As the craft brewing industry’s biggest and baddest West Coast breweries search out new land on the East Coast, one of the mightiest East Coast craft breweries is being denied a chance to expand in its own backyard.
Dogfish Head, a bright off-centered pushpin on the Rehoboth Beach, Del., map, sought permission from city officials to move into a larger location (about 1,500 square-feet larger) in town. A no-brainer decision, right? Well, you don’t know Rehoboth. The city’s Board of Adjustment swiftly voted three-to-one to deny the request.
From the CBB Archives: We spoke with Dogfish Head about its great, current brewpub location
Reheboth Beach has a law on the books that is meant to curb the influx of large destination restaurants and bars in order to avoid jumping the shark, so to speak, like other name-brand beach towns. So, to that end, local rockstars like Dogfish Head must be denied too much room or influence. Because, letting Dogfish Head move into a bigger location would be the first step in sliding down that slippery slope to commercialized eye sores. Or something.
From USA Today:
Board member Clif Hilderley said Dogfish Head’s request made the business too big to fit in Rehoboth Beach.
“Why not go out of town? Find a place where they have no resistance and can do everything they want to? In a few years, sometime in the future, they’re going to want to expand again. I wish Dogfish Head all the luck in the world in selling their beer. But Rehoboth Beach is not the place to produce more beer and enhance and expand a restaurant.”
The denial clearly caught Dogfish Head off guard.
“We are pretty shocked and disappointed by the decision,” Calagione said, adding he’s aware other well-known restaurants in the beach resort area have gotten the same board’s OK to expand beyond the 5,000-square-foot cap. “It’s a little bit bewildering.”
This decision is a bit bewildering to us, too, but to be fair, we’re a little biased when it comes to cool, logical ideas. Be sure to read the full story at USA Today.