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Dogfish Head pulling out of RI

Posted by Steve Greenlee  March 11, 2011 02:07 PM

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greenlee_05bottles3_g.jpgEveryone who enjoys good beer knows that Dogfish Head has been growing like gangbusters over the past few years. The Delaware brewer's 60 Minute IPA is one of the most popular -- and one of the best -- India pale ales on the market. In fact, the company doesn't make a mediocre beer; Squall, Burton Baton, 90 Minute IPA, and Palo Santo Marron are among the finest ales made in this country. Dogfish Head's popularity surged last year when the Discovery Channel aired "Brew Masters," a series about craft beer starring Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione. After Discovery aired an episode about Dogfish Head's new imperial stout, Bitches Brew, there was a run on liquor stores, and the beer -- which retails for around $15 per 22-ounce bottle -- quickly sold out.

But it seems all the attention and growth has caused a problem for Dogfish Head: The company can't keep up with the demand. Consequently, the brewer is pulling out of four of the 30 states where it distributes its beer. Soon, Dogfish Head brews will be unavailable in Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, and -- gulp -- Rhode Island.

"If your favorite pubs and beer outlets are no longer able to obtain Dogfish products, we are sorry that we are no longer able to supply them," the company wrote in a posting today on its website. "Thanks for understanding and we are hopeful for your ongoing support."

While we weep for our friends south of the border, at least Rhode Island is a tiny state. Sure, the beer will disappear from local bars and liquor stores, but anyone who really wants Dogfish Head beers can just drive a few miles to Massachusetts or Connecticut, two states that will continue to get them.

My pal Justin Hallman, who lives in Tiverton, R.I., is one of the biggest Dogfish Head fans I know. I rang him up to get his reaction to the news that his favorite beers will soon disappear from his local liquor store. "I guess I'll need to drive three minutes to Massachusetts to pick some up," he said. 

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Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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