If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, I don’t need to tell you anything about Two Stones. There are articles about beer events held there written all over this blog. Michael Stiglitz and Ben Gumbo opened their beer temple at the old Piece of Ireland location and they’ve been serving the craft beer community well ever since. So well in fact that just about a year and a half after opening the first location, the guys went out and opened up a second Two Stones Pub on the corner of Foulk and Namaans road. Knowing that this was going to be an event, I of course drove up for the opening.
If you’ve been to the original Two Stones, than a lot of things will be familiar at the new location. The food menu and specials are pretty much the same (hey, if it works, don’t fuss with it) as is the dedication to serving a great diversity of craft beers. Heck, even some of the faces will be the familiar as some of the staff from the original Two Stones have made the transition up north (I’m going miss Patrick, Kevin and Jill). Heck, you still have to walk through a hallway full of kegs to get to the bathroom.
The decor of the new location, which tends toward a dark, industrial look with it’s metal cage enclosed lights and its metal accents makes it look very different from the original location. I think that was a good call by the guys because I’m not a fan of “cookie cutter” establishments. The beer board has been upgraded, evolving from the standard chalkboard at the original location to a video screen at the new location. The nondescript black taps are concealed behind box like structures, which gives the bar a nice clean look. Although I hope after the commotion of this week they start using standard tap handles again. What can I say? I love the look of a long row of colorful tap handles. The new place has added a second beer engine over the single one the Newark location has but sadly, there wasn’t anything on cask that first night while I was there.
To celebrate the opening week, the guys decided to do a tap take over every day, with the opening day being Stones Brewery (Ommegang, Allagash, Evolution, Troegs, Victory, Yards and Dogfish Head, were to follow). I was second in line, and when the doors opened, I walked into the new place with more than just the excitement of the opening on my mind.
It just happened that as the opening of Two Stones Namaans drew near, I also was closing in on a milestone of sorts. I was only a few beers away from my 500th unique check-in on Untappd, so I timed it to get it at the opening. And since it was a Stone tap take over, I couldn’t think of a better beer to do it with than Stones’ 16th Anniversary.
Now I’ll be honest, I’ve found Stone’s Anniversary beers pretty hit and miss in the past. But the 16th I thought was pretty decent. Nice tropical fruits notes with plenty of lemon in both the nose and the palette, leading up to a nice crisp finish. I’ll probably pick a bottle up for review later, at that moment I was just enjoying a nice beer at a great beer bar.
If you’re in the North Wilmington area and haven’t stopped in yet, there’s still time to catch some opening week events. Check their website or Facebook page. And even if you don’t make it for the opening, stop in sometime soon and check out what’s going on. You won’t regret it.