Brewer Becomes Rapper
June 4, 2003 - For the last several months, Sam Calagione, founder and president of Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, has been impersonating Woody Guthrie at beer dinners, speculating on what might have happened if Guthrie had chosen to pursue a career in brewing instead of folk singing. Now Calagione's musical career has taken an abrupt turn. Along with his head brewer, Bryan Selders, he's formed a rap group called the Pain Relievaz, and is releasing 1,000 copies of a five-song CD called "Check Your Gravity." At the Battle of the Brewery Bands, held in New Orleans during the recent Craft Brewers Conference there, Calagione performed a solo, "I Got Busy With an A-B Salesgirl."
"We're probably the first beer geek hip-hop group of our generation," laughed Calagione. He's arranging a series of beer dinners that will feature "soul food, high-end beers and old-school rap." Calagione will perform and "draw parallels between the innovation and territoriality of craft beer and rap artists." He said he's scheduled to appear at Monk's Café in Philadelphia on June 10, R.F.D. in Washington, DC on June 17, and the Blind Tiger in New York City on June 18. - Greg Kitsock