Battle of the Rye whiskey dinner set at Bethany Blues

October 7, 2021

Sagamore Spirit Rye and Dad’s Hat Rye will battle it out over a fancy dinner to see whose whiskey reigns supreme at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21, at Bethany Blues of Lewes.

The four-course meal will include side-by-side cocktails and pours of two delicious rye whiskeys.

“Rye was the base spirit before Prohibition. Pennsylvania and Maryland were making rye whiskey before Kentucky was even a state,” said Heather Shapiro, regional manager for Sagamore Spirit. She said many people think bourbon was the original whiskey in America, but that is a misconception

The processes of distilling the rye whiskey between the two states are also distinct, as diners will be able to taste when they come to the dinner Oct. 21.  Sagamore Spirit’s whiskey, made in Maryland, tends to be a little sweeter because it adds corn to the mash. Dad’s Hat, distilled in Pennsylvania, skips the corn and focuses more on the rye and malted barley, which results in a spicier profile.

Representatives from both distilleries will be on site for the Battle of the Rye dinner, to talk about their whiskey and answer questions from diners.

Bethany Blues is encouraging all dinner participants to dress up in their best Roaring ‘20s  attire to enjoy the evening in true Prohibition style while they sip and savor.

The menu includes four courses, starting with an amuse bouche and welcome cocktails, and concluding with chocolate espresso banana trifle. All the dishes are designed to pair with the rye whiskey to complement the flavors.

The Battle of the Rye Dinner will seat up to 30 people, and tickets are expected to sell out quickly. The cost is $79 per person, and gratuity is not included.

For anyone who is unable to get tickets, there will be one more opportunity to get in on a bourbon dinner, with the Private Stash event Tuesday, Nov. 16. Tickets for that exclusive experience are $175, and all the whiskey comes from Bethany Blues’ private stash.

To reserve a spot for either experience, email Catering Manager Nicole Giannella at

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