Last week we discussed local winners in the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), but if you'd like to take a road trip, day or weekend, there are a few more spots you can and should check out. None of these trips should take longer than three-hours one way, assuming normal traffic (insert joke about traffic here).
Stewart's Brewing Company is about three miles off of I-95 in Bear, DE. They took gold in the Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale category for Stumblin' Monk. With a name like that, it's probably best to just have one. As a brewpub, there's plenty of food available as well. Stewart's is no one-trick pony; their oyster stout won a silver medal in 2012. Bear is just under two hours from DC. Directions here.
It's impossible to talk about beer in Delaware without mentioning Dogfish Head. Yet again Midas Touch won a medal, silver, for its Specialty Honey Ale. Overall the beer has won six medals since 2004. Sam Calgione and company have won an additional eight medals in that time, and they have a weird "steampunk treehouse" on their Milton grounds. Interested? Just under 2.5 hours from DC. Directions here.
One of the best kept secrets in DE, and now PA and NJ, is Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. They took silver in the Imperial Stout category for a Russian Imperial Stout, following up on a silver in 2011 and a gold in 2010. So it's good. Multiple locations, but the Newark one is under two hours away. Please visit them and tell them to open a location closer to us. Directions here.
All Troegs does is win medals for Sunshine Pils and Troggenator. This year was no different, with the former taking bronze in German-Style Pilsner and the latter taking gold in the Bock category. These two beers have combined for nine medals in the past six years. They have a new brewery, tasting room, and restaurant. It's ridiculously family-friendly and is about half-a-mile from Hershey Park. Make a weekend of it. Directions here.
Sly Fox is a bit further afield, at just under three hours, and we'll see them begin distribution in our area within the week. They took silver for a Grisette in the Belgian- and French-Style Ale category and Bronze for a Vienna-Style Lager that they're calling an Octoberfest. Directions here.
Slightly closer, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company took gold in in the same Vienna-Style Lager category for Churchville Lager, an impressive win. They're just north of Philadelphia. Directions here.
In the city proper, Yards Brewing Company won silver for Brawler, an English-Style Mild. It's excellent. You know what to do.
In one of the odder categories, Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer, a beer called Dark n Stormy from McKenzie Brew House in Malvern earned silver. It's a sour quad aged in wine barrels for two years and then blended with fresh beer. It was a one shot deal, but maybe a medal will have them brewing it again. I'd call ahead to check availability before making the trip. Directions here.
Directions to Devils Backbone. Many medals.
Directions to Lost Rhino. Octoberfest.
Directions to Three Brothers. Barrel-aged dubble.