If you know anything about me, it’s that chocolate is my vice.
Everything I learned about beer was gleaned while living in Australia, where they take their brew very seriously. I could never keep up. It’s a safe bet even infants there can drink me under the table. And that’s perfectly fine. To be honest, I don’t like the taste, and would rather save the calories for hot fudge.
But I’d been hearing a lot about a relatively new cool place to stay. Cool because it’s the brainchild of the folks that brought the nation DogfishHead craft beer.
Craft is buzz for specially concocted. Experimental. In other words, not your father’s — or even necessarily your neighbor’s — beer.
Dogfish’s motto is “off-centered ales for off-centered people.” Anything with natural origins is fair game, including, raisins, maple syrup, and according to this surprisingly riveting interview with the founder, human saliva.
Here’s more gag-inducing detail.
Their Namaste brew caught the attention of this yogi. Hints of lemongrass and coriander. Hmmmm. A little natural high along with the alcoholic one?
Lest you think this is all impossibly pretentious hipster schtick, the founder insists the gimmicks actually taste swell. And that’s why enthusiasts like the stuff.
What’s it up against? The beer industry in general. Microbreweries, the little guys, are said to be a small part of the overall market. And there are hundreds of them vying for tastebuds. Sobering stats.
Dogfish is apparently spreading like the contents of an overturned beer bottle. Thirty states, says the founder. And raking in the millions.
Not exactly Anheuser-Busch. But not bad for a company that started less than a decade ago by a young guy studying creative writing at Columbia University who liked tinkering with a home brewing kit.
Which brings us to Delaware, where Dogfish is made. The southern part of the state that hugs a bay and the Atlantic Ocean is home to the brewery; a brew pub where you can eat and drink; and now, an inn close to all that action.
The Dogfish Inn is in Lewes. Clever choice. Place has been popular for a long time. There’s a lot of history, along with proximity to a state park along the water that’s been in vogue since the days of William Penn. You know you’re in Delaware because the park sports a meeting center named for VP and favorite son Biden.
Back to the inn. At first glance, I thought: Since when does a place that looks like a gussied-up budget motel have the audacity to call itself an inn? With a hoity-toity price tag to match?
I soon ate, or should I say, drank my words, when I took a closer look. Pretty classy.
The happening design is straight outta Brooklyn. With name-brand mattresses and blankets.
A nifty place for all your gear.
Soap made with beer.
And coffee blended with malted barley, served in the adjoining cottage. But be advised you can’t get an actual beer here — though you’re more than welcome to bring some back from the brewery or a retail shop.
You can also curl up with a good book from the cottage library, curated by famed indie bookstore City Lights of San Francisco.
The Dogfish Inn is also dog-friendly.
Innkeeper Andrew Greeley, who hails from Golden, Colorado — Coors Country — says the founder often stops by, and hangs around the fire pit with guests.
Worth the price of admission right there, I’d think, if you happen to be a Dogfish enthusiast.
Here are some other beer-themed places to vacation in the U.S. And abroad.