For many craft beer fanatics and Dead Heads alike, it may come as no surprise that the proudly off-kilter Dogfish Head Brewery and the equally eclectic Grateful Dead are teaming up to create an aptly named “American Beauty” of beers. After all, the brewery has ventured into the music world before.
In June of 2010, Deadfish Head released the Miles Davis Bitches Brew, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the jazz icon’s record Bitches Brew that was released April of 1970 and eventually became known as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. In 2011, the brewery unveiled the Faithful Ale in honor of Pearl Jam’s album “Ten.” Now the brewery is venturing further into the American rock territory with their recently announced collaboration with the Grateful Dead. The band and the brewery have decided to co-create a “strong pale ale with all-American hops and barley,” according to dogfish.com, and are currently discussing details for the American Beauty recipe. But the groups are leaving the most important detail to their fans: the brewery and band are asking fans to submit ideas for the final ingredient along with the Grateful Dead-inspired story behind it. This last ingredient will be the signature element of the tour de force that American Beauty is sure to become.
Fans can submit their suggestions for the decisive ingredient starting in December, so stay tuned to dogfish.com for details on how to submit ideas, ingredients, and stories online. A panel composed of members from the Dogfish Head and Grateful Dead teams will select the ingredient that they feel works best within the framework of their recipe and hope to brew a test batch with the fan who suggested the ingredient in the spring of 2013, according to a statement on the brewery’s website. American Beauty is expected to hit shelves in October 2013 and will be available to all craft beer and Grateful Dead fans that live within Dogfish Head’s 27-state distribution network.
Interested in participating in this collaborative brew and submitting your own Dead-inspired ingredient? Here are a few interesting facts and random tidbits to get those creative juices flowing (sipping on a 90 Minute IPA won’t hurt either!).
• The Grateful Dead’s first show was at a pizza parlor in Menlo Park, CA (try a ‘pepperoni pale,’ anyone?). They were known as the Warlocks at that time, though the Velvet Underground was also using the same name on the east coast.
• The band played their first show under their new name, Grateful Dead, in San Jose, CA at one of Ken Kesey’s Acid Tests. (If this doesn’t elicit some vivid memories for some of you readers, I don’t know what will. Turn those memories into submissions!)
• When Dogfish Head opened its doors, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America. The original brewing system could only hold 12-gallons, so in its infancy the brewery brewed three times a day, five days a week to support demand. The brewers quickly grew bored of using the same ingredients over and over, which triggered their desire to start using more off-center ingredients.
• The pub’s food menu centers on a wood-burning grill, which imparts a distinct flavor to all the pub’s offerings. These include signature pizzas, mushroom mac & cheese, 60-Minute IPA-battered fish & chips, and more. So think back to the last Grateful Dead concert you attended (or, if you’re on the younger side, the last time you saw a Grateful Dead song played live) – did you grab a cup of local coffee while heading to the show? Did you get a post-show Seattle dog for a midnight snack? Let your sensory imagination run wild and you’ll be sure to come up with a winning suggestion.
Good luck on your submissions, readers, and don’t forget to check back in to AmericanCraftBeer.com to read about the results!