The brewery itself is named after an island in Maine, but Dogfish Head has cemented itself in Delaware. This suits Mariah Calagione just fine. The wife of founder Sam Calagione is a “first state” native who comes from a family that has spent generations doing all they can to enrich the overall community. There was her grandfather, a volunteer firefighter, who was also known for his fundraising skills. Her mother, in an effort to bring the joys of playing instruments to local kids, was a founder of the Delaware Music School. Her family runs two televisions stations—where Mariah worked in her early years—with a newsroom and broadcasts committed to local affairs. Calagione wears three hats at the brewing company these days—plotting long-term strategy as part of a group, spending time working the brewery’s various social media platforms, and working closely with the Beer & Benevolence program, the philanthropic arm of Dogfish Head. The project has three main areas of focus: arts, community and environmental causes. Each year she makes sure the philanthropy budget gets a little bigger.
“It’s hugely important not only because we all live here. We feel that it’s being a good neighbor, and you don’t know your neighbors unless you’re involved,” she says. The brewery also helps create new neighbors, each year giving the whole company a paid vacation day to erect housing frames that go to the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. It’s a reminder that no matter how large or popular the brewery gets, there will always be a focus on the home that helped give them their start.
This profile appears in the November 2014 issue of All About Beer Magazine. Click here for a free trial of our next issue.