Known for its wide selection of locally made brews, Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill now has a selection nobody else has – Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill beer.
More than two years in the making, Adam Newman, one of three owners for Gary’s, said the restaurant got its brewpub permit in July and has been making test batches ever since. He said now that summer has passed, the restaurant can turn its attention to brewing beers to sell.
Gary Cannon, the restaurant’s namesake and original owner, said it wasn’t easy to fit brewing beer into a busy summer schedule, but they managed. Wednesdays were a good day to spend eight hours making beer, he said.
Holly Ski, the third of three owners, does the majority of the brewing. She said the beer brewed this past summer was about getting some publicity and getting samples tried. So far, customer response has been good.
The brewing system at Gary’s produces 20-gallon-batches. Newman said they have five fermenters and do all of the milling themselves. He said the system is about one-tenth the size of the system used by Dewey Beer Co. up the street.
Other than a tap handle at the bar, restaurant patrons will not see any change. The brewing equipment is in the former Alley Oop storefront that abuts Gary’s on the oceanside of New Orleans Street. A closet-sized-room was built, with an air conditioner to keep fermenting fermenters cool, but not much was done to fit out the space. Some of the stainless steel equipment was given to them by other brewers who had outgrown small-batch hardware.
To date, Gary’s has brewed six beers – a sweet potato ESB, bourbon chip porter, toasted rye IPA, ginger saison, cranberry pale ale and summer brown ale.
Cannon said it’s fun to make the first batch, and then tweak it if necessary. The challenge, he said, is to make the beer the same if the batch doesn’t need tweaking.
Like a scientist, but without the lab coat, Ski keeps a detailed notebook with all the different concoctions that are made. She said because the batches are so small, all the ingredients are processed at the restaurant. For example, Ski said, there’s four pounds of sweet potatoes and a pound of molasses in the sweet potato ESB.
“We’re going to steer clear of extracts,” Ski said.
Cannon said the beers are like the restaurant’s food – fresh and homemade. He said the restaurant hopes to start making beer that pair’s well with food on the menu.
Ski said Gary’s will have a brewpub opening party Saturday, Nov. 11. For more information call Gary’s Dewey Beach Grill, 2000 Coastal Highway, at 302-227-8519.