Tag Archives: brandywine valley
On a warm mid-September day, I had the fun opportunity of visiting Twin Lakes Brewery in Greenville, Delaware. Owner, Sam Hobbs gave me the grand tour of the historic farmhouse where the brewery operates out of daily. They’ve done a fantastic job of staying true to their Brandywine Valley heritage, while utilizing modern sustainable energy to maintain their brewery. I easily could have been convinced to join the crew for a ‘taste test’, but unfortunately a mid-day happy hour just wasn’t in the cards. Please enjoy reading about our local brewery that has made its mark in the area over the last five years.
Twin Lakes Brewing Company produces roughly 2,000 barrels of beer per year. Beers produced by Twin Lakes include Route 52 Pilsner, Greenville Pale Ale, Tweeds Tavern Stout, Winterthur Spring Wheat Ale, Jubilicous Holiday Ale, and Caesar Rodney Golden Ale. The names of these beers come from the rich history of the brewery and its surrounding area.
Q&A with Sam Hobbs, Owner of Twin Lakes Brewery:
What year did you start Twin Lakes Brewing Co.? What was your inspiration?
We started Twin Lakes Brewery in 2006 and our inspiration came from 9/11. That day taught us that you must live life to the fullest, and understand that everyday just might be your last, and believe that no better day exists than today – sitting with family and friends enjoying a fresh-local-delicious beer.
Can you tell me a little about the building Twin Lakes Brewery is based in? What is the history of the building and how did you renovate it to fit the brewery’s needs?
A converted art studio and tractor barn houses our 25 barrel, steam-fired, gravity-fed, five vessel brew house and tasting room at the historic Twin Lakes Farm (est. 1826) in Greenville, Delaware. The tasting room, originally an art studio of George “Frolic” Weymouth, has a wonderful, historical feel and an old world charm and offers a relaxing atmosphere to unwind in while tasting sensational beers. The brewery hosts intimate corporate and private gatherings as well as seasonal festivals and charitable fundraising events.
How have your beers grown and changed over the years?
Twin Lakes Brewing Company is passionate about preserving the art of American brewing. The hallmark of our fresh-local-delicious beer is that the beer is produced exactly the same today, as it was when we first started. Our growth in production has doubled due to the popularity of the Greenville Pale Ale, “our #1 seller!” which is now available in both Delaware and Pennsylvania.
You mentioned how craft beer and microbrews differ. Could you explain the difference?
Craft & microbrew are terms coined by the American Brewers Association meaning a “small, independent and traditional” brewery. The term ‘craft’ signifies ‘handmade’ while ‘microbrew’ refers to a production of less that 15,000 barrels of beer per year.
Can you break down what makes Twin Lakes beer ‘local, fresh and delicious’?
Our devotion to quality and tradition ensures that we use only the finest ingredients: whole flower hops, the best grains, cultured brewer’s yeast, and most exceptionally, water from the deep rock aquifer located on the Twin Lakes Farm. Our pure water, perfectly balanced and rich in minerals, adds a refreshing smoothness and unique quality to our delicious beer. We are not extreme brewers, but we produce extremely drinkable, all natural unfiltered and unpasteurized, what we call ‘Living Beer’. We believe our American farm brewery and its exceptional beer are part of what makes Delaware and the surrounding region so special.
When did you add the solar panels to Twin Lakes? How have they helped reduce your traditional energy use? Who did you use to install the solar system?
Wise Power installed the 2-kilowatt system. Our plans include making the entire brewery completely energy independent in the near future, and we are looking at doubling the solar capacity by the end of the year.
“At its current size, the power generated by the solar panels will be about 7 amps,” says William Rawheiser of Wise Power Systems of Wilmington, DE. However, the cables laid in the ground running to the panels are capable of handling much more, leaving the door open for expansion. The whole system is truly 21st century; power output can be constantly monitored from anyplace on earth via the internet.
Matt Day, Marketing & Sales Director at Twin Lakes, explained “we’re proud that Route 52 is the first scenic byway in the State of Delaware and we want to protect the heritage and environment here,” said Day.
There are many paintings and sculptures throughout the brewery. Who are some of the artists you like to showcase?
Mark Dance: a fantastic local artist who helped produced our logos.
Paul Rominick: a ‘master potter’ who produces our one-of-a-kind ½ gallon growlers.
Scott Lobaido: from “Flags Across America” painted the American Flag on the rooftop and a few other gems in the tasting room.
Jorge Del Fabbro: a very special sculptor.
Just to name a few…
Who designs your labels? Where does the inspiration for your new labels come from?
Mark Dance creates the artwork for our new beers. Twin Lakes Farm has a long and prestigious history dating back to our founding fathers George Washington and Caesar Rodney. At the entrance to the Farm, the Washington Pear Tree stood for 200 years and now its offspring stands in its place. It is said that General George Washington rested here and legend identifies the old Pear Tree as the spot where Washington planned the Battle of the Brandywine. In respect for our heritage, we produce beers and labels that continue that historic tradition. Fig Studio in Baltimore, Maryland was responsible for our initial inspiration.
How often is Twin Lakes open to the public?
Twin Lakes Brewery is open to the public on Wednesdays from 4 – 7 pm and Saturdays from 12 – 4 pm. The brewery tour will guide you through the history of beer, our brewery, and our Brandywine Valley heritage as well as our traditional, all-natural brewing process. Growlers are also available for purchase so you can take some of our Fresh, Local, Delicious beer home with you!