Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Positive Contact Wheat Beer
It’s no secret I’m a fan of Dogfish Head. Just search for the brewery and you’ll find plenty of glowing reviews of their beers from me. But I will admit, the lengths Sam and the DFH folks go to to make beers can be a little intimidating at times, and the results aren’t always as good as you’d hope they would be. Nonetheless, a lot of their recent brews have been pretty awesome, with Positive Contact being one of the best.
As with most DFH beers, Positive Contact has a pretty extensive background story and list of ingredients. The beer is another entry in the brewery’s Music Series, along with Bitches Brew, Hellhound on my Ale and Faithful Ale. The brewery teamed up with Dan the Automator of Deltron 3030 (and Gorillaz) to craft a brew that the renowned producer could call his own.
What they ended up with was a 9% beer/cider hybrid brewed with wood-pressed Fuji apples; roasted farro, a type of grain; cayenne peppers; and cilantro, all of which is bottled in packs of six 22 oz. bottles, a 10-inch vinyl LP and recipes that include the beer.
Admittedly, I was iffy going into the beer. The mix of ingredients was bizarre, more so than most DHF beers. But the result was music to my mouth.
The beer pours a super clear orange color. There’s a gorgeous pillowy head that lingers for a good long while. Incredibly strong lacing and some decent alcohol legs round it out, making the beer just absolutely beautiful.
Given the laundry list of ingredients, it was surprising to find wheat the only big discernible character on the nose, although there was a good hint of apples present as well. There’s a kind of sweet bread note with a bit of a mild hop on the back, and maybe a very slight hint of cayenne and herbs, too. But overall, it smells like a straight-up wheat beer.
That all changes in the taste. It’s very smooth on the tongue and rest of the mouth with a very slight carbonation. The wheat is very present, there’s a slight earthiness and a very slight pinch of cayenne. But as it warms, the cayenne becomes much more noticeable. It doesn’t burn or anything, but gives more of a nice slight heat. The apples are there, but I got just a very slight touch of cilantro. It’s incredibly drinkable, and for 9%, you don’t taste the alcohol at all.
A lot of my friends write off Dogfish as a gimmicky brewery. To be fair, I admit that they’re a bit out there as far as breweries go. But as I’ve said before, I really do appreciate the lengths they go to and the risks they take. Lately, they’ve been on a role, and they’re showing they’re not a brewery you should be so quick to write off.