Dogfish Head Craft Brewery & Rodenbach to Release Vibrant P'Ocean, a First-of-its-Kind Collaboration

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by Todd, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,748) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    225 Years of Experience in One Beer – Now that’s Magic! Dogfish Head Craft Brewery & RODENBACH to Release Vibrant P’Ocean, a First-of-its-Kind Collaboration

    Milton, Del., Jan. 10, 2020 – Delaware’s (almost) 25-year-old Dogfish Head Craft Brewery joins forces with Belgium’s (almost) 200-year-old Brouwerij RODENBACH to release Vibrant P’Ocean, a 4.7% ABV blended sour ale. A beer for the history books,Vibrant P’Ocean is RODENBACH’s first-ever collaborative brew. “As America’s number-one brewer of sour beers, we atDogfish are absolutely honored to be the first to collaborate and create a beer in partnership with RODENBACH, the world’s most well-respected maker of sour beers,” said Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head. “I’m proud to say that our teams contributed equally on every creative facet of this beer – from the brainstorm to the brew to calibrating the vibrant, red hue of the beer though specific grain and fruit blends. We really took our time and focused on creating a mouth-puckeringly magical drinking experience.”

    Vibrant P’Ocean is a complex, ruby-colored beer with tart, dry flavors of jammy berries and floral lemon. To create this trans-oceanic potion, the breweries carefully combined two unique base beers – one developed by RODENBACH and the other by Dogfish Head. RODENBACH’s portion, a two-year, foeder-aged sour from its legendary, standing oak casks, was brewed in Belgium before making its 3,400-mile (or 1,000-nautical league) voyage to Milton, Delaware. There, it was blended with Dogfish Head’s portion, a kettle sour brewed with pilsner malt, malted wheat, elderberry, elderflower, sliced lemons and Belgian fleur-de-sel. Vibrant P’Ocean will be available nationwide in 6pk/12oz cans starting in late January. The breweries are also exploring a future, limited release of Vibrant P’Ocean that will be available in Belgium.

    “Our relationship with Dogfish Head blossomed over a few good sour beers and Vibrant P’Ocean captures all that we hoped for in this collaboration,” said Rudi Ghequire, Master Brewer of RODENBACH. “It signifies the vibrancy and mutual respect of our beers and two cultures coming together, inspired by the ocean which connects us. The result is an innovative and refreshing sour beer that captures Dogfish Head’s history of creativity, while staying true to the RODENBACH brand and its oak-aging process which gives RODENBACH its distinctive character.”

    Sour and wild-fermented ales is now the fastest-growing style of craft beer, but both Dogfish Head and RODENBACH have been producing and perfecting lip-smackingly tart libations since way before it was considered ‘cool.’ Dogfish Head’s ‘sour story’ began nearly 17 years ago, when Calagione first brewed Festina Lente. A small-batch, spontaneously-fermented beer brewed with more than 400 lbs. of locally-grown peaches, this award-winning wild ale was the brewery’s springboard for entry to the sours category.

    In 2016, Dogfish Head released SeaQuench Ale, which quickly became the fastest growing beer in the company’s history. A session sour mash-up of a crisp Kolsch, a salty Gose and a tart Berliner Weiss, this citrusy thirst-slayer holds the title of America’s number-one selling sour beer. After witnessing the continued success of SeaQuench Ale, Dogfish Head put the pedal to the metal on a slew of its other ‘wild’ ideas. In early 2018, the brewery introduced SuperEIGHT, a super Gose made with a bevy of heroic ingredients, including prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, kiwi juices, toasted quinoa and red Hawaiian sea salt. Later that same year, it unveiled its ‘Wooden … it be nice!’ wild beer program and has since released seven small-batch sour beers within the Mid-Atlantic region.

    Ironically, it was through its ‘Wooden … it be nice!’ initiative that Dogfish Head and RODENBACH’s relationship began. At an annual meeting of the world’s leading brewers, the Craft Brewers Conference in 2018, Ghequire and the head of Dogfish Head’s ‘Wooden … it be nice!’ wild beer program, Bill Marchi, sat on the same brewing panel. During the conference, fleeting conversations of a future collaboration ensued and – little did they know – the rest would become history. First, Ghequire and members of RODENBACH’s team made a trip to Dogfish Head’s production facility in Delaware to further solidify the breweries’ partnership. Brainstorming continued and then, Calagione and members of Dogfish Head’s team visited RODENBACH’s brewery in Roeselare, Belgium, to finalize the details for Vibrant P’Ocean. During that trip, Calagione and Ghequire spent time touring RODENBACH’s legendary brewery and cooperage, sampling traditional cuisine from the surrounding region, learning about the country’s brewing history and soaking up every possible drop of inspiration.

