TIPSY TOURIST: Fordham and Dominion Brewing Company

Fordham and Dominion have their brewery in Dover.

Fordham and Dominion have their brewery in Dover.

Cherry Blossom lager takes center stage — for a brief moment.

Cherry Blossom lager takes center stage — for a brief moment.

Cherry was all the rage when I arrived at Fordham & Dominion‘s brewpub in Dover on a cold Friday afternoon. It was release day for their seasonal Cherry Blossom — and it was clearly a crowd favorite.

But is it a girly beer, I asked the manly man standing next to me with a pint of the slightly sweet, rich lager. Really, though, what was he going to say? He clearly enjoyed it, and so did I. What I really liked was the jalapeno-enhanced stout after that — there’s something wickedly wonderful about that combination of heat and the dark coffee/chocolate flavor. Enjoy it, said the bartender. It’s the last of it. Some pleasures are so fleeting…

Cases of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout ready for shipping.

Cases of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout ready for shipping.

You can buy Fordham & Dominion brews in the bottle or at many bars and restaurants. But if you want to taste these seasonal brews you have to stop by the Dover brewpub because you can’t get them anywhere else.

Fordham & Dominion are part of the Good Libations Tour, a spirits-filled promotion of Kent County’s tourism office. You can start here or at the other brewery, distillery or one of the two wineries. I came here in the middle of my own personal tour. (More on the tour in a future post.)

On the way to getting my tasting tickets, I got a glimpse of the mammoth tanks filled with malty goodness.

On the way to getting my tasting tickets, I got a glimpse of the mammoth tanks filled with malty goodness.

I missed the brewery tour, darn it. But I got to taste some good beer. Head into the brew pub and they’ll send you through the double door to the brewery. You buy tasting tickets for $5 — and that includes the tour when one is scheduled. They sell the usual t-shirts and soda here, too. Finish your tastings and come back for a pint glass. Mine commemorated the release of the Cherry Blossom Lager. Then join the crowd at the bar and sample four or five.

besides root beer and orange, Dominion makes black cherry and ginger ale.

besides root beer and orange, Dominion makes black cherry and ginger ale.

Kids are rarely welcome in craft breweries — but this one is different. They make soda here, too, so the under-21 crowd is welcome to come in and get their own refreshments. Sweetened with cane sugar, you’ll notice the difference between this and the stuff you get at the supermarket right away.

I’ve been drinking Fordham beer since it was brewed at Rams Head in Annapolis so I was looking forward to my visit.

The welcoming staff and original brews I tasted here made it a memorable one.

© Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman

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