Life Style

Beaches and Brews at Delaware’s Dogfish Inn


For a laid back beach getaway just steps from the Delaware Bay, the Dogfish Inn in the heart of charming and historic Lewes, Delaware, is the perfect destination.

This boutique hotel offers everything you could want for a relaxing coastal escape:

☑ Proximity to the Beach: A short stroll brings you to the sandy shores.
☑ Local Dining and Shopping: Many restaurants and cute shops are just around the corner.
☑ Scenic Views: Enjoy the sights of the Delaware Rehoboth Canal.
☑ Comfortable Accommodations: Modern, minimalist guest rooms boast luxury and thoughtful details.
☑ Biking Adventures: Explore coastal trails with the inn’s complimentary bicycles.
☑ Fireside Relaxation: Enhance your evenings with cozy fireside chats and s’mores.
☑ Warm Hospitality: A staff that goes above and beyond to make you feel welcomed.

The exterior front of Dogfish Inn

Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Delaware | Photo: Better Living

Sounds pretty great, right? Well, the reality is even better.

Established in 2014 as the official “basecamp” for the renowned Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in nearby Milton, the Dogfish Inn was created to host brewery guests. Dogfish Head, founded by Sam and Mariah Calagione in 1995, began as Delaware’s first brewpub and was considered the smallest commercial brewery in America at the time.

Known for their non-conformist approach to brewing, Dogfish Head prides itself on experimenting with exotic combinations and unexpected ingredients, utilizing a culinary approach to develop unique flavors. This unconventional, “off-centered” philosophy has earned them a cult-like following and propelled them to become one of the largest craft breweries and distilleries in the country.

The Welcome to Lewes Lighthouse. A small replica in the front of town.

The Welcome to Lewes Lighthouse | Photo: Better Living

Conveniently located in Lewes, the Dogfish Inn serves as the perfect midway point between the production brewery in Milton and the brewpub, distillery, and restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

But you don’t need to be a craft beer lover to enjoy a stay at the Dogfish Inn. 

If you’re simply seeking a fun beach escape in a fantastic location, surrounded by delicious food and friendly, exceptional people – I can confidently say, after a recent amazing stay, that this is the place you want to be. 

The newly updated lobby at Dogfish Inn. 2 chairs, a sofa, fireplace, guitar, book collection, and vinyl lp collection.

The newly updated lobby at Dogfish Inn | Photo: Better Living

On the way to checking in, stepping past a fleet of E-bikes into a stylish lobby with quirky red and green lit copper diving helmets over a lit fireplace, it instantly became obvious the Dogfish Inn isn’t your average beachy pad. But embracing all things “off-centered” is the core of Dogfish Head way. 

A boutique property tucked along the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in downtown Lewes, the Dogfish Inn has a modern 16-room boutique inn effortlessly blends a vibe of sophisticated comfort with quirky pops of Dogfish Head’s signature aesthetic. Here you can embrace a slower pace while exploring Delaware’s local coast and beaches. 

Outside the guestrooms at Dogfish Inn. A covered outdoor hallway with a view of the street and canal.

Outside the upper guestrooms at Dogfish Inn. | Photo: Better Living

Set in a former motel the luxury upgrades and modern renovation have made it all the more comfortable.

And the location is incredible. Smack in downtown Lewes here you can easily eat, shop, dine and explore historic downtown Lewes on foot. Or grab a bike and wander around the network of coastal trails.

Our Stay at Dogfish Inn

The deluxe king room at Dogfish Inn. A king bed, sofa, tv, bathroom.

The deluxe king room at Dogfish Inn | Photo: Better Living

They’ve Thought of Everything: Cozy Modern Accommodations and Thoughtful Amenities

Checking into the Deluxe King Room, outfitted with a king bed and pull-out sofa, we found it perfect for beachside adventures. An Apolis tote bag and retro striped beach chairs from Lawn Chair USA are yours to use during your stay.

