Pale India Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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11 Ratings

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bryan Selders (Dogfish Lead Brewer) and Sam Calagione (Dogfish founder) brewed this beer with funky Indian spices donated by our pal Pete and his friends. Pete is the man responsible for Pete's Wicked Ale and turning so many folks on to craft beer back in the day.

The Pale India Ale is designed to be 6% abv bier de garde brewed with Fenugreek, Big Elachi, Green Elachi, Kalonji Onion, Garam Masala, and Tamarind Paste.


A little more on the spices... the Kalonji Onion is actually the seed of the nigella sativa plant and is in no way related to any type of onion. The seeds are widely used as a spice across India thru the middle east. Each culture which uses it has a name for it which translate into a variety of English names; all of which are usually misleading as to the actual source of the seed. Indians call it the black onion seed which is why our bag read "Kalonji onion" as that bag came from an Indian market. Also, elachi is cardamom of which we used the black and green varieties (in case anybody asks).

Malt-wise, Bryan & Sam used Belgian Pils, Belgian Biscuit Malt and Belgian Special B.

Hops were Warrior and Willamette.

Belgian Dark Candy syrup provide about 12% of the fermentable extract.

Why? Because when the weather warms up folks start craving a beer with made with 'onions'.

Added by lackenhauser on 05-22-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11 |  Reviews: 2
Reviews by Bmoyer0301:
Photo of Bmoyer0301
5/5  rDev +30.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of drocpsu
3.69/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this today on tap at the Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth, NH. It was left over from their Dogfish Head dinner that they hosted a few weeks back. I had never tried it before and wasn't sure what to expect.

The beer was served in a tulip glass and had a very small head by the time it arrived. The beer took quite a while to arrive, which may have been the cause of this.

Color was like a medium brownish leather.

The smell was interesting. It had a spiciness to it that reminded me a little of a spicy chai tea, though it was not overwhelming.

Taste seemed to start off with a slight sweetness but with a spicy finish. Overall, it was good but not exceptional. No single taste seemed to stand out too much over any other.

An easy drinking beer that I wouldn't mind trying a second time, but wasn't blown away by at the same time.

 841 characters

Photo of SeanDolan
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of morehpperliter
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Chris_Gannon
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of scripna
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of lackenhauser
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale straw color with a somewhat hazy tinge to it. decent enough head going on. Aroma is ok-rather plain considering the spices that I read have been added. The flavor was nothing special at first but as I consumed my pint a very nice, spicy, interesting meld of flavors came thru. Pepper, coriander and a slightly fennel taste. Moderate curry notes as well. By the end of the glass I could almost convince myself I was having a curry dish. Decent malt against the spices. Somewhat earthy. What at first seemed a fender bender of a beer came out quite nice. Really held up well. Good body,somewhat dry finish wise. A drinkable and enjoyable beer for the most part. Once I saw this was a biere de garde it really changed my perception. Funny how a name can change one's perception. Worth a shot-you might enjoy it more then I did. Could not make a night of it though.

 866 characters

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Blackmajic
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of THECPJ
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of trojankeg
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Pale India Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 11 ratings