This Sunday marks the third annual Delaware Wine and Beer Festival, and they’ve managed to put together an amazing collection of breweries, wineries and food venues that highlight their theme, “Drink Local, Eat Local, Buy Local”. The five hour event gives attendees plenty of time to stop at every tent and with tickets for 10 free tastes everyone should have the opportunity to try the beer and wines that intrest them. That being said, I thought I’d give a run down of four tents I’ll be making sure I spend a little extra time at.
When Evolution Brewing moved from Delmar Delaware across the state line into Maryland, they left both a figurative and literal hole in the Delaware craft beer scene. Lori Clough and Suellen Vickers didn’t let that hole sit for very long, as they acquired the facility and set up 3rd Wave Brewing. They then hired head brewer John Panasiewicz from Iron Hill Brewery and got busy making beer. They officially opened for business on August 29th to an enthusiastic welcome from the surrounding community and have started to make their presence know in the craft beer arena. I think it’s fitting that the newest Delaware brewery makes its debut appearance at the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival.
I first got introduced to what will become Delaware’s first stand alone distillery at Fordham Brewing’s Hogs and Hops event in August. Ron Gomes and Mike Rasmussen started to form the ground work for their company as soon as Delaware passed the law that allowed distilleries. Since then, they’ve found a home in Smyrna, Delaware and have been working on finalizing a location. Mike and Ron won’t be pouring samples on Sunday, but they will be happy to answer any questions about what to expect in the future from this exciting new venture. They’ll also be having a free raffle to give away a prize package including a future tour of their facility, a bottle of their spirits and other great items.
Although this award winning producer of sparkling style wines operates out of Princess Anne, MD, they have a very strong tie to the state of Delaware. When the winery was looking for an apple variety to use for a new addition to their sparkling cider line, they were happily surprised to discover that the Smith family farm in Bridgeville, DE was not only growing first class cider apples, but among the varieties they were growing was one that Great Shoals was very interested in – the Black Twig. The result of this discovery is T.S. Smith’s Black Twig Hard Apple, a European style dry sparkling cider. We can’t wait to try this award winning cider which has been officially recognized as “Delaware’s First Hard Cider”. (Also keep an eye out for their multi-award winning Spencerville Red Hard Apple Cider.)
GABF Award Winners
Yeah OK, I’m cheating here. Hopefully this weekend will give you a great opportunity to try two recent (just last week as a matter of fact) Great American Beer Fest medal winners. First, Old Dominion Brewery will hopefully be pouring their Oktoberfest which won a bronze medal in the German-Style Marzen catagory. Second, out-of-state favorites Yard’s Brewing will hopefully be bringing their bronze medal winning ESB. I have no idea which beers these breweries WILL be pouring on Sunday, but I’m hoping to get a chance try these two again.
Of course these are just a few of the great breweries and wineries that will be in attendance at the DWaBF. Make sure you stop at the other great tents of Argilla Brewing Company, 16 Mile Brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Fenwick Wine Cellars, Harvest Ridge Winery, Nassau Valley Vineyards, Pizzadili Winery & Vineyards, Twin Lakes Brewery, and Unplugged & Uncorked — Sonata Wines.
And don’t forget the food! Abbott’s Grill, Milford, Chops Grille, Maple Dale Country Club, McGlynn’s Pub & Restaurant and The Pizza Wagon will be on hand to make sure you don’t get too hungry during the afternoon.
Have a great time at the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival! See you there!