Our room on the top level of the inn was clean and modern, with unique touches like a deep farmhouse-style sink and pop art music posters. The bed was a cozy dream with Mascioni linens and cloud-like down pillows. The sitting area with a pull-out sofa and the luxurious walk-in waterfall shower stocked with Malin + Goetz bath products made me consider extending my stay indefinitely.

A special touch is the complimentary handcrafted Dogfish Head Beer Soap in every room, made with Dogfish Head’s famous 60 Minute IPA, ground hops, barley, and essential oils of lavender, rosemary, and fir. Guests are invited to bring it home as a reminder of their trip.

Convenient guestroom amenities at Dogfish Inn. Fridge, microwave, desk, chair, tv, lounge chairs, umbrellas, tote bag, growler, coffee pot, and more.

Convenient guestroom amenities at Dogfish Inn. | Photo: Better Living

Free WIFI, cable TV, a mini-fridge, air-conditioning, and mini-bar snacks make your stay even more comfortable. Don’t forget to take home your complimentary beer growler, and have it filled at the Milton brewery or the Dogfish Head Brewpub before you leave.

Morning Routine: Fresh Coffee and Breakfast in Downtown Lewes

A wide shot of the lobby at Dogfish Inn. The front desk, seating, and fireplace.

Grab a coffee and relax by the fire in the lobby at Dogfish Inn | Photo: Better Living

We started our days savoring the inn’s complimentary bright medium Basecamp Blend roast from local Rise Up coffee roasters. Free coffee is available in the lobby all day.

For something stronger, have the inn’s talented barista Shane make you an amazing oat milk cappuccino. One sip and you’ll be a bright-eyed adventurer ready to seize the day.

Need something to read while enjoying your brew? Browse the library section in the lobby with a collection of great American novels curated by City Lights, the renowned San Francisco bookstore. Books are available to borrow or purchase.

While breakfast isn’t served at the inn, you’re just steps from great restaurants and cafes within a block of the Dogfish Inn. Then get ready to explore the area or chill on the beach.

Things To Do In Lewes, Delaware

Cannonball Park in Lewes, Delaware. Blooming trees, flowers, the pier, and waterfront.

Enjoy the views at 1812 Memorial Park in Lewes, Delaware | Photo: Better Living

There’s A Lot to Explore in Lewes. And the Dogfish Inn Has All the Supplies You Need to Enjoy the Nearby Beaches Local Trails.

Need wheels to go cruising the miles of nearby bike trails or oceanside boardwalks? Borrow one of the inn’s custom mountain bikes for free. For more power without all that pesky pedaling, rent one of their e-bikes instead.

In their lending closet by the main lobby, the Dogfish Inn has lots of other supplies you can use to make the most of your time outdoors including blankets, coolers, hiking sticks, yard games, binoculars for spotting local wildlife and more. If you need a bike tour expert, paddleboard or kayak reserved offsite, the staff here will make it happen.

Need insider tips on the best eats and happy hour spots around? The awesome innkeepers here have you covered.

Stroll Through Historic Downtown Lewes

The quaint town of Lewes, Delaware. The many shops in town.

The quaint town of Lewes, Delaware | Photo: Better Living

Step off the Dogfish Inn property and you’re in the heart of a historic outpost that radiates quintessential seaside town vibes. Here you can stroll by pastel-hued Victorians, colonial coastal cottages and centuries old churches, museums and landmarks.

Stunning views at 1812 Memorial Park in Lewes, Delaware. Boats, blooming trees, and the waterfront.

Stunning views at 1812 Memorial Park in Lewes, Delaware | Photo: Better Living

Wander around 2nd and Front streets, into one of the many shops and boutiques. Or grab a bite at one of the many restaurants. Then work your way one block over to Front Street towards the 1812 Memorial Park complete with cannons created to honor the city’s defense against a British attack by fleet in April 1813. Rest for a bit on a shady park bench with an ice-cream cone or a coffee and enjoy the water views.

If you’re lucky enough to visit in spring, blooming red tulips and cherry trees will make the experience even more magical 

Sail into History at the Lightship Overfalls

Lightship Overfalls in Lewes, Delaware. Docked by the museum park.

