Here, for your summer and fall planning guide, are some of the best craft beer events in the area. They include flight clubs, community events, charity functions, beer dinners, beer festivals, and more. Most, as noted, are open to all ages. For others, you must be 21 or older. Enjoy!
Chelsea Tavern Flight Club
Every Tuesday, 5:30pm
Chelsea Tavern, Wilmington
The first rule of Flight Club is that you do not have to be a member. But a membership does entitle you to specials such as a Flight Club mug, as well as 20 percent off monthly beer dinners and beer with mugs. This month members will also enjoy several perks like a dinner with Ian Wallace of Yards Brewing Company, free raffles/giveaways and a night of flights on the patio of the Ernest & Scott Taproom. Each beer and food pairing is meticulously chosen, based on seasonality, geographic location, style and many other factors. Meeting weekly in the historic Chelsea Tavern, Flight Club is a friendly and thriving community of food and craft beer lovers. Your first flight is only $10.
Monthly at 6:30pm. See website for dates.
Two Stones Pub, Newark, Wilmington & Kennett Square, Pa.
Pairing award-winning beer with phenomenal food, Two Stones provides dinners in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere, seating no more than 30. Each dinner meets monthly at the Newark, Wilmington and Kennett Square locations and features carefully chosen food and craft beer selections. Tickets are $72 and include a six-course meal and six beers.
Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer
Monthly, resuming in September
World Cafe Live at The Queen, Wilmington
For years The Queen has taken the two best things on earth—grilled cheese and craft beer—and paired them in unexpected and delicious ways. Yet there is no American cheese and Wonder Bread in sight. Instead, they use high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, in addition to rare imports from around the world. Although they are taking a break for the summer, dinners will resume in September and continue monthly on a day to be determined, which will be announced on the website. For each meal, a different brewery will be featured, with a representative on hand to speak and offer giveaways. In September, Yards Brewing Company will be on hand with its Pynk brew, raising awareness for breast cancer. October will feature Stone Brewing Company, and Mispillion will appear in November. Tickets are $40.
Winterthur Beer Garden
Fridays, July 17 & 24, Aug. 14 & 21. 4-9pm
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
Enjoy local craft beers, Pennsylvania/German-inspired food and live music in a calming, picturesque atmosphere. This year’s event includes selections from Delaware’s own 16 Mile, Fordham & Dominion, Twin Lakes, Dogfish Head and 3rd Wave. Tickets or reservations are not needed and it’s $6 for any 12-oz. beer served in mugs. This event is open to all ages.
Birdies & Brews
Thursday, July 23. 5-7pm
Deerfield Tennis and Golf Club, Newark
Hosted by the Boy Scouts of America Del-Mar-Va Council, The Birdies & Brews fest combines two great things: golf and craft beer. Enjoy craft brews, sodas, spirits, as well as street food fare, live entertainment and an auction. Tickets are $50 and include a commemorative tasting glass that you can use for unlimited tastings. Featured breweries include regional favorites such as Dogfish Head, Twin Lakes, Iron Hill and many others. All proceeds benefit your local BSA troop. This event is open to all ages.
Newark Food & Brew Festival
Saturday, July 25. 2-9pm
The 12th annual Newark Food & Brew Festival features craft and imported beers, creative cuisine, live music and sidewalk performers. This event showcases more than 40 craft and imported beers paired with food from 17 of downtown Newark’s finest restaurants. Walk from restaurant to restaurant as musicians and balloon decorations line the street, making this one of Delaware’s most beloved summer traditions. Out & About Magazine will be there, hosting a root beer tasting stand for kids on the Academy Lawn until 6 p.m. or until supplies run out. There is no admission fee and a complimentary shuttle service will be provided. The first 2,500 to attend will receive a free sampling mug. This event is open to all ages.
Stewart’s Brewing Co. 20th anniversary Outdoor Beer Fest
Saturday, July 25. 4-8pm
Stewart’s Brewing Company, Bear
Enjoy a full day of great food and craft beer from some of the region’s best breweries, including Iron Hill, Dogfish Head, Fordham & Dominion, Flying Fish, 3rd Wave, 16 Mile, Mispillion, Agrilla, Twin Lakes, Sly Fox, Yards and Stewart’s. Held at New Castle County’s first brewpub, this event is open to all ages.
