3rd Wave Brewing Company, located in Delmar, DE, was founded in 2012 by long-time friends Lori Clough and Suellen Vickers. When Evolution Brewing Company moved to their current location in Salisbury, MD, their original location in Delmar, DE was the perfect, turn-key location for the two homebrewers to quickly go pro. They decided to take the leap of faith and dive in head first by purchasing the brewery. Now, as they prepare to celebrate their 4th anniversary, they haven’t looked back once.

Their 4th anniversary party will be held at the brewery on 9/30 and 10/1 and this is one event you surely won’t want to miss. Friday and Saturday will feature live music from local groups such as Red Not Blue and Double Nickels while their resident food truck, Smokin’ BBQ Grille, will be serving up their famous pulled pork nachos and other delicacies. If you ask us, it’s worth a trip just for the rare, once-of-a-lifetime beers they plan to serve. They’ve been preparing some of these beers for YEARS and you’ll only be able to get them at the brewery during their anniversary weekend celebration. You’re going to be disappointed if you don’t snatch a few bottles up for your reserves!

We sat down with Clough and Vickers to talk to them about the anniversary party and the future of the brewery. Vickers is extremely proud and excited about the release of their new sour beer series. The first two beers in the series will be 13.3 ounce bottles that are corked and caged and will be John’s peach and watermelon sours. Vickers told us these beers have been in the works for almost two years and Clough said, “we’ve been tasting them periodically, waiting for perfection.” Well, after almost two years, they’ve found perfection. But, these won’t be distributed in stores, so you’re going to have to come out to their anniversary party to snag a few for yourself. Make sure to get there early because these limited release beers are extremely small batches and the quantities are extremely limited. Clough even gave us a sneak peak of the label designs – we promise you’re not going to want to miss these! The brewery also has a small batch program called their “Paddle Out” series. The “Paddle Out” beers are five-gallon one-off batches that the brewery releases periodically. They plan to have three or four on tap for the anniversary weekend. We’re especially looking forward to one of them: the tiramisu porter! The other ones? You’re just going to have to find out for yourself because Clough says, “they’re a secret.”

We asked Clough and Vickers about their first four years in business and they are extremely proud of the fact that they are entirely female owned and operated. Vickers also mentioned how proud they are to still have their original head brewer, John Panasiewicz. “We are the only small brewery around with the same Head Brewer we started with and Kathi, our Bar Manager, has been with us since day one,” Vickers touted. “We are lucky to have such awesome staff,” Clough added. Clough also mentioned that their small size allows their brewers to experiment with smaller batches so they can always have one-of-a-kind brews on tap. Vickers likes to call them “small but mighty” and we have to say we agree.

When we asked Clough what was next for the brewery, she said, “it’s really all about the beer.” The brewery plans to buy a canning line so they can distribute more of their beers in cans and have more flexibility. They also plan to add on a three-season room to the front of the brewery so there is more space for guests to enjoy their beer. Vickers added that they’ve “grown in every dimension over the last four years: packaging, square footage, employees, and production and we’re excited to see what’s in store over the next four years.”

3rd Wave Brewing Co. has a fun, community atmosphere that is a relaxing spot to hang out. Clough refers to the brewery as “the Cheers of Delmar” – looking around the room on a Friday night showed us just how true that was. People continually walked in the doors and were greeted by the other guests already inside. Clough wants everyone to “come be a part of the Cheers gang!” Oh, did we mention that you have to come get the limited release sour beers? We’re really excited about those if we haven’t made ourselves clear.