Stewart's Brewing Company in Bear, Delaware. While it was a little further from Blue Mountain than Vintage 50 was from Philly, it still made for a good pitstop to take a break from the long drive. Plus, it's only about an hour from Philly so once we were finished it wasn't too far to get home.
As you enter, the place is one big giant room with a big three sided bar basically in the center. Lots of tvs dotted the walls and a number of people in there were wearing football jerseys. Clearly, besides being a pretty good brewpub, it's also a major sports bar for the area. We overheard the bartender telling someone that there is a five year waiting list for their mug club. If that isn't loyalty, I'm not sure what is.
I started with a sampler of their four seasonal beers: Bourbon Sour, Winterfest, Dark Helmet, and Stumblin' Monk. I forgot to take a picture of those unfortunately so you'll have to use your imagination.
The bourbon sour was pretty fantastic and probably my favorite beer of the whole trip. This most likely paints me in a bad light since I'm choosing the most ridiculous beer as my favorite but, well, I'm pretty okay with that. Sweet bourbon nose with a backing of vanilla. Started with vanilla, caramel, and bourbon with a touch of sourness in the finish. The sour grew as I drank more but was more a counterpoint to the vanilla and buttery bourbon than anything. We even got a growler fill of it which was shocking and awesome.
The winterfest was a spiced winter beer with vanilla if I remember right. Slight caramel nose. Nice body. Slight cinnamon spiciness followed by a huge amount of vanilla. Odd aftertaste though. I think the vanilla would have overwhelmed in a full glass unfortunately.
The third was Dark Helmet, a Schwarzbier. Nice roasty nose. Toasty and roasty with a hint of caramel and chocolate. Now this one I could have had a full glass. Quite tasty.
Finally, the Stumblin' Monk. According to the bartender, this is a bar favorite which considering it's a 9% Tripel, I was shocked. They didn't even fill growlers of it! Bizzaro land. Sweet and spicy nose. Flavor started spicy but it was overrun by clove and a decent amount of sweetness. For what I like in a tripel, it wasn't dry enough but it was still pretty good.
After finishing my sampler, I ordered a glass of the bourbon sour as you can see in the picture above. I think I ended up drinking like a liter and a half of it over the course of two days it was so good. While we didn't get any real food, we did order nachos which were enormous and delicious. I'm guessing the rest of the food is mostly pub food but well made.
So that was the last stop in our three day trip to Virginia. Five breweries in three days is a decent number. This was an excellent place to end the trip and I'd definitely be interested in heading back here again at some point as it is only an hour from here. The bartender was really nice too which is always a good thing.