100 Ways to Use Beer in Food: #15 Dogfish Head Chowda

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It’s been a while since I’ve revisited my trek to greatness: the 100 ways to use beer in food and drink. But then I found this. Dogfish Head found a way to combine their delicious beer with some great ingredients. What came out of the beer-food think tank? Dogfish Head Hard-Tack Chowda. The real kind of chowda – not that gross Manhattan stuff.

Dogfish Head touts this chowda as one of which Ishmael would be proud. Teaming up with Sea Watch International, the chowda’s “made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazelnuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.” OH, and did I mention infused with the Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA?


The recipe is pretty complicated. Ready? Open can, empty into sauce pan. Add half and half and additional beer. As a hard and fast, tried and true consumer reporter, I test the product to the max. Rather than using the beer suggested, I tried Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre in the soup. The Raison D’Etre is a sweeter, dark ale.

Even with the sweet brew, the chowda was great. There are plenty of clams and potatoes in each bite, and the clams are whole – you don’t get gross stringy remnants of clam. You ever bite into a clam in a chowder and get that “stony,” rough texture similar to sand? Didn’t get any of that in this can of chowda.

The infused 60-minute is definitely prominent in the soup, in addition to whatever dark ale you add to it. The beer adds a complementary, nutty, spicy taste to the soup. I taste-tested this with my co-workers and all soup drinkers enjoyed the concoction and said they would have it again, even buy it in stores! I deem this beer-chowda a success.

You will find Dogfish Head’s Hard Tack Chowda on the website or in select retailers between New York City and Northern Virginia. Dogfish Head also offers beer brats and hop pickles. Sign me up for the hop pickle!

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