Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visiting Dogfish Head on #StoutDay 2012

November 8th was International Stout Day, one of the many Hallmark holidays for beer lovers. You may recall that I posted about IPA Day in August, though I opted out for September's Sour Beer Day. I'm not sure if October had a special day since there's already a couple weeks devoted to the beer style and the festival, Oktoberfest. I have yet to find a calendar of all the "beer days", but when I do, you can be sure I'll share.


I'm not entirely sure why there seems to be such an explosion of popularity in these "beer days", but they are obviously designed by and for the craft beer enthusiast (CBE). I believe that "beer days" are partially driven by CBEs wanting to show off to their CBE-friends via their favorite social media platform (many in which Justin's Brew Review participates). Badges like the one pictured above from Untappd are doled out to CBEs who post them to their social media profiles, thereby instilling a sense of community among posting participants. But I believe that the explosion of popularity in "beer days" is also partially attributable to the explosion of popularity of craft beer itself. One article from June 18, 2012 says that "the total number of breweries in the United States now exceeds 2,000--more than at any time since the 19th century, let along the prohibition years of the 1930s". Another article from August 6, 2012 says that in the last year, 350 new breweries were opened. That's nearly one brewery for every day of the year! As the craft beer scene continues to increase in popularity, I believe we'll see a proliferation of complementary products and services, such as the "beer days".

At any rate, I wouldn't typically go out of my way to celebrate a "beer day" and technically didn't this time around either. We just happened to schedule a vacation with my in-laws to Lewes, Delaware that coincided with Stout Day. And of course Lewes is only a few miles away from Milton, which means a trip to the awesome Dogfish Head Craft Brewery! (You may recall that I posted about our last trip there in May.) My wife was kind enough to schedule the tour and tasting on Stout Day. (Yes, she rocks.) And the "off-center" geniuses at DFH decided to provide only stout samples that day, so we rocked out by tasting:

  1. Bitches Brew
    (rated 100 overall by 620 on RateBeer users!)
  2. Chicory Stout
    (rated 96 overall by 1,634 RateBeer users)
  3. Palo Santo Marron
    (rated 99 overall by 1,682 RateBeer users!)
  4. World Wide Stout (WWS, from 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008)
    (rated 98 by the Bros. on BeerAdvocate and 100 overall by 1,898 RateBeer users!)

Judging by those ratings, craft beer lovers obviously love Dogfish Head! I thought that all four beers nailed the style, and I especially liked the notes of roasted coffee in the Chicory Stout. The coolest part, though, was the vertical tasting of WWS. I was able to taste how the beer changed over time. The older it was, the sweeter it got. My favorite of the WWS was the 2010; it had matured nicely without too much sweetness.

How did you celebrate Stout Day? Did you even know about it? What's your favorite stout at the moment? Let me know in the comments or catch me on FB, G+, or Twitter. Prost!