Crooked Hammock takes first place at 2018 Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards

Crooked Hammock takes first place at 2018 Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards

By Shauna McVey

Crooked Hammock Brewery’s second Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards was one big, Sunday fun day, beer-loving fest.

beer drinkers choice awards, crooked hammock
Erica Wiegman of Crooked Hammock and Rachael Richardson of Dewey Beer Company had some fun in costume at the 2018 Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards.

I am by no means a beer aficionado, but as a brand new Sussex Countian I like to check out new-to-me places and events to get to know this part of my home state better. Crooked Hammock is a favorite of mine and it was nice to see the staff who are usually behind the bar in their off-duty element, having a blast.

I missed the memo that dressing in costume was encouraged, though. There were sharks, ‘80s leotards, Ninja Turtles, couples who matched, and even a girl who was actually dressed like a beer. Maybe it was the alcohol, but this was one happy party.

Sherri Fromal and her daughter, Kelsey, frequent brewery and winery tours in Delaware and drove down from Middletown for the day.  “We’re here because we like beer,” Sherri said. “Once my kids turned 21 and 25, I said, ‘Let’s do this instead.’ We don’t go to amusement parks anymore.”

 

beer drinkers awards, crooked hammock
Joe Smoot and Linda Gundersen of Ocean View dressed as Sheriff and Mayor of Beertown for Crooked Hammock Brewery’s second Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards, held Feb. 25.

Joe Smoot and Linda Gundersen, dressed as Sheriff and Mayor of Beertown, retired to Ocean View a few years ago. They fish in the Indian River Bay off their pontoon, and frequent as many breweries as they can.

“We love Delaware beer,” Linda said. “Whenever friends come out, we take them on brewery tours.”  Their favorite beer of the day was Straw Berrymore, a strawberry lager from Brickworks Brewing and Eats in Smyrna.

With eighteen breweries in attendance, I didn’t get to sample everything. I didn’t even know we had eighteen breweries in Delaware. But I quickly found my favorite: Black Satin – a chocolate hazelnut porter from Blue Earl Brewing, also based in Smyrna. I was thrilled to get a pre-release taste of Crooked Hammock’s new cream ale, Hand of Buddha, named after my favorite enlightened one.

crooked hammock, beer drinkers choice awards
Jay Jolly served up Crooked Hammock brews in his ‘80s attire at the 2018 Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards.

Medals were given for Raddest Facial Hair, Best Costume and Most Unique Beer. For the main event, Best Beer, Fordham + Dominion Brewery’s Cherry Blossom took third place, Mispillion River Brewing’s War Badger came in second and the host themselves, Crooked Hammock, was named champion with its White Lightening, a white stout.

They beat Mispillion River by just one vote.

White Lightening’s brewer, Mickey Diefenderfer of Rehoboth Beach, looked like he had just won the Lombardi when his baby was called as the winner. He’s been brewing for just about a year and is already a reigning brew champ.  “We were in D.C. and somebody had a white stout, and I thought, ‘I want to brew this beer specifically,’ ” he said. “I like how it’s light in body, but gives you that full coffee stout flavor.”

crooked hammock, beer drinkers choice awards
An elated Mickey Diefenderfer of Rehoboth Beach brewed the 2018 Delaware Beer Drinker’s Choice Awards winner, White Lightening.

Other breweries in attendance included 16 Mile, 3rd Wave, Argilla, Bellefonte Brewing, Big Oyster, Dew Point, Dewey Beer Co., 38-75 Brewing, Iron Hill, Midnight Oil, Revelation and Twin Lakes.

Crooked Hammock released White Lightening in November and will bring it back at some point in the near distant future.

Girl Goes Local,

Shauna McVey

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