update July 31, 2012
It has been over a year since I wrote this original blog, but I thought I would take the time to add a couple more watering holes.
A place that has become favorite since my original Rehoboth Beach Blog post is Henlopen City Oyster House. Some of us visited this place during our Delaware road trip. Just two blocks from the ocean, this is one of the best places to eat and drink at in Rehoboth Beach. The owner, Chris, is really cool and has an awesome beer program going on. He bought a lot of empty casks and sends them to brewers around the country. One time they had Hop Head Read on cask from Green Flash. It was damn good. I have also had Stone Pale Ale with Chinook hops on cask their as well. The night we went there, he had Hop Rod Rye from Bear Republic. It was really good. That night, he also tapped a 2009 Double Bastard from Stone. Holy smokers was that good! Overall there are about 10 taps there and a really dedicated bottle list. And a special bottle list of bombers and big beers you may want to share with friends.
The food at Henlopen City Oyster house is really good, and the oyster selection is outstanding. The oysters are so fresh, you don't need the good cocktail sauce and mignonette they are served with, the oysters speak for themselves. I also love their fried clams.
Although Finbar's has been in Rehoboth for a few years, they have only had a craft beer program for four months. Situated next door to Dogfish Head Brewery and Eats, it is a good place to grab a beer while waiting for a table at DFH if their bar is too crowded. I have only been to Finbar's once for about a half hour, but I was pretty happy with their draft and bottle selection.
I have not had any food at Finbar's, but I anticipate that will change over time as I dive further into their tap list.
As you enter Rehoboth Beach Delaware, you will see two things after you drive around the lighthouse circle on Rehoboth Avenue, a sign in the middle of the street, "Welcome to the Nation's Summer Capitol (due to its proximity to Washington DC), and Dogfish Head Brew Pub. As you drive past DFH Brew Pub, there are more great beer places closer to the ocean. Arena's Deli a few blocks up and Zoggs, almost on the boardwalk.
I will start with Dogfish Head Brew Pub. This is a must-see destination for the serious beer enthusiast, nerd, idiot savant, or beer geek. Less than 20 miles away from their main brewery in Milton, DE. Aside from their year round brews, Chickory Stout, Shelter Pale, 60/90 Minute IPA etc....you can get their seasonal offerings there, such as Punkin, Aprihop and more when the season is right. Also they have a selection of vintage beers. When I was there over Memorial Day weekend, they had some 2009 vintages. Since I had already had the rare 120 Minute IPA from the tap, I forgot which ones they were offering. They also have brewpub-only beers where they may only have as much as one keg of a random experimental beer. View their websites for hours and directions.
Arena's Deli and Bar (pictured above) has an impressive sandwich list and and even more impressive beer list! While doing "research" for this piece, I had the shrimp nachos and washed them down with Smutty Nose Brown Dog and Red Seal Ale. Arena's is in an alley of shops between Rehoboth Avenue and Baltimore Avenue, so you can't see it from the road. When I was visiting, they had Dogfish Head Hell Hound on tap even after the DFH Brew Pub ran out. They have live music most nights there; I recommend visiting before the music starts if you like to have conversations with others about beer.
Zoggs is a personal favorite, but I would not call it a must-see for the beer enthusiast. Rum is their game, and they have an impressive bottle collection. The food is pretty good there (anything jerk is worth getting at Zoggs). The owners are really cool too. I give this shout out because I love that they have a tap from from four different Delaware breweries. Dogfish Head's Midas Touch, 16 Mile's new IPA, Evolution Summer beer, and Greenville's Twin Lakes Pale Ale. I love that they have a special place for local beer efforts.
Before the July Fourth Weekend, I will write a blog about the beer places of Route 1 in Rehoboth (as there is a lot of traffic, a beer store is a great place to stop and stretch the legs).