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January 24, 2014     Cape Gazette
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January 24, 2014
 

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Cape Gazette I FRIDAY, JANUARY 24 - MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014 37 Planners to review brewpub application Feb. 1 By Kara Nuzback knuzback@capegazette.com A proposal for a microbrewery in Dewey Beach was shot down in June, but the applicants are back before town council with a new plan that puts food first, beer second. At a Jan. 11 meeting, Dewey Beach Town Council voted to send Dewey Beer Company's application for a restaurant and brewpub to the town's planning commission for consideration. The commission said it would fast-track the process so the ap- plic-ants, if approved, could open their doors this year. The new proposal calls for a gourmet, farm-to-table res- taurant at the old Bubba's Grill location at 2100 Coastal Hwy. Applicants Bra'ndon Smith, Clin- ton Bunting and Mike Reilly say a seven-barrel brewing system would be a secondary compo- nent to the food menu. Smith said it's an opportu- nity for Dewey Beach to have a destination like Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth Beach, which is family-friendly and pairs craft beers with fresh, local menu items. "Too often people are leaving this area for Rehoboth Beach res- taurants," Smith said. "Craft beer is a local product, and it's been helping communities flourish." Smith also said the brewpub would attract a more mature clientele to Dewey Beach. Bunting said his role is to make the location more attractive. - Previously a breakfast joint, the location has no liquor li- cense. The applicants' attorney, Jay Becker, said the company is working to obtain a license from the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner office. The applicants cannot get a liquor license from the ABCC without a certificate of compli- ance from the town, Becker said. The applicants asked council to bypass the typical process of sending the proposal to the planning commission for a recommendation. It took the commission three months to put the initial proposal on its agenda, and the commission ultimately rejected the proposal. "Time is of the essence," Bun- ting said. Part-time resident Betsy Da- DEWEY BEER COMPANY is hoping to open KARA NUZBACK PHOTO its door at the former Bubba's Grill by the end of the year. mos spoke in favor of sending the ocean for homeowners near the proposal to the planning com- property. mission. "Even the Salad Factory Bunting said the brewpub went to planning and zoning," would emit no odors. "There she said. are no toxic air emissions from Damos also worried the smell a brewpub of this size. Period," of hops would mask the smell of Bunting said. Planning Commission Vice Chairman David King said the commission has a more in-depth knowledge of the town code and the comprehensive plan than the commissioners. He said the Continued on page 38 Craft breweries have spawned a beer culture that's beginning to paral- lel oenophiles' cherished rituals of infusing, cooking and pairing food with wine. Indeed, one of the most popular wine infu- sions is sangria, not to mention fortified wines like port, sherry, Madeira and the rest. But the humble brewski is catching up to the hoity-toity grape! Though you might not think about pairing a frosty PBR (in the can, no less) with haute cui- sine, the small-batch mind-set of the craft brewery allows for infusion or fermentation with figs, spices, mushrooms, cher- ries or whatever - often with tasty results. Georgetown's 16 Mile Brew- ery was once the new kid on the block, but with all the other .boutique beer factories popping up,'owners Chad Campbell and Brett McCrea are beginning to look like the elder statesmen of regional craft beers - not quite as "elder" as Sam Cala- gione and his up-and-coming Dogfish Head empire, but still confidently staking their claim among the competition. 16 Mile's philosophy has been to create solid core brews and stick with them, but they have been known to go offthe deep end (with amazing success) with collaboration brews, com- memorative brews and beer- infused ice cream, cheese and bread. Last week, 16 Mile held its very first beer pairing dinner. I was invited - as long as I was willing to make the 90-minute trek to the new 16 Mile Tap- house in downtown Newark. It was worth the drive - the place looks great. Our Boys from Georgetown have picked up where former tenant Stone Balloon Winehouse left off; creating an upscale pub atmo- sphere featuring a photographic tribute to historic Newark and long-gone but still remembered Delaware breweries. The risk associated with opening a beer joint smack in the middle of the University of Delaware was most likely minimal (college students have been known to partake in the occasional brew). But 16 Mile has kicked it up a notch from college hangout to an upscale tribute to beer, wine and food - including the license to sell spirits to go. After a short welcome by 16 Mile's sales and marketing guru Claus Hagelman, infusion spe- cialist Rich Gustafson started us off with Tiller Brown Ale. The dark but unexpectedly smooth member of their core lineup not only served as the palette for the evening's infusions, but was also - at that very same moment - being presented with the 2014 Good Food Award in San Francisco. A very excited Brett McCrea broke the news Continued on page 47 BOB YESBEK PHOTOS SHOWN ARE (I-r) 16 Mile Taphouse Sous Chef Benjamin MacGuinness, Claus Hagelman, Assistant Manager Thomas Bourdeau, GM Dustin Gros, Rich Gus- tafson, Brian Mackey and Chad Campbell. Claus Hagelman, left, explains to 16 Mile co-owner Chad Campbell how diffi- cult it must have been to get Brett McCrea into a suit for the awards.