By now most beer-savvy people around Seattle have heard about the Super Deli Mart in West Seattle. The unlikely beer destination, located in what appears to be a convenience store, received some significant coverage in the press recently. Most notably, a very large article about the Super Deli Mart appeared on the Atlantic Magazine website last week. That’s national. Since this is the Washington Beer Blog, we do not consider the mere existence of the Super Deli Mart to be newsworthy. Today we actually have some news to report.
I should start by saying that if you have yet to visit the Super Deli Mart, nothing can prepare you. Everything that I have written, or that I have ever read, fails to adequately explain the reality of the Super Deli Mart. It is worthy of exalted praise and also deserving of grave criticism. On one hand, it cheapens the craft beer experience, diminishing it to something as common and inglorious as a convenience store. On the other hand, it elevates the craft beer experience, transforming it into something as common and expedient as a convenience store. It is duplicitous but sincere. It’s like sushi on a conveyor belt.
But I promised you news.
It is Dogfish Head Week at the Super Deli Mart. The week-long celebration of Dogfish beers starts today (Tuesday, Jan 10) and runs through next Tuesday. The big Dogfish Head tasting event is next Tuesday, January 17. The beers pour all this week, with the grand finale next Tuesday.
So what exactly does that mean? Starting right now and continuing over the course of the next week, 27 different beers from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will be tapped at the Super Deli Mart. One right after another. Currently all six of the taps are dedicated to Dogfish Head beers. It will stay that way until all 27 kegs are gone. Pints and growlers await you. Next Tuesday, January 17, Dogfish Head Week wraps up with a tasting event.
And regardless of what the self-important commenters on Beer Advocate are saying these days, I think Dogfish Head is a damn good brewery. Their voices are meaningless as wind in tall grass.
Twenty-seven Dogfish Head beers! That’s what Min Chung, the owner and mastermind behind the Super Deli Mart, told me. I have no reason to doubt him. It just freaks me out a bit to say it because the Super Deli Mart still confounds me. I’m at a loss for words. Twenty-seven kegs of Dogfish Head in one week at a joint that used to be a Hoagies Corner and still resembles a 7-Eleven. Yes, you can get a Cheesy British sandwich to accompany your pint of Dogfish Head Raspberry Fort Belgian-style ale. Why not pick up a pack of Camel Lights and a box of tampons while you’re there? WTF?
To start off, Super Deli Mart is pouring some of the more common stuff like 90 Minute IPA, Chicory Stout, and Punkin Ale. Next Tuesday, January 17th, when Dogfish Head Week comes to its conclusion at the big tasting event, Super Deli Mart will tap into the rare stuff. Have no doubt, Min the Magnificent is a man who can get his hands on the rare stuff. He regularly does.
Min is a bit tight-lipped about what to expect next Tuesday at the tasting event. Either that or he was just busy and distracted. Hard to tell. I know for sure (because he told me) he will tap a keg of Pearl Jam Faithful Ale for the occasion. He even tried to get me to start a rumor about who might be making an appearance for the tapping of the Faithful Ale. As if.
I also should point out that this Tuesday, like every other Tuesday, Super Deli Mart offers a special deal on growler fills. The regular price for growler fills is $10. On Tuesday if you fill two growlers they are just $9 each. If you fill three growlers (why wouldn’t you?) they are just $7 each. No limit on the number of growlers.
At least that’s what I’ve been told. Min just explained the Tuesday deal to me a little while ago, but looking at the Super Deli Mart Facebook page I now see a different set of rules. If the rules change when you reach the register, don’t act too surprised or you might hear something akin to, “No soup for you!” Interesting place. Fantastic beer. Great prices. Still confused? Me to.
I know there are people out there who think Super Deli Mart is the best thing since pockets on pants. I also know there are people who think it is a godless abomination. As for me, I am still trying to figure it out. No doubt, it amazes me.