A continental brew undivided
A Review of Pangaea by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Posted on 3/4/2014 by Chops
At this point I like to describe Dogfish Head as the South Park of craft breweries. What I mean is that when creative geniuses are left to their own devices, which may seem bizarre or downright wacky, they reliably produce gold. Some artists need an unrestrained freedom to pursue their passions. I suspect that Sam Calagione, founder and President of Dogfish Head, is one such artist. The crazy concoctions this guy dreams up are often brain-bending brews that challenge the senses. As an example, he recreated an ancient Chinese beer recipe based on molecular archaeological evidence found in pottery from Stone Age China. Who does that? It boggles the mind, but also tantalizes the taste buds. I recently sat down with the Dogfish Head Pangaea, another eccentric creation that utilizes ingredients from each of the seven continents, hence the name. The specific ingredients used are as follows:

1) Crystallized ginger from Australia
2) Water from Antarctica
3) Basmati rice from Asia
4) Muscavado sugar from Africa
5) South American quinoa
6) European yeast
7) North American maize

Having read and re-read that list several times, you tell me what this beer is going to taste like. Stumped? Exactly. I hadn't a clue either, which is why we beer nerds love Dogfish Head and keep coming back for more. One thing is for certain, you are guaranteed a unique and lively experience with each and every bottle.

In the glass, Pangaea had a rich brown coloration with apricot-like hues. It came with a frothy white head that had nice retention. On the nose, I was initially greeted by a sweet candied malt aroma. From there it spiraled around from fruity to spicy to earthy and then back to candied. There were plenty of interesting aromatic notes to find, namely a warm citrus, tangy ginger, honey, peaches, berries, and a dusting of spices. Knowing the ingredient list that went into this beer, I could only grab bits and pieces from the various notes. This is mostly due to my own ignorance of some of the ingredients and their effects on beer. In short, this was a learning experience from the moment I popped the cap.

Now here's the kicker that I was not expecting: the flavor perfectly matched the aroma. I was taken aback by this because considering the mysterious aroma, I was positive that the flavor would impart a new perspective. Not even close, which goes to show you how well crafted this beer was. Unfamiliar aromas became unfamiliar, yet easily identifiable, flavor notes. None of this was offensive mind you, I just enjoyed an array of fascinating new flavors (time to try some quinoa). The hop profile was present and noticeable, but served a more complimentary role. The beer had a medium body and drank decently smooth despite its tangy persona. The beer finished sticky and exited with a tangy bitter aftertaste.

Overall, Dogfish Head's Pangaea is an endlessly fascinating brew. In typical Dogfish Head fashion, this was unlike any beer I had ever tasted. It shared similarities with a host of other styles, namely spicy Belgians and savory veggie beers. That being said, I honestly have no idea who to recommend this beer to apart from card-carrying fans of Dogfish Head. I can only say that I really enjoyed Pangaea and will happily partake in more. It is definitely worth the price of admission if you are looking for something new and exciting. Just be sure that your passport is up to date.

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Pangaea by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
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