Brew Review

Dogfish Head Intergalactic Bocce Tournament Brings Brews and Balls to Scottsdale

This weekend, Earth's mightiest heroes assembled to drink delicious beer and play bocce ball. At least that's what the scene seemed to be from a distance, but as I moved closer I realized that appearances truly are deceiving. The Flash was wearing a trench coat and had an extremely fake but extremely generous phallus stapled to his crotch. Seems he changed his name to the Flash-er. His team mate, Wonder Bush wore Wonder Woman's famous garb with an afro appendage on her front full of random objects. Believe it or not, these were not the craziest costumes I saw at the Dogfish Head Intergalactic Bocce Tournament - Western Version at Scottsdale's Millennium Resort.

But that's just how it goes at this event. Teams of four show up from all over to dress in strange costumes, play Bocce (the only sport you can play and hold a pint glass at the same time they tell me) until it's time to eat again then rinse and repeat. It's a hell of a way to spend the weekend.

Dogfish Head Brewing is actually based in Delaware, but it has become a mainstay in Arizona thanks to the efforts of Dogfish Head Arizona Sales Manager Louis Dolgoff, after he convinced Master Brewer Sam Calagione to let him share the hoppy goodness with the West about three years ago.

We're glad they did because in addition to being extremely delicious, Dogfish Head Brewing makes five of the strongest beers in the world for their particular types, Dolgoff said.

At the tournament, I had a chance to sample the Pale Ale which will not be available in Arizona until next summer. It was crisp, clean and absolutely refreshing, kind of like watching a giant, walking bottle of beer score a bocce win on a beautiful day in Scottsdale. Did I mention there was lots of drinking involved?

At the end of the tournament, several awards were given out for the tournament winners and those with the best costumes. But it was the award presented by and name after Dan Porter that made the night unforgettable. As I understand it, the Dan Porter award goes to the one person who personifies the event by doing something crazy during the weekend. Porter won it by being arrested by Scottsdale police while wearing a wedding dress complete with fake rubber boobs and a pregnant belly. This year's winner, who will remain nameless, took home the award of "shitty beer" and a gift certificate to Papago Brewery for failing to remember having his pants around his ankles, spread out on a couch with a bucket of vomit to his side.

As I said, it was a hell of a weekend.

Think you've got what it takes to compete against Bocce throwing brewers, here's where to sign up for next year.

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Jonathan McNamara