This fall, we were thrilled to welcome yet another outstanding brewery to our ever expanding portfolio of world-class beer. DuClaw Brewery, the pride of Maryland, is committed to not only brewing fantastic, creative beers, but making the craft beer world just a little bit cooler as they do. Obviously, they’re a perfect fit with Rampant!
Like many other worthwhile endeavors, DuClaw Brewery started as a way for a guy to meet girls. Dave Benfield began homebrewing in college as a way to supply his buddies with beer and the female admirers he imagined would come with it. At least half of his plan was a raging success (reports vary on the other half of the plan) and he quickly discovered he had a knack for brewing.
After college, Dave took a job in the family business but continued to hone his ninja-like brewing skills in secret. He parents quickly figured him out, though, as he frequently smelled of spent grain, and mumbled incessantly about “carboys” and “original gravities” in his sleep. He finally admitted to them that he wanted to quit the family business and start his own, completely original, one-of-a-kind business: a restaurant with a small brewery inside that served its own original craft beer. An Alta Vista search (hey, it was the ‘90s!) revealed that this was neither an original idea nor a one-of-a-kind business, but that didn’t dissuade him because he had a fool-proof business plan to make his brewpub, as he learned they were called, stand out: He was going to make it cool.
In 1996, DuClaw Brewing Company opened its doors in Bel Air, Maryland for the very first time. Dave’s commitment to making it cool paid off as just a year later it was declared “Bel Air’s hippest establishment” by the local paper.
Since then, DuClaw has stuck to this central pillar of coolness through constant innovation and testing of new recipes, combinations, and ingredients. The results? More than 35 unique beers and countless variations and blends. Here in Ohio and Kentucky, craft beer lovers can enjoy three cool brews from DuClaw: Sweet Baby Jesus, Dirty Little Freak, and Neon Gypsy.
DuClaw’s flagship beer, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter is jet black in color with a tan, rocky head, full body and creamy, luxurious mouthfeel. Its lightly sweet, malty flavor is accented by rich flavors of chocolate, coffee and peanut butter, and balanced by a subtle hop character and moderate 6.5% ABV. Sweet Baby Jesus! finishes smooth, dry, and roasty with lingering notes of chocolate and peanut butter so savory, you will exclaim its name!
Dirty Little Freak Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale, first brewed in 2014, takes the traditional American Brown Ale and gives it a sensual new twist – Coconut! This medium-bodied, 5.8% ABV Brown Ale is a feast for the senses from its dominant blend of warm, roasted malt, coconut, caramel, and chocolate flavors barely restrained by a gentle hop bite, to its tantalizingly satisfying finish. But if you submit to our Dirty Little Freak, be warned: there is no safe word.
This IPA, first brewed in 2014, is medium-bodied and clear with a thin white head and crisp mouthfeel. A vagabond blend of 7 different hops dominates with grapefruit and citrus flavors and aromas, accented by notes of pine, that continue to roam your palate long after its clean, hoppy finish. Disconnect, and you will find your way.
For Pete’s Sake! Coming in December, an Imperial version of Sweet Baby Jesus, raises the bar again with its silky, full body, big roasted malt flavor and aroma dominated by rich notes of peanut butter and chocolate, subtle fruit and coffee notes, and a strong, warming 9% ABV. For Pete’s Sake!: It’s a whole new level of Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter!