Beers and Birdies at Big Oyster

If you tuned in last week, you may recall that we covered all things Crooked Hammock Brewery. This week, we’re going to meander a mile or so down the road to a big, bright, red barn of a building (pictured) that is home to Big Oyster Brewery. As it approaches its seventh year here, it has also teed up another location, so to speak, that’s set to open in the coming days. 

From humble beginnings brewing in the back of Fins Ale House & Raw Bar on Route 1 in 2015, Big Oyster quickly expanded into its current location by October 2017. One year later, it was named one of the fastest-growing small, independent craft breweries in the country by the Brewers Association. With a beer lineup focused on fan-favorite styles, it continued to grow and stretch its footprint over the years. Mike Anderson, Director of Sales, shares his thoughts on its success. “When we started the brewery in 2015, we didn’t really anticipate being where we are today. What started as an ancillary product to the growing Fins Hospitality Group has grown into a regional craft player” he says. Big Oyster distributes not only in Delaware, but also in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and now New Jersey. Need to catch a flight? You can even find it on tap at the Philadelphia International Airport!

This growth inspired the parent company to expand its brand once more. Geographically speaking, Fins has focused on coastal Sussex County, with locations in Bethany, Fenwick, Lewes, and Rehoboth. This time, it looked to the north, and found gold, or should we say green,
in Milford.

Golf fans may be familiar with the new Southern Delaware Golf Club, which opened for the season on May 1st. Formerly The Rookery North and Shawnee Country Club, it is situated just off Route 1 at 6182 South Rehoboth Boulevard in Milford. The course and clubhouse underwent some significant renovations and reconstruction, including the addition of a few pickleball courts, and needless to say, the new Big Oyster brewpub.

You’ll see a lot of things you would find in its Lewes location, like a mouth-watering menu full of sandwiches, seafood steamers, and, of course, oysters. The beer list will look and feel pretty similar, and you may just find Tea Time on tap; – an Arnold Palmer-inspired sour ale overflowing with flavors of lemonade and iced tea. A 15-barrel brewhouse will be on-site pumping out pints of classics like Hammerhead IPA, and some all-new brewpub exclusive recipes to fill its sixteen taps. If a rainy day is keeping you off the course, don’t fret. The brewpub will also be home to a TopGolf Swing Suite, a full golf simulator and multi-sport arcade system… talk about a hole-in-one.

Big Oyster is energized about the new location. “We’re looking forward to what’s to come in Milford in 2024 and distribution in 2025. Having this extra capacity will allow us a little bit more flexibility in production and distribution, getting our beers into the hands of more of our fans as quickly as possible,” Anderson goes on to add. If all goes according to plan, they expect to be open by the first of June. Be sure to stop by for a few bites, beers, and double bogeys, assuming you play golf as well as I do. I’ll see you at the 19th Hole. 

Zeke Ottemiller, Certified Cicerone, has been working in and around beer for the last decade. As a Certified Cicerone® (think Sommelier but for beer), he has covered all things craft from coast to coast, from sunny San Diego to the laid back Lower Slower. Zeke is the owner of Otter Craft Consulting, where he specializes in supporting craft breweries in their branding and marketing efforts.

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