Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dogfish Head Brewing not Recommended

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In what seems obvious to me, is quite a surprise for others. Dogfish Head is known for 'breaking rules'. Founder Sam Calagione has a personal vendetta against the German Purity Law known as Reinheitsgebot. Whenever he is promoting yet another non-traditional beer brewed by his brewery, he proceeds to swear at the 500-year old 'law'. Amongst the many weird beers produced at his Milton, Delaware brewery, he has in the past produced an Oyster Stout. That alone is enough to consider all his vessels as treif (non-kosher). Nowadays, however Oyster Stout is too mainstream, so he stepped it up a notch. There are curently two beers produced by Dogfish that are treif, the 1st is called Chocolate Lobster in which among other ingredients there is chocolate and lobsters thrown into the mash. Now if that doesn't scare you off, the 2nd beer produced is the seemingly  innocuous sounding Beer for Breakfast. This beer is advertised as breakfast in a bottle. Besides for having roasted malt in the mash, there is coffee as well, that's where it the normalness stops however. The next ingredient is called scrapple, which is a pork products similar to meatloaf. Dogfish says 25lb were added to the mash. Now if that isn't enough to scare someone away, then probably nothing will.
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In short, all the Keilim (vessels) become suspected to be treif (non-kosher), and without a koshering process that status remains forever.

If you listen here, you might find some reasons to be Meikal (lenient), however that would only be in a bedieved (post ipso facto) situation.

Please find a YouTube Video here that shows actually scrapple being thrown into the mash tun.

In conclusion, being that there is a plethora of amazing craft beer out there one would be wise to stay away from Dogfish Head and other craft breweries that brew with non-Kosher ingredients.

The CRC who are the foremost Kashrus Agency when it comes to alcohol, have said to stay away as well.

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  1. Sam Adams used to have a home brew competition (maybe they still do?) where home brewers could get their beer brewed at a large sale and sold under the Sam Adams label as a limited release. One year one of the winners was a beer brewed with grapes (or possibly grape juice). I e-mailed the Star-K who issues Boston Beer's hashgacha, asking if this was an issue. The Star-K e-mailed back saying that it was not, because the equipment was cleaned with boiling water/steam in between runs, essentially kashering it. If this is common practice in all commercial breweries, it's possible that the Dogfish Head beers not containing treif ingredients would be fine. Nevertheless, I still stay away from Dogfish Head.

    1. Thank you for your interest. You are up bringing up an interesting point, however the concern is that we really don't know what's going on in there. My own personal feelings toward Dogfish is, why do we need to bend over backwards to find a way to be Mater their beer when there's so many other beers that are available on the market today. Either way it is an interesting discussion.

    2. So what would you recommend as a kosher alternative for dogfish head 90 minute IPA?

    3. For starters stick to what's on the CRC list. Email me for more not on that list.