Dinner and a Duo at the Crooked Hammock
I was introduced to the Crooked Hammock Brewery off Kings Highway on the road to Lewes on a Saturday evening when the duo Bettenroo played for Happy Hour. I walked in, leaving my troubles at the door as requested by a sign outside, and entered a room packed with cheering, dancing women and a few brave men on hand for the music. I sampled the Backyard Brown Ale (an excellent dark malty potion) and thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic musical duo of Lori Jacobs (no relation) and Anne Davey. With harmonic vocals and joyous instrumentals, Bettenroo commanded the room and have become a popular act all over town. I cannot wait to go hear them entertain again.
I returned to the Crooked Hammock the following Monday night for a quiet meal and a sampling of their on-site brews.
Crooked Hammock is brought to us by LaVida Hospitality, a local restaurant group that also includes Big Chill Surf Cantina, The Pantry at Nage and the new Fork+Flask at Nage.
We started off our meal with a beer sampling and a humongous soft pretzel with a cheese sauce and mustard for dipping. Frankly, it was so huge and so delicious it could have been a whole dinner. Wanting to sample other items, we put it aside after consuming only a quarter of it and boxed it up for home —perfect for the next night’s home happy hour, refreshed in the oven and equally delicious as the night before.
As for the beer selections, our favorites from a ten mini-glass sampling were Red Ryder, a cold-weather warmer of a spiced beer for the holidays made with cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Wai Ola is a California-style coconut pale ale, with subtle coconut flavor and a strong aroma. Also favored was Dunk You Very Much, a very smooth dark wheat beer with caramel, clove and a hint of banana. Loved it!
Great with food and also great for a host of reasons is the Cancer Sucks brew, light in color, a little peppery and doing good with every sip. It’s brewed in honor of three-year old Gabriella Brittingham, a local girl needing treatment for an aggressive childhood cancer.
All sales of this particular beer for the month of November go to help the family pay for the treatment…so hurry, drop by and donate as you imbibe!
For our entrees, Bonnie ordered the Grilled Tuna, which comes, quite decadently, with three sides! They were scrumptious Mac n’ Cheese, Jalapeno Cheddar cornbread with homey butter (past decadent) and asparagus, which was excellent as well, but assuaged our guilt somewhat.
As for the Tuna, (ordered rare), it was served with a light brushing of plum sauce with scallions. We shared and highly recommend the dish. We also shared the veggie burger, with tomato and avocado on top—new on the menu and a great treat for folks not wanting the variety of 100% beef burgers, with meat from local butcher Bill Hickman. The burger menu looks adventurous, along with a huge variety of sandwiches, wings, salads, and something called Irish Nachos—fries with gooey cheese, bacon and cheddar which sounds suspiciously like the popular Canadian staple Poutine. And their bratwurst is house made with Crooked Hammock beer. That’s for my next visit.
We couldn’t resist the offer of dessert. We chose Butterscotch Cheesecake. So insanely rich that we thought we should probably walk home from Lewes.
The Crooked Hammock Brewery building is a wonder itself. Huge, with a high ceiling and a dog-friendly outdoor patio, it’s got a casual, re-purposed material vibe, meant to be a great big “hospitality compound” according to the manager. And judging from the friendly service by Karen, our waitperson, they’ve got the hospitality part down. As for the compound, there’s a fireplace in one dining room for winter comfort and a giant backyard barbecue and play area outside for the summer. And of course, they have a full bar besides their home-brewed beer.
As for the music, it’s plentiful, too. There’s live music Monday-Saturday 4-7, Friday and Saturday, 9-midnight and on Sunday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to accompany brunch.
Hurry! Stop by for the Cancer Sucks! beer and check out the menu.
Crooked Hammock is located at 36707 Crooked Hammock Way in Lewes. Call 302-644-7837 or visit crookedhammockbrewery.com.