Dogfish Head recently added new tours to its Milton brewery’s lineup. After a sneak peek last week, I can attest that they give visitors different vantage points than the usual trip around the hop heads’ mecca.
The Dogfish Head Distilling Behind-the-Scenes Tour, led by the knowledgeable Lars Ryan, took us to the little-known specialty area of the brewery. With the help of Kentucky-made stills named Candy, Trixie and Dave, Dogfish Head is expanding its off-centered empire with craft spirits.
The tour included sips of select products, including Roasted Peanut Vodka made with malted barley, peanuts, vanilla bean and honey. I was prepared to dislike it but enjoyed it so much that I’d try it again. The same is true of Sonic Archeology, a Prohibition-style bottled cocktail that includes Dogfish Head whiskey, rum and brandy with honey, lemon and pomegranate juice.
The tour is $15 per person and includes a Dogfish Head tasting glass.
Steampunk Treehouse//Photo by Pam George
The Dogfish Head Randall Jr. Exploration of Flavor Tour provides a brief company history, plus tours of the cold-storage area and brewhouse. Our tour guide, Kim Koot, was well-informed and engaging.
We learned about Randall the Enamel Animal, the “organoleptic hop transducer module” that makes infused ales. We each received a mini-version, called the Randall Jr., to which we could add such ingredients as limes, coconut, hops, fruit and even sour gummy worms to our choice of three beers. (Tip: Don’t be shy about the quantity. I wish I’d added more strawberries, peppercorns and herbs.)
While the brew steeped, we toured the Steampunk Treehouse, which stood at the annual Burning Man event in northwest Nevada before Dogfish Head purchased it for just $1.
The $30 tour includes beer samples and a Randall Jr. to take home.
Both tours are restricted to adults 21 and older. You must wear long pants and close-toed shoes. Book online at dogfishheadbrewery.ticketleap.com.