The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Brew Pubs
Delaware

 

 

Bear

Dewey Beach

Lewes

Newark

Rehoboth

Wilmington

 

 

 

Crooked Hammock Brewery
36707 Crooked Hammock Way Lewes, DE 19958
(302) 644-7837

Crooked Hammock is a large brewpub that sits on Kings Highway just on the outskirts of Lewes, DE.
As stated, Crooked Hammock is quite sprawling and spacious.
The sinuous bar seats about 20 patrons, and there are also numerous tables in the barroom.
There are several other dining areas, including a back bar, and a large outdoor deck which is enclosed in the cold weather.
There is a large sandy play area for kids, and games such as cornhole and ping pong.
Crooked Hammock usually will have 10 of their beers on tap, and today's selection included an IPA, double IPA, Cali Coconut, brown, milk stout, dunkelweizen and others.
I sampled 5, and took home 5 more in crowlers...32 oz. cans which are drawn from the tap and canned per your order.
They will last in your fridge for months.
All the beers were crisp, clean, and true-to-style.
Business was brisk with mature, beer-loving patrons early on a Friday afternoon in October.
Dave, our barkeep, was extremely helpful in describing the beers, providing samples, and answering questions about Crooked Hammock.
The 7-bbl. brewing system was readily visible.
Crooked Hammock is a fun place serving delicious craft beer, conveniently located on the Delaware shore, about 15 minutes north of Rehoboth Beach.

 

 

 

 

Dewey Beer Company
2100 Coastal Hwy
Dewey Beach , DE 19971
302-227-1182

The Dewey Beer Company is located right on Coastal Highway, just a few minutes south of Rehoboth Beach.
The front of the establishment consists of glass garage-style bay doors, so that drinking inside is almost like drinking outside.
The bar seats about 8, and the beer is dispensed from fermenters right behind the bar.
There are lots of stools, tables, and drinking shelves throughout the barroom.
Also, there exists a separate dining area on the other side of the restaurant.
Overall, there is lots of light, lots of rough hewn wood, and plenty of good beer.
The 7-bbl system is easy to view to the left of the barroom.
As a product of this system, Dewey will have 6 to 10 of their beers on tap at any one time.
The beers were diverse, including an American Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Coffee Stout, IPA, and Pumpkin Saison, among others.
As of now, Dewey Beer Co. brews their beers to be sold at the brewpub only.
Dewey Beer Co. exceeded my expectations and is another pearl in Delaware's coastal brewing scene.



 

 

 

Argilla Brewing Company
2667 Kirkwood Hwy
Newark, DE 19711-7242
phone: (302) 731-8200

Argilla Brewing Company @ Pietro's Pizza is located in a shopping center about 10 minutes east of downtown Newark.
Argilla, with a 1.5 bbl brewing system, is the smallest brewer in the state. They are proud of their ability to turn out delicious and different batches of beer, and their customers' ability to consume them.
They usually have 4 of the own brews on tap, and several guest taps.
The bar seats about 20 patrons, with numerous booths and tables.
Steve, the proprietor and brewer, explained how his extensive experience in the pizza business, and his affinity for homebrewing, made starting this nanobrewery/pizza parlor a logical endeavor.
Other patrons at the bar told us about happy hour specials, and 5-gallon Fridays when small batches of unique beers can disappear pretty quickly.

 

Iron Hill Brewery
147 East Main Street
Newark, Delaware 19711
P: 302 266.9000  

Iron Hill in Newark is among the eight (for now) locations in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for this popular brew pub chain. The square bar seats at least 20, with lots of tables and outdoor seating. They feature 10 of their own beers on tap, and 1 cask. The staff was friendy and glad to help and make suggestions. Iron Hill was a pleasant respite on a hot day in this bustling college town.

 

Stewart's Brewing Company
219 Governors Square
Bear, DE 19701
302-836-BREW (2739)

Bear, DE is about 10 minutes off I-95 and a nice stop on the way to Philly. Stewart's Brewing Co. offers 9 draft selections of their own beer, 3 of which are seasonals. The brew works are visible and the aroma was stimulating. Brewer Ric Hoffman explained that while Stewart's always strives to satisfy the general beer-drinking populace, they have been diversifying of late, brewing more higher octane beverages, such as Belgians and barley wines. They brew about 30 beers per year. The staff was very helpful, both with beer info and directions.

 

 

Big Oyster Brewery at Fins Ale House & Raw Bar
19269 Coastal Highway
Rehoboth Beach, DE
302-227-FINS

Big Oyster Brewing is a brewery located in the Fins Ale House on the strip near Rehoboth Beach.
Fins is a large seafood place, crowded during tourist season.
The main door opens to the hostess stand.
To the left is a large bar room crowded with bar-style tables. To the right are several separate dining areas.
In the rear to the farthest right is the brewing operation.
The food is mostly seafood, a bit pricey, but quite good with large portions.
The Big Oyster Brewery makes six house beers and they have perhaps 25 guest beers, all on draft.
You can also find this establishment, as well as Fins' sister establishment, Fins Fish House, on this site under Best Beer Bars.

 

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats
320 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
302-226-BREW

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
6 Cannery Village Center
Milton, DE 19968
302-684-1000 or 1-888-8dogfish



Dogfish Head is known throughout the Mid-Atlantic for making beers that are "strong, out-there, and over-the-top." At the time of our visit, the Rehobeth restaurant featured about 7 taps, including the 60-and 90-minute IPA's, Indian Brown Ale, and Aprihop. They offer no bottles. The restaurant is family-oriented, but the bar patrons know their brews. A visit to any of the DelMarVa resorts warrants a side trip to Dogfish Head.
All of their beer is made in their brewery in Milton, DE. They also have an outlet in Gaithersburg, MD.

 

Iron Hill Brewery
and Restaurant

710 South Madison Street
Wilmington, Delaware 19801
phone 302 658.8200

The Iron Hill Brewery is situated on Wilmington's scenic Christina River in the midst of many interesting attractions. Of course, the prime attraction here is the beer. Iron Hill was carefully conceived and constructed to be both modern and comfortable. The beer menu features 6 regulars and two seasonals. Those we tried were fresh, clean-tasting, and delicious. The friendly staff went out of their way to be helpful, knew a great deal about their beers, and showed great pride in their workplace.

Check out their website to view Iron Hill's impressive list of awards.

If you can't make it to Wilmington, don't despair; Iron Hill has brew pubs in Newark, West Chester, Media, and North Wales, and even other locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.