A Gorgeous Sunday Afternoon at the 3rd Annual Delaware Wine & Beer Festival

Got our commemorative glass...and Argilla Hopicana!

After attending last year's Delaware Wine & Beer Festival we knew this was going to be an annual event for us! As soon as we found out this year's date, we secured our tickets so that we got one of the 500 commemorative souvenir beer glasses (or wine glass, if that's your thing!) At $25 a ticket, which include 10 1oz samples throughout the day, you can't beat it. 

This year's Delaware Wine & Beer Festival was held at a new location, the Delaware Agriculture Museum, in Dover. Having never been there, wow were we impressed! The grounds are gorgeous, especially on such a beautiful fall day! 

A view of the festival from the back bridge - so pretty!
How can you beat a Sunday afternoon strolling around the Museum grounds, sampling beers from different breweries around the state (and one from Pennsylvania), taking in the aromas from the food vendors, while checking out the various vendors?

According to Kent County & Greater Dover  Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director, Cindy Small, before they opened the doors for the Third Annual Delaware Wine & Beer Festival on Sunday, they had sold 1,120 tickets. They're estimating between 2,200 and 2,400 in total attendance! 

Take a look at the awesome list of breweries that joined in the fun...
In addition to wanting to stop by each of the brewery's tents (at least once anyway!) I also was also intrigued by what Great Shoals Winery, from Princess Anne, Maryland, were bringing to the Festival - Black Twig Hard Apple, made from cider apples from T.S. Smith's in Bridgeville. It was like a super bubbly champagne. Quite different than most hard ciders I've had in the past, but really good! They also had a pear version which I wouldn't mind trying at some point.  

It was great to see so many familiar faces througout the day - Lori and John from 3rd Wave, Claus from 16 Mile, Lauren from Fordham and Old Dominion, and Steve from Argilla! Of course we didn't want to take up too much of their time chatting with them - the lines at all of their tents were quite long all afternoon long! That was so awesome to see, but of course, definitely expected! 

The breweries poured some great beers throughout the Festival...

16 Mile Brewery
Harvest Ale

Old Court Ale

Blues Golden Ale

Hopicana Black IPA


Dogfish Head
My Antonia

Palo Santo

Indian Brown Ale

Helles Lager

Copperhead Ale

Old Dominion
Oktoberfest (which was brought out later in the day!)

Hop Mountain

Oak Barrel Stout

3rd Wave Brewing
!st Wave IPA

Big Reef Porter

Shorebreak Pale Ale


Twin Lakes
Taylor’s Grog

Greenville Pale Ale

Black & Tan

Tweeds Tavern Stout

Yards Brewing
Yards Brawler

Philadelphia Pale Ale

Between the two of us, we had a chance to try just about all the beers we wanted, and a few we normally wouldn't (Eric went for Palo Santo over his usual My Antonia at the DFH tent - so out of the ordinary for him!) 

Once you use up your ten 1 ounce pour tickets, you had the option of either purchasing more 1 ounce pour tickets, or for $5 per ticket, purchase a full pour of the beer of your choice. Not a bad deal! 
The Pizza Wagon guys hard at work - all day long!

The food offerings around the Festival were rather tempting! Our friends split a pizza from The Pizza Wagon. It looked SO good! Eric and I stopped by Abbott's Grill tent and sampled the Lobster Knodel - a German-style dumpling - and the Cheddar Beer Soup - both were yummy! 

To top it off, the four of us split two cupcakes from Icing On the Cupcake. They had five different cupcakes baked with local beers, so of course we had to try them! 

Here's a list of the flavors Icing on the Cupcake offered on Sunday:
  • Touch of Honey - made with Dogfish Head Midas Touch
  • Chocolate Coffee Bean - made with 16 Mile Harvest Ale
  • Triple Chocolate - made with Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout
  • Orange Marmelade - made with Yards Brawler
  • Cranberry Apple - made with Fordham Helles Lager
Icing on the Cupcake Beer Cupcakes-yum!
Now you can see why we had such a hard time deciding on just two! We landed on the Triple Chocolate and the Cranberry Apple. The Triple Chocolate, was well, it was chocolate - how can you ever go wrong with that?! The Cranberry Apple was really awesome too! Cranberry and Apple are such great flavors together. The balance between the cranberry and the apple, in combination with the Helles Lager was perfect! We don't know what was in the icing, but it was delicious  (I think we better find out!) 

Here's what else was offered by the different local restaurants during the Festival:

- Abbott's Grill also had Fennel sausage with braised red cabbage, apples and bacon

- Chops Grille offered pan seared scallops with Parmesan and corn risotto, finished with fresh cilantro mango chutney as well as filet mignon sliders topped with horseradish aioli

- Maple Dale Country Club had a carved balsamic vinaigrette and molasses marinated beef tenderloin sandwich, served on ciabatta bread, topped with horseradish cream as well as an Italian marinated chicken breast sandwich on ciabatta bread.

- McGlynn's Pub & Restaurant offered pulled pork sandwiches and bratwurst with sauerkraut.

- The Pizza Wagon served Italian wood fired brick oven pizzas including baby bella and Gorgonzola, savory Italian sausage, zesty pepperoni, three cheese and traditional.

Smryna Breads, was there selling locally-made breads, and shared a tent with Cabot Creamery, who had their Hot Habanero (whew it have a kick!) and their Horseradish Cheddar on hand to try! 

There was so much to see and do throughout the day. Live music, a keg tossing competition, cornhole tournament, and Wine & Beer Seminars! Oh, and shopping, lots of shopping with so many vendors! We got chatting with one particular vendor Jay Douthit, a ManCave Guide. Have you heard of ManCave? Jay will come to your home where he will help you will host a MEATing. You'll basically invite a bunch of guys over (although I know of a lot of chicks who would be all about this!) then Jay will bring over a bunch of exclusive, award-wining meats and Leinenkugel's beer. He'll grill the meat, you just need to sit back and enjoy the tournament of "manly" games like Hammelschlagen, which Eric and our friend played, with the winners taking home prizes. The dudes that attend your MEATing can also order awesome products likes Left Hand Coozie Glove (pictured the the right) or the Pop Off Bottle Opener

We were excited that we got to see the unveiling of the new Delaware Wine and Beer Festival logo! After receiving 30 entries, Cindy announced the winner near the end of the Festival! And here it is!
The new Delaware Wine & Beer Festival Logo!
Congratulations to Brad Tillingast of Wilmington for creating the winning the logo contest! 

We couldn't have picked a better way to spend a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon. Great beer, food, music and friends. Cindy  is thrilled that sponsors have already recommitted for next year, as have many of the vendors! You can count us in too, Cindy - we wouldn't miss a day celebrating the great beers in our state! 

See you next year!