After a long break and a visit to Colombia, I am back with all you need to know about visiting the Dogfish Head Brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware! A visit to Dogfish Head in Rehoboth is fun for both the beer geek and those who are not crazy about beer. It makes for a great weekend getaway from the mid-Atlantic region!
Dogfish Head Brewery, or Dogfish for short, is a pretty famous American craft brewery located in coastal Delaware. It’s really fun to visit for a long weekend and, not surprisingly, draws lots of visitors each year. While super fun, visiting can be a little confusing due to the differing locations of the Brewpub, the Brewery and the Inn. To aid in planning your getaway, here is some essential information that you should be aware of before visiting. First off, there are three main stops on your Dogfish tour: (1) the Brewpub; (2) the Brewery; and (3) the Inn (can only be visited if you stay there). They are each about 20 minutes away from each other and I would rank visiting them in that order.
The Dogfish Brewing and Eats, commonly known as the Brewpub, is where Dogfish first started back in 1995 in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. This is probably what you think of when you think “I’m visiting the Dogfish Brewery.” I mean Dogfish refers to it as the “soul” of Dogfish, so no visit would be complete without a meal here! No longer Dogfish’s brewery (and not so for many years), the Brewpub functions as a pub-style restaurant, often with live music in the evening, and, until 2016, Dogfish’s spirits distillery. Dogfish still brews the occasional small-batch beer at the Brewpub, but it is mainly a pub. In 2016, the Brewpub is getting a major renovation (but will apparently remain open throughout the entire year) and a new seafood restaurant is opening right next door – Chesapeake & Maine. The distillery is also being moved to the Brewery.
Whether you visit before, during, or after the renovation, the Brewpub is located on the main street in Rehoboth Beach. Rehoboth Beach is a family-oriented beach town located about 20 minutes from the Brewery and about 20 minutes from the Inn. Unlike the location of the Brewery and the Inn, Rehoboth Beach has a lot more going on than just the Brewpub, including a boardwalk, boutique shops, fabulous restaurants, other beer-centric bars, outlet shopping and lots of hotels. I usually like to stay in Rehoboth Beach when I visit Dogfish, so that I can spend as much time as possible at the Brewpub and when I get tired of it, there is something else readily accessible. For example, Rehoboth’s boardwalk and beach:
The Brewpub serves lunch and dinner daily and there is almost always a wait unless you go right when it opens at 12:00. The menu is what I would call “creative bar fare,” and most dishes incorporate beer in some way. For example, not to be missed is the Palo Santo Marron Chocolate Bacon Cheesecake. So crazy. So decadent. Just order it.
The bar in the Brewpub serves all Dogfish beers, usually including one or two “Brewpub Exclusives,” which are small-batch productions that are only served at the Brewpub. The Brewpub also serves Dogfish’s spirits in a variety of cocktails.
If you are visiting Dogfish, the Brewpub is your most important stop. Center your visit around a meal here. If you are staying at the Inn (see below), they will call ahead and reserve you a table. Highly recommended to take advantage of this service.
Somewhat confusing to first-time visitors, Dogfish’s industrial brewery is not in Rehoboth, but is in Milton , Delaware, about 20 minutes from Rebohoth. It’s not a bad drive, but the Brewery can be a little tricky to find. Be sure to use the GPS details below. Open Monday – Saturday, the brewery encompasses an industrial brewery, which you can only see on a guided tour, gift shop, tasting room, Bunyan’s Lunchbox food truck and the famous Steampunk Treehouse pictured below.
If you haven’t taken a tour of the brewery before, I recommend it. It’s free and takes about 45 minutes. On the tour, a guide will lead you through the brewery and give you lots of Dogfish information. Note – if you plan to take the tour you must wear closed-toed shoes. Last time I was there they had Crocs “for loan” for purposes of taking the tour.
