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    Dogfish Head Brewery                             

    

Dogfish Head makes off-centered ales for off-centered people. Since 1995, Dogfish has brewed with nonstandard ingredients such as raisins, chicory, maple syrup and grapes, changing the way people think about beer. Dogfish Head believes beer can have as much flavor, complexity, diversity, food-compatibility and ageability as the world's finest wines. To discover what we’re up to, visit www.dogfish.com.

  

Featured Brewer

    Tim Hahn   

Featured Brewer: 

Tim Hawn - Brewmaster            

 

Special thanks to Tim and Dogfish Head for participating in the new "Meet the Brewer" series with Beer Meister®. Here's to many more.

 

Beer Meister® Q & A Session with Tim:

What was your story before joining Dogfish Head?  How did you learn to brew?  I started brewing while I was still in the Navy. Some of my friends and I loved beers and would bike out to Thomas Kemper Brewing to taste at least three times a week. I think they caught on to us after a while since we always showed up when they were closed and would give us a beer any way. Eventually our first dabbling in fermentation was trying to make wine underway in the bilge of the submarine without getting caught. We didn’t get caught, but it didn’t ferment very well back then either. Eventually my wife thought I was spending too much money on beer and bought me a home brew kit. So after reading a book or two I went for it. During the homebrew phase I was teaching myself while getting feedback from friends… but then how good of feedback do you really get from people you are giving free beer to?

Did you have any professional training? If so, where?  I had a mentor to start that was the Quality Manager at Pabst. For two years he would lecture for 4 hours once a week and give me a test on what I learned the previous week. I still owe him a lot for all of the research papers, well organized folder and time he gave me. Eventually after becoming a brewer, I went to UC Davis and also sat the IBD exams. I think getting the education after I had been working for a few years was the way to go so I could ask the right questions from the instructors and learn.

When did you decide to be a professional brewer and why?  It was actually a little by chance. After completing college post Navy career, I was looking for a job. I applied as a microbiologist/chemist and was hired. After about four months I moved to the brewing department and ran the Brewhouse and an Ethanol still. I mean it was the coolest job and I was the envy of all my beer drinking friends. How could you not take a job that you get to drink daily?

How was the transition to a professional brewing?  For me it was pretty easy. I got to combine 9 years of Navy experience and what I learned in college. I still remember what the first Brewmaster I worked for told me on my first day. He said “I’ll make you two promises … You’ll never get rich as a brewer and if you don’t learn something every day you’re not trying very hard.” To this date that has been so true and I’ve learned something every day for the past ten years about brewery operations. For lifelong students like myself, that made the transition pretty easy.

How did you end up at Dogfish Head?  Like many, I got tired of the corporate world of macro brewing and wanted to get back to why I started in the industry. I had applied in 2009 and didn’t get hired back then, but thankfully our VP of Human Resources likes to keep resumes just in case. In 2011, I got this phone call from Delaware, returned it, and well, it changed my life.

What’s an average day like?  I don’t know there is any such thing as an average day, but they all start about 4 – 5 a.m. reading and responding to e-mail so I know what happened yesterday, and over second and third shift. Then it’s off to the brewery and depending upon the day things change. Currently a lot of my day is spent supporting the distillery set-up and some R and D. Every day includes tasting as I have to know what is going on with beer. One thing about Dogfish is there’s a lot to do and learn here as we all wear a lot of hats. The best days are when I get go brew at the pub.

What about brewing did you learn the hard way?  Bottles can be dangerous when over primed. I had some under attenuated bottles that I used to set above the water heater in our bathroom. Great place right? Seventy degrees dark, why not use it to bottle condition? Well, when I was in the bathroom, first one exploded then over a case of beer ended up exploding and hitting the floor. I imagine that’s what shrapnel would have felt like except it was slow and glass. A lot of time, beer, and blood wasted that day.

What’s your favorite memory of working at the brewery?  I think it was the first beer I formulated and brewed here. I knew it was going to be a big change. I was sitting with Sam in a meeting and he started rattling off ingredients that we have to use … I didn’t recognize three off them. I mean come on, who knows what Waddle Seed is and how to use it? I was really proud of how the beer turned out though. Now if I can just get it into the lineup again.

