Who would have thought that casually sipping a random brown ale in front of a roaring fire during a snowstorm in upstate New York would lead to tasting perhaps the best IPA of all time? The beer was from DogFish Head in Milton, Delaware. We had never heard about them before and decided to “take a chance” and see what their beer was all about. Needless to say, it went down easy on that snowy night, and when we found it locally in Las Vegas, we knew we had to feature it to start the 2013 I Love Beer Show season at Cheers Bar in Las Vegas, Nevada!

The “Raison D’etre” (meaning “the reason for existance”) was about as good as it gets. The beer pours a mahogany colored, Belgian style brown ale that went down so easy and tasted great! Brewed with beet sugar, raisins, and Belgium-style yeast, it seems this 8.0% alcohol beer was created specifically by DogFish Head to complement steaks and chops, much like wine connoisseurs pair their wines. Tasty and complex, we’ve found another winner!

Dogfish Head is really a great success story because they are one of the few craft brewers out there where you can find their beer all across the country. We’ve been noticing a lot of local pubs featuring DogFish Head on tap and after our craft beer tasting experiences with DogFish, now we know why. Allow us to highly recommend just about any of their year-round brews such as Burton Baton, Indian Brown Ale, Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron, Shelter Pale Ale, any of their IPA’s and of course the Raison D’Etre featured on the show.

But it doesn’t stop there. DogFish Head is really known for their fantastic IPAs. We were able to get a hold of their limited availability seasonal called “120 Minute IPA”, which just blew us away in taste and complexity. The beer is brewed to a 45-degree plato, then boiled for two full hours (hence the name) with high-alpha American hops being continually added to the mix. Then it’s all dry-hopped daily in a fermenter for a month, and then further aged for another month on whole-leaf hops, all of which creates perhaps the biggest IPA of all time (plus it’s 20% alcohol, so watch out!).

The result: one of the best tasting beers of all time. Seriously, it was that good. To be perfectly honest, it almost didn’t even taste like beer! In fact, you would think the “hoppiness” of the mixture would appeal to only the biggest fan of IPA’s, but even if you’re not an IPA fan, you’ll probably still enjoy this beer. The “120 Minute IPA” from DogFish Head is hard to find, it’s seasonal, and it’s not cheap. But trust us when we tell you that as soon as you see it, buy it, try it, and thank us later for the recommendation.