Last weekend, for the third year in a row, we rented a car and drove down to DE for the Dogfish Dash. I love this event because it combines two of my favorite things: beer and running. They have a 5K and 10K, starting and ending at the brewery in Milton, DE. Number pickup is the day before at their brewpub, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, in Rehoboth Beach, DE. The brewpub is special in that besides the DFH standards, they always have one-offs and experimental beers on tap. Two years ago I had the pleasure of trying their DFH Ale, a heavy Double IPA described as, “Body of 60, strength of 90, and hops of 120”. It was excellent.
Anyway, so since the brewpub was packed the day of number pickup, as always, we picked up our race packets and headed back to the hotel in Georgetown, DE, to relax and get dinner. At dinner I tried a local beer, brewed right in Georgetown. Blues’ Golden Ale from 16 Mile Brewing Company. For a very light golden ale, it was quite good. Relatively heavy body, which I think works really well for a beer like this.
So the Dogfish Dash starts and ends at the brewery in Milton. The race starts at 8am and beer starts flowing at 9am. In 2010, it was fantastic. You could just go back whenever you wanted and get a refill. In 2011, it was pretty awful. If you wanted beer, you’d spend the the whole time on ridiculously long and slow lines. This is in part because the event is an environmental benefit and they encourage you to reuse your cup. So they have to go pour the beer for each person. This year, supposedly in an attempt to alleviate the lines, everyone had three beer tickets. This made it a little better, but not much. I think they have to give up on reusing cups for this event, as nice an idea as it is. Due to logistics, all I drank was the 60 Minute IPA. So great right at the brewery. The race itself, the 5K, went pretty well. I got an award for 3rd place in my age group, which I was really hoping to place in. The age group awards always seem to be some sort of cool bottle opener.
Later that night we had our dinner at the brewpub. A friend who was with us volunteered to drive so I could sample. I first had the Wet Hop American Summer After Dark, a hoppy dark wheat ale. It was very good. Could have been a little heavier in body I think, but great nonetheless. Next was the Bitches Brew 2012. I’d had it in bottle, but never on tap. Really great beer. I think Miles Davis would have been proud. Last, but best of all, was the Palo Santo Marron. I’d had this year before in NY, but it was so much better at DFH. It’s a very heavy brown ale, at 12% ABV, aged in exotic Palo Santo wood barrels. That was it for the night for me, but I did also get a growler of their Black & Red to bring back. My wife loves that beer, but it does seem to get the strangest reactions from the staff. It seems that maybe 1 out of 10 people likes it. Very unique Imperial Stout, with lots of mint and fruit. They always suggest trying it before ordering it. And I really confused the guy at the little outside store counter when asking for a growler of it. But the Black & Red is tap-only, so it was the only way to get some back at home.
All in all another great event, but the increase in runners and longer waits for beer have me questioning whether I’ll be doing it again. It takes some of the fun out of it.