There are key moments in one’s life: your first love, the first time you drove a car, graduating from school, moving into your very own apartment, your first day at a big new job, getting married, and the birth of your kids. Through all of those moments there are things you associate with them.
It may be the music you were listening to when you drove cross-country to college, or that special shirt you saved for the first day of work, or maybe that tiny outfit you just didn’t think your newborn kid would fit into on his way home from the hospital (but he did).
One of my favorite memories was the rehearsal dinner after-party for when my wife and I got married. We rented out a theater at Alamo Drafthouse here in Austin. It came complete with our personally selected film, “The Princess Bride,” and all the awesome food and drink we and the few dozen people in our party could handle. That night I drank one of my favorite beers, a beer that has been part of several important memories for me: Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.
Dogfish Head is a fantastic brewery out of Delaware. It started in the 1990s as a small brewpub, and has since grown to be one of the more widely recognized craft breweries. They make nearly 20 styles of beer, and you can easily find it in more than half of the country.
If you live on the East Coast, West Coast, or a large city in middle America, you can probably find it. I’ve had their Punkin Ale (which I wrote about in the article on pumpkin beer), their Indian Brown is great, the Burton Baton is fantastic, but the real stars of their lineup are their Minute IPAs.
These are beers that are continually hopped for 60, 90, or 120 minutes during the boil. With the 90 Minute, that means you get “pungent — but not crushing — hop flavor,” as Dogfish Head says. It isn’t overly bitter like many IPAs can be, particularly when you consider just how hoppy it is. In addition to the continual hopping, it undergoes a dry-hopping as well, while the beer conditions. All in all, the nation’s number-one-selling imperial IPA takes roughly a month to make, but it is one damn good beer.
This is a beer I first discovered when I lived in Washington DC. I was fresh out of college, working on Capitol Hill, and getting wined and dined by people wanting something or another from me or my boss. One of my first work lunches was at a bar that had 90 Minute. I had never had it before, but was beginning to explore beyond the world of college beers, and ended up falling in love with this IPA.
It was a beer I kept coming back to. When my brother graduated from college in Boston, we made a beer run and picked up Dogfish Head IPA for his celebratory party. I had it again when I married, and again when I saluted the birth of my firstborn. It’s one of those beers that I just keep coming back to at moments big and small.
When my wife and I recently celebrated an anniversary, I once again rented out a theater, this time at Moviehouse and Eatery here in Austin. We had the entire place to ourselves, and watched one of our favorite movies that goes way back to when we first started dating in high school. I naturally had Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA to celebrate. And it was glorious!