What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Dogfish Head?” It would be right to reply, “beer, of course!” These days, Dogfish Head is not only a Delaware brewery that makes pretty creative and tasty beers. As a brand, Dogfish Head has grown into so much more. It’s what I like to call ‘The Dogfish Head Experience.’
Although this wasn’t my first trip to Dogfish Head Brewery, it was the first time I had been there since the expansion and remodeling project was completed. The transformation was quite astonishing. The place is enormous now and so well designed. Quite stunning and simply breathtaking. Everywhere you look it’s a beautiful blend of natural elements balanced with clean, industrial pieces. It’s a work of art.
‘Behind The Scenes’ Tour
In total, the tour of the brewery takes about an hour. There truly is a lot to see, and it’s totally worth the chunk of time. Trust me on this one, it’s not your average brewery tour.
As you begin on the tour, you’ll get a little bit of Dogfish Head (DFH) history while you take a look at some of the early brewing “artifacts”. Like the first ever Randall which DFH invented. It is a canister looking contraption filled with hops or fruit or virtually anything at all. Beer is then run through the device when it’s ready to be served, flavoring it with the the ingredients contained in the Randall.
You also get to see all parts of the brewing and packaging process. I was starry-eyed at the new bottling area. Everything is automated and ultra high-tech. The sheer volume of what DFH is doing now is incredible. You really have to see it for yourself.
- Tours are FREE.
- You can not reserve your tour time. It’s a first come, first serve basis. > View Tour Schedule
- You register for your tour as soon as you walk into the foyer of the tasting room. There will be a host/hostess that will set you up with a time. Doors open at 10:45am.
- Closed on Sundays (tours, tasting room & store).
- Children are welcome. They even have child-size safety glasses. But note, that if you’re child is small, you must carry them. No strollers allowed for safety and accessibility reasons.
- Wear close-toed shoes. But don’t worry. If you forget to do that, there are crocks for public use.
The Tasting Room & Store
Once the tour wraps up, your DFH Guide will show you back to the tasting room where you began your tour. Your reward? Four free samples of your choice! So many options make it hard to decide on only four. But, you can buy pints of anything on tap to enjoy during your visit as well as get growlers filled for taking home to consume. Being able to buy beer on tap is a new offering in the renovated tasting room.
While you’re enjoying your brew, be sure to check out the food cart just outside the tasting room called Bunyan’s Lunchbox. I chose the Heirloom Italian bratwurst made with Midas Touch and served on a spent grain roll. I also couldn’t pass up a bowl of Hard-Tack Clam Chowder. This girl was hungry after walking around the brewery for an hour. > View Menu
After some beer and food, it was time to shop in the DFH Store. I’m a huge Punkin’ Ale fan and I had to get a t-shirt. I try to get one every year since the artwork changes annually. But most often than not, the shirts are sold out. I guess the beer gods were smiling down on me this day. Lucky me!
Earlier this year, Dogfish Head Inn made it’s debut in downtown Lewes. Oh, how I love visiting this quaint historic area. Lots of shops, restaurants and recreation are within walking distance to the inn. I simply had to check out this upcycled 1970s inn while in the area. I loved the boutique feel of the place. True to the DFH brand, it’s a masterful blend of natural, earthy elements and simplistic industrial pieces. Reminds me of some of the modern boutique hotels in South Beach Miami that I’ve stayed in. Crisp, clean design with an artsy flare. Check out these photos:
- Dog-friendly (not many places are in the area)
- Bikes are available for guests to explore the town or the nearby bike trail which does connect to Rehoboth Beach where the DFH Pub is located.
- Outdoor space is quaint with a casual grassy area with wooden gathering table, firepit, ladder ball game> View More Details
- Quest Fitness and Kayak is nearby to rent kayaks for your own exploration or go on kayak tours.
- Minutes from Lewes Beach, the Cape May Lewes Ferry and Cape Henlopen State Park which has trails to hike and bike.
- Dogfish Chicory Coffee, brewed for guests in the morning, is roasted by local Notting Hill Coffee.
You are correct if you noticed that I didn’t mention DFH beer being served at the inn. While I’ve heard some people complain about this fact, it didn’t really bother me. Why? Because there is an amazing beer, wine & liquor store just down the street called R&L Liquors. Believe me when I tell you this, you could spend an hour in there just exploring and chatting with the owner (who knows EVERYTHING about the beers he’s selling. Just ask!). Tons of DFH options for you to take back to the inn to enjoy. I seriously could write a whole post about R&L Liquors. So many great craft beer choices in there.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Each year I travel to Delaware’s beaches, I always stop in at the Dogfish Head Brewpub. Although it’s open for lunch and dinner every day, I tend to do the late-night thing to grab a wood-fired pizza, beer and watch the band featured that night.
It’s not just about the beer. Say what?! Yep. You heard that right. DFH also distills rum, gin and vodka. Not just plain old boring varieties either. I’m completely addicted to the brown honey rum. You can buy it by the glass or the bottle. It’s pricey but well worth it. And, sometimes I’ve been known to enjoy a peanut butter and chocolate martini during my visit made with DFH flavored vodka. Delish!
- Randall the Animal is in full effect Mondays & Fridays. You never know what fine ingredient will be in the Randall for your fine DFH beer to flow through.
- This place gets packed during the summer. ALWAYS. Get there early because you will wait for a table.
- A variety of eats. > View Menu
- Check out the high-end spirits. Not sure which to take home? You can do a flight of spirits to see what you like. > View List
- Never a cover charge. Even when bands are playing.
- Parking lot plus on-street parking
- Bands play Friday & Saturday nights > Entertainment Schedule
- Attached store to buy t-shirts, hats, etc.
Did you miss my interview with Dogfish Head Owner, Vice President & Matriarch, Mariah Calagione? > Read Interview
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