Surprising Wilmington: Stitch House Sho ‘Nuff Stout, Strong Stout
Date: April 12, 2019
The Story— Stitch House is doing for downtown Wilmington what Fegley’s did for Bethlehem — take a lonely canyon of a downtown and pull people in to make it a destination for good times. They’re not alone – a number of eateries and the beer-centered Chelsea’s all pull on the wagon, but a brewery is a draw like few other types of businesses.
It’s a bit ironic, but we’ve found that in Germany, when we find an old town hanging on to it’s vibrancy, there’s usually an historic brewery that’s anchored the survival. In America, downtown resurgence is usually powered by a new brewery. In both cases, as megabeers slip in popularity, the little guys are not only succeeding, but are helping others to succeed as well.
In Wilmington, Stitch House is a short safe walk from Hotel DuPont. The 2013 grand Hotel is a pricey but worth-it splurge in the heart of the city. (We were advised not to stray far from the main streets and a small army of police cruisers in the area led us to believe we got good advice.) We’ll have more to say about the place in tomorrow’s Beer of the Day Post.
Strong stouts are sometimes called Export Stouts. Ironically they’re hugely popular in the Carribean and in Africa where those who have traveled there tell us that the slogan “Guinness is good for you” is accepted on faith even by pregnant women. The Guinness you get i tropical climates is far from the clean low-booze draft we get here and not so far off from this Sho ‘Nuff we feature today.
A slight digression: if you’re a big fan of Export and strong stouts take a drive south — it’s little more than an hour– to Guinness’s only American brewery in Halethorp, Baltimore, Maryland. Guinness taps beers you can only find in those tropical countries and in the original St. James Gate brewery in Dublin.
But before you do, Stitch house offers a rich and sustaining version of the style to ease your voyage back to the hotel.
The Beer— There’s much going on in this 7% strong stout. Very dark. Dark roast and black strap molasses and it stops just short of licorice. (Ellie thought it didn’t quite stop.) Chalk and a touch of cream/paste evens it out as it drinks. Some char and even smoke evolves. I’m not sure I’d want 4 of these, but I’m grateful for the one I had.
Value — Very good. A 25 cl glass for $3.50 gives your a good taste without wrecking your budget or your liver.
About these posts: We taste and evaluate over a thousand beers every year. The beers posted here rank in the top quarter of those tastings. Values: “fair” is a good beer at an above market price, “good” is worth the money, “very good” is a bargain, and “excellent” is a steal.
For the next several weeks we’ll feature fun places to explore beer — and much more–a different destination each week. Our beers of the day will feature beers from this wonderfully wet destinations. A caveat as always: the vast majorities of craft breweries may have a few beers that are usually available, but their most interesting beers are usual season or one-off brews that we may rave about, but you can’t find. Our specific beer descriptions, can tell you what sorts of beers the brewery does well; if you don’t find the exact beer on tap, you’ll probably find something similar.