Many local craft beer buffs were shocked when 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown suddenly closed its doors in September. The company, which opened in 2009, helped put Sussex County in the brewing spotlight. But operations at the facility won’t be idle for long. Revelation Craft Brewing Company plans to move in and take the site to the next level.
The deal, which has a January closing date, might seem like a massive step for Revelation, who debuted in 2016 in a small warehouse area in West Rehoboth. But expansion was always part of the brewery’s plan.
Originally the partners sought to take over the former Belltown United Methodist Church property. “We were working on the project until a year ago, but we couldn’t resolve the land issues across all six parcels that we needed,” says Harry Metcalf, who owns Revelation Craft Brewing with Patrick Staggs and Brian Nelson. “The title issues were insurmountable.”
Photo courtesy of Revelation Craft Brewing Company
The 16 Mile deal includes the property and brewing equipment, which gives Revelation room to grow. There will be an enhanced outdoor area and a kitchen near the tasting room. Because another entity will run the food service, the site is not a brewpub, Metcalf notes.
The partners currently have a separate business, DaNizza Wood Fired Pizza, at the West Rehoboth brewery, which offers pizza, wings and flatbread sandwiches. They might pursue a similar path in Georgetown, or explore third party options to handle the food menu. “We’re looking at options with restaurant groups,” Metcalf says.
Revelation will also build a beer-centric, 200-seat banquet center for weddings, celebrations and brewery events at the Georgetown facility.
The West Rehoboth site, which has 16 beers on tap at any given time and attracts bikers and walkers on the Junction and Breakwater Trail, will also undergo improvements.
Photos courtesy of Revelation Craft Brewing Company
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What’s next? Last summer, Revelation had a beer garden in the Town of Whitehall in Middletown. Plans call for a repeat in summer 2019. Expect to see more from this brewery in the near future. “We’re creating destinations,” Metcalf says.
Revelation—which is open every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas— is hosting its first New Year’s Eve party this year, from 8 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. The cost is $65 per person and includes live music, Revelation beers, cocktails from Beach Time Distilling in Lewes and local wines.