Daily Destination: Lewes, Del.

Christy Karras
CompassOctober 2, 2013

Sometimes, one business can put a stamp on a place. And that’s what the renowned Dogfish Head Brewery seems to be doing along Delaware’s south coast.

The brewery, known for innovative beers that contain everything from raisins to garlic to moon dust (really!), draws hundreds of thousands of craft beer lovers each year. Not surprisingly, many of those folks don’t want to make a long drive home afterward, which boosts the need for nearby lodging. So Dogfish Head is getting into the hotel business, taking over what used to be the Vesuvio Motel in Lewes, about an 8-mile bike ride along the Junction and Breakwater Trail from the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach.

Lewes is among a handful of small coastal towns that specialize in a combination of outdoor recreation and friendly shops, farmers’ markets and art galleries. Festivals and fairs keep Canalfront Park, on the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, busy through much of the year. Nearby Cape Henlopen State Park is known for its sandy shores, nature trails and bird watching. Rehoboth Beach is a tourism hub with a famous boardwalk and restaurants that pride themselves on using locally sourced ingredients.

In the announcement last month on the brewery’s blog, Dogfish Founder and President Sam Calagione said he is “confident that this motel will bring a lot more business not just to Dogfish but to the other local retailers and restaurateurs in Delaware.” The blog describes the Dogfish Inn, scheduled to open in spring 2014, as “dedicated to exploring all of the off-centered opportunities in this beautiful part of the state.”