    “It’s a little-known secret that the acidity levels in a sessionable sour beer, such as RODENBACH Classic, SeaQuench Ale and now, Vibrant P’Ocean, offer consumers a delicious beer experience with a higher level of refreshment,” added Ghequire. “Generations of Belgians have known this to be true, and we’re excited that American consumers have the opportunity to try and enjoy even more quality-produced sessionable sours.”

    “Dogfish Head’s journey with RODENBACH sure has been a memorable one,” said Calagione. “I am so eager for Vibrant P’Ocean to be released and to enjoy a celebratory six-pack with Rudi and the co-workers that make up our brewing teams.”

    For more information about Vibrant P’Ocean, Dogfish Head’s collaboration with RODENBACH or Dogfish Head’s portfolio of sours, visit

    AlcahueteJ, officerbill, PNW and 6 others like this.
  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “As America’s number-one brewer of sour beers, we at Dogfish…”

    Is Sam Calagione basing this claim of “America’s number-one brewer of sour beers” based upon beer volume? Does Dogfish Head produce more barrels of sour beer than any other American brewer? @jesskidden

    It would have been intriguing if they could have created a mix pack (e.g., 6-pack) which included the Dogfish Head product (kettle sour brewed with pilsner malt, malted wheat, elderberry, elderflower, sliced lemons and Belgian fleur-de-sel), The Rodenbach product (a two-year, foeder-aged sour from its legendary, standing oak casks) and the blended final product (Vibrant P'Ocean).

    donspublic, TheGent, KRug and 14 others like this.
  3. BoldCars

    BoldCars Initiate (30) Apr 5, 2018 Maryland

    That... Would be an absolutely brilliant idea!!!!
    KRug and GuyFawkes like this.
  4. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (752) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    "P'Ocean"? Let's rethink the name...especially if served warm...
  5. Eefinn

    Eefinn Initiate (37) Oct 19, 2019 Vermont

    I had the same thought, SeaQuench being the only sour beer I've had from Dogfish Head.

    I will probably buy some Vibrant P'Ocean if I see it, but a mixed pack like you describe would certainly be a must have, if they made one.
    KRug likes this.
  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    For some reason I am reminded about the joke of two Irishmen are lost at sea in a lifeboat & Guinness.:flushed:

    eppCOS and HouseofWortship like this.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,368) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Maybe Sam will contact me first to help with the marketing of their next collaboratively brewed beer!?!:wink:

    KRug and GuyFawkes like this.
  8. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (362) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    I would think that ideally your beer name shouldn't also sound like a plausible Pornhub user name, but hey, I'm not in marketing.
    KRug, desint, GuyFawkes and 2 others like this.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,944) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Seems possible, I guess. After a bit of Googlin' hit some obscure website :wink:
    that said:

    Who else in the US could top over 50k bbl of "sour" beers? Or be crowned The Sultan* of Sours (*do sultan even wear crowns?).

    EDIT - Oh, yeah, they did.

    (Man I really hate that catch-all term, "sour beer"...).
    KRug, PapaGoose03, AlcahueteJ and 6 others like this.
  10. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (752) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Is this the idea for the asparagus variant called Funky P'Ocean?
    KRug, TomFoolery_x and JackHorzempa like this.
  11. GuyFawkes

    GuyFawkes Poo-Bah (4,402) Apr 7, 2011 Illinois
    Society Trader

    dcotom likes this.
  12. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (4,986) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    I admit I may be twisting the already twisted wording, but I know DFH likes to claim they were "the first" to do things. So could this claim to number one be in the vein of something like "the first to brew a sour style." Right or wrong, I think they have made this time-sensitive (i.e. starting with 1990s revival) claim for Festina Peche.
    KRug likes this.
  13. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (281) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    They love to hype themselves up. #1 sour maker? You make one or two kettle sours. Stop it.

    I admit I was buying SQ 9 to 10 times more than their other products. What does that say about their lineup? It’s a slightly tart barely sour mash up. It’s refreshing. It’s decent. But the best? Not even close.

    Also, Is GI the # IPA maker because of GI IPA?

    People can read through your crap Sam. stop.
  14. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,608) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    This is fascinating news, right up there with the Utopias-aged WWS. Very few, if any, breweries are more respected than Rodenbach. I'm not sure how the final product will turn out, but that is part of what makes it interesting.

    As for DFH's claim to be the top sour producer .... well, yeah, they're obviously talking about volume. SeaQuench I suppose is a sour ale, but it certainly doesn't occupy the same space as Rodenbach's classic red ales. I don't personally know anyone who would claim that DFH brews the best sours in the US, but the most sours is certainly a plausible claim, and one I wouldn't expect them to make if the facts weren't on their side.

