Red, White & Brews

O say, can you see… the Fourth of July is here! Now, let’s talk about beer.

It may be habitual to stock up on those standard big-brand American light lagers for the holiday, but in the spirit of independence, I recommend trying some made by independent craft breweries. But don’t just take it from me, I’ve asked brewers around the area to chime in on what they’re celebrating with.

Mickey Diefenderfer – Lead Brewer, Crooked Hammock Brewery

“While hard to find in Delaware these days, my go-to is Montucky Cold Snacks. They’re cold and crisp and you can have more than a few for your celebrations. At Crooked Hammock, definitely go with El Chacal, our Mexican Lager with chilies, lime, and tajín.”

Jimmy Valm – Brewmaster, Southern Delaware Brewing

“Backyard BBQ’s and fireworks at the beach, the 4th of July in Slower Lower is all about beers that are great from a can. For me, this is Ocean View Brewery’s Got Waves, a gold-medal winning Kölsch, or Thompson Island’s Summer Lager, a crisp rice lager that we’ve brewed as a collaboration with Tröegs Independent Brewing each summer for the past three years. Both are refreshing and easy-going, just how I like it!”

Jon Schorah – Head Brewer, Dewey Beer Company

“I’m a big Sam Adams Summer Ale guy when it comes to summertime and the Fourth of July. It’s light, refreshing, and crushable. I also always keep a stock of Sun Camp, our West Coast IPA. It’s super clean, with a nice balance of bitterness and juicy, making it go down a little too easy.”

Mat McKaskill – Lead Brewer, Big Oyster Brewery

“Every Fourth of July my family and friends get together for our annual pool party. There’s an inflatable slip-and-slide and we share a huge seafood boil. I always bring along a 1/6 bbl keg. This year will be Beach Traffic, our refreshing American light lager. Nothing says Sussex County like seafood and light beer.”

Dave Jones – Brewmaster, Lewes Brewing Company

“Fourth of July is always spent with family and friends, with a barbecue by the pool. While my go-to is usually a Hazy IPA, I recommend our Orange Dream Pale Ale. It’s low ABV, and reminiscent of a refreshing orangesicle pop.”

These guys make beer for a living, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re talking about. Take their advice, you might just find a new favorite to incorporate into your Independence Day traditions. Now, fire up those grills, ice down those coolers, spark up those sparklers, and have yourself a day. 

Zeke Ottemiller 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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