedar spiked gin. We finished the evening with a meal at the Brewings & Eats Pub before laying out head in the Dogfish Head suite at the Inn at Canal Square.

Sam and his team share a passion for living life well, taking their craft seriously and with passion, and allowing for life’s other joys to fuel their craft: music, travel, art, food, family and friends. They like to keep things off-center, and practice Beer & Benevolence. We’re stoked to have Sam as a friend and look forward to exploring the world through his beer goggles.

If you haven’t seen his new show Brewmasters on The Discovery Channel, check it out tonight at 8pm EST.

Beer To Drink Music To by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione has been very open about how much of a music geek he is alongside his beer geekitude. Beer To Drink Music To is actually the official beer of Record Store Day, a day of exclusive releases in celebration of vinyl and the stores that sell it that happens one day a year in April. I always participate at my local record store Waterloo Records in Austin, Texas. BTDMT is a Belgian-style tripel, which happens to be my favorite style of Belgian beer (followed closely by the saison). I’m not always impressed with American-made ones though. This beer is yeasty and citrusy like I would expect though there’s an odd mineraly aftertaste. There’s also pronounced spice with a hint of sweetness. I think this beer would be better with more body and less spice. A lot of American brewers think that all Belgian-style beer must have spices but most of the beer in Belgium actually doesn’t.    

Ta Henket

Dogfish Head is one of my favorite breweries - so when I saw this interesting bottle show up at my local store for a pricey $15 I mulled it over briefly before picking it up. With the wacky ingredients listed, it looked more like an artifact than a beer. The base comes from ancient wheat, with middle eastern spices, camomile, and some mystery yeast Sam and the gang must have stolen while being chased through a crowded market in Cairo.

It pours out looking like a pale lager, and the taste is reminiscent of canvas bags, tea leaves, and the spilled remains in an old forgotten spice drawer. At first it’s intriguing and strange but after the first glass you wish it had more than 4.5% alcohol to numb your taste buds a little. I wouldn’t recommend this one to anybody except beer science majors. Beer science is a thing, right?

Hey beer community! I miss you guys… a lot.

I just received a notice that I had to renew the site name and it made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve posted something on here that’s not straight off of my Instagram.

In an effort to get back into actual blogging, here’s the most recent photo of me and a beer-loving gang of Dogfish distributors from North Carolina (I’m left, middle row, green jacket, if it’s been so long you don’t recognize me)!

I’ve been busy switching jobs (I’m now a member of the DFH sales team as of 4 months ago!), planning a move to Coastal DE (2 weeks!), and training for my favorite race - the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC in just 11 days.

Please tell me what beer you’re drinking this week, I miss geeking out over beer over the internets.