Dogfish Head Plans For Expansion

The Delaware brewery expands its core line-up, ramps up spirits production and prepares to expand to new markets.

“Dogfish Head is having a great year,” says Dogfish Head brewery founder and president Sam Calagione, noting that sales were up around 5 percent as of May, with the Belgian-style witbier Namaste seeing 30-percent growth. Both 60 Minute IPA—the brand’s volume leader—and 90 Minute IPA have advanced in the single digits. Dogfish Head’s seasonal program has increased 32.5-percent year-on-year in chain accounts through April, buoyed by the success of the springtime IPA Romantic Chemistry. The fall seasonal Punkin ale has also grown, despite weakness in the pumpkin beer category. The company’s beers are currently available in 30 states and Washington, D.C., and Calagione plans to open new states late this year or in early 2017 for the first time in half a decade. “We want to prioritize our relationships with our existing distributors and retail partners first,” he explains. Dogfish Head’s spirits portfolio—currently available only in Delaware—is also expanding to Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states later this year. “The spirits are a fun thing, but they’re becoming a real business,” Calagione says. “They’re all created in-house from scratch, which is becoming an increasingly strong point of differentiation.” This summer, the company will introduce Flesh & Blood, a year-round IPA brewed with lemon peel, lemon flesh, orange peel and blood orange juice. Dogfish Head is installing a canning line this fall, with 60 Minute IPA and Flesh & Blood slated to roll out in 12-packs of cans around November. Calagione notes that Dogfish Head is well-positioned in an increasingly competitive craft beer industry.  “With our creativity, portfolio and innovation, we’ll continue to grow in this environment,” he says.