Earlier this week Richard Hartogs, also found as I Heart Beer and Better Beer Authority, wrote an open letter to the City of Rehoboth Beach Board of Adjustment. To say we second his thoughts throughout the letter is an understatement. Here are our sentiments and thoughts on everything Dogfish is going through...
One of my first introductions to craft beer was a beer from that oddly named brewery down at the beach. That oddly named brewery was Dogfish and it peaked my interest in what has become a passion, a hobby and something I simply enjoy.
We regularly attend craft beer events, visit breweries and spend time with our friends enjoying craft beer. We've traveled from east coast to west coast and places in between, and when fellow craft beer drinkers find out we're from Delaware, it's an immediate conversation starter. Everyone knows Dogfish, their eclectic collection of brews, and that Sam Calagione has played a very large role in helping make the craft beer industry what it is today. And those that haven't already visited Delaware and Dogfish, many tell us that trip is one they hope to make one day.
From those conversations we learn that people make trips from cities as close as Wilmington and Philadelphia, but also from upstate New York, Canada and just about anywhere else you can imagine. The folks from New York? They made the 8+ hour drive to Coastal Delaware and stayed at the Hotel Rehoboth for 5 days. Midway through their stay they knew they needed to spend more time in Rehoboth and came back the following May and have been doing so every year since I first met them. How about receiving a tweet from a Dogfish fan in Canada. She was traveling to Delaware for her birthday, celebrating it at Dogfish. She wanted to know our thoughts on how she could spend her time at the Delaware beach. Her tweets from during the time she was visiting were full of excitement, giddy and pure happiness.
Dogfish has made Delaware, and Rehoboth, a destination.
What is even greater, on their way to Dogfish, craft beer adventurers find out that Delaware has so much to offer by way of cuisine, beautiful beaches, and something to keep them coming back to Delaware: a thriving craft beer scene. Dogfish is a tourism generator, and I'm sure no matter where they are located people will still visit, but the greater picture, and the first thing we immediately thought: What will that do to the local economy of Rehoboth?
Like Richard mentioned, Rehoboth's off-season, like many coastal towns in this area of the country, have been quieter in years past. And like many people, we now visit Rehoboth more in the off-season then we do during the height of the summer season. Many of our first off-season trips were because of Dogfish. Assuming we would have little to do other than visit the brewpub and do some outlet shopping, we quickly realized that isn't the case. Through the years this has changed so tremendously, which has been amazing to see. It's also easy to note that the one constant through the years in the off-season has been the Dogfish brewpub. It's not a seasonal destination, it's year round.
The ripple effect of those potentially not visiting Rehoboth because Dogfish isn't there any more is apparent. The week your initial decision was made on the new plans for the brewpub, we were in town staying at a hotel in Rehoboth. We were very quick to question various businesses on their thoughts on how this might affect their business. Not surprised one bit, we heard over and over that these business owners and managers were very aware of the influx of visitors that Dogfish brings in to the town. They eat at the restaurants around town. They're filling up the rooms at the hotels. They're shopping in the boutiques and shops along Rehoboth Avenue and beyond. They're spending their hard earned dollars in your town, in your economy. Why take that way from the businesses that benefit from having these visitors in your beautiful beachside town? As supporters of the great town you live in, would you want to be the cause of something like this?
One of the greatest takeaways we get from being a part of such an amazing industry is the family-like camaraderie of breweries, looking out and helping one another whenever they can. To see this translate to the community of Rehoboth and your decision and encouragement of keeping a business like Dogfish in your town, is one that I hope we all see happen. Rehoboth is an integral part of Dogfish's history. It would be heartbreaking to see a staple of your town, and a company that is so intertwined with the community it serves, leave and make their home elsewhere.
Delaware Hop Scene
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