    I'd prefer it if their wording were more direct, though: "As America's top seller of sour ales," or highest producer, or something to the like. "Top" can definitely be interpreted as best, and no one's buying that. :wink:
  15. jayrutgers

    jayrutgers Aspirant (202) Oct 29, 2011 New Jersey

  16. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,015) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    My best friend in the world ever was Brad from Wilmington, Delaware. We met in college and we were just connected by genetics and brain. He used to bring 60 Minute to our gatherings and I think he was rather close to a genius. He died in 1999. His family still has a place at Dewey's Beach where the forest meets the ocean. He taught me about birds and I taught him about literature. I really miss his kind soul....
  17. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,321) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader
    Lente came out even earlier than Peche, on albeit a much smaller scale
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  18. beerwego

    beerwego Initiate (44) Dec 5, 2019

    From a trackable POV, I do believe it has been cited that Sea Quench Ale is the number one "sour" beer in America
  19. beerwego

    beerwego Initiate (44) Dec 5, 2019

    The claim is based on units, not quality, and those brands that register in sales tracking are generally full-scale distribution brands, meaning the competition to make these claims is narrow

    With a little effort I could probably get my hands on this data, as I work at a Fragrance & Flavors house. My counterparts in the Flavors division have this data
    STORMRAGE92 likes this.
  20. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta Aspirant (281) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    I’m just saying the units argument is very McDonald’s or Bud light of them. I don’t see many craft giants touting their ‘top’ stout or ‘top’ ipa.

    i know in N.M., for years the best selling craft beer was Santa Fe’s happy camper IPA. I never knew of them to say it was a top or best of anything really. The beer is quite mediocre. So I think they knew that.
    KRug likes this.
  21. jayrutgers

    jayrutgers Aspirant (202) Oct 29, 2011 New Jersey

    They sell more sour beer than anyone else in America.

    They also have an entire line of barrel aged sours that I guess you won't give them credit for because they're brewery only releases or at best have limited scale distribution to the states that surround Delaware.

    Also, get over yourself.
    jonphisher and officerbill like this.
  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Yeah, there's a couple dubious claims in this marketing spiel.

    The other one that caught my eye was...

    Rodenbach is absolutely well respected, but I feel like this is a slight on Cantillon, and perhaps even Drie Fonteinen. Granted, some may or may not consider Lambic/Gueuze "sours", but I'm also in the same camp as @jesskidden as not being a huge fan of the term "sour".

    That's kind of like lumping all hop forward beers into a category called "IPAs", oh no wait...

    Yup, this was mentioned in the OP.

    This snippet also has another claim that could be true, but I have no idea, "Sour and wild-fermented ales is now the fastest-growing style of craft beer". @jesskidden

    True, but those barrel-aged sours make up only 0.2% of all "sour beer" they produce. Or only 1,080 barrels. And I bet a good chunk of that 0.2% could be Festina Peche as well.

    Roughly 18 percent of the brewery’s output in 2019 will be sour brands, says brewmaster Mark Safarik, who helms the new brewhouse with brewing supervisor Bill Marchi. Kettle sours like SeaQuench and SuperEIGHT will make up 99.8 percent of those 54,000 barrels...

    Compare this to a company like Allagash. Who was the first to use a coolship in America, and is probably more known for their "sour beer" than Dogfish Head. Although I have no idea how much "sour beer" they produce.

    Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, ME is widely cited as the first to set one up for spontaneously fermented sour beers, back in 2008. (Anchor Brewing, it should be noted, has used one for a while, but not to make sours.)

    Sooo, other than the one BA who said, "It's good" has anyone else tried it? I saw it at the store and was intrigued, as I do like beers from Rodenbach and beers like Festina Peche from Dogfish Head.
  23. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (216) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    Understandable honestly, these beers both sell like crazy in my area. SuperEight to me is very underrated as an easy drinker, but to each their own
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  24. jayrutgers

    jayrutgers Aspirant (202) Oct 29, 2011 New Jersey

    So they make 1,000 barrels and growing judging by distribution reaching outside of the brewery now and into surrounding states, and they still make and sell the most sour beer in America. How many breweries that make sours do you think the guy I'm responding to would rank above DFH even make 1,000 barrels of barrel aged sours? Probably few if any of them.

    They have the only verifiable and factual number in their corner, I don't know why it's drawing this much angst from people that DFH produced a crossover hit with a sour.
  25. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I think you're right, they have earned the right to shamelessly adopt the tag of "#1 sour brewer" in the US. It doesn't offend me any more than any marketing speak.
    I think what is more noxious is the concept of "sour" beer as a category when it has recently and blatantly become a way for quick lactic acid forward brews to play on the well earned respect of wild and mixed fermentation beers that have long been respected as much for the effort, logistics, and skill beyond brewing (i.e. blending, selecting barrels, selecting fruit flavorings, etc...) required to produce them as they have for their flavor to command a mystique and often a price tag that is unreasonable in my opinion.
    And I'm down with seaquench, its a very pleasant beverage. And I agree that to the extent "sour" can be a category it much better applies to these kettle sours and "goses" than it does to the lambic makers product. So I guess it's just the pain of change that makes it feel icky when seaquench gets the nod as the "top sour beer" in the US
    officerbill, AlcahueteJ and PMR like this.
  26. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (4,986) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    Got a six pack. I wasn't too pleased with it, though it's not bad.

