With more than 225 years of collective brewing experience, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Belgium’s Brouwerji Rodenbach have collaborated to release Crimson Cru, a 7.1% ABV blended red ale.
Copper in color, Crimson Cru begins with Rodenbach’s Grand Cru, a Flemish red-brown ale aged in oak casks. It travels overseas via a tanker ship. After arriving stateside, Rodenbach’s Grand Cru is blended with a red ale from Dogfish Head that is infused with sumac and sweet orange peel and dry-hopped with Hallertau Blanc hops.
The resulting beer has aromas of citrus, cherry, caramel and toffee, complemented by malty flavors of stewed fruits, plum, cherry, dried citrus and toffee, the breweries report.
Crimson Cru hits shelves nationwide in mid-October, for a limited time, in 6-packs of 12-oz. bottles.
“It was awesome to — once again — work with the folks at Rodenbach to create a deliciously complex, multi-continental brew,” says Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Founder and Brewer. “Just as with our first joint venture, Vibrant P’Ocean, a blended sour ale Dogfish Head launched with Rodenbach back in 2020, every facet of Crimson Cru was truly a collaborative effort.”
“We worked side-by-side with Rodenbach Brewmaster, Rudi Ghequire, on every component of this collaboration,” Calagione adds, “from ingredient sourcing to blending, and even composing the beer’s artful packaging. I’m really proud of the end result, and feel that Crimson Cru is a liquid love letter we collectively floated across the Atlantic Ocean and back.”
As part of Dogfish Head’s Off-Centered Art Series, an annual collection of four beers highlighting artwork by a featured artist, Crimson Cru has a packaging design by Max Mahn. The artwork centers on both breweries’ logos: forest green for Dogfish Head and crimson for Rodenbach. The label shows a wooden foeder as a nod to Rodenbach’s foeder-aging techniques, and sumac leaves as an ingredient within the beer, while also referencing Dogfish Head’s focus on brewing with culinary ingredients.
“After more than 33 years of brewing sour beer at Rodenbach, it was a special pleasure to work with Sam and his team at Dogfish Head,” says Rudi. “Our brewery is a few years older and across the Atlantic, but we bonded immediately due to a shared passion for brewing sour beer, learning and pairing with food. I am proud of the collaboration we created together, and believe it’s a special beer many will enjoy. Thank you to Sam and his team.”