Profile excerpt

Selders arrived about an hour after we did, driving a van filled with sacks of grain. He was wearing what looked like a gas-station attendant’s uniform, with his name stitched over one front pocket and the Dogfish logo over the other. His hair was gelled into a miniature Mohawk — more Tintin than Billy Idol — and his eyes, framed by thick black glasses, wore their usual look of ironic bewilderment. Selders, who is thirty-three, was a painter and ska guitarist before he became a brewer. When he and Calagione aren’t making beer, they sometimes perform together at the pub as a beer-themed hip-hop duo called the Pain Relievaz (sample lyrics: “You’re the barley virgin that my malt mill will deflour”). At work, they maintain an amiably fractious relationship, built on a role reversal of sorts. Selders plays the boss, the beleaguered perfectionist, searching for efficiencies and citing studies from brewing journals; Calagione plays the wayward talent, sloppy but charismatic and, occasionally, inspired. “I’m a little scared of this project, to be honest with you,” Selders told me, as he was lugging the grain into the brewhouse. “Sam’s ideas … the executition doesn’t always match the theory.”

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