Do you remember your first beer? Like a good little monkey, I waited till I was of legal age to dive into the brew scene, so my first beer was not something with the word “Lite” or “Light” in it. Mine was Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale. It’s a good beer, but for a beginner it was a bit much to take in (Seriously, can you recall your first beer?). Now, can you remember the first beer that changed the way you think about beer? I talking about the one that made you say “Maybe there is something to the craft of this drink that should be explored further.”
For me it was a weird moment.
I wasn’t incredibly well versed in beer, to be honest I was more of a Whiskey and Rum guy, so I kept to the traditional when it came to the ol’ Oat Soda. My favorite beer at the time was Guinness and I didn’t trust any of the beers that had the weird artwork on them (Which are the only beers I seem to trust now) and I didn’t drink what I hadn’t heard of. That all changed over the course of a single day.
The first beer that opened my eyes (and changed me into a born-again drinker) was one I had never heard of, but I had heard of the brand. A friend and I took a trip to Delaware, a spontaneous one that we planned about 10 hours before going, for the sole purpose of taking a tour of the Dogfish Head brewery, and of course drinking a lot of different beers.
We had both had a couple of Dogfish Head brews in the past, he more than I, although I’m not exactly sure what my friend had tried, but I only knew of the 90 and 60 minute IPAs, so the rest of the operation was a mystery to me.
I loved what I had tried, so going there seemed to make sense, especially if I didn’t have to drive (which I didn’t. All around win for this guy).
We got there and, to be honest, I feel the tour left much to be desired, but that was understandable, mainly because Dogfish was expanding so there were various construction projects going on, which limited the areas we could visit (I feel if I were to go again it would be much different).
So we walked around, learned some facts about the beer and smelled the aromas of beer being born. Now, come the end of the tour we were allowed to sample 4 different beers, about a quarter of a glass worth, many of which were hard to find around Maryland at the time. Fast forward to the present and you can now find the most popular varieties (and nice liquor stores have a bunch) of Dogfish Head at most barrooms, so now it doesn’t seem quite as mystical as it did back then, but the flavor remains. This beer is hard to hate.
The lovely lady I am referring to with such fondness is Midas Touch by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
Type of Beer: Spiced / Herbed Beer (The bottle calls it an “Ancient Ale”)
Every beer has a story, some not as exciting as others, but this is one of the stories that I love. I’ll get to that in a minute.
Now the term “Spiced Beer” is a term that is assigned to the beers that use a variety of spices, in conjunction with the normal ingredients (hops, malted barley, etc…) to create unique flavors. Sometimes they can be under hopped for the purpose of bringing those spice notes forward. Seasonal beers like Pumpkin Ale’s fall into this category.
So if this is technically a spiced beer, then why does the bottle say Ancient Ale? Dogfish Head has a series of beers that are called ancient ales, because they are recreations of old recipes from analyzing very very old drinking vessels.
Midas Touch was the first in the series, and its based off of evidence of a variety of ingredients found in a 2,700 year old container found in the supposed tomb of King Midas. I hope everyone here has heard of King Midas? Well then you understand why Midas Touch is a good name for the beer. Now onto the beer.
It pours a nice gold, which makes the name even more appropriate, with a white head. It smells alcoholic, along with a fruity smell along with some spice notes. I have a sort of unconditional love for this beer, as it truly opened my eyes. Its taste is both beautiful and reminiscent for me. If you recall in one of my previous reviews I stated that the alcoholic taste is terrible, and it can be, but here its a bit different. Oddly, the alcohol taste pairs nicely with the other flavors of the beer, and those spices and sweet notes really take the emphasis off of it.
This isn’t a traditional beer, as Dogfish claims it is somewhere between wine and mead, and it will appeal to a variety of drinkers. I can understand that, and so can the world, as it is (or was at least) the most awarded beer that Dogfish Head brews. The people don’t lie.
She’s good, but not perfect. Although I’m not really sure what a perfect beer is. 9/10 for this girl.
And on a little side note, if you find yourself up in Beer country in Delaware, and you get a chance to stop in on the Dogfish Head Brewery, make one more stop. Travel to Rehoboth and stop in on the Dogfish Head Brew pub. They have a lot of special beers (and spirits) that they brew in house that aren’t available anywhere else. Also, they make one hell of a burger.
In closing…Dogfish Head has proven one thing. Midas is still King. Gold has never tasted so good.
Thomas Conner, the ‘Beer Dude’ has known to taste and make some of the finest beers in Charm City. He figures he has made more beer than he drank or is that vice versa. He doesn’t remember. If you catch him at a nearby Baltimore establishment drinking a beer, he reminds us sternly, it’s solely for research purposes. He doesn’t jot down notes. In fact, he highly recommends not drinking and writing because it interferes with the tasting. As always, he brings along a designated note-taker who also multi-tasks by driving him home. Drink and write responsibly and never at the same time is his motto. If you would like him to test out your establishment’s home brew, just pretend you’re at the O’s game, and yell, “Beer man.” He’ll hear you.