7th Annual BrewBQ
Saturday, Aug. 1. 12-4pm
Plantation Field, Unionville, Pa.
This year, Victory Brewing Company will host its 7th annual BrewBQ competition. The competition will feature a two-category BBQ cook-off. Each team will compete to see who can make the best chicken and ribs, as decided by the judges. Enjoy a variety of restaurants and vendors, live music, the Victory Beer Garden, tournament style games and a play area designated for kids. Attendees also will be able to taste and vote on the People’s Pork award for the restaurants’ best vendors. This event is free and open to all ages.
Delaware State Fair’s Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, Aug. 1. 6-9pm
M&T Bank Grand Stand, Delaware State Fair, Harrington
Closing out the fair this year will be a three-hour concert and craft beer event featuring Grand Funk Railroad and more than 50 craft and domestic releases from breweries from across the country. Attendees can sample beers and order from several food trucks on the track of the M&T Bank Grandstand while enjoying music from Grand Funk and Delaware’s own lower case blues. Tickets for the concert plus a craft beer tasting package are $35. This event is open to all ages.
Battle of the Brews
Home Brew Contest Judging
Saturday, Aug. 1. 9am-12pm
Entertainment Tent, Delaware State Fair, Harrington
The Delaware Department of Agriculture is presenting the fourth annual Battle of the Brews Home Brew Contest, in which competitors showcase their best brews in hopes of becoming the Delaware Homebrew Champion. Local breweries will be there with beer samples for fairgoers. This event is open to all ages.
America on Tap
Saturday, Aug. 15. 2:30-6pm
Tubman-Garrett Park, Wilmington
America on Tap is the first nationally integrated entertainment series focused specifically on craft breweries from around the world. This year’s festival is on the Riverfront, offering more than 100 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries. Complete with live music, great vendors, and delicious, local food, America on Tap is a unique experience designed to bind communities together with their love of beer. Tickets are $35 online, $45 after July 15 and $55 at the door.
Wilmington Burger Battle
Saturday, Aug. 29. 12-3:30pm
Cauffiel House, Bellevue State Park, Wilmington
The fourth annual Delaware Burger Battle brings together the best chefs of Delaware to challenge each other for burger supremacy—all to raise money to fight hunger. Each restaurant will put its best burger forward for your judgment in the People’s Choice Winner, while a panel of experts will select the Critic’s Choice Winner. All Burger Battle attendees enjoy all-you-can-eat burger samples; beer and wine are included in the ticket price for adults, while soft drinks are available for children and designated drivers. Early bird tickets are available online, and are, $44 through July 29, and $49 through Aug. 28. Tickets will be $60 at the door. For designated drivers and teens (ages 11-20), tickets are $17, and tickets for children 10 and under are $7. This event is open to all ages.
Saturday, Sept. 12. 12-6pm
Cantwell’s Tavern, Odessa
At last year’s inaugural brewfest, up to 47 craft breweries and more than 1,400 beer lovers came to Odessa. This year, the Historic Odessa Foundation and Cantwell’s Tavern have once again joined to bring the second installation, featuring even more beer, food, music, and fun. General admission is $50, while VIP admission is $70 and includes an early tasting at noon, a food voucher and access to limited-quantity beers. All proceeds go to the Historic Odessa Foundation—a non-profit organization focused on preserving the history of the town for future generations.
Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest
Friday-Sunday, Sept. 18-21
Delaware Saengerbund and Library, Newark
This annual tradition opens on Friday with a parade and an ode to the city of Munich as the Delaware Saengerbund’s Bavarian dance group Enzian Volkstanzgruppe entertains at intervals throughout the festival. This year, a wide range of beer and German cuisine will be offered, including grilled bratwurst (pork sausage), weisswuurst (veal sausage), frankfurters, BBQ chicken, pretzels and rollmops, a marinated herring served with rye bread. Potato salad and sauerkraut are made in the Delaware Saengerbund kitchen by the Ladies Organization. A variety of torten and traditional plum cake also will be offered. Tickets are $8 and include unlimited amusement rides and the event is open to all ages.
