Sam Calagione, Jason & Todd Alström release extreme home brewing guide

October 22, 2017

The ultimate authoritative primer on extreme homebrewing, "Project Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Extreme Brewing at Home," is available for pre-sale at and will be officially released Tuesday, Nov. 14, at independent bookstores. Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, one of the nation's most recognized indie craft breweries, teamed up with Todd and Jason Alström, brothers and founders of BeerAdvocate, a global, grassroots network powered by an independent community of craft beer enthusiasts, to create "Project Extreme Brewing."

With over 50 homebrew recipes and creative brewing philosophies from dozens of America's most beloved, respected and coveted indie craft breweries, the book gives readers step-by-step instructions and tips for making creative, forward-thinking recipes that expand the definition of what goes into making a great beer. Only inside "Project Extreme Brewing" can readers learn how to make a Flanders Red inspired by a pastrami sandwich, a not-so-traditional Stout made with chocolate and oysters, or a Scotch Ale designed to mimic the flavors of an Old Fashioned cocktail.

Homebrewers can replicate the Imperial coffee porter recipe contribution from Dogfish Head called Mr. Hector Vargas, specifically brewed for those who dig some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and a little Sanka instant coffee in their porter. Named after the pioneering science teacher Mr. Vargas from the '80s movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," this extreme brew contains Sanka decaf instant coffee, a ton of 2 row pale malt, amber, caramel, wheat, black patent and chocolate malts, and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to round it out.

Dogfish Head and BeerAdvocate have been leaders in amplifying the creativity behind the extreme brewing movement. "We've always believed the Reinheitsgebot [German beer purity law] is nothing more than a relatively modern form of art censorship, and we are proud to work side by side with folks like the Alströms - our brothers in beer - to adventurously brew inventive beers," said Calagione.

Exploding consumer interest combined with extreme brewing philosophy and its diverse, creative, ingredient and process-driven brews have reshaped the image and perception of beer in the marketplace. Recent IRI data indicates 151 percent growth in craft beer sales in styles like fruit IPAs, sweet/milk stouts, sour ales and herb/fruit specialty beers. It also demonstrates an explosive 5-year sales growth in beers brewed outside the Reinheitsgebot, like Session IPAs, Gose, Imperial Pale Ales and Porters.

"In the last decade, the homebrewing and commercial brewing community has grown to fully embrace the concept of beers without borders and brewing beyond militant beer styles," said Calagione. "I've been proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the Alström brothers at their Extreme Beer Fest throughout the years, and now, with the help of many of our favorite brewers, we are pouring our shared love for experimental brewing into this DIY book."

Since the inception of the first Extreme Beer Fest in 2003, beer style categories in the competition have grown over 50 from the early beginnings to today as breweries continue to raise a fist to the norm and further proliferate in style and diversity. These statistics confirm that unique, potent beers that push the boundaries of traditional brewing are not only a movement, they're here to stay.

Todd Alström said, "What's extreme beer? Simply put, it's beer that pushes the boundaries of brewing - and the attitude, creativity, and techniques behind brewing extreme beers are the foundation of today's international brewing revolution. ‘Project Extreme Brewing’ captures this, and we're honored to be a part of it with Sam and the contributing brewers."

Dogfish Head and BeerAdvocate also rallied a few adventurous brewer friends featured in the book to create a six-part video series documenting the evolution and journey of cutting-edge, extreme brewing. Follow along with pals from Short's Brewing, Carton Brewing, The Post Brewing Co., The Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Co., BeerAdvocate and the Godfather of Homebrewing, Charlie Papazian of the Brewers Association, on a documentary-style video series journey demonstrating what extreme brewing means to their individual exploration of creative brewing. Brewers share thoughts on the evolution of extreme brewing, the impact of wood barrel aging, culinary inspirations, and tons of laughs and high-fives. Calagione tours his craft brewing brethren around his home state of Delaware, and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at each special brew day at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach. Episodes are available to view on the Dogfish Head YouTube Channel.

Calagione and the Alström brothers collaborated to brew Puddin' Wine, a traditional English-style Barleywine with an adventurous touch that's featured in the book. Clocking in at 10.5 ABV, Puddin' Wine is brewed with dried cherries, plums, dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, sultana raisins and black currants, resulting in a malty, rich, complex and fruity beer. A blend of Maris Otter, Pils and dark crystal malts alongside toasted wheat balances the dark pit fruit notes with smoothing caramel and toffee. Reminiscent of a favorite Christmas pudding (and inspired by Jason Alström's actual holiday recipe), this Barleywine serves up an infusion of flavors that are rich and mildly sweet, yet slightly tart with sherry and oak notes. Aged for 6 months on Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Port barrels, Puddin' Wine is now available throughout Dogfish's distribution networks.

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