Dogfish Head makes some fabulous beers. They’re always over the top and a little off. I chose Namaste for this Friday’s beer session. Namaste is a wit and has a Dogfish twist. They added lemongrass.
I read that this lemongrass is popular for Thai food. It’s in some Tom Yum soup which is supposed to combat colds and the flu and maybe even cancer. And Dogfish put it in their beer. Rock on. Now I can really go on about the health benefits of beer.
The brewer says this about the beer name, both on the bottle and at the website: “Namaste, the word kinda sorta means the spirit in me recognizes and celebrates the spirit in you.” That seems to be a modern interpretation of the Indian phrase along with a little Dogfish twist. It seems to be pronounced, roughly, “num-uh-stay.” (If that’s not quite right, please send in a correction).
It was much lighter in color than I anticipated, although I knew it was a white ale. It was packaged in a large bomber and for some reason I allowed that to influence my thinking. Big bottle, big beer, I thought, with amber to dark color. Idiot.
Head seems to last forever. It’s white and fluffy but actually goes away. The lemon scent wisps up from the beer body right away then goes away. Then the coriander takes over, with a hint of the orange. Okay, it seems to me that this beer is Dogfish’s answer to Mothership Wit. It’s a Belgian style white ale, pours cloudy and milky yellow. And it has a few more floaties. Which is cool. There’s a lemony aftertaste which neatly scours the palate after each draught.
Interestingly, it’s only about 5% abv, a little low for the usually imperial minded Dogfish Head.
Overall, I really like it. The orange and lemongrass conflagration really is a far more balmy mix than I expected. The lemon is a fun addition to white ales, although it subdues the sourness or tang that I personally enjoy. And, my, does that lemon stick around, like an unwelcome Lifesaver candy.
But, here’s the statement on the bottle that clinched this choice for me: “A refreshing summer thing.” Why? Well, here’s the weather forecast for tonight:
“Snow likely after midnight.”
Last week it was in the 80s, man. Now, suddenly, snow wants to fall. I defy the winter. I drink a refreshing wit in November. Thank you, Sam.
Oh, and the tricky part? Well, see, the usual thing to add to a wheat beer, whether on the glass rim or in the bottle is a lemon. I tell my servers to avoid this, for I like my beer uncorrupted. If they forget, which is typical, I take the lemon slice and throw it as far away from me as possible. All right, I don’t do that. My wife would take umbrage at such an embarassing feat. So I throw the lemon slice on the table with disgust. Dogfish Head then put lemongrass in a wheat beer. What can I throw now? Plus, it actually tastes good. Wheat beers are perfect, perfect for the desert. Refreshing and light. Lemon just adds to that. Now I’ll have to reconsider the way I treat lemons.