The weekend of Jan. 29 will be for the birds, literally.
Birders are set to come to the Cape Region for the Winter Delmarva BirdINNg Weekend, which will be hosted at the Dogfish Inn in Lewes. The 2020 event tallied 116 species of birds, such as ducks, sandpipers, loons, crows, sparrows, hawks and geese. Dogfish Inn is sold out for the weekend; field trips to local state parks are available a la carte.
This will be the sixth annual winter birding weekend, sponsored by Delmarvabirding.com, but the first in partnership with Dogfish Head. Andrew Greeley, innkeeper at Dogfish Inn, said the idea came when he and Mark Carter, head of Dogfish’s Beer and Benevolence program, met with Jim Rapp and Dave Wilson from Delmarvabirding.com in the fall. After talking shop over beers around the inn’s firepit, the idea was hatched to form a partnership.
For the birding weekend, Dogfish Inn offered a package that included 10 percent off at Dogfish Head’s Rehoboth Beach brewpub and Milton brewery, a custom Patagonia-made beanie, Dogfish Head and Delmarva birding weekend branded merchandise and the option to stay a third night at a reduced price.
Greeley said while many of the rooms will be filled by birders coming for the weekend, curiosity about the event brought previous guests to come back for the birds.
“We have also had rooms that booked before the event rolled out, and those folks are now looking to attend one of the birding trips and have inquired about other birding weekends,” he said.
Dogfish Head’s sponsorship is part of an effort by the company to promote more outdoor events, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the brewery and brewpub to go to curbside pickup-only and the Chesapeake and Maine restaurant to be limited to carry-out only.
“We are a social bunch, and we are constantly seeking ways to safely gather with like-minded folks, and outdoor events seem to be a great alternative in this tumultuous moment,” Greeley said. “We have such amazing outdoor beauty to offer our guests in coastal Delaware, especially in the off-season. This place is amazing year-round, and not just a good spot to visit in the summer.”
In August, Dogfish Inn began offering an outdoor activity package, complete with what the company calls the “Off-Centered Gear Shed,” which includes bicycles, cornhole boards, frisbees and beach chairs, among other things, in order to encourage guests to explore the outdoors. The outdoor activity package includes a resource guide for biking and hiking trails and of course, Dogfish Head swag.
“We are lucky enough to be surrounded by a slew of amazing outdoor experiences - from birding and biking to hiking and fishing, and everything in between,” Greeley said. “We use our outdoor activity package to highlight those adventures and encourage folks to get out and explore all coastal Delaware has to offer. We see the inn as a basecamp for our guests’ adventures.”
Guests staying at Dogfish Inn must wear masks in public spaces, and check-ins and check-outs are handled on a contactless basis.
For more information on Winter Delmarva BirdINNg Weekend, visit delmarvabirding.com and more information on Dogfish Inn, visit www.dogfish.com.