How has the brewery changed since you started?  It has grown like I would have never imagined. A new grain handling system, 200 barrel Brewhouse, thirty filtration, bottling line and utilities, just to name a few of the expansion projects since 2011. There was a point when I left the brewery for a few days and I would come back to see it changed so much.

What other brewers do you look up to or enjoy?  Wow, that could be a long list of people. I love what Matt Brynildson is doing at Firestone Walker. He and his team make great beers. Logsdon Farm Brewery is another. Whenever I’m in the northwest I’ll pick up something from them. Finally Sam. While I think some of his ideas are crazy, he has an uncanny ability to match flavors and challenge me to make it taste great, not to mention he took a chance on a brew here.

What is your favorite beer you brew at Dogfish Head?  I have two children and I won’t pick a favorite there either. It depends upon the time of year and what I’m in the mood for. Thankfully we do a lot of beers, so finding a match for the season isn’t bad. The top three are … Noble Rot, Aprihop and 60 Minute IPA.

What are some new beers in the works?  Pennsylvania Tuxedo will be released this year along with a beer that has been a brew pub exclusive. The team and I are also working on a couple of other beers that may make it to the market this year… but you’ll just have to wait and see.

What is your favorite food with beer?  Have you seen what I look like? Any food. But, seriously, I really enjoy a great Jambalaya, Smoked Ribs and a 60 Minute IPA.

Who is your favorite band and why?  I love to listen to Jack Johnson… nice and mellow, the way a beer should make you feel after two or three. It reminds me of being on a boat somewhere ready to scuba dive.

What is your favorite movie and why?  Anything that leans toward cyber punk or sci-fi. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched Johnny Mnemonic and the Matrix, but I love that style of movie and book.

brewery beers 


Dogfish Head beers

  The Beers & a couple of notes from the Brewer.

(Go to dogfish.com for more details)

 

60 Minute IPA

 

Tasting Notes:

 

 Really hoppy, citrusy, grassy

 

Food Pairing:

 

 Spicy foods, pesto, grilled salmon, soy-based dishes, pizza, vintage cheddar

90 Minute IPA

 

Tasting Notes:

 

 Brandied fruitcake, raisiney, citrusy

 

 Food Pairing:

 

 Pork chops, beef, grilled fish, frites, focaccia, split pea soup, Stilton cheese, and escargot 

Namaste

 

 Tasting Notes:

 

 Citrusy, cloves, orange, notes of coriander, slightly sweet with some citrus notes and a clean, slightly spicy finish

 

  Food Pairing:

 

 Roasted turkey, Caesar salad, pasta with cream sauce, goat cheese

Indian Brown Ale

 

 Tasting Notes:

 

 Molasses, coffee, ginger, raisinettes, chocolate

 

 Food Pairing:

 

 Balsamic vinaigrette salads, smoked meats, duck confit, braised ribs, venison, prosciutto, stews

Palo Santo Marron

 

Tasting Notes:

 

 Caramel, vanilla, Paraguayan palo santo wood

 

 Food Pairing:

 

 Steak, chorizzo sausage, cajun cuisine, farmhouse cheddar 

Burton Baton

 

 Tasting Notes:

 

 Vanilla, oak, brandied fruitcake, raisiney, citrusy 

 

  Food Pairing:

 

 Toasted nuts, peanut sauce, spicy foods

Midas Touch

 

Tasting Notes:

 

 Honey, saffron, papaya, melon, biscuity, succulent

 

   Food Pairing:

 

 Pan-Asian dishes, risotto, curries, baked fish and chicken

Sixty-One

 

Tasting Notes:

 

 Sweet, fruity, notes of plum, cherries and red grapes, floral, and citrus hop notes

 

   Food Pairing:

 

 Grilled pork tenderloin, sushi, fresh vegetables, summer berries and cream, apple pie, gruyere cheese, young gouda cheese

Tweason’ale

 

Tasting Notes:

 

 Subtle strawberry aroma, tart, sweet, fruity, citric

 

 Food Pairing:

 

 Fatty fish, dried fruit, salted nuts