Oat milk, hops and the alchemy of Dogfish’s new Hazy-O

February 5, 2021

“Oats, peas, beans and barley grow,/ Oats, peas, beans and barley grow,/ Do you or I or anyone know/ How oats, peas, beans and barley grow?”Childhood ditty

Sometimes on these cold winter nights I stare into the fireplace, mesmerized by the beauty and mystery of the constantly changing flames. They put me in mind of alchemy, transmutation, Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, and Van Morrison writing and singing “Philosopher’s Stone”: “My job is turning lead into gold.”

The flames take me back to the sun and the miracle of photosynthesis, all kinds of plants growing, including towering trees. Pieces of them are now burning in my fireplace, taking the chill out of these cold winds that refuse to stay out of our old house.

And entropy. Isn’t it totally amazing how the energy of the sun through photosynthesis gets captured by the trees, and then that energy gets released and transformed into heat through the burning process? Energy moving from one form to another. It all blows me away. Somebody catch me! Now I’m thinking Einstein and E=mc². Genius deconstructing the mystery of it all.

And to think that all of this started with a glass of beer. But not just any glass of beer. A glass – actually a Mason jar – of Dogfish Head’s most recent release: Hazy-O.

Sam Calagione and his team of eternally restless alchemists have joined their passion for the magic of citrusy hops with the humble oat. With the advent of oat milk for those seeking a nondairy alternative, the oat has moved into a new realm of ascendancy.

Dogfish Head’s customary and unapologetic boldness has wedded the juiciness of the hops with the smoothness of the oat milk – and fermentation of oats in three other forms – for a brew that tastes and feels to me like success.

The brew’s hazy sunlike color, a nod to its ultimate origin, is worthy of consideration in itself.

Jammed with hops and oats, and 7.1 percent alcohol by volume, there is nothing shy about Hazy-O. Everything about it is bold. As this is being written, truckloads of Hazy-O are leaving Dogfish Head’s Milton brewery daily for distribution all across the country. That distribution network and capability are part of the strength of Dogfish’s partnership and association with Boston Beer Company of Sam Adams fame.

I bought a six-pack at the brewery Tuesday afternoon and drove home across the peninsula, accompanied by snow falling and white-headed bald eagles competing with buzzards to transform the energy of roadkill deer carcasses for their own survival.

On arrival, I cracked open that first yellow can of Hazy-O, poured it into the Mason jar, gave the bubbles a chance to settle. I wanted to make my own assessment of what I had read in the press release about the new brew. You can read it for yourself at It’s a good read.

So what does success taste like? After my first sip I spoke to myself: “Mmm, mmm – I do like this.” At room temperature it was just wonderful.

If you like a good strong ale, and you want to try a new dimension, give Hazy-O a try. I think you’ll like it too. That first brew tasted like another to me. The 7.1 percent ABV definitely got my attention. It made two just right.

The man and his company with the Midas touch have struck again and are putting another feather in the Delaware Cape Region’s cap.

With spring on its way in and coronavirus on its way out, they couldn’t have picked a better time to unveil their magic.      

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct Hazy-O’s ABV to 7.1 percent. 

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