Dogfish Head Brewery has long taken their marketing mantra of “analog beer for the digital age” seriously. They even created spirits and beers dubbed ‘analog.’ Now, the brewers are elevating the phrase to a literal level. Dogfish Head’s new Super Eight gose will literally develop Kodak Super 8 Film.
Yes, you read that right. The low pH (a.k.a. high acid) and elevated Vitamin C levels in the gose make it ideal for developing film. More on this later.
The 5.3% ABV beer promises a typical fruity and acidic gose flavor profile. Prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, kiwi juices, toasted quinoa and red Hawaiian sea salt are used as treatments adding a second meaning to the ‘eight’ in the name.
“Okay, so technically that’s nine, but it ‘gose’ without say that there’s going to be salt,” stated a release. “These unique ingredients give this beer a vibrant red color, with delicious flavors of berries and watermelon, along with a tart—yet refreshing—finish.”
But, what about the film part?!
So, yes, the beer does work as ‘developer.’ However, ‘developer’ is one of three chemicals used to convert the footage you shot in a camera into that reel that you can load into a projector. You’ll still need the other two chemicals: ‘stop bath’ and ‘fixer’—and a darkroom.
To be exact, the process involves heating up the beer, adding more Vitamin C, adding baking soda, and then taking the concoction into a darkroom. The beer-developer is simply swapped into the regular darkroom process in lieu of chemical developer.
Still, it’s a pretty cool science experiment.
Last year, Dogfish Founder & CEO Sam Calagione was the featured guest on an episode of the film legend’s podcast, The Kodakery. The interview began as an opportunity for Calagione to preach about his love of analog, but the session quickly evolved into a discussion of beer’s film developing properties.
Dogfish took the talk as a challenge and Calagione immediately thought about the Super Eight gose in development at the time.
“We said “hmm” this beer is gonna have an acidic sort of sour pH, it’s gonna have a heightened level of vitamin C, and we thought this beer could be the ultimate film developing catalyst,” explained the founder. “We tested it, lo and behold it is. So we are gonna be making a film this summer, submersing the Super 8 film from Kodak in the Super EIGHT beer from Dogfish and releasing it in partnership with the Nature Conservancy in the fall.”
The summer film promises to be a travel journal of sorts. Calagione said that he will be documenting a boat trip up the east coast. More details are coming soon, but until then you can watch this teaser clip of Philadelphia.
SuperEIGHT is slated for release April 2019 in 12oz. cans nationally.