Grateful Dead

Dogfish Head’s Grateful Dead Brew Hitting Taps, Shelves

American Beauty, the counterculture collaboration between Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and the Grateful Dead, will be hitting taps and shelves over the next few weeks.

The band took the lead on deciding the style of beer, and they opted for a bold pale ale made with 100 percent U.S.- grown ingredients. The brewery and the band, who both built followings by connecting directly with their fans, asked their supporters to help decide on one righteous, off-centered ingredient to add to the recipe that would complement the pale ale base.

More than 1,500 loyal fans suggested an ingredient idea and the Dead-inspired story behind it. There was no shortage of great suggestions – the red grenadine from “Brown-Eyed Women,” rose hips reminiscent of the motif painted on the Rosemont water tower – but there was one that stood out.

Thomas Butler, a chemist by day and homebrewer by night, suggested granola. It was the main course in millions of parking lot meals, and both Dogfish and the Dead agreed it would be a sweet and toasty complement to the pale ale’s hops and barley.

We searched high and low for the right granola, and Grizzlies in Eugene, Ore., made the connection. Their organic mix lends American Beauty light almond notes and touches of orange-blossom honey.

“The components of granola – honey, toasted grains, oats – offer a lot from a beer perspective,” says Thomas, who visited Dogfish Head in coastal Delaware to brew a test batch. “It was fun brewing with these guys. The Dead built their own institution, their own identity. It’s a family. And Dogfish culture is big, too. They’re the pioneers of playing with beer.”

American Beauty will be available on draft and in 750-ml bottles throughout Dogfish Head's 27- state distribution network, in accordance with local laws. To find retailers who have received shipments in the past 60 days, try Dogfish Head’s “Fish Finder” app at www.dogfish.com.

To celebrate the release, we’re debuting American Beauty at launch parties at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, Calif., and at several Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations.

* The first launch party, going down Oct. 15 at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, Calif., will include special menu items and a bar show with Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band. The event is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations for dinner are recommended. For more information, call (415) 524-2773.

* On Oct. 22, the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Yonkers, N.Y., will put on a beer dinner and screening of The Grateful Dead Movie hosted by Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione and Alamo Yonkers Executive Chef Lupe Gutierrez. Tickets are $45. For information, call (914) 226-3082.

* Also on Oct. 22, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in Ashburn, Va.; San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; and Denver, Colo. will be screening The Grateful Dead Movie and serving the new brew. The Alamo in Winchester, Va., will do the same on Oct. 23.

Learn more about American Beauty and where to find it here.

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William-O's picture
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Joined: Jun 10 2013
American Beauty in Boston...

I thought they would sell them in 6 packs but to my surprise they were sold in 1 pint 9.2 oz bottles. For $13 here in Boston. I wasn't aware of that when I first started looking for them. I figured it would be $13 for a 6 pack like the other Dogfish head beers I've come across. Loved the 9% abv, smooth going down, not harsh or bitter. Not going to lie, I was feeling pretty good after finishing one. A little pricey for my tastes but a good beer none the less...

Anna rRxia's picture
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a 1/10th of the price!

now you know why Dogfish needs the advertizing and gimmicks like this Dead ingredient contest. they are way, way overpriced at $15 for 22 oz.. In VT we pay around $4.50 for a pint of high quality small-batch handcrafted brew.

I've always seen Dogfish as a high-brow, long-hair snob appeal brew though. Not referring to you Slo -- I had a good laugh at that term "buzz snob"

slo lettuce's picture
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I agree, Anna...

no comparison of the years which I wish I could've seen the band. And from folks I've talked to, there seemed to be more of a policy of "leave it clean". '92 Soldier Field was my first show and what surprised me the most was the degree of littering of cans and bottles. I wasn't prepared for that sight (naive). The only thing I contributed to that scene was the cleaning up part. I probably sound at times like I'm a buzz snob, but I do enjoy both beer and wine and wish I could at least try this brew. It sounds yummy. Maybe it's just the Midwest, but you can purchase high quality craft beer here for $1.50/12oz. I would be living in my car in Aspen :)

Anna rRxia's picture
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You can't compare a later Soldier Field show

With an early 80s Madison, Wisconsin show. And that with a Filmore West 69 show. Just different vibes altogether. I guess what I'm trying to say is for the most part the heads drank less than a normal rock crowd - there are definitely always exceptions to the rule, especially in the later years when it was more party than Dead show.

In any case, an American Beauty is not the kind of beer you drink a case at a time, whoever is crazy enough to drink like that.

slo lettuce's picture
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wasn't it Jerry...

that once said, "deadheads typically don't do well with alcohol" or something to that effect? From the looks of the Soldier Field parking lot post-concert, you wouldn't have been able to tell it; a virtual ocean of glass and aluminum - surprising and sad. **pro-pot statement coming up** If discarded, roaches are completely biodegradable and would take up a fraction of the ground space, but are almost guaranteed never to be publically disposed of with such disdain........at least not by any rational person :)))))))))))

Anna rRxia's picture
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Migraines I can do without

Marye, I'm with you on that one. I think it's a funny thing among deadheads, but my observation is that most of us go for one bottle (possibly two) and then we're through. Of course, there will always be the trashed, two-fisted types, but not so much with the deadheads.

Makes for a nicer, less louder, intelligent conversation.

marye's picture
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man...

it's enough to make me wish I could drink beer! (I love it. The ensuing migraines, not so much. Life is too short.)

Anna rRxia's picture
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Yes, but what type granola?

I vote for the strawberry ginger almond banana granola "America Beauty" for that hint of fruity-hot-nutty nanacity that doesn't overwhelm the basic ingredients of this home-crafted special brew. And the price tag? It's not even $1 an ounce (at $15 for a 22 ounce tall boy). Send me a case every month for a year. That should do nicely for the rest of my life.

HenryLee's picture
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Yum Yum!!!

Cracked open an American Beauty last night very tasty indeed. Full of flavor, not hoppy like an IPA or overly strong like a barley wine for being 9% alcohol. It's the new favorite beer in Aspen, Colorado!! It costs $15 for a 25.4 ounce bottle.

slo lettuce's picture
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Joined: Jul 20 2012
in the beer state to end all beer states...

this brew taint available. I do like PB's "Yayyyyyyyyyy for beer" though :))))))))) No worries. If it was weed they were shipping out however, this would be monumentally disappointing.

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