    I'm actually more interested it the individual beers that were blended (as described by DFH site) than the blend itself. I perceived more of the DFH half (tart, fruity) than the Rodenbach (foeder), but it seemed to me as if they both worked to cancel each other out more than accentuate each other.

    Granted, that's after only one can - but as a second opinion, my GF gave it an "eh - okay" rating :wink:
  27. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Well, as I said, Festina Peche which sees distribution is a part of that 0.2%. So that number is likely far less than 1,000 barrels. Allagash distributes a variety of spontaneously fermented beers.

    That aside, it's a good point. I just feel it's a bit misleading, because of...

  28. jayrutgers

    jayrutgers Aspirant (202) Oct 29, 2011 New Jersey

    @AlcahueteJ Festina Peche I don't think has been available outside of the brewpub since like 2017 or something.

    Festina Lente has seen a recent bottle release, but that's a brett beer aged in oak now, and it got a 10,000 bottle release.

    Right now in their shops at the brewery and brewpub they have like three or four BA sours available, and the mid-Atlantic just got a huge shipment of another called First & Farmhouse about a few months ago.

    As for the concept of 'sour', 'sour' is a flavor, who cares how it's made for one, second, they are making quite a bit of 'traditional' sours now, and last craft beer fans have made it known that the style of sour they prefer is the simple kettle sour with fruit. I don't think they care about the 'respect' of traditional sour brews, they care that it tastes like candy.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  29. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Definitely agree with this, the problem isn't with DFH's factually accurate marketing material but rather with our (US) historical use of confusing and innacurate language around this part of beerdom. Wild and mixed fermentation ales should never have been called "sours" in the first place since it is only one aspect of their potential flavor that is barely preaent, if at all, in some of the (in my opinion) better representations.
    "Sour" is a much better "style" descriptor for modern kettle sours that are defined by lactic tartness and whatever fruit/herb flavors the brewer wants to add.
    In any case, I'd love to try some barreled sour brews from DFH, hopefully they'll use some of that new found BBC muscle to get beers like that out to a wider audience
  30. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Huh, weird. I could have sworn I saw it on my local shelves last year.

    Allagash has nine beers currently listed on their site under their coolship program by comparison. When I hear people say “sours” I assume they mean beers like this, as opposed to kettle sours. Mainly because beers like wild ales/Lambics/Gueuze attract tickers and are highly rated like pastry stouts and New England IPAs.

    But you make a good point, perhaps the wider beer audience thinks kettle sours, in which case Dogfish Head’s marketing is spot on.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  31. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I think folks who.have been nerding around beer for a while tend to think more lambic/geuze when they hear "sour", but the more casual beer consumer/newer beer consumer probably thinks kettle sour type
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  32. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Coincidentally, I was talking with my cousin last night and he used the term "sour" and was referring to kettle sours. Specifically that Weldwerks was known for their sours.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  33. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Meyvn (1,167) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    It's definitely a more accurate use of language. I've been trying to retrain my self from using sour to refer to mixed fermentation stuff. But old habits die hard
  34. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Meyvn (1,167) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Honestly I hate the term in general, and I especially hate it for beers like Lambics and Gueuze. But I figured by saying "sour" people new to beer would understand that I was talking about Cantillon for example, because they didn't know what the hell a "Gueuze" was.

    Guess I was wrong.
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  35. thewrongtone

    thewrongtone Initiate (131) Oct 15, 2006 Arkansas

    P’Ocean is not Pee Ocean, guys.

    Potion. It’s potion.

    -Capt Obvious
    meanmutt and FatBoyGotSwagger like this.
  36. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Crusader (752) May 3, 2016 Illinois

    Potion is potion. P'Ocean is bad marketing.

    -General Observation
  37. thewrongtone

    thewrongtone Initiate (131) Oct 15, 2006 Arkansas

    I’m not defending this wack ass beer name; I’m promoting critical thinking.
    FatBoyGotSwagger likes this.
  38. oldbean

    oldbean Disciple (362) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    More like captain humorless.
    jesskidden likes this.
  39. thewrongtone

    thewrongtone Initiate (131) Oct 15, 2006 Arkansas

  40. Giantspace

    Giantspace Crusader (762) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Saw it in the store Friday and had that moment of realization of the true name. It was not priced though so I did not buy it.

    thewrongtone likes this.