Lightship Overfalls in Lewes, Delaware | Photo: Better Living

Less than ⅓ of a mile from the Dogfish Inn is the Lightship Overfalls also known as LV-118. Built in 1938 with a 57-foot beacon and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011 by the National Park Service, it’s one of only 15 floating lighthouses preserved today. It served as a lifeline to sailors navigating treacherous shoals throughout the North East. It was also the last lightship built for the U.S. Lighthouse Service (USLHS) and one of only two lightships built in the 20th century. Now a living maritime museum you can book a guided tour for only $5.

Fun fact: Every guest room at the Dogfish Head Inn has a unique work of art featuring the Lightship Overfalls by artist Steve Rogers.

Relax at one of the Nearby Beaches For Sun and Sea

Pristine Savannah Beach in Lewes, Delaware. A person relaxing in a beach chair enjoying the views. Sea birds flying overhead.

Pristine Savannah Beach in Lewes, Delaware. | Photo: Better Living

Closest to the Dogfish Inn is Savannah Beach. Just a 14 minute walk or 2 minute drive from the inn. This family friendly golden stretch of shoreline with soft sand and calm glass like waters on the Delaware Bay. It’s perfect for strolling, lounging or swimming. 

On the same stretch of sand east of Savannah Beach’s dune is the smaller Johnnie Walker Beach named after a prominent local African American Lewes businessman born in 1917.  Restroom facilities are available at both beaches. 

Explore Famous Cape Henlopen State Park

A great blue heron looks for food in the water in Lewes Delaware

You may see Great Blue Herons and more at Cape Henlopen State Park | Photo: Better Living

An easy 15 minute bike ride or quick 1 mile drive from Dogfish Inn, Cape Henlopen State Park is a must-visit 7000 acre park. With 6 miles of coastline where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, this is one of Delaware’s undisputed natural gems. 

Here you’ll find swimmable beaches, a fishing pier, and multiple trails through diverse ecosystems perfect for hiking, biking, beachcombing and bird watching. Dolphins have been known to swim off the park’s shores.

It’s also home to the Fort Miles Museum featuring WWII history and there’s a preserved WWII observation tower with 360 degree views you can climb. Check out their Seaside Nature Center where they have aquariums, and touch tanks for encounters with local marine life. 

Where to Eat? Dine with Dogfish!  

The Steampunk Treehouse at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Tasting Room in Milton, DE

The Steampunk Treehouse at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Tasting Room in Milton, DE | Photo: Better Living

Foodies and Craft Beer Fans Should Make a Point to Visit the Dogfish Head Restaurants in Milton and in Rehoboth.

Dogfish Head Brewery

The Inn is the ideal midpoint location between all the Dogfish hotspots. So foodies and craft beer and spirit fans are in for a real treat.  To get a full appreciation for all that Dogfish Head is about, craft beer aficionados will want to start at the source and head 20 minutes west to the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton.

To get a full understanding of how Dogfish Head evolved into the greatness it is today, make a point to tour their amazing facility. On the tour you’ll learn how Dogfish started, some insider stories, get a tour of their Steampunk Treehouse, and get a feel for how their innovative beers are created.

Taking a tour at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE. 3 huge vats of beer.

Taking a tour at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE | Photo: Better Living

During the tour you’ll be rewarded with samples of some of their delicious Dogfish concoctions. It turned a craft beer newbie like me into a total Dogfish fan. And the beers are seriously amazing.

After the tour head to their bar for a free flight where you can taste some of their tried and true favorites, or sample new research and development flavors not available anywhere else.  

This is where we first got a taste of Dogfish Head’s incredible Palo Santo Marron brown ale, with caramel and vanilla notes. This American style brown ale gets its flavor from tanks with Paraguayan Palo Santo (“holy tree”) wood. Palo Santo is a difficult wood to source so there’s no telling how long it will be available. Definitely try this one while you can!

Enjoying charcuterie after our tour at Dogfish Head in Milton, DE. A plate of meats, cheeses, bread, and 3 tasting samples.

