Nick Carr on August 21, 2018 0 Comments Photo Credit: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Quick Characteristics Brewery Dogfish Head Craft Brewery Location Milton, DE Style Fruit Beer (Beer-Wine Hybrid) ABV 7.5% IBU 15 Hops ? Malts ? Other Ingredients Late-Harvest Viognier Grape Must Shelf Life 1+ Years (give or take) Suggested Glass Snifter Serving Temp 50-55°F Availability Seasonal (May to September) Food Pairings Crab Salad, Lobster Pasta with Herbs, Gouda, Lemon Tart If you’ve got any wine friends you’ve been trying to lure into the world of craft beer, it’s time to listen up. Dogfish Head’s Mixed Media may be the best chance you have to impress said friends into becoming craft beer enthusiasts. Why start with Mixed Media you ask? Because this beer is as close as you can legally get to a wine, but still have a beer in front of you. Fifty-one percent of the fermentable sugars used come from grain. The other forty-nine percent? You guessed it, grapes. Specifically, Washington Viognier grapes. That’s pronounced Vee-yoh-Ńyay, and you’ll want to get that pronunciation down. Nothing will ruin your chances of getting your favorite wine enthusiast accept the proffered unknown libation more than butchering the name of a well-loved wine grape. So, definitely get the name right. Dogfish Head has been playing at combining wine and beer for a long time. Though grapes find earlier use in Lambic, Dogfish Head was the first to play with the idea in the United States, making Raison D’Etre back in 1996. On the website, Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head, states the following: We’ve been experimenting with grape juice and must in the brewing process with beers like Midas Touch, Red & White, Noble Rot and Sixty One, since we first opened 23 years ago… By blending the two seemingly opposite worlds of beer and wine together we’ve discovered that they collide quite nicely, and the combination of the two add an additional thread of flavor and a layer of complexity to the mix. Personally, the only other beer I’ve tried is Midas Touch, their first in the Ancient Ale Series. Though it’s been a few years, I remember it being quite interesting and tasty. Has anyone tried any of the others? I’d love to hear any thoughts. Today, this hybrid trend enjoys more popularity than ever before with other breweries, including some popular ones like Odell, Allagash, and Two Roads, following in the footsteps of Dogfish Head. I’m excited! I’m a bit of a sucker for new and strange beer…. so, let’s get on with the review. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Dogfish Head’s Mixed Media. If you tasted this beer or have one sitting in front of you while you read this review, please share your thoughts with everyone down in the comments below. The Pour: Mixed Media pours a deep gold in color. The clarity is superb and there’s a good amount of carbonation streaming up from the bottom. A small-bubbled, off-white head rises to about a finger, but immediately plummets back and disappears leaving nothing… not even hints of lace. However, swirling the glass gives good alcohol legs. The Aroma: Strong and spicy Belgian yeast profile; peppery, along with some clove. The use of white grapes must lend a subtly tart, wine-like sweetness and fruity whispers of apple, pear, and, of course, grape. No hop aroma at all, and very little malt. The Mouthfeel: Nice medium body. Lower carbonation in the mouth than the appearance lets on, but enough to give it a nice lifting step on the palate. Slight sense of alcohol. The Taste: Tastes very much like a saison, but with less funk and barnyard character. At the front, Belgian yeast does all the talking with nice bright spicy flavors of clove, peppercorn, and subtle hints at banana. There is also a bit of cracker and soft biscuit contributed by the malt, but only a whisper. As it rolls to the back, the grape “wine-esque” character really comes through, slightly tart; drying the finish while maintaining pleasant fruity whispers. FINISHING THOUGHTS Not your regular fare by any length, but very much what you’d expect from a beer, trying to be a wine, trying to be a beer. The Belgian yeast brings the idea of a saison to the fore, so if you go in thinking of this as a saison you won’t be disappointed. Add the complexity of the wine-like elements and you have something pretty unique. Grab Mixed Media instead of wine the next time you need something for a special occasion. A nice meal and a glass of Mixed Media could bring delightful surprise to a dinner party or romantic evening.