Dogfish Head, the justly esteemed craft brewers out of Milton, Delaware, have made music their business many times, from the Miles Davis-honoring fusion stout B*tches Brew, the annual Analog A-Go Go music fest and the Jon Langford artwork that adorns such specialty brews as Burton Baton and Raison D'Extra.
The latest synergistic endeavor to come out of the hop head of Dogfish top man Sam Calagione is American Beauty, an Imperial Pale Ale that shares a name with the 1970 album by the Grateful Dead. That's the LP with "Friend Of The Devil," "Truckin'," "Sugar Magnolia" and "Box of Rain." It's as good of a record as the Dead ever made, and along with Workingman's Dead, which contains "Casey Jones" and "Uncle John's Band," its hippie hillbilly music brew served up the radio songs that were most identified with the band for decades to come.
American Beauty, the beer, is a 9% alcohol pale ale whose hoppy kick is sweetened by a special Dead friendly ingredient. (No, it's not "Ripple.") A call for suggestions about what to to mix in with the hops, barley and water brought 1500 responses, and the winner was a Deadhead named Thomas Butler who wrote in that "granola was the main course in millions of parking lot meals, and [he and his father] both agreed it would be a sweet and toasty complement to the pale ale’s all-American hops and barley.”