You may recall my friend Barrett, who I saw in Big Bend and also in Port Arthur – he flew out a few days after my birthday and a few weeks before his, for a sort of double-birthday celebration, at a brewery that has been important to me for a long time. I believe I first met Sam Calagione, founder and president of Delaware’s Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, in 2002. I was already a fan, and read his book Brewing Up A Business promptly upon its publication. I’ve been trying to make it out to Dogfish for nearly twenty years now. And the day I arrived in Delaware, Sam and Dogfish announced their merger with Boston Beer Company, maker of Sam Adams beer. (I don’t understand why it’s a “merger” when one company bought the other.) Well, this is not the forum to vent my frustrations and disillusionment, but it cast a shadow over my visit.
Barrett arrived with a friend of his, Tyler, and the three of us had a lovely day and a half – mergers notwithstanding – sampling the local brews. After Tyler’s departure, Barrett and I spent a total of five days together in Delaware (and a touch of Maryland). I seem to have not taken enough pictures. We had a very nice AirBnb in historic Milton (I still slept in the van!), and visited Dogfish locations in both Milton and Rehoboth Beach, as well as driving by the Dogfish Inn in Lewes. We found other bars and breweries as well – several of them – and walked some gorgeous parks. On a little dog walk in town, Hops and I passed by house with a plaque marking it as an “undocumented stop” on the Underground Railroad. (Isn’t it documented, now?) We had plans to go kayaking, but got rained out. It rained for several days, in fact, and I’m reluctant to even type these words, but so far my latest leak prevention job on Foxy is holding up. We had perfect weather for Barrett’s final day, and spent some good time on the beach – I think Hops is near-dead with exhaustion.
We found most of the eleven observation towers on the Delaware and Maryland coasts that were established during WWII to watch for enemy ships and assist in targeting them. We walked around one of the abandoned ones, and climbed the stairs in (I think) the only renovated one, in Cape Henlopen State Park. We saw barracks, huge guns, and some cool lizards. I prefer lizards to guns.
It was really great to spend some time with friends. But I’m very tired, and it will be nice to slow back down for a day or two here, and drink a little less beer. I’ll be working on my complicated reaction to corporate mergers; or, I’ll be working on lessening my attachments to corporations. My bad, that.
Hops sends a contented snore and I second.