Celebrate Robert Johnson year-round with birthday brew

By Chris M. Junior

Last year it was the creation of a limited-edition beer marking the 40th anniversary of jazz great Miles Davis’ revered “Bitches Brew” album.

This year, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware has done the same to commemorate the 100th birthday of blues legend Robert Johnson.

Introduced by Dogfish in May, the super-hoppy Hellhound on My Ale is available in Washington, D.C., and in more than 20 states, including New York, North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado and California.

According to Dogfish founder/president Sam Calagione, the Johnson ale was created as a way to “celebrate his artistry and his centennial simultaneously. Johnson’s playing was so complex and full that his one guitar sounded like two. His voice and lyrics were as distinct as his guitar playing and stood out as distinct beyond the other blues musicians of the day.”

Calagione adds, “Beyond that, you have the legend of Johnson selling his soul to the devil in return for mastery of the guitar. We wanted to make an ale that paid tribute to all that.”

Dogfish’s Hellhound on My Ale is part of a partnership with Legacy Recordings, which is honoring Johnson with the multifaceted Columbia/Legacy boxed set “Robert Johnson: The Complete Original Masters — Centennial Edition.” Priced at $349, this boxed set (encompassing stand-alone vinyl, CD and DVD components) is available exclusively at www.thecompleterobertjohnson.com.

To learn more about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s Hellhound on My Ale, visit www.robertjohnsonhellhoundale.com.

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