Brew at the Zoo (and Wine Too)
Friday, Sept 25, 5:30-9pm
Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington
Party animals unite when local breweries and craft-beer-and-wine distributors pair up with area restaurants at arguably one of the wildest outdoor locations around. Event is rain or shine. Tickets are $45 per person in advance; $35 per zoo member; $50 at the door; and $30 for designated drivers. Must be 21 or older to attend. Event benefits the Brandywine Zoo.
Taste of Trolley Square
Saturday, Sept. 26. 1-7pm
Trolley Square, Wilmington
Sample craft beer, wine and cuisine at more than 15 Trolley Square eateries. Live music, street entertainers, sidewalk sales and more will be featured. This event is open to all ages.
Great Pumpkin Debate & Hayride
Saturday, Sept. 26, 6-10pm
Figure 8 Barn, Bellevue State Park
In its 5th Annual year, guests are invited to sample from a collection of unique pumpkin beers while also enjoying other autumn pleasures such as hayrides, smoked BBQ, seasonal games and a bonfire. Vote for your and help chose the winner of the 2015 Great Pumpkin Debate. Must be 21 or older to attend.
Red Shoe and Brew
Saturday, October 3, 2-6pm
Twin Lakes Brewery, Greenville
This benefit event features an afternoon of barbeque, craft beer, live music (provided by Last Resort), along with lawn games, silent auction and more. This outdoor event raises funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware. Tickets are $55 in advance, and $60 at the door.
Cheesetoberfest: Pros vs. Joes
Saturday, Oct. 10. 12:30-5pm
Fordham & Dominion Brewery, Dover
Cheesetoberfest is an all-out, no-holds-barred, grilled cheese competition that puts professionals from area restaurants against local amateur chefs. Held at Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company, the event features 20 Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania restaurants and 20 average joes creating various grilled cheese and mac n’ cheese dishes. In keeping with the cheesiness of the event, an oompah band will provide live music while brewery staff and volunteers pour award-winning Octoberfest brew, Spiced Harvest Ale, Oak Barrel Stout, Rams Head IPA, Copperhead Ale, and Helles Lager. Tickets are $30 and include two beers, food samples and a commemorative stein. This event is open to all ages.
Saturday, Oct. 10. 12-6pm
Downtown Kennett Square, Pa.
The Kennett Brewfest is a fundraising event to benefit Historic Kennett Square—a non-profit organization that works to keep Kennett Square a regional economic and cultural center. The event features sample beers from more than 90 local, regional and craft breweries, accompanied by great food and music. All attendees have access to food and merchandise vendors, live bands, sponsor tables and more.
Delaware Wine and Beer Festival
Saturday, Oct. 17. 12-5pm
Delaware Agriculture Museum & Village, Dover
Held in the scenic 19th century Loockerman Village, the sixth annual Delaware Wine and Beer Festival offers a unique array of offerings from some of the state’s best restaurants, wineries, and breweries. Delaware delicacies such as seafood, barbecue, and gourmet sandwiches will be provided. Bring blankets and lawn chairs and stake out a spot to enjoy a delicious meal, delectable libations, and great live music. Advanced admission is $35; tickets at the gate are $40. This event is open to all ages.
The Ultimate Tailgate
Thursday, Oct. 22. 6-9pm
Sheraton Hotel, Wilmington
Whether your perfect tailgate is high-end picnicking at the Derby or grilling in the parking lot at the big game, this event is for you. The Ultimate Tailgate features area restaurants serving unique interpretations of tailgate food, wine, spirits, and a thriving beer garden, curated by Two Stone Pub. Tickets are $55.
Wilmington Beer Week
Greater Wilmington Area
Celebrating its fifth year this fall, Wilmington Beer Week features the premier craft beer venues of New Castle County. In addition to focusing on Delaware’s respected homegrown breweries—Dogfish Head, 16 Mile, Twin Lakes and Fordham & Dominion—Wilmington Beer Week also highlights some of the most prominent craft breweries in the region, including Yards, Victory, Tröegs, Brooklyn and Heavy Seas. This event is open to all ages.
Giving on Tap
Friday, Nov. 13. 6:30-8:30pm
2SP Brewing Company, Aston, Pa
Held at 2SP Brewing Company in Aston, Pa., the event is a night of great food and beer from a regional favorite, and one of the latest additions to the craft beer community. All proceeds go to Meals on Wheels of Delaware.