Along Kings Highway in the historic sea village of Lewes lies eclectic beach-themed pub, CROOKED HAMMOCK BREWERY, an adventurously fun-filled facility whose ‘perfectly crooked craft brew’ slogan pokes fun at Dogfish Head’s ‘off-center’ catchphrase. In a spacious barn-like complex, this ever-expanding venue serves as a spiffy beer joint as well as a nifty family dining hole. At its gray-shingled entrance, a sand-duned jeep, wood chairs and a hammock capture the proper easygoing beach atmosphere.
Inside Crooked Hammock, the central 30-seat bar services surrounding tables, a separate family dining space and screened-in porch. Along the duct-lined high ceiling, beach buckets and colored ring toss growlers provide further summertime serenity. At the enclosed left side picnic area, a well-groomed garden, rustic patio furnishings and a band shelter capture the eye.
During April ’16, my wife and I grab a table next to the garage-doored picnic access under a wooden American flag to enjoy the Turkey Wrap with seven dulcet homemade brews.
First up, summery ‘signature beer,’ Hammock Saison, shook salty white pepper all over zesty lemon brightener and leathery barnyard funk. Meanwhile, Shoobie Belgian Blonde draped black and white pepper onto lemon-soured orange and tangerine illusions as well as honeyed pale malting and a dainty floral bouquet.
A few more easy drinkin’ suds were next. Mild summer lager, Active Fishing, meshed toasted grain malts with tangy lemon-dried grapefruit, orange and tangerine briskness. Dry earthen peat guided Drive On ESB as caramelized fig and dark floral nuances faded.
Sedate Backyard Brown (an English Brown Ale) loaded creamy molasses sugaring atop caramel nuttiness and dark fruiting.
Moving into the medium-bodied selections, delightful flagship India Pale Ale, Mootzy’s Treasure, brought dry lacquered wood tones to floral-perfumed grapefruit peel, orange rind, mango and peach tropicalia.
Amiable Haulin’ Oats Milk Stout maintained a creamy milk chocolate sweetness spread across oats-sugared cocoa, vanilla and cappuccino subtleties.