If you read our posts you know we have a soft spot in our livers for a handful of things, and Dogfish Head Brewery founder Sam Calagione and collaboration beers are two of them. Now that Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada are producing what will be each brewery’s first collaborative effort, Life & Limb (and companion beer Limb & Life), we seem to have hit the blog jackpot.
The supportive atmosphere and camaraderie among American craft brewers is often commented on, so it should be no surprise that brewery founders Sam Calagione and Ken Grossman decided to make a beer together over a couple of cold ones at last year’s Craft Brewer’s Conference in Boston. In early September, just months after Grossman initiated the idea, the two met to brew at Sierra Nevada’s pristine facilities in Chico, California.
The beers were designed to show the personalities of each brewery and the men behind them. We think they have done just that. According to the Life & Limb website:
Life & Limb is a 10% ABV strong, dark beer that defies style characteristics— brewed with pure maple syrup from the Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman “farm” at the brewery in Chico, CA. The beer is alive with yeast—a blend of both breweries’ house strains—bottle conditioned for added complexity and shelf life, and naturally carbonated with birch syrup fresh from Alaska. Life & Limb is dedicated to the family of beer drinkers and enthusiasts worldwide who continue to support the little guys, iconoclasts, entrepreneurs, and pioneers who risk life and limb to shape the vibrant craft-brewing community.
Limb & Life is a ’small’ beer, made from the second runnings of the larger brew, Life & Limb. Limb & Life has a roasted malt flavor reminiscent of dark roasted coffee and toasted bread, combined with a pronounced hoppiness from the use of bold and aromatic American hops. Limb & Life is an easy drinking ’session’ beer – an antidote to the heavy sippers, and a beer that begs for another glass. It is balanced yet flavorful, hoppy yet not without strong malt, and drinkable but still complex.
Limb & Life came out in October, and Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle was lucky enough to get one of only 75 kegs released. According to bar manager Greg Jasgur, they are all out but will be getting Life & Limb as soon as it is available. Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle is having a Dogfish Head/Sierra Nevada brunch on Sunday, December 6. The Lagerheads have a sneaking suspicion not only that Life & Limb will find its way onto the menu, but judging by the inexplicable popularity of the event without much promotion, “brewery personalities in attendance” could mean the beer legend and the rock star brewer will be there themselves.
We have heard that Whole Foods, Chevy Chase Liquors, The Brickskeller, RFD, and Birch & Barley will also be good places to look for Life & Limb on draft or in 24oz. bottles starting next week. With only about 11,000 gallons out there we suggest snatching some up, especially since the beer is supposed to be great for aging.