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Sam In San Francisco

Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware, is legendary for many things, not least of which is his energy. He could probably tire out my six-year old, Porter. Sam is also a consummate marketer, showman and storyteller. Ask him about walking through Chicago’s O’Hare Airport with a brick of hops. I’ve known Sam for a lot of years. He’s a terrific person, makes great beers and is a wonderful asset to the beer industry. So I was pleased when the Chronicle asked me to do one of their “Uncorked” articles on Sam. Ironically, I got the call from my editor while driving to the Lost Abbey beer dinner near San Diego where I would see Sam and be able to ask him in person about scheduling.

So before an event Monday night at the Toronado introducing, or should I say re-introducing (there used to be some Dogfish Head beers available in Southern California), Dogfish Head beers to California, I sat down with Sam and asked him a series of questions. The article should most likely run in the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday, May 9.

Afterwards, the event was a rousing success with standing room only throughout the evening. Three Dogfish Head beers will be available throughout California: 90 Minute IPA, Midas Touch Golden Elixir and their new Palo Santo Marron, which means literally “Holy Tree Brown.” They were also serving three specialty beers that won’t normally be available: Chateau Jiahu, Immort Ale and the Olde School Barley Wine. These were well paired with three different artisanal cheese; stravecchio, gruyere and a cantal. There were also local distributor folks in the back room for a chance to learn about the beers they will start selling directly from Sam. But Sam was his usual ball of energy and bounced around the bar like a bottle uncorked, shaking hands, handing out cheese and sharing his beer with the crowd. In retrospect, I’m surprised I got him to sit down for as long as I did, but it sure was fun.


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