Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and the Grateful Dead actually have a lot in common. They’re both led by visionary front men; Dogfish Head beer and Grateful Dead music are both unique voices in their respective product landscapes; and they both grew from a cult-like following that eagerly consumed every rare beer and performance. It makes perfect sense that the two would come together for a collaboration brew — and let their fans influence the beer.
American Beauty is an imperial pale ale that’s brewed with all-American hops, barley and one mystery ingredient that was decided on through a fanbase poll conducted by the band and brewer. Now, that last ingredient has been unveiled. The ingredient comes from the wonder of a young Thomas Butler who was 9 years old when he first experienced the Dead and its following.
From the Dogfish Head blog:
Little did that wide-eyed boy know that 30 years later, those two grown-up worlds would collide while he was browsing dogfish.com.
On the website, Thomas saw that Dogfish and the Dead were seeking ingredient suggestions and stories to help shape their upcoming collaboration. He emailed his dad their story from that first show – the fence-hopping, the woman in the white sheet, the shared smokes – and said he was going to suggest granola as the final ingredient. Granola was the main course in millions of parking lot meals, and they both agreed it would be a sweet and toasty complement to the pale ale’s all-American hops and barley.
To celebrate his winning ingredient, Butler will join Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Grateful Dead audiovisual archivist David Lemieux in Rehoboth Beach, Del., to brew a test batch of American Beauty with granola. Dogfish Head expects the beer to hit its distribution channels this October.
Dogfish Head also shared some of the other ingredient ideas that almost made the cut, and the stories that go along with them, including Red Grenadine, Jalapeno, Rose hips and Sassafras root. For all the details and trippy stories, head on over to the Dogfish Head blog.