Dogfish Head has unleashed a torrent of new beers this year: Romantic Chemistry IPA; Beer to Drink Music to, a tripel; Flesh & Blood IPA; Bière de Provence, a saison; and Alternate Takes #1 and #2, kicking off a series of “R&D beers.” And that doesn’t count all the reissues, such as Squall IPA, or the one-off beers that are available only at Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub.
Until this month, the Chesapeake & Maine seafood restaurant in Rehoboth was the only place to find Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale, an odd and delicious hybrid of a sour ale and gose. As Dogfish founder Sam Calagione tells it, SeaQuench Ale is made by brewing a relatively straightforward German-style kölsch and putting it in a fermentation tank. Dogfish then brews a gose with black limes and sea salt and adds it to the same tank. Finally, a Berliner weisse with lime juice and lime peel is added to the tank, and the three “threads” are blended during fermentation.
The result is a thirst-quenching beer that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. It has the tart characteristics of a Berliner weisse, the mellow, wheaty body of a kölsch or hefeweizen and the briny finish of a gose. But there’s a strong lemon on the nose, and black limes and bitter citrus in the body, none of which are usually found in these beers.
The flavors are bound together in a way that’s balanced instead of chaotic, and the citrus and moderately dry, tart finish make it easy to drink in the dog days of summer.
Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale. www.dogfish.com. $11 to $12 per six-pack.