When Dogfish Head revealed that it partnered with Atlas Obscura’s Gastro Obscura, beer drinkers pondered what brew would eventually be poured from the bottle. Craft beer lovers appreciate that Dogfish Head always looks to weave a story into each of its beverages. With this particular offering, the glass unfolds an appreciation of each layer and leaves the drinker contemplating just how did they accomplish this feat.
Beer flavor can be inspired by many things. While the hops might drive the taste, the brewer wants the drinking experience to be more than just another pour. Although there is a time and a place for a light lager or that all-day drinking experience, other beers are meant to be pondered, are for special occasions, or are a sip that makes you appreciate why you love a great brew.
Recently, Dogfish Head announced that it was releasing a special, limited edition beer in partnership with Gastro Obscura. Even though the beer brand’s found and brewer Sam Calagione has always embraced the curious side of food and beverages, this beer captures an experience beyond the glass. It is blending old, new, curious and familiar. Although some people might need a moment to discern all those layers, it unfolds in the most intriguing way.
During a media tasting for Dogfish Head’s Fermentation Engastration, Calagione explained how this innovative beer came to be. Given his thirst for creative inspiration, he recalled a photo from Gastro Obscura that explained the food history of engastration, the process of stuffing one animal into another. In other words, everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving feast, the turducken.
Anyone who has had the chicken, duck, turkey combination appreciates that it is that balance of both the individual protein as much as it is about the layered bite. Each component flavors the other. Although there is that moment of how or why they created this food bemouth, people cannot help but go back for another serving.
As Dogfish Head said Fermentation Engastration a liquid expression of the idea of a turducken. It is a layered brew that combines a sake, a mead, a cider, a muscat wine and a farmhouse ale. While that statement could leave some people to think that the combination would be muddled, the experience is far from cloudy. Each layer and flavor comes through in crystal clear clarity yet blends to a sip that finishes in the most intriguing way.
While many drinkers will pull apart the hint of date or the subtle rose sake, this beer is more about the whole experience. Just like the turducken, the hows and whys are set aside only to appreciate the final product. When the bottle is empty, there is a longing for more.
Although a delightful beer enjoyed on its own, the beverage seeks to be paired with food. Besides the obvious choice of a turducken to follow the theme, other food pairings would be equally as delightful. Calagione recommended some spicy wings or even a turkey burger.
Given that this beer can cut through a rich dish, a duck breast would be a lovely choice. Playing off the sweetness of the date and the rustic notes of the ale, the duck would stand up to this beer.
And, to continue the engastration theme in a sweet way, a piecaken would be a perfect dessert pairing. The Thanksgiving version of that Zac Young iconic dessert would be the star of a Thanksgiving food and beverage pairing.
Since this particular beer is a special brew, there are only a few ways to add a bottle to your collection. 250 bottles will be available at WeGiveThemBeer.com starting on May 13, 2022. In addition, some will be available at Dogfish Head locations and other special events. In total, there are only 1,000 bottles available.
Could another “layer” be added to create a Fermentation Engastration 2.0? It seems that the story is just beginning to be told about this beer offering. Maybe there will be holiday gift waiting to be unwrapped or rediscovered like the inglorious bustard.