OK, so everybody knows that Dogfish Head is the pop music of microbrews. Seriously, how many other microbrews offer bike shirts as part of their merchandising? We actually met Sam Calagione (we even read his book) while he was at the Savor event in Washington, DC. Since that makes us old friends we can give these blunt assessments. Remember kids, pop music is not always a bad thing (see image, right).
This past weekend we gathered with friends to check out the still almost new Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD. It's conveniently located just off the highway so there's no excuse for getting lost. Arriving a bit earlier than expected we put in a bid for a table and sauntered up to the bar. The place is nice, clean, and has a homey feel to it. There's a lot of dark wood which provides a wintery comfort. The bar is nice and open, sports 3 big screen televisions, and offers 9 Dogfish brews. It's very a casual atmosphere and the staff, particularly at the bar, are friendly.
The food was good but we relegated ourselves to a few appetizers and the sandwich portion of the menu. Frankly, when you're going to a brewpub you go for the beer - not the food. And the beer is everything you expect when you're drinking a Dogfish Head. Their beers tend to be hoppier then most and a bit bitter but we love that in our beer. We feasted on the Indian Brown, Raison D'etre, Alehouse, and Pangea. We probably drank too much but isn't that the point?
We didn't pick up any fancy merchandise and we didn't give the menu a thorough vetting. Despite drinking several rounds we only made it through half the brews on tap. Basically, we left ourselves many reasons to go back - and we plan to do just that in short order. You're obviously not going to use the Alehouse as an excuse to skip the home brewery but it is a great place to get your fix in between trips to the big DE.