Enjoying charcuterie and tasting after our tour at Dogfish Head in Milton, DE | Photo: Better Living

When you get hungry, there’s no need to leave. They’ve got a tasty and casual menu packed with wood-fired eats and perfectly paired beer-friendly snacks. We polished off a soft pretzel, a sausage and broccoli rabe pizza with chewy, airy and delicate crust, and a satisfying gourmet cheese and meat charcuterie. Everything was super fresh and incredibly delicious. 

Sitting out on their patio with great food and great beer on a sunny breezy day made for the perfect afternoon.

Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth, DE interior.

Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth, DE . | Photo: Better Living

For Creative Bites and Exclusive Brews Head in a Fun and Casual Environment, Head to the original home Dogfish Head at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. 

Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats in Rehoboth, DE is Dogfish Head’s original home base in Rehoboth.  

Opened back in 1995, the lively, modern wood and industrial space served as founder Sam Calagione’s very first venture into bringing off-centered ales to the thirsty masses and was considered the smallest commercial brewery in the United States.

Birria Tacos and a beer flight at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth

Birria Tacos and a beer flight at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats | Photo: Better Living

While the original space Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats is now Dogfish’s other restaurant next door called Chesapeake and Maine, if your main goal is to soak up that signature DFH vibe, this spot is not to be missed. Here there’s plenty of great Dogfish Head spirits and beers to choose from including brewpub only exclusives. 

Serving lunch and dinner, here you’ll find creative twists on traditional pub fare with tasty burgers, wings, tacos, pretzel bites, and wood-grilled pizzas .

Our friendly server arrived with a flight of fresh tasting pours – including the Buck Mildin, She Means Business. And if there’s a Palo Santo in the house, you know we’re getting it. 

3 Pierogis at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats, Rehoboth with arugula

Pierogis at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats | Photo: Better Living

Carbs and cheese are my love languages, so the pierogies stuffed with caramelized onions, and the Cheddar Brie Grilled Cheese were must-orders that did not disappoint. The shareable and perfectly spiced and meaty birria tacos with the fall-apart tender beef and vibrant toppings, were a match made in heaven for Dogfish Head’s rare Palo Santo.

You’ll notice by the musical inspired art on the walls of all Dogfish Head locations, that music is a fundamental part of the Dogfish Head way of life. So expect live music on the weekends. With great food, great drinks and great music, it’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours. 

porthold booths at dogfish head brewing and eats. a table in front.

Porthole booths at Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats | Photo: Better Living

Tip: If you have the chance, ask for one of the porthole booths for a unique spot to eat. 

Chesapeake & Maine

The exterior of Dogfish Head Chesapeake & Maine in Rehoboth, DE

Dogfish Head Chesapeake & Maine in Rehoboth, DE | Photo: Better Living

Want a nice dinner? A James Beard Award semi-finalist nominee for ‘Best Bar Program,’ Dogfish Head’s Chesapeake & Maine Is the Perfect Spot for Elevated Seafood and Cocktails

In Rehoboth located next door to the casual Dogfish Brewery and Eats is Dogfish Head’s James Beard Award Nominated seafood-centric eatery called Chesapeake & Maine

Serving dinner, here you’ll find a dedicated custom raw bar that serves up sustainably seafood including oysters, clams  and fresh seafood sourced exclusively from the Chesapeake Bay and Maine regions, inventive culinary forward cocktails, wine and of course craft beer. 

A beer flight at Dogfish Head Chesapeake & Maine. 4 selections.

A tasty beer flight at Dogfish Head Chesapeake & Maine | Photo: Better Living

Walking through the doors you’re immediately transported to a world of modern coastal chic with unmistakable Dogfish flair with added whimsical nautical accents like suited sea creatures behind portholes and art featuring rock icons. The atmosphere is casual but, you wouldn’t be out of place if you dressed up a touch.

The restaurant’s concept is inspired by Dogfish Head’s founder Sam Calagione’s love for the summers he spent in Maine. It also honors his wife Mariah’s Delaware roots and Dogfish Head’s original home in the Delaware and Chesapeake region. 

