“We’re very proud to be a Best of Delaware winner,” says Sam Calagione, owner of all things Dogfish Head. “It’s been a high-profile award as long as we’ve been in business.”
That’s 21 years now. In 1995, Calagione started Dogfish Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. Since then his Dogfish Head craft brewery has become one of the largest—and certainly one of the most interesting—in the country. As Dogfish turns legal drinking age, editors named the brewpub Best Bar in the latest Best of Delaware survey.
Winning Best Bar is “especially cool,” Sam says, since the brewpub is a showcase of everything Dogfish Head is about. “We’re not just a brewery,” he says. “We’re also a distillery.”
As well as a great place to eat and listen to great live music. “A great bar has to be dynamic on many fronts,” Sam says. “What makes Dogfish Head so interesting is that you never know what’s going to happen there.”
In other words, there’s no telling which of Dogfish’s famously “off-centered” brews will be on tap, what crazy cocktail the bartenders have created from Dogfish rum, gin or vodka, what delicious food special the kitchen has dreamed up or who’s going to appear onstage.
And you never know what Dogfish Head is going to do next. Two years ago it opened an inn of retro roadside coolness in the heart of little Lewes, and a few weeks ago it opened a world-class seafood restaurant, Chesapeake & Maine, right next to the brewpub. As for the Best Bar of 2016, it is undergoing a rebuild.
Look for Dogfish Head at the Best of Delaware party at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino® Center on July 21. “It’s a great time,” says Sam. “It’s a one-stop shop for catching up with my favorite Delaware entrepreneurs”—folks such as Xavier Teixido of the Harry’s Hospitality Group, Steve Montgomery of Dewey’s famous Starboard and Delaware Restaurant Association director Carrie Leishman. “I love to see everyone under one roof having a great time together.”