Whether you take the tour or not, everyone gets a free sample of any 4 beers on tap. The tap list is almost always great and usually includes some heavy hitters- such as 120 minute or World Wide Stout. In any case, no Dogfish beers are low-alcohol and you can get pretty tipsy on your tasting. Plan accordingly if you have to drive home. If you need more beer after the tasting, pints are sold for $5. When the weather is nice, corn hole and bocce is set up outside.
If you do get too tipsy, Bunyan’s Lunchbox is located just off the tasting room and serves up “beer-centric” sausages, clam chowder and pickles (side note – all of these items you can buy to-go in the gift shop or at Whole Foods). This makes for a nice snack, but don’t waste your lunch here.
Finally, the Brewery gift shop is pretty large and has lots of Dogfish gear. Worth a stop.
The Dogfish Inn is Dogfish’s newest additional to coastal Delaware. Surprising to many first time visitors, the Dogfish Inn is not within walking distance to the Brewpub or the Brewery. Instead, it is located in the historic, picture-perfect town of Lewes, Delaware. This is the town where the Lewes-Cape May Ferry docks and it is not exactly the party capital of the world. Think big old homes and people who summer in Lewes. It’s a gorgeous town, but keep in mind that it is not the place to get out of control after a big night at the Brewpub…
The Inn is very much a retro-style inn with only about 25 rooms in a 1970s beach motel-style building. Each room is outfitted with a comfortable bed, flat screen TV, sink, shower, toilet and refrigerator. Dogfish provides complimentary Malin + Goetz shower products and a free Dogfish soap to use in the room or take home.
In addition to the rooms, the check-in area doubles as a common area, with a table, fireplace and all sorts of beer and food necessities for loan, including glasses, growlers (you have to ask), mugs, plates, etc. Just off that area is a fire-pit that is started up almost every night.
As I mentioned, the Inn is about a 20 minute drive from both the Brewpub and Brewery. I didn’t like this and tends to suggest tipsy driving… The Inn does have a set rate of $25 one-way to/from the Brewpub arranged with a local cab company and Uber occasionally works. Alternatively, the Inn offers an all-INNclusive tour on Thursday, Friday and Saturday that includes transportation to the brewery, a tour and tasting, transportation to the Brewpub, with guaranteed lunch seating (lunch not included), and transportation back to the Inn for $45. I thought this was overpriced at first, but, after the weekend, it does not seem like that bad a deal. The Inn usually runs shuttles on special occasions, such as New Year’s Eve and other beer dinners.
While not close to the Brewpub, the Inn is located within walking distance of several restaurants, bars and liquor shops (less in the off-season as they are closed) and Lewes is a charming town. Lewes is less chaotic than Rehoboth, but, again, has less to occupy your time. While the Inn is certainly a component of any Dogfish weekend, if you are short on time I would skip it and stay in Rehoboth or pay for the All-INNclusive package and plan for that to be the highlight of your weekend.
STEAL OUR WEEKEND
Dogfish Head Brewing and Eats – 320 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. T: 302-226-BREW. Sunday – Thursday 12:00 – 11:00. Friday – Saturday 12:00 – 1:00.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – 6 Cannery Village Center, Milton, DE 19968. T: 302-684-1000. Open Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 7:00. Tours run hourly, except on Saturday when they run every 30 minutes. Last tour at 5:00 everyday. No reservations, but tours often book up and you may have to wait for the next one. *Closed-toed shoes required to take the tour.* Use these GPS coordinates: 511 Chestnut St. Milton, DE 19968
Bunyan’s Lunchbox – Food truck parked just outside the brewery’s tasting room. Monday – Saturday 11:00 – 6:30. Limited menu serving sausages, clam chowder and pickles.
Dogfish Head Inn – 105 Savannah Road, Lewes Delaware 19958. T: (302) 644-8292. Reservations essential during high season and on weekends. If you find yourself in Rehoboth last-minute, the Inn is on Hotelstonight.com.