Dubbed the “Corporate Capital of America” and making its mark as the largest city in Delaware, Wilmington can sometimes get overlooked as a destination by its southern namesake in North Carolina, which is well-known for its coastal beauty.
However, to do so would be to miss out on one of the Northeast’s most culturally-rich cities, replete with museums, performing arts, world-class restaurants–and, you guessed it, breweries. To this last point, keep reading as we explore the 7 best breweries in the Wilmington, DE area.
There is no shortage of must-visit breweries in the Wilmington area.
Here are 7 of the most indispensable to include on your brewery tour:
- Bellefonte Brewing
- Wilmington Brew Works
- Stitch House Brewery
- Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
- Hangman Brewing Company
- Midnight Oil Brewing Company
- Dew Point Brewing Company
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail below.
You will be hard-pressed to find a more happening brewery than Bellefonte Brewing. With two locations–one at Old Capitol Trail and one at Brandywine–that are both family and dog-friendly, Bellefonte has a nearly continuous schedule of events, such as food truck festivals, live music, corn hole tournaments, and much more.
Oh, yeah, and they also serve beer. At the top of the list is the “Gingers Are Peachy” hard ginger beer. Brewed with ginger and blended with peach puree, this crushable ale has just a tingle of spice at the end. On the lighter, fruitier side, this is a great beer for those looking to take their maiden voyage on the craft brew scene.
“Playfully pretentious. Easily enjoyed.” These are the words Wilmington Brew Works live by. The brewery keeps the scientific nature of the building alive with its innovative ales, lagers, sours, and ciders. However, it is not boiling hops and blended malts in this beermaker’s lab–the brewery regularly hosts a live music series and disc golf putting league.
But back to the beer. A favorite on tap is the Space Gondolas sour IPA. This beer is a blend of raspberry peach sour and New England IPA that purportedly lifts you to spaceship status. While drinkers have yet to note any three-dimensional travel capabilities, they are quick to point out that the has a juicy peach-vanilla flavor that never fails to demand a second helping.
With ample televisions for catching your favorite teams, regular live music performances, and a full-service menu of delectable east coast pub food, Stitch House Brewery brings an element of down-to-earth in a craft brew industry that can sometimes teeter dangerously close to the pretentious.
But fear not, lovers of fine beer: the selection on tap is far from basic. When you are trying to crush more than one brew for an epic hang-sesh with your friends, the Strange Bedfellows Belgian Blonde hits the mark for crushability. Clean and crisp with a soft saison flavor, this light and refreshing brew are just enough without being too much.
The roots of Iron Hill Brewery may sound cliche. Hobbyist home brewer wants to monetize his passion and starts a brewery with the help of two friends. Now they have won more awards than any brewery east of the Mississippi and continue to brew the finest beverages 10 feet from their customers’ tables in the heart of Wilmington.
One beer continually gets mentioned among patrons as their favorite: the Pig Iron Porter. A classic porter, dark and full of roasted malt flavor, this beer beautifully balances chocolate notes with an ever-so-slight bitterness. Drinkers reveal that this beer is sweet in the beginning, then mellows out for a delightfully smooth finish.
Located about eight miles northeast of downtown Wilmington in nearby Claymont, Hangman Brewing Company makes a great choice for those situated just on the outskirts of the city. With the simple purpose of using good beer to bring good people together, Hangman has experienced no shortage of success on either front.
From the extensive selection on tap, a brew that particularly stands out is the Frosty the Hangman Hazy White IPA. A New England-style hazy IPA with a light wheat character, this beer packs a solid punch (6.7% ABV) for its relatively mild taste, so crushing this brew can lead to an early night. Now that whole “Hangman” thing is starting to make sense!
Sixteen miles southwest of downtown Wilmington on I-95 is the Midnight Oil Brewing Company. With the belief that everyone “burning the midnight oil” deserves the perfect beer at the end of their shift, this brewery was spawned from equal parts passion and elbow grease, with founders Mike and TJ sometimes driving up to 10 hours to try a new beer and dissect its components.
The result of their efforts is a healthy selection of brews constantly rotating at MOBC. Among the favorites is the Geno Belgian White. Brewed in memory of Uncle Gene, is brewed with orange peel and coriander, yielding a light, refreshing ale that Geno would have loved to crush, and you will too.
Dew Point Brewing Company can be located 9 miles northwest in the nearby town of Yorklyn. Siblings Alexa and Cody Hoffman were finally able to enlist the help of various friends and family members to reclaim a dilapidated building in the Garrett Snuff Mill complex. This building is the home of Dew Point Brewing and its wide selection of Belgian-inspired beers.
Although the tap list is constantly changing at this microbrewery, one of its mainstays is the Hopwarts Express American IPA. Brewed with pale ale and pilsner malts, along with Warrior and El Dorado hops, this beer has a smooth, clean bitterness replete with tropical pine flavors that is a favorite of those who come to enjoy it.