The Boothbay Craft Brewery and Dogfish Head Brewery families celebrated their respective 10th and 25th anniversaries together Sept. 26 with the release of their “second generation collaboration,” Awe-Spray. BCB’s Mitchell family and Dogfish’s Calagione family came together over the summer to run trials in the Calagione’s Dogfish Head cabin’s new home brewing system.
“The Calagiones have been part of this community their whole lives … They donated some of the timbers that went into building this brewery,” said Cody Mitchell. “The foundation of the brewing industry is to collaborate and we wanted to take that right to the literal foundation of our brewery in collaborating on the building.”
Cody said when he and Sammy Calagione were teens, they brewed a blueberry root beer together with the help of their fathers Win and Sam. Several years later, the fathers have prepared to step aside and watch the next generation move ahead with innovative ideas for the industry.
Said Cody, “It seems to fit that since now Sammy's of age and I'm of age, we're game to take over the breweries together and that we would do another collaboration. It's all great timing.”
Cody said he brought a strawberry prototype on board which he had been working on all summer with his stove-top and Igloo cooler setup. With trials and tweaking, the finished product grew to include rhubarb, cranberries and honey and went to production at BCB. It was a big win, Cody explained, but not an instant classic. “This recipe will never be made again … It’s a single-batch release which will be sold in cans around the entire state of Maine until it’s gone.”
It’s also not a winning taste that makes a beer memorable, Cody said, as “both families could make beer in their sleep.” One of the hardest parts of making a new brew is marketing it with something that catches the eye. So, Cody put aside his pen to work with Dogfish Head's art department and ultimately commissioned Portland’s Color Wizard, Jared Goulette, to paint the osprey adorning the can.
Sam Calagione explained because the osprey is an awe-inspiring creature found in both Maine and the family’s home state of Delaware, it became a symbol the families wanted to share through the young brewers’ original recipe. “The whole day Cody and Sammy were brewing, Jared was painting the osprey in real time on Dogfish Head. Osprey were flying overhead – it was kismet.”