Big Oyster brews beer in honor of Delaware State Fair centennial

Delaware Pilsner is a pre-Prohibition-style lager that was brewed with barley grown and malted in Delaware and hops grown in the USA for a smooth, full-flavored, historic drinking experience.

The Delaware State Fair was conceived in a quiet Harrington railroad station over 100 years ago.

But have you ever imagined what a cold beer what have tasted like during that monumental day?

The Delaware State Fair and Big Oyster Brewery will give attendees a chance to live out that imagination with the unveiling of its Delaware-inspired home-brewed beer, Delaware Pilsner, to commemorate the fair’s 100th anniversary.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Danny Aguilar, assistant general manager for the fair. “We were looking at different unique things to do in recognition for our centennial celebration and we always hosted a partnership with Delaware Department of Agriculture a craft beer competition.

“Homebrew individuals were encouraged to come up and compete with the best recipe at the fair.”

“We thought it would be a unique experience in our beer and wine garden to feature a beer that was brewed specifically for our celebration,” he added. “When knew that Big Oyster did custom batches with larger partners and we’re fortunate enough to partner with them to bring the 2019 State Craft Beer called Delaware Pilsner to the state fair.”

Mike Anderson, director of sales and distribution of the Big Oyster Brewery located at 1007 Kings Highway in Lewes, said they were ecstatic to be a part of this year’s celebration.

“Whether it’s a business, shop, event, or person even, 100 years is something to celebrate,” Mr. Anderson said. “Our brewery sponsors a hockey team in Harrington at the Centre Ice Rink. We’ve participated in their beer festivals, concert events, and they sell our beer at the ice rink and at the casino. I thought it would be an awesome fit and we saw it as a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a group who provides so much entertainment for Delawareans throughout the year.”

Delaware Pilsner is a pre-Prohibition-style lager that was brewed with barley grown and malted in Delaware and hops grown in the USA for a smooth, full-flavored, historic drinking experience.

Mr. Anderson said the beer took five weeks to brew from start to finish.

“The beer is awesome,” Mr. Anderson said. “The idea behind it is that we wanted to make it a celebration of everything the fair has created over 100 years, but we wanted something nostalgic at the same time.

“It’s brewed with some ingredients that you would’ve found in a Pilsner brewed 100 years ago. We hoped to give people an idea of what a cold beer would’ve tasted like at the first state fair. It’s crisp, clean, refreshing and will be great on the hot summer days that are expected that time of year.”

Mr. Aguilar said they’re more than satisfied with the final product.

“It’s been about year that we first reached out to them,” Mr. Aguilar said. “We gave them a lot of latitude with the recipes. We figured out we wanted a light beer and wanted something that paired well, being a seasonal summertime drink and we’re really excited to feature it.”

Mr. Anderson said they tried to make the beer as fitting as possible.

“The name isn’t too creative, but why make the name take away from the beer and the art in the can?” Mr. Anderson said. “Delaware Pilsner seemed fitting. As we were developing the beer, I posed the question about the state fair and it’s meaning to the staff and what they thought it meant to attendees as well.

“The art on the can reflects what’s iconic about the fair: the heritage in the agriculture of the local area, the giant Ferris wheel and the abundance of kids and families who enjoy the state fair.

Laura Erickson is our artist and she’s done such a great job creating a majority of our can art and she really turned our resources and ideas into something special.”

“We’re really excited for everyone to see these cans on display and for purchase only at the fair at the end of this month,” he added. “If you want it, this is the only place you can get it.”

The beer will only be available during that state fair from Thursday to July 27 at The Roost Beer & Wine Garden and concert venues.

“It’s a one-time thing,” Mr. Aguilar said. “It will available for those 10 days and that’s it. We wanted to make it special to celebrate our centennial year. We’re encouraging people to take the cans home once they’re done drinking them at the fair, so they’re sort of a collector’s edition. We really hope everyone enjoys the fair and the beer that we have to offer.”

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