Inside a grey aluminum Industrial warehouse with large black-lettered FIRST STATE BREWING insignia, this spacious northern Delaware pub opened for biz, December 2020. Crafting a diverse range of stylishly ‘classic’ brews, First State concentrates on delivering a host of IPA’s alongside several charming one-offs and a few recurring faves.
A pristine high ceilinged watering hole at Middletown, Delaware’s Levels Business Park (a few miles from Crooked Hammock), this freestanding brewhouse boasts an elongated 25-seat bar with glass-encased tanks, a stainless steel kitchen (serving fine pub fare) and several metal chaired tables.
There are 20 taps along the tiled backbar while exposed pipes line the walls and white hop coned lamps light the bar. Three TV’s show college football bowl games and the electronic beer menu lists today’s fare.
A black metal-furnished side deck offers further seating.
On New Years Day, 2022, I imbibed seven sundry suds.
Crisply dry helles lager, Downright Upright, plied raw-honeyed mineral graining and hay-like barnyard leathering to mildly perfumed herbal hops over bready pale malts.
Sedate lemon-candied banana and clove entry gained floral cologne fragrance for Lucid Refraction, a doughy-bottomed hefeweizen.
Zesty orange-peeled grapefruit tang gains mild herbal-tinged piney hop dankness for double dry-hopped IPA, Mystic Illusion, leaving white peach, pineapple and cherry illusions in its wake.
Better still, resonantly soft-toned Mosiac-Citra-Galaxy-hopped tropical fruit spicing sent lemony orange-peeled grapefruit zesting across tangy pineapple, peach and tangerine sweetness contrasting guava-passionfruit sour end of Persistent Illusion, a delightful oated wheat sugared India Pale Ale.
Interesting off-dry Belgian-styled moderate-medium body, Beaming Tripel, brought light black peppering to floral lemon-licked honeysuckle adjunct slightly sweetened by beet-sugared dextrose malts as tart Lemondrop hops glisten for bitter herbal cellar funk.
Stylishly a tad dryer, Quadratic Quadrangle, let candi-sugared plum, fig and cherry tartness seep inside tobacco-roasted cocoa malting.
Penetrative Nicaraguan medium-roast coffee overtones punctuated by tarry walnut-seared dark chocolate bittering and wood-burnt hop char of dry Black Lotus, letting silky lactose creaming envelop its bold java theme.