REHOBOTH BEACH, Aug. 13, 2015 – Dogfish Head is no stranger to beers with interesting and sometimes exotic ingredients – after all, they hang their reputation on doing things the “off-centered” way.
Availability: Year-round; 25 states, plus D.C.
Serving size: 12 oz. bottle
Price: approx. $9-$12/six-pack
Alcohol (ABV): 4.8 percent
What makes this beer stand out on the shelves: The packaging first grabs your eye with the skeleton radiating good vibes, which begins to tell the back story of this beer. But it’s what is in the bottle that makes the beer stand out. Summertime is the right time for easy-drinking refreshing beers that go well with a variety of foods and do just as well on their own to easily slug back after hot weather activity.
Why you drink this beer now: This pale yellow beer with a slight haziness gets a bitter overtone from orange peel followed by an undercurrent of sweet citrus orange and tangy lemon. A slight touch of black pepper with refreshing effervescence and low alcohol round out the argument for this perfect summertime beverage. Seafood salad, grilled chicken salad with apples and almonds and mandarin orange, and spicy Thai dishes all give Namaste a wide variety of options as dinner table companions.
What else you should know about this beer and brewery: Namaste was originally brewed as a beer to support the 3 Fonteinen brewing family in Belgium after a devastating disaster destroyed roughly one-third their bottle inventory in 2009. The spirit of Namaste suggests the goodwill amongst brewers and friends that drink it. Back around home, the Dogfish Head name is stamped everywhere. It’s impossible to get into all the facets of Dogfish Head’s business in this small space. Though, when you think of lodging, distilling, music, bocce, dining and yes, by the way, beer, the Dogfish Head name can be included in the conversation. As their brewpub operation in Rehoboth Beach is undergoing an expansion project, be sure to check out the Historical Society in neighboring Lewes where they are honoring the 20-year-old brewery with a featured portion of its History of Brewing in Delaware exhibit through October 3.
Quotable from the brewery: from Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head: “Namaste is a beer that we’ve loved since the day we started making it. But frankly, for a long time, we chose the wrong format for it. It’s a low ABV, food-friendly, citrusy, session-y beer, but for many years, we only released it occasionally and only in champagne-size bottles. Over and over we heard beer lovers and Dogfish fans asking for Namaste to be offered more often and in 12-oz. bottles, so we listened. Last year, we started putting Namaste in 6-packs of 12-oz. bottles, and it’s taken off, particularly in the sweaty months. Here at Dogfish, most of our releases average about 9% ABV, so at 4.8%, Namaste is very much on the lower end of our ABV spectrum.”
Quotable from the barstool: from Ed Levandoski of Montgomery County, Pa.: “My go-to in this style has always been Allagash White. I drank Namaste fresh at the brewery last week and I’ve found a replacement. It’s a solid beer.”
If you have tasted this beer, please weigh in with your own comments below. If you know of a beer that should be profiled here, likewise let me know.
About the writer: Bryan Kolesar has been on the trail of great beer for over 20 years and writing about it for more than 10. In 2015, his “Beer Lover’s Mid-Atlantic” book was released and in a mere 416 pages covered the diverse beer scene of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Find his book online and in bookstores and follow on Twitter @BrewLounge.