Thompson Island Brewing Company will host its next hybrid beer dinner at 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21.
Located in Rehoboth Beach, Thompson Island Brewing celebrated its first anniversary at the end of 2020. What owner Scott Kammerer had planned for the brewery’s first year, however, changed dramatically with the onset of COVID-19 last spring.
Marketing and Events Coordinator Lauren Bigelow said the pandemic limited Thompson Island’s capacity to 30 percent only five months after its opening. “Prior to the pandemic, we were seating over 300 people at a time, and within a week we had to adapt entirely to carryout,” said Bigelow.
Although the 10 p.m. curfew has recently been lifted, businesses like Thompson Island still have a number of government restrictions to abide by, such as limitations on capacity, spacing tables six feet apart and providing appropriate signage.
The constraints imposed upon restaurants and breweries in Delaware led Thompson Island to pivot operations quickly in order to continue growing its customer base as a new brewery, including increasing the number of beers that are available in cans for customers who prefer takeout, ramping up its online ordering system, and shifting many events to virtual platforms like Facebook.
Among Thompson Island’s most popular events have been its monthly beer dinners. When the pandemic hit, the restaurant began hosting virtual beer dinners on Facebook Live and experienced great success. Customers preorder a four-course meal with a unique menu paired with four Thompson Island beers. At a scheduled time, Thompson Island hosts a video on Facebook Live with the chef and brewer discussing the menu and why the chosen beers were paired with it.
Bigelow said she is glad customers are able to enjoy Thompson Island’s beer and food pairings from the comfort of their own home. “We plan to continue to offer them for the foreseeable future, as many of our customers have come to enjoy the convenience of a well-paired meal at home.”