News & Politics

Beach Getaway: A Dogfish Head Experience in Lewes, DE

If nothing says summer like a cold beer at the beach, this Lewes getaway is for you.

Beer tastings, kayaking, and other fun are on tap for Brewmaster’s Suite guests. Photograph of Dogfish Head beers by Jumping Rocks

Inn at Canal Square
The Dogfish Head package at the starts at $765 for two people for two weekend nights and includes a European-style Continental breakfast.

My husband and I were visiting Lewes, Delaware, two summers ago and dropped by the Saturday farmers market. The biggest crowd wasn’t gathered around a table of peaches. At 10:30 in the morning, a couple of dozen people were sampling Dogfish Head beers and listening to a talk by the brewery’s founder, Sam Calagione.

The village seems to take pride in Dogfish’s success in the craft-brew world—the main brewery is in nearby Milton, but Calagione lives in Lewes. So it’s no surprise that Lewes’s Inn at Canal Square teamed up with Dogfish Head to offer an unusual getaway.

The inn’s Dogfish Head “360˚ Experience” may be the ideal getaway for a couple. She’ll likely enjoy the waterfront inn in quaint Lewes, steps from shops and restaurants. And I’m stereotyping, but he’ll likely enjoy the beer.

More Beach Guides:

Assateague and Chincoteague Islands

Bethany Beach

Smith Island, VA

Rehoboth Beach

Cape May

When my husband and I checked into the Brewmaster’s Suite on a Friday last June, we found a cold six-pack of 60 Minute IPA (India pale ale) in the mini-fridge, two free Dogfish Head pint glasses, and Dogfish T-shirts for each of us. The room features other brew-related touches, such as books about the history of beer. Our only complaint: The Brewmaster’s Suite is one of the few inn rooms without a balcony overlooking the canal. The ground-floor room faces a public courtyard.

For those unfamiliar with Dogfish Head, it’s known for IPAs as well as innovative brews such as Midas Touch, made with honey and saffron.

The inn’s Dogfish experience isn’t all about beer. On Saturday morning, a van picked us up for a dolphin kayak tour at Cape Henlopen State Park. The water was unseasonably cold, so our group saw only one dolphin—we would see more the next day while sitting on the beach. Still, it was a fun start to the day.

After lunch on our own—I can vouch for the lobster roll at Striper Bites Bistro, the fresh salads at Café Azafrán, and the turkey-and-Brie and bacon-lettuce-avocado sandwiches at Kindle—we drove to Milton for a tour of Dogfish Head Brewery, included in the package. The tour is short—although Dogfish sold 121,000 barrels of beer last year and has grown a lot since 2003, it’s still a small operation. What’s fun is sampling all the beers at the end in the tasting room.

On Saturday evening, we were picked up again—this time by a small boat, the S.S. Dogfish—and motored along the canal to Rehoboth. The peaceful tour of Lewes by water was one of our highlights. Sam Calagione sometimes captains the boat, but he was away when we visited.

The boat drops you off a short walk from the Dogfish Head brewpub—you’re given a $50 gift card and a free taxi ride back to the inn after dinner. We paired two burgers with some of the fresh beers on tap, such as Shelter Pale Ale and Theobroma.

The weekend was great fun. If nothing says summer to you like a trip to the beach and cold beer, this one’s for you.

the washingtonian summer guide 2011
This article appears in the June 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.