Leftovers: Dogfish Head brews the ‘Turducken of the beer world’; Dole serves up sheet pan dinners

Leftovers is our look at a few of the product ideas popping up everywhere. Some are intriguing, some sound amazing and some are the kinds of ideas we would never dream of. We can’t write about everything that we get pitched, so here are some leftovers pulled from our inboxes. 

Dogfish Head brews the ‘Turducken’ of beer

As craft beer makers hunt for the next creative offering, Dogfish Head is turning to poultry for inspiration in making its next brew.

Dogfish Head, part of The Boston Beer Company, is partnering with Atlas Obscura’s food and drink vertical Gastro Obscura to launch a limited-edition, first-of-its-kind craft beer experiment: Fermentation Engastration. 

Taking its cues from the famous holiday “Turducken” — a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, stuffed into a deboned turkey — the limited-time offering draws inspiration from the combination of five different fermented alcoholic beverages: a rose-scented sake, a Mid-Atlantic honey and date mead, a bittersweet hard cider, a fruity Muscat wine and a rustic farmhouse ale. The alcohols, which are fermented for as little as a few weeks to as long as four months, are then blended together at different rates. 

The beer includes a combination of self-described “off-centered culinary ingredients,” including barley, spelt, muscat grape juice concentrate, flaked rice, apple juice concentrate, honey rice syrup, date syrup, yeast, hops and rose petals.

Dogfish Head is only producing 1,000 of the pint-sized bottles, which have an alcohol by volume of 10% — though only about 250 or so were distributed to the public, with the rest held for sale and sampling at festivals and other events. The first 150 bottles of beer sold out quickly on launch day, before the brewer released the remaining 100 bottles.

“As brewers and ‘mad scientists’ of sorts, it’s always been a fascination of ours to deconstruct, reimagine and reassemble how drinkers experience each sip of a new beer,” Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head’s founder and brewer. “Our latest example of that thinking is Fermentation Engastration, kind of like the ‘turducken’ of beer, which artfully melds a whole myriad of complex ideas and brewing concepts into one multi-layered drinking event.”

During a media event introducing the new beer, Calagione said the brewer “would be excited to make this liquid again.” But he noted another batch would use a different crop of ingredients, meaning it could likely have a different blend ratio of the five different alcohols and potentially a slightly different flavor.

As consumer tastes change and evolve, alcohol makers continue to search for unique flavor profiles to grab their attention as many people increasingly turn to spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails, and as the once fast-growing hard seltzer category loses momentum — hitting manufacturers like Boston Beer and its Truly Hard Seltzer brand.

To expand its portfolio, Boston Beer has partnered with Sauza tequila maker Beam Suntory to launch Sauza Agave Cocktails, worked with PepsiCo on a Hard Mtn Dew and launched a Nordic-inspired sparkling drink called Bevy.

— Christopher Doering


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Courtesy of Dole


Dole cooks up a way to make the main course at dinner

As the world’s largest fresh produce company, consumers know Dole as the brand that can provide them fresh bananas or pineapple for a sweet treat, canned fruits for healthy packed lunch treats and bagged salads for a fresh side dish for dinner. 

But with its newest launch, Dole is aiming to show that it can also make a dinnertime main dish. Dole’s new Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits, now available at some stores in the Eastern and Southeastern U.S., are designed to have almost everything a consumer would need to make a main course. The bagged dinners contain fresh vegetables and seasoning. In order to make a full meal, the consumer pours the vegetables on a rimmed sheet pan, adds meat or another protein, finishes with the seasoning and bakes. And after dinner, there’s just one pan to clean.

“Our new Sheet Pan Meal Starter Kits are the culmination of considerable research and trend analysis and allow us to deliver on exactly what consumers are looking for — great-tasting, convenient, one-pan healthy meal solutions,” Dole Food Company Senior Director of Product Innovation Shannon Yamada said in a written statement.

The new kits, which will be sold near Dole salad kits in the grocery store’s fresh section, are launching in three varieties: Homestyle Roasted Herb — featuring baby carrots, mini red potatoes and green beans with rosemary thyme seasoning; French Onion — with baby carrots, mini red potatoes and green beans with onion, garlic and parsley seasoning; and Lemon Parmesan — a blend of baby carrots, mini red potatoes, broccoli florets and garlic parmesan and lemon pepper parmesan cheese seasoning.

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