Because this is Dogfish we’re talking about, we started with a beer flight featuring some of their most successful sips. Their popular SeaQuench Ale with its hint of salt and zesty citrus provided thirst-quenching refreshment. Piney and citrusy Covered in Nuggs was our favorite IPA, with passionfruit and orange aromas. If you love peaches, try the Festina Peche, which is a near-perfect balance of peach cobbler sweetness and tart citrus.

Seared  Scallops at Chesapeake & Maine . 3 on a plate with edible flowers.

Seared  Scallops at Chesapeake & Maine | Photo: Better Living

For dinner we started things off on an absolute high note with a dish of seared, buttery-soft Seared  Scallops drizzled in vibrant beurre monté and laced with yuzu and chilies. Each rich, velvety bite was bright and decadent. It was almost too pretty to eat. 

In keeping with the theme of the restaurant, my partner and I decided on a dish from Chesapeake and a dish from Maine. I went with the Chesapeake Bay lump crab cakes – a generous portion of real sustainably sourced Chesapeake Bay jumbo lump crab played alongside tangy slaw, salty hand-cut fries, and a grilled lemon for bright acidity. Decadent and spiced gently so as to not overpower the crab meat.  Incredible. 

The Maine Lobster Roll at Chesapeake & Maine

The Maine Lobster Roll at Chesapeake & Maine | Photo: Better Living

And no dish is more emblematic of Maine than the famed lobster roll. At Seared  Scallops at Chesapeake & Maine it’s done right with chunks of fresh lobster tumbled inside a griddled buttery bun, dressed up with just enough butter to let that natural sweetness shine. 

Key Lime Cheesecake at Chesapeake & Maine

Key Lime Cheesecake at Chesapeake & Maine | Photo: Better Living

For dessert, the Key Lime Cheesecake from local cheesecake queen Mommom, was the perfect creamy and tangy finish. This memorable feast checked every box. 

Tip: If you’re a raw bar fan try their exclusive ‘Smoke in the Water’ oysters. Specially developed in a collaboration with Hoopers Island Oyster Aquaculture Company, these raw oysters are cultivated in Chesapeake Bay waters infused with culinary wood-smoked infused salt. The result is smokey, briny and unlike any oyster you’ve ever tried.

Fireside Fun

The firepit at Dogfish Inn in Lewes, DE

The firepit at Dogfish Inn in Lewes, DE | Photo: Better Living

At Night the Dogfish Inn’s Courtyard is the Best Place to Unwind

After dinner, head back to the inn and settle into their courtyard space. Here you can gather and chat with other guests around a roaring “Cowboy Cauldron” style fire pit. For a tasty fireside treat, s’mores are available in the lobby. 

And it wouldn’t hurt to have some craft beers and spirits to share. BYO since alcohol isn’t sold on the inn’s property. But within downtown Lewes, most of the restaurants serve Dogfish Head beers and spirits.

Word has it that Dogfish founder Sam sometimes pops in for one of his famous ‘Fireside Chats.’ But either way you’ll be happy you went.

Final Takeaway

A peaceful evening at Dogfish Inn. The exterior with the firepit going.

A peaceful evening at Dogfish Inn – Lewes, DE | Photo: Better Living

Whether you want downtime at the beach, an outdoor adventure, or a basecamp to explore the brews, spirits, and food of the Dogfish Head world, definitely book a stay at The Dogfish Inn.

Located in historic downtown Lewes, The Dogfish Inn is steps to beaches, bike trails, restaurants, museums and quaint shops. It’s perfect for experiencing all that Delaware’s coastal region has to offer. Plus, craft beer lovers will appreciate the inn’s ideal location, nestled between Dogfish Head’s production brewery in Milton and their brewpub, distillery, and restaurants in Rehoboth Beach.

But more than a great place to stay, what struck me most was how the Dogfish crew has bottled the perfect balance of simple laid-back luxury and warm genuine hospitality. The positive energy is a true reflection of the infectious Dogfish Head spirit in all its off-centered, delicious glory.

➡ Book a room at the Dogfish Inn and you’ll find it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing beachside escape. You’ll leave asking yourself one question: “When can I come back?”


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