Lori Clough and Suellen Vickers began working together on the boardwalk in Ocean City in the 80s. What they didn’t know then was that in September 2012 they would be opening a brewery on the Eastern Shore together. 3rd Wave Brewing Company began after these two friends started experimenting with home brews in Vickers’ garage. With Clough’s science background and their affinity for all things craft brewed, it was only a matter of time before the two were building a business of their own in Delmar.

The beach themed brewery got its name from surfing lingo. Clough told us that out in the ocean the “3rd wave in a set is usually the best one to catch,” making for a great ride to shore and a great name for a beer. Clough went on to share more about the brewery’s mentality: “We love the beach, our friends, and a great beer. Our slogan says it all… GOOD FRIENDS, GOOD WAVES, GREAT BEER!”

3rd Wave offers 9 beers on tap at all times, including 4 house beers that are permanently on tap while 5 seasonal brews rotate throughout the year. In-house you can try a cold pint like Beach Juice, a tart and refreshing Berliner Weisse, Shorebreak, an American Pale Ale style brew, and Wave Ryed’r, a copper rye ale. But if you want to try the beer that everyone is talking about, Clough told us “our SandStorm Belgian Tripel is one of our most popular.”

The fruit wheat beer is a delicious option that is on tap for the majority of the year. 3rd Wave has made batches flavored with peach, apricot, boysenberry and watermelon; “we are looking into doing a cranberry one later this year,” Clough said. Some of the fruit wheats have also won awards for their stellar flavor such as the SunSet Peach Wheat, which won the People’s Choice Award at the DE State Fair competition in 2013. The BeachBreak Apricot Wheat won Best Seasonal at the Fager’s Island Festival in 2013.

3rd Wave Brewing Co. beer is unique in that we do not have one basic style of beer that we brew,” Clough said, and from the wide variety of beers we’ve already described, we can tell they’re not afraid to dabble in creativity while brewing. Some other inventive beers that Clough and Vickers have concocted are their Paddle Out beers. These brews are small test batches that the brewers think up that are then given to the customers and if there is a good response, a full-scale brew is made. Clough commented on the Paddle Out series saying that it allows “our customers to have input on what is brewed. We have a tremendous response to our Paddle Out beers.”

The brewery also creates specialty selections like their two brews made especially for two lucky couple’s weddings! So far 3rd Wave has made Ever After (a pilsner) and Blissfully (a Blonde Ale), but they are planning on making more this summer. Since the brewery has been open, they have also been crafting beers in support of finding a cure for cancer. Examples include the JPA that helps support the fight against prostate cancer, The Gibson for pancreatic cancer, and Pink Wave that was brewed for breast cancer.

With all of these great flavors and beers for a cause, we can’t wait to make a return trip to Delmar for another 3rd Wave experience.