Mounted troopers, sessionable ales and dune runners
Two members of the Mounted Patrol Unit of the Delaware State Police Honor Guard accompanied Bill Matt's deuce and a half military truck in the Lewes Christmas Parade. Matt, also a state trooper, carried 20th District Rep. Steve Smyk in the back of the truck for the parade. Smyk is a retired state trooper.
An arm of the State Police Honor Guard, the mounted patrol unit is an organization dedicated to tradition and its members' role in improving the quality of life for the citizens of Delaware.
This year's parade had more horses than ever before.
A session with Dogfish's Calagione
Sam Calagione, one of the founders of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, spoke to the annual meeting of the Southern Delaware Tourism organization Wednesday afternoon this week. A clear and sunny day in Sussex. Leaves all fallen, crops all harvested - now the county is dressed cleanly in its winter colors. The sweet weather following Tuesday's storm energized Sam and the crowd. Ryan Mavity was on hand to cover the event for the Cape Gazette, but I went too, to hear what Sam had to say.
Here are a few nuggets from Sam's talk:
• Part of the Dogfish approach, he said, is to keep the company's brews well-differentiated from others, particularly the inoffensive lighter lagers offered by the world's biggest brewers. Those brewers supply about 93 percent of the world's beer market. Even though Dogfish Head in 2013 underwent the greatest expansion in the company's 18-year history, Sam said the 8 million six-packs being produced by the Milton brewery still only represent about one-tenth of 1 percent of the world market for beer and ale.
• Sam said Dogfish's ethos of producing off-centered ales for off-centered people means that some of the brews will offend some while pleasing others. So, what's the most offensive ale ever served up by Dogfish? Sam said one year, Dogfish brewed an ale with lavender and peppercorns and placed it on the menu of the Rehoboth Beach brew pub. “I think we went a little heavy on the lavender. Anyway, we have these comment cards. The one that sticks in my mind was one that characterized the lavender brew as like tongue kissing Laura Ashley. Maybe that's a niche that's underexplored. I don't know.”
• President of the Brewers Association, Sam said there are now 2,500 brewers in the U.S. with 2,488 of them brewing and selling locally. “Most of the United States population now lives within 10 miles of a craft brewery,” he said.
• One person asked Sam whether he is thinking about bringing back the Dogfish Shelter Pale Ale which was once the brewery's flagship brew. Sam said the Shelter was more in keeping with traditional lighter lagers, similar to European brews which also have proven so popular with medium-sized American craft brewers like Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada.
“We want to make our brews unique enough to resonate. We don't think U.S. beers and ales have to bow to European traditions or genuflect to European styles.” That said, Sam added that he knows there are a lot of people who want “a more sessionable ale with a lower ABV. Stay tuned in 2014.” ABV means alcohol by volume.
The Urban Dictionary says sessionable means: “The characteristic of an alcoholic drink (usually a pint of beer) which is suitable for a lengthy drinking session. Usually referring to beer with an ABV between 3.5 and 4 percent.”
Kevin runs it after all
I wrote about distance runner Kevin Smith last week. He decided to run the Rehoboth Seashore Marathon after all and sent me this message the day before the race: “Ironically, I was presented with the opportunity to pace (support) a first-time marathoner in the Rehoboth Marathon. So due to the kind and considerate efforts of Mary Beth Evans at Rehoboth Beach Running Company, I will be running on my home turf tomorrow.” After the race, Kevin wrote: “One of my best runs ever. Our friend Lisa Lewis met one of her 2013 goals (run a marathon) and no place like Coastal Sussex in the dunes of the Cape to get it done.”
Get outside, get active and get it done!