Sam Calagione is already a rock star to fans of Dogfish Head, the craft brewery (@dogfishbeer) in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, that brought the world 60’,90’, and 120’ IPA (just to name a few). With a Burkhard Bilger New Yorker profile to his name and a treehouse for a boardroom, he’s so well known in the beer scene that at events like the Great American Beer Festival held every fall in Denver there are lines with hundreds of faithful lined up for a high five. But soon he’ll have a whole new audience, as he takes to the tube on the Discovery Channel’s BREW MASTERS (premiering Sunday 11/21 at 10pm, right after DIRTY JOBS). The new show follows Sam as he delves into the art and science of brewing both at home and abroad, all while maintaining his marriage and running a growing business. I caught up with Sam this week to see how it’s all going.
What have you been up to this week?
I’m on my way to catch a train to New York to shoot with Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, for an episode about [their joint brewery project] Eataly, and then flying to Arizona to shoot some promos with Mike Rowe [of DIRTY JOBS] to cross-promote our shows. That should be fun.
How’s the show itself going right now?
We’ve probably done nine tenths of the shooting but we still have to finish one episode. So the show’s gonna start airing as we’re still in post-production on two of our own shows, so it’s been chaotic. But, it’s also really fun because of the people at both Discovery Channel and the production company, they really believe in the show. They really get our company, what we’re all about at Dogfish head. They’ve been really fun to work with and they’re two very creative entities in their own right, so it’s been a lot of fun.
How does the brewing industry compare to working in television?
It’s equally chaotic and equally creative. My schedule is already a mess with travel and projects in a good kind of way. You know, I’m always focused when I’m completely unfocused. I’m getting to do a lot of fun projects that kind of inform each other, and are backed by each other.
Is there anything you can compare it to in your career?