Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Dog on Over to the Toronado

By William Brand
Friday, June 10th, 2005 at 7:18 pm in Uncategorized.

As I said in my column this week, Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Craft B Brewery in Milton (brewery) and Rehoboth Beach (brewpub), Delaware, will visit the Toronado, 547 Haight St. in San Francisco on June 20.

He’ll bring four beers with him that are usually unavailable here on the West Coast: Raison D’Etre, Immort Ale , 90 Minute IPA and 120 Minute IPA. There’s no admission charge.

Technically, he’s on a tour, flogging his new book, Brewing Up a Business: Adventures in Entrepreneurship from the F\founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. He’ll have copies on hand and will sign them, of course.

But Sam admitted, he’s heard about the Toronado for years, but has never visited. So…

Interested in the book? I’m just reading it now and like it very much so far. has posted the first chapter here.
I caught up with Sam earlier this week and I’m going to write about Dogfish Head in detail in my next column, Wednesday, June 20.

But here are some details about the beer, courtesy of Sam and Toronado proprietor David Keene.

Raison D’Etre

A deep mahogany ale brewed with beet sugar, green raisins, and Belgian yeast. As complex as a fine red wine. 8% ABV 36 IBU, approx. 258 calories and 27 carbs per 12 ounce serving available year round, 12 ounce bottles & draft Voted ‘American Beer Of The Year’ in January 2000 by Malt Advocate Magazine.

Descriptors: Notes of pit fruit, decadent, winey, raisiney, malty Food pairing reccomendations: Steak, duck, game, wine-reduction sauces, Blue cheese, ham, mussels

Suggested serving glass:snifter

Comparable wine style: Amarone

Immort Ale

Vast in character, luscious and complex. Brewed with peat-smoked barley, this strong ale is brewed with organic juniper berry, vanilla, and maple syrup. It is then aged on oak and fermented with a blend of English & Belgian yeasts. 11% ABV 40 IBU. Aavailable in 12-ounce bottles, 4-pack approx. 348 calories and 34 carbs per bottle *Note beginning with the April 05 release, Immort Ale is now an annual release. Look for Immort Ale in it’s new 4-packs every April. Dogfish Head Immort Ale was named 1997 beer of the year by The Philadelphia Daily News.

Descriptors: Intense maple, vanial, smokey, charred.

Food pairing reccomendations: Goat cheese, asparagus, creme brulee, a fine cigar

Suggested serving glass: snifter

Comparable wine style: Single Malt Scotch This beer ages well.

90 Minute IPA

An Imperial I.P.A. brewed to be savored from a snifter. A big beer with a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate. 9% ABV 90 IBU approx. 290 calories and 29 carbs per bottle available year round, 12 ounce/4-pack bottles & draft Esquire Magazine writes that this is “perhaps the best IPA in America” Thanks to all of you who helped to vote Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA the 2003, 2004 and 2005 Champion in the Battle of the Beers!

Descriptors: Brandied fuitcake, raisiny, citrusy Food pairing reccomendations: Pork chops, beef, grilled fish, frites, focaccia, split pea soup, Stilton cheese and escargot

Suggested serving glass: snifter

Comparable wine style: Sauvignon Blanc This beer ages well.

120 Minute IPA

Too extreme to be called beer? Brewed to a colossal 45-degree plato, boiled for a full two hours while being continually hopped with high alpha American hops, dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month and aged for a month on whole leaf hops, 120 Minute IPA is by far the biggest IPA ever brewed! At 21% abv and 120 IBU’s, you can see why we call this the Holy Grail for Hopheads! Released quarterly, very limited availabilty,12 ounce bottles, 21% ABV 120 IBU

Descriptors: Marmalade, orange peel, woodsy, minty Food pairing reccomendations: Duck a l’orange, crepes, fruit pies

Suggested serving glass: snifter

Comparable wine style: Grappa This beer ages well.

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