Beachy brews: Hop’in Around on the road

By on August 9, 2017

 

Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes, Del., is the place to sample Sly and the Cherry Stone Sour.

I’m writing from a Starbucks on Route 1 just outside of Lewes, Del. There’s no vacation rest for #hopinaround! Anyway, there’s nothing better than checking out a few breweries while in a new spot, so I packed up the crew and hit three of the coast’s finest in one afternoon.

When it comes to Delaware breweries, everyone knows about the barking pescatarians in Milton and their off-centered taproom in downtown Rehoboth; the craft movement Dogfish Head has helped spawn has caught wind with small, detail-oriented breweries popping up all over the U.S., including coastal Delaware. The newest addition to the beach brew scene here is Revelation Craft Brewing Company, which held a soft opening in June 2016. The place is still a work in progress with hopes to move suds sampling to a nearby, unoccupied church.

The holy gose is alive and well at Revelation, a bicyclist friendly* stop hidden away on Central Street in Rehoboth, an eight-minute bike ride from the ocean. The beers are a true taste of the beach life. The Guava Gose (5.1 percent ABV) is brewed with sea salt and guava. Brewer Patrick Staggs makes a Smoked Oyster Stout my friend and fellow beer-writer Tony Russo describes as “pointy.” The Downtown Donut Brown Ale is a sneaky big beer brewed with 400 pounds of grain, seven different malts, brown sugar, maple sugar, cinnamon, and two dozen Fractured Prune donuts in the mash! What!? It’s the definition of a dessert beer.

* For those on two wheels, the brewery has developed the “Browler;” the bike-friendly growler fits easily in a water bottle holder.

The next stop on the beach brew tour was right up Route 1 at Big Oyster Brewery. Doubling as a raw bar and upscale restaurant in a busy strip mall, this place was packed for Sunday brunch. There was no way I was fitting the Hop’in Around entourage in here without a lengthy wait, so we filled a growler with Hammerhead IPA and headed on our way. With my mind on beach prices I expected to get fleeced for 64 ounces, but a fill was $16 — not bad.

Revelation Craft Brewing Company’s Guava Gose is brewed with sea salt and guava. (Photos by Michael Upton)

 

We made our final destination Crooked Hammock Brewery because it just looked like a lot of fun. It sure is! Technically in Lewes, Crooked Hammock is the place to check out if you travel around to breweries with kids in tow. Separated into four areas (indoor, bar, porch, and deck) everyone can find a spot for their speed. We opted to wait a quick couple minutes (using a handy Yelp line placement app) for a table to open on the deck, which abuts a turfed play area with all sorts of activities for kids and adults. My amateur video tour of Crooked Hammock can be viewed at facebook.com/SombodiesProductions.

As for the beer, the offering list is extensive. The freshly tapped Sly and the Cherry Stone Sour weighed in at 11 percent ABV with a rich red color and a good mix of tart and sour. The Surfveza caught my attention; it’s a Hefeweizen (4.9 percent ABV) flavored with the key lime zest and juice. Bartenders will even salt the rim of your pint! That’s a beach-craft beer if there ever was one.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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