Wilmington Brew Works wins third belt at Beer Drinkers Choice awards

Seventh annual event held at Crooked Hammock outside Lewes
April 2, 2024

For the third time in four years, Wilmington Brew Works took home the championship belt for fan-favorite beer at the seventh annual 302 Beer Drinkers Choice Awards.

Every craft brewery in Delaware descended on Crooked Hammock outside Lewes March 24 to take their shot at the silver belt, which is awarded by fan vote. Prizes are also awarded for most unique beer and best booth setup. Breweries and judges alike are encouraged to dress in their most outrageous costumes, with each having a chance to be rewarded with a gold mug at the end. 

Wilmington Brew Works regained the title belt with its Hazy Tang, a cuvée blend sour and hazy IPA. After winning back-to-back titles in 2021 and 2022 with its Luau Punch sour, Big Oyster Brewery in Lewes dethroned them with their Hot Mess Sour. A sour has won the competition five years in a row. By far, the most popular styles on display were sours and hazy/New England IPAs. Twenty-two breweries took part in the competition, with each brewery bringing two beers.

Additional winners at the event included the crew from Volunteer Brewing in Middletown, which won for Best Costume for their take on Ghostbusters. Instead of the iconic proton packs, the crew strapped beer kegs to their backs, enabling them to pour from anywhere. Most Unique Beer and Best Booth went to First State Brewing, also of Middletown, for its Confection Dissection sour and booth inspired by a pastry kitchen, which included pastries with the beer. Finally, Best Costume among the audience went to Dylan Stevenson of Clayton for his outfit inspired by the character Doug Dimmadome from the show “The Fairly OddParents,” which was complete with a comically large 10-gallon hat.  

Crooked Hammock founder Rich Garrahan, who spent an entire year growing his mustache for his costume as Cheech of Cheech and Chong fame, said of the competition, “Each year the event gets better and better. More people come in costumes. The whole intent of this contest isn’t to be competitive, it is to celebrate the brewers who work so hard all year, and just have a good, silly, fun time together.”


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