Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware) has officially announced that KnottyBits, a Wild Ale aged on sweet and sour cherries and rhubarb, will release at the end of September as the first offering to come out of its brand new, funky wild beer program, “Wooden…It Be Nice!”.
To continue the brewery’s proud history of “producing and celebrating sour and wild ales for over two decades”, Dogfish Head has established the “Wooden…It Be Nice!” program so that it can further explore the art of wood-aging beers and the use of “wild yeast variations, like Brettanomyces and often times . . . bacteria like Lactobacillus or Pediococcus.” Each “Wooden…It Be Nice!” offering is hand-bottled in cork and caged 375ml bottles that are then “hand painted with a special stripe signifying its uniquely crafted touch.” All offerings to come out of the “Wooden…It Be Nice!” program will be released exclusively at Dogfish Head’s brewery location in Milton.
“About fifteen years ago, we first started experimenting with sours, beginning with Festina Lente – a peach wild ale that won us a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup in 2006 – then went on to produce SeaQuench Ale which is currently the top selling sour in America,” said Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. “Now, we’re amplifying our wild beer program with Wooden…It Be Nice!, as it’s another step forward in our journey and evolution of goodness incorporating everything from herbs and spices, to local fruits, and of course, bringing it all together in wood.”
The “Wooden…It Be Nice!” series will launch on September 29 with the release of KnottyBits and will see two additional releases before the end of 2018. The official descriptions and release details for all three 2018 “Wooden…It Be Nice!” offerings are as follows:
- KnottyBits – The “Wooden…It Be Nice!” program opens with the release of KnottyBits, a wild ale (8.2% ABV) aged on sweet and sour cherries and rhubarb, available beginning September 29 at 11 a.m. KnottyBits was wood-aged for a year with Brettanomyces and then racked onto several hundred pounds of sweet and sour cherries and locally sourced rhubarb from Fifer Orchards at a rate of more than 2 lbs. of fresh fruit per gallon. KnottyBits is bottle conditioned for an elevated carbonation resembling a ruby red colored sparkling wine of sorts. Priced at $10/375ml bottle, approximately 2000 bottles will be available for purchase at the Milton Brewery.
- Wet Hop American Summer Farmhouse Ale – Look for Wet Hop American Summer in early November – a Farmhouse Ale (7.75% ABV), this beer was aged in freshly emptied Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces for over a year, before being racked onto freshly harvested and hand-selected whole leaf Citra hops, still wet from the fields. The resulting beer has a great citrus aroma from the hops which is a perfect complement to the funky and rustic nature of the Farmhouse Ale base. Wet Hop American Summer is priced at $10/375ml bottle, approximately 1500 bottles will be available for purchase at the Milton Brewery.
- Eastern Seaboard – In mid-December, the brewery will release Eastern Seaboard, a wild ale (8% ABV) brewed with blackberries and beach plums. After spending almost a year and a half aging in wine barrels, the liquid was met with several hundred pounds of blackberry and Eastern Shore beach plums, handpicked and selected by the brewers. The jamminess of the blackberry and tartness of the plums perfectly pair with one another in this deceptively dry beer. Eastern Seaboard is bottle conditioned to achieve champagne-like carbonation and is violet in color. Priced at $10/375ml bottle, approximately 2000 bottles will be available for purchase at the Milton Brewery.
As mentioned in each beer’s description, “Wooden…It Be Nice!” offerings can only be purchased at Dogfish Head’s brewery location in Milton and quantities are extremely limited. If you cannot make it to Delaware or are unable to arrange for someone to secure you some bottles of the 2018 “Wooden…It Be Nice!” lineup, there is no need to fret because Dogfish Head promises that there are “more releases to come in future years.” Prost!