Proud to be the first Wilmington, Delaware production brewery in 50 years, WILMINGTON BREW WORKS opened its doors in 2018. Inside the tan stucco Miller Road Station mall, this rustic gray cement-floored pub connects to La Pizzeria Metro, whose light Italian fare and pizzas match the easygoing craft beers produced by head brewer, Craig Wensell, a former Blackhawk helicopter crew chief and local music teacher inspired by his homebrewing uncle.
In 2014, Wensell founded a home brew supply company and then began refining his brewing approach at nearby nano, Bellefonte Brewery. Now guiding a “family friendly” taproom, he has brought Wilmington Brew Works to prominence.
A stark wood-beamed high ceiling hovers above the arched windows (with hanging lights and fans), adding a light goth feel. The white-tiled wood top serving station (with 20-plus draught handles) gets surrounded by community tables and dining seats. There are also plenty of outside tables, some of which are covered by the trellis near the entrance. Stainless steel brew tanks are in the rear.
My wife and I try all nine fine beer selections available on my initial July ’21 noon swoon.
For starters, crisply clean light-bodied German pilsner, Synonym, a slightly musky Saaz-hopped standard-bearer with lemon-dried herbage grazing its dewy mineral graining.
Spry lemony orange-dried fizzing and mild Vienna malt sweetness contained moderate-bodied helles lager, Krauch’s Creation, a sessionable delight dedicated to a significant Delaware brewing pioneer.
Today’s menu also offered three variegated New England pale ales for perusing.
Zesty orange and tangy tangerine gained mild vanilla creaming for hazy golden moderation, Oranjealini, a lemon-licked pale ale with dry hay base.
Mellow yellow grapefruit bittering and brisk lemon zesting serenaded double dry-hopped New England pale ale, Return To Sender, fortified by dried oats flaking.
Another similarly named NE pale ale, Undeliverable Mail, let salty yogurt-soured grapefruit, pineapple, guava and tangerine tropicalia glom onto lemony orange peel tanginess and distant pine needled bittering.
Salty grapefruit-soured pineapple, guava and gooseberry tartness targeted dry champagne-fizzed ‘fruited cuvee IPA,’ Polychromatic Dream, a slightly offbeat tropical hybrid.
Palate-cleansing fruited sour ale, Synaptic Solution: Rainbow Sherbet, plied salted lemon tartness to red grapefruit, strawberry and orange tanginess over non-lactic acidulated malts.
Ultra-tart purplish red milkshake sour, Duvette, placed vanilla-creamed blackberry liming inside candied strawberry, blueberry, pineapple, mango, pomegranate and red cherry piquancy above almond-milked oats for puree-fruited Smoothie.
Dry nutty black chocolate and ashen dark-roast hop bittering pervaded ‘velvety’ Irish-styled Oatmeal Stout, Bricfeasta Indiscretion, leaving walnut, Brazil nut and coffee tones upon its earthen-backed mocha finish.