Firkin Fest Returned to Rehoboth Beach With a Bang

Photographs by Rachel Swick Mavity

Revelation Craft Brewing hosted the popular event for the third year, inviting visitors to sip local brews and chow down on tasty bites.

A firkin, by definition, is a quarter or fourth from the Middle English ferdekyn of a barrel. For beer brewers, a firkin is a cask that is filled with beer. For Firkin Fest, hosted by Revelation Brewing in Rehoboth Beach, it’s the root of an event for which more than a dozen brewers from across the state gather to show their creative spirit by adding special ingredients to their brews.

For Revelation Craft brewer Don Lewis, Firkin Fest is a way for brewers to take already great beers and add some more innovation. Revelation highlighted its New Zealand pale ale and added peach puree to create a pop of fruit flavor. The brew uses New Zealand cascade hops, which are really highlighted in this bright, drinkable ale.

Don Lewis and Ryan Mavity of Revelation Craft Brewery
Don Lewis and Ryan Mavity of Revelation Craft Brewery

Walking through the front door of Revelation, the first brew available was Revelation’s S’morter Porter with added cocoa nibs to bring out the chocolate notes.

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The event on March 26 drew large crowds despite the on-and-off rain. Ticketholders could sample each of the beers while enjoying wood-fired pizza from the resident DaNizza food truck.

Kathy and Bill Livesey represented Midnight Oil brewery out of Middletown. At the festival, they brought a double IPA with added blood orange to give it a citrus punch.

The brewery, which opened four years ago, aims to bring its spin on beer to the community. In addition to the taproom, Midnight Oil also offer a wide variety of events, including beer-making classes and fundraisers like a recent one for Mom’s House of Wilmington.

In fact, Kathy and Bill attended one of the beer-making classes and were so tickled with the brewery that they ended up signing on as employees.

Jesse Lancaster and Ronnie Price tapping their firkin of Blue Ale Brewery in Smyrna
Jesse Lancaster and Ronnie Price tapping their firkin of Blue Ale Brewery in Smyrna

Don’t miss this summer’s Smoke Show, which highlights cigars and beer on June 25. Be sure to sample the brewery’s flagship Subspace Anomaly, its hazy New England IPA.

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Wilmington Brew Works also opened four years ago. Its taproom is in a historic Spanish mission and is the first production brewery in Wilmington.

During the festival, Wilmington Brew Works highlighted a beer it is brewing to support Ukraine. When Russia first invaded, Pravda Brewery release several of its recipes with the idea that other brewers could brew the beer and raise funds to send to Ukraine.

Dan Yapp and Derek Berkeley of Wilmington Brew Works
Dan Yapp and Derek Berkeley of Wilmington Brew Works

“We thought this was a great way to do something,” says Dan Yopp of Wilmington Brew Works. The beer is a dark roast brew with chocolate and caramel notes and a dry finish.

Yopp says the brewery is excited for this summer and will be participating in a wide variety of events, including Clifford Brown Jazz Fest, People’s Festival and more. Its beer is available at Wilmington Blue Rocks (baseball) and Wilmington Blue Coats (basketball) games.

Revelation Craft Brewing:
Midnight Oil Brewing Company:
Wilmington Brew Works:

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