Beer Review - Bitches Brew (Dogfish Head)

We recently came across this beer at Whole Foods. We were so excited since Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale is probably one of my favorites of all time but I rarely can snag more than a 4 pack a year since it is sold in such limited quantities since it's seasonal *boo-hoo*, so I was thrilled to try another beer from Dogfish Head.

Yes, it was New Years, so we did, in fact, drink this out of our fancy wedding champagne glasses.

By the way, have you seen Brew Masters on Discovery? It's a pretty interesting show following Dogfish Head's beer making process. I was pretty tickled that they started this show, because I love their beers and it's been fun to see their behind the scenes conceptual process (and their antics of course!). Their first episode looked at how they make Bitches Brew - a collaboration with Sony for the re-release of the Miles Davis record of the same name. The concept for the beer, as explained on the show, was to have a fusion of a dark (Stout) and light beer (Tej), similar to how the record combines African and American music styles. The tej beer is a traditional Ethiopian brew using honey and gecho sticks and leaves.


The beer itself is very dark in color, as expected considering the 3 parts stout. But unexpectedly, the flavor is not heavy, syrupy or oppressive as it is with more common dark beers. I suspect that by combining the dark beer with the light beer, it lightened it's flavor enough to make it a quite drinkable dark beer. It has a bold, slightly sweet flavor, but is surprisingly light in mouth feel considering the color. You can also taste the gecho - I suspect this is where the woodsy flavor comes from. The flavors definitely hit you on the front end, but they don't linger too long - which is a plus in my book. Ours was sold in a 1 pint bottle, which was perfect when split between Nick and I. It has only 9% alcohol by volume, which is pretty low for Dogfish Head, but pretty high for a dark beer. This also makes it fabulous for drinking.

One other thing that helps this beers drink-ability is the carbonation. It is carbonated since it's beer obviously, but it's not so overly carbonated like some other beers. For me, this is a two-fold blessing. First, because it is that much nicer to drink and secondly, because it saves the sofa. Nick, not a fan of highly carbonated beers, holds his thumb over the top and shakes them to release the excess carbonation to make them easier to drink. Usually this works out okay; however, sometimes this leads to a beer explosion and it spews beer all over the place. And beer stains. (Thank You Dogfish Head!)


Be prepared for the price though, our one pint bottle cost about $15. Dogfish Head beers in general cost more than the average beer ($10-$12 for a 4-6 pack around these parts), but for a reason - these are not average beers. Personally, I would rather pay for one glass of a good beer than drink 3 glasses of a not so fabulous beer.


We thought of what foods we would pair it with if we have the opportunity to purchase this brew again and have thought to do something meaty, but spicy. Ribs came to mind, but the sweetness in the beer wouldn't go well with a sweet BBQ rib, so we were thinking a spicy dry rubbed rib, charred a bit on the grill or smoker. I think the combination would be fabulous. The spice would contrast the sweetness in the beer and the char would compliment the woodsy flavors in the beer. Click on this link to see Dogfish Head's recommendations.


1 comment:

  1. I've seen that episode of Brew Masters - the beer intrigued me then & after your review I really want some now! If I find it out here I'll be trying it, out of fancy champagne glasses, too!

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