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Dogfish Head Positive Contact
Where In Town: Scion Restaurant, 2100 P St. NW
Price: $10/9 ounces
Hip Hops Hurray
Brewers sometimes create beers in homage to their favorite music: Take Dogfish Head’s tributes to Miles Davis and Pearl Jam. But when Deltron 3030’s Dan the Automator approached Dogfish founder Sam Calagione about brewing a beer to celebrate the hip-hop supergroup’s long-awaited second album, Calagione took things even further. He sent the San Francisco–based producer the brewery’s entire line of beers with instructions to reply with what he liked. The two later met at New York rooftop brewpub Birreria, of which Calagione is part-owner, to experiment with adding vegetables, herbs, and spices from Eataly, the organic Italian market below, to the beers Dan picked. The result was the recipe for Positive Contact, a Belgian-style wheat ale brewed with Fuji apple cider, roasted farro, cilantro, and cayenne peppers.
I had my first Positive Contact, named for a track on Deltron 3030’s debut album, at Scion in Dupont Circle during DC Beer Week. And a very positive contact it was. Thanks to the apple- and pear-inducing flavor of Calypso hops, the 9-percent-alcohol hybrid, medium-bodied beer is deliciously fruity, with a ciderlike, musty nose and dry finish. The cilantro and farro are almost indiscernible, but the peppers leave a warming aftertaste. The first batch came in a party kit with six 750 mL bottles, recommended pairing recipes from chefs like David Chang and Mario Batali, and a 10-inch white vinyl EP with four new Deltron 3030 remixes. Suggestion: Get your hands on one in time for the release of Deltron 3030’s new album, due out Oct. 1.