Wherever you are in your travels through Wilmington & the Brandywine Valley, you’re near the start of an afternoon craft beer tasting in one of Greater Wilmington's many tasting rooms. These are microbreweries that operate out of warehouses, restored tobacco mills and former laboratories. Microbreweries with big attitude. Microbreweries that know how to bring the fun - from live music and rotating food trucks to mobile axe throwing trucks and BYO vinyl record night - you're certain to feel part of the family.
120 Concord Rd #101-103, Aston, PA 19014
Perhaps it was inevitable that in their next stage of growth, Two Stones Pub would start brewing their own beer. With longtime (and highly respected) Iron Hill Head Brewer Bob Barrar, 2SP Brewing Company produces food-friendly beers that truly stand on their own, and the local press has noticed: Philly Beer Scene named 2SP as 2016’s Best New Brewery. Food trucks visit on Thursdays through Saturdays, but the brewer’s cheeseboard that they offer makes for great snacking on the other days of the week.
810 Pencader Drive, Suite C, Newark, DE 19702
Known for a fun and welcoming atmosphere, Autumn Arch Beer Project focuses on local small-batch, experimental craft brews and specializes in creating deep flavor profiles, edgy bitterness, and complex relationships. With a fervent attention to fundamental brewing principles Autumn Arch produces lagers and sour beers of the highest character.
Operated out of a warehouse/storage space, this nano-brewery packs crowds into its tasting room on weekends, luring them with a diverse, rotating line-up of full-flavored beers. There’s no kitchen on premises, but beer-friendly food trucks roll in on the regular on weekends. (Note: Folllow your GPS carefully. You can’t see Bellefonte from the road. Turn into the warehouse/storage area and go back just about as far as you can go, and you’re there.)
210 Artisans Drive Smyrna, DE 19977
The brews ‘n’ blues theme plays deep into the DNA of Blue Earl beers, from the Walking Blues IPA, the Blues Power American Pale Ale, the Honeysuckle Rose Belgian-style Blonde Ale and the somewhat funkier When Doves Cry Vienna-style Amber Lager. You’ll find live music playing most Friday and Saturday nights (and the occasional all-day soul festival) to enjoy with your beers, and tours run Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
2878 Creek Rd, Yorklyn, DE 19736
Inside the century-old Garrett Snuff Mill complex in Yorklyn, Dew Point Brewing produces Belgian inspired ales for service in its beautifully restored tasting room, only a few minutes drive from attractions Longwood Gardens, Mt Cuba Center and Winterthur Museum. Beers feature a variety of high-end ingredients and specialty hops in intriguing combinations. There’s no kitchen, but regulars from the neighborhood often bring their own snacks, ranging anywhere from chips and guac to full-on picnics, and weekends have become a regular jaunt for area food trucks.
109 S Broad St #2, Kennett Square, PA 19348
The brewers at Kennett Brewing are devoted to innovation and experimentation, “replicating traditional styles and creating innovative interpretations,” and creating beers like The Kidd (“crisp and creamy, simple and elegant, candied pears, spice drops, hay and a bit of honeyed biscuits”) and the Head Skull Mind Beer (“think of Vermont as a style of beer”). Open every day but Monday and with a diverse, upscale pub menu.
28 Brookside Dr, Wilmington, DE
Just to be clear up front: This is not a brewery, but Delaware’s only meadery and ciderworks, specializing in gluten-free, pure fruit and spice drinks. Their secret recipe calls for locally sourced apples and honey, mixed with some old-world techniques and a bit of modern technology, to create one of the most unique stops on the northern Delaware trail. Check the schedule for regular events like Sunday brunches and holiday celebrations.
674 Pencader Dr, Newark
Home brewer Mike Dunlap went pro with the opening of Midnight Oil Brewing and he gave his beers room to breathe with a spacious, comfortable tasting room that’s open seven days a week. There are a half dozen mainstays on the menu, and another half dozen seasonals that regularly rotate.
106 W Commerce St, Smyrna, DE
Northern Delaware’s only distillery creates craft cocktails with their own bourbons, vodka and gins, at this operation set up inside the Old Smyrna Theater movie house. (You’ll definitely want a tour.) They have seven mainstay bottles available all the time, but experimental batches like aged espresso vodka and barley whiskey pop up now and then too.
120 W. Main Street, Middletown DE
Officially Delaware’s smallest brewery, Volunteer brews on a two-barrel system and pours mostly at community events, but the brewery is open a few days a month for visitors, usually on either Fridays or Saturdays, when the beer is ready. Definitely check the schedule on Facebook or their website before heading out.
3129 Miller Rd, Wilmington, DE
The most recent addition to a scene that is growing so quickly that it might not be true when you read this, Wilmington Brew Works tapped Bellefonte brewer Craig Wensell to open Wilmington’s first production brewery since 1955 in a beautiful tasting room that’s quickly become a neighborhood hangout.
Indicates brewery is part of the Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail.