Dogfish Head hosts inaugural Harvest Festival

September 23, 2021

It’s starting to feel like fall, and Dogfish Head in Milton decided to ring in the season with its inaugural Harvest Festival, a celebration of beer and independent music.

The Sept. 16 event featured the Paved Paradise exhibition, a traveling vinyl record and merchandise truck brought by independent record label Secretly Group. In addition, Dogfish held its first Milton Appreciation Night, where Milton residents could get a free apple fritter, and featured its fall favorite Punkin Ale on tap.

The event closed with a lively question-and-answer session between Dogfish founder Sam Calagione and Secretly Group’s Ken Shipley. The pair talked about beer, music and running their own companies. Calagione and Shipley have known each other for more than a decade, as Calagione was a fan of numerous Secretly Group artists and traded beer in exchange for records. The Harvest Festival was their first time meeting in person.

“I thought it was a really strong event,” Shipley said. “It was a great crowd. I feel like this is a group of people who do not normally know what Secretly Group is, and it was great to see people just digging through.”

Much like how Calagione was brewing beer in college before he started Dogfish Head, Shipley got his start selling records in high school.

“I just got into weird, old music. Going to record stores, I just always gravitated toward the interesting things I didn’t know anything about. Just trying to hear the sounds that no one is listening to,” Shipley said. 

Calagione flew in from meetings in Boston the day of the event to take part in it. He was particularly proud of the T.L. Barrett record he was able to get. 

“To me, this was the start of the perfect fall event,” Calagione said. “I was so excited for this. When I heard what they were doing, watching brands grow by engaging at a human level, person-to-person, inspires me.”


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