On its second collaboration, Dogfish Head and Rodenbach created Crimson Cru, a blended real ale that sits at 7.1% ABV. Crimson Cru begins with Rodenbach’s world-renowned Grand Cru, a Flemish red-brown ale aged in oak casks, that made the overseas trek from Belgium to Delaware via tanker ship.
After its cross-Atlantic journey, Rodenbach’s Grand Cru is artfully blended with an off-centered red ale that is infused with sumac and sweet orange peel and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc hops. The resulting beer is described as being full-bodied and slightly warming with aromas of candied citrus, cherry, caramel and toffee, complemented by malty flavors of stewed fruits, plum, cherry, dried citrus and toffee.
“It was awesome to – once again – work with the folks at Rodenbach to create a deliciously complex, multi-continental brew,” says founder & brewer Sam Calagione. “Just as with our first joint venture, Vibrant P’Ocean, a blended sour ale Dogfish Head launched with Rodenbach back in 2020, every facet of Crimson Cru was truly a collaborative effort. We worked side-by-side with Rodenbach Brewmaster, Rudi Ghequire, on every component of this collaboration; from ingredient sourcing to blending, and even composing the beer’s artful packaging. I’m really proud of the end result and feel that Crimson Cru is a liquid love letter we collectively floated across the Atlantic Ocean and back.”
Crimson Cru is part of the four-beer Off-Centered Art Series from Dogfish Head. Its label artwork was created by Max Mahn. The artwork centers upon both of breweries’ logos, pulling in colors from each of the iconic brands – forest green for Dogfish Head and crimson for Rodenbach. The label highlights a wooden foeder as a nod to Rodenbach’s well-known foeder-aging techniques and sumac leaves to not only showcase an ingredient within the beer, but subtly reference to Dogfish Head’s focus on brewing with real, high-quality culinary ingredients
“After more than 33 years of brewing sour beer at Rodenbach, it was a special pleasure to work with Sam and his team at Dogfish Head,” said Rudi. “Our brewery is a few years older and across the Atlantic, but we bonded immediately due to a shared passion for brewing sour beer, learning and pairing with food. I am proud of the collaboration we created together and believe it’s a special beer many will enjoy. Thank you to Sam and his team.”
Crimson Cru will begin hitting taps and store shelves over the coming weeks. To locate this new cross-Atlantic collaboration, use Dogfish Head’s Fish Finder to track down this unique beer.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.