What’s big and floral and more hopped up than a GP editor after the Fortnight of Coffee? The continuously hopped 60 Minute IPA from Dogfish Head, of course. And now the Delaware brewery has combined that beer with syrah grape must to make the first new foamer in its core lineup since 2007: Dogfish Head Sixty-One ($9), available this month.
Sixty-One is unconventional by mainstream beer standards, but not atypical for a brewery that makes the sauterne-like Midas Touch and the Raison D’Etre, brewed with beet sugar and raisins. According to the Dogfish crew, the origin story for Sixty-One beer begins with company president Sam Calagione cracking a few brews with a couple of neighborhood pals. He decided to pour a little red wine into his 60 Minute IPA, and the rest is history.
It’s a fine story, but does the beer-wine hybrid pass muster? What we found is a beer that looks like rosé, with a optic-white, thin head to match, smelling of grassy hops and ripe strawberries. It’s lighter in body and flavor than most IPAs, with some of that 60-Minute hoppiness up front, more fruit and a touch of sourness on the finish. It’s not our favorite Dogfish Head, but we’ll be glad to have it on hand for springtime barbecues. Plus, it’s nice to know beer pros mix drinks at the table. King’s Cup, anyone?