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Brew master: Sam Calagione

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This morning, we caught up with a slightly out-of-breath Sam Calagione, who had just returned from his morning run. His new show “Brew Masters”—where viewers get to watch him sprint around the world on a quest for perfect ingredients—premieres this Sunday, Nov. 21.

The show is only a few days away: How are you feeling?

Feeling good. I think [the show] does a great job of not just representing Dogfish Head and our adventures, but the brewing industry as a whole.

What can we expect from episode one?

The first episode centers around Bitches Brew, which just happened to be one of DRAFT Magazine’s top 25 beers of the year. I’m a musichead, and I like Miles Davis a lot. I read Miles’ biography and he was into cooking, so I tried to work backward from his favorite meal, which was this chili, and made a recipe that would pair with it. It uses really unique ingredients, including Ethiopian honey, and has a roasty stout character.

Any highlights from this season?

Each episode centers around a quest for a beer, born of our own imagination, or one that comes to us through research, reading history, working with molecular archeologists. The next episode is all about us going to Peru to make Chicha, which is a beer that uses human saliva to convert the starches to sugar. We made a chicha last year, but said, “Let’s go to Peru and pick up methods and tips.” Ultimately, we go all around the world. When they wanted to do the show with us, we told them that our calendar was full and told them “Here’s what we plan on doing.” The show is based on the stuff that we were doing anyway; the content of the show is from a very authentic place; these weren’t forced scenarios.

On Sunday night when we settle in for episode one, what beer should we crack open?

If you can’t find Bitches Brew, which we’re sending out nationally this week, I would recommend finding your favorite local roasty, dark stout or porter. Go to your local brewpub and buy a growler right off the tap, bring it home and watch the show.

 

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