Thompson Island Brewing Company in Rehoboth Beach recently released Little Friday Helles Lager, which was inspired by the new restaurant’s German-made brewhouse system.
Before the brewpub opened, brewmaster Jimmy Valm and Matt Patton, a Certified Cicerone and director of operations, took a trip to Germany to visit BrauKon, which made the gleaming equipment that’s visible from the restaurant’s nearly floor-to-ceiling windows.
"Little Friday is the kind of crowd-pleaser that will satisfy your everyday beer lover, but the complex flavor will also meet the craft beer aficionado's expectations," Valm said. "A beer like this is only possible with great German ingredients, a state-of-the-art brewhouse and patience."
Little Friday is a clean, crisp Bavarian-style pale lager made with a touch of German Munich and Caramel malts, Valm said. The base is a German Pilsner malt, which adds a slight biscuit note. The crisp malt character provides the beer’s backbone.
A variety of Noble hops gives Little Friday complexity. Hallertau Tradition and Saaz hops form the base, and Hallertau Hersbrucker is a late-kettle addition.
“Little Friday has a lovely spicy and slightly floral note – a must-have for a proper Munich Helles,” Valm said.
What’s with the name? In Germany, “Little Friday” is the nickname for Thursday, much like Wednesday is “Hump Day” in the United States.
“On Little Friday, Germans are looking forward to the weekend,” the brewmaster said. “Our beer is so light and refreshing that it makes every day a Little Friday.”
Little Friday, available on draft, in cans and in crowlers, showcases a great brewer, top-of-the-line equipment and high-quality ingredients, said Scott Kammerer, president of SoDel Concepts, which owns Thompson Island Brewing Company and 11 other coastal Delaware restaurants.
“It’s the perfect marriage,” he said. “We are really excited about the beer that Jimmy is producing, and we look forward to every new batch.”
Thompson Island Brewing Company is starting 2020 with a busy release schedule that includes: Fresh Fruit Smoothie Ale, made with passionfruit, mango and a touch of tangerine; Wave Check Session Belgian Ale; and Maximum Effort Triple IPA.