One of our favorite things about Delmarva is that it’s home to an abundance of small, locally owned businesses. It seems like more and more are popping up every day. One of the coolest types of new businesses we’re seeing pop up more frequently are distilleries. So, in case you needed an excuse to Tour the Shore: Distillery Style, we’ve prepared a handy little guide for your viewing pleasure. Let’s start North and work our way South:
Blackwater Distilling, Kent Island, MD
Blackwater Distilling was founded in 2008 and touts itself as “Maryland’s first fully-licensed beverage alcohol distillery since 1972.” Blackwater Distilling pays homage to Maryland’s diverse, and colorful, distilling history by using organic and locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. According to Blackwater Distilling, “Maryland has always been home to picaroons—the rogues and scoundrels who have shaped history.” In remembrance of the original picaroons of Kent Island, one of Blackwater Distilling’s largest lines of spirits are their Picaroon Rums. The Picaroon Rums are made from raw cane sugar instead of molasses which gives their rums notes of vanilla and a creamy mouthfeel. Blackwater is also known for their line of Sloop Betty Vodkas. Named after a merchant vessel that sunk to the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay back in 1717, these vodkas are available in many flavors and are distilled from organic wheat and organic sugar cane. Blackwater also offers one-off spirits from time to time so make sure to check them out so you can see their special spirits for yourself. Make sure to check them out here to learn more about their storied past.
Lyon Distilling Company, St. Michaels, MD
If you missed our last article on Lyon Distilling Company in St. Michaels, you must check these guys out. Founded on 12/12/12, the distillery is located in an awesome building that was once home to a flour mill. The distillery has brought new life to this once-forgotten building and has happily made it home. Lyon Distilling started out with a signature line of rums paying tribute to the rich, spirited traditions of the Eastern Shore. You can find Lyon Distilling here and make sure to check out our full article on this distillery for more fun facts!
Dogfish Head Spirits, Milton, DE
Dogfish Head’s line of spirits was born in the original brew pub on the Avenue in Rehoboth Beach, DE in 2002. Here, they distilled their off-centered spirits on a very small scale for years but, after constantly being asked when they’d expand the operation, they decided it was time for bigger and better things. They opened their beautiful new distillery in their Milton location in 2015 so they could produce their much-loved spirits in larger quantities. Dogfish Head started out by using their gorgeous copper stills to craft their Analog Vodka™, Compelling Gin™ and Whole Leaf Gin™ first. Since that time, they’ve also added their Roasted Peanut Vodka, Barrel Honey Rum, Mixing Rum, and Mellowdious Gin to their portfolio. Secretly, we’re hoping their Brown Honey Rum makes a comeback (fingers crossed!). What comes as no surprise to us, is that Dogfish Head is making their spirits 100% from scratch with the same, high-quality ingredients that they are already using in their beers. If you haven’t been to the brewery in Milton, it should be very high on your to-do list. The whole experience from start to finish has been carefully crafted to be one of the most memorable tour experiences we’ve ever taken part in. Learn more about Dogfish Head’s unique spirits here.
Beach Time Distilling, Lewes, DE
Beach Time Distilling in Lewes, DE got its start in 2015 when distiller and co-founder, Greg Christmas, decided to leave his job at Dogfish Head after seven years and start his own craft distillery. Beach Time’s convenient location, right off Route 1 in Lewes, makes it super easy to locate. Beach Time is serving up a full line of rums, in addition to their Beachski Vodka and Beach Fin Gin. Our personal favorite? The Beach Plum Rum! Check them out here and make sure to let us know which one is your favorite.
Seacrets Distilling Company, Ocean City, MD
Seacrets Distilling Co. might be Delmarva’s newest addition to the distilling industry, but they certainly entered the ring with a lot of momentum. The ShoreBread team was lucky enough to tour the distillery, Ocean City’s first distillery since prohibition, on opening day last year. You can check out this article on our first impressions of the new distillery. One thing to note: the awe we felt when we first set foot in the distillery has not subsided with each return trip we’ve taken. The amount of thought and attention to detail that went into the building alone is beyond impressive and the spirits themselves do not disappoint. Pro tip: at the end of the tour, when you get to pick your three tastings, we always pick the three vodkas. We give them two thumbs up!
So, map out your route, grab a flight or two, and say a quick toast! P.S. If you’re going to do the full Delmarva Distilling Tour in one day, we recommend a designated driver. Make sure to enjoy responsibly and have fun! Cheers!