Beer on the Road: Salisbury MD

They wanted dinner but I wanted to take them on a ride into history

I love traveling and I love beer. When the two come together, well, I'm often very happy. So, while reflecting on some travels back in April 2017, I recalled some now familiar places and special memories. While I'm still growing in my beer knowledge, it's a joy sometimes to look back from where I've come but also the journey local beer has made. 

Whitehaven Ferry


Getting there is sometimes half the fun. Some years ago, at the conclusion to a family event in Princess Anne, MD, we were hungry and ready to find a place for dinner before heading home. I recalled a restaurant I'd been to a few years before but just as important was the path we neede to take in getting there. Actually, I got giddy just thinking about. What I really wanted besides the good food I knew was waiting for my family, was for them to experience the Whitehaven Ferry. This is a small ferry that can carry only three cars at a time, using a cable to pull itself and passengers across the Wicomico River. If you're that far south in the county — as we were — it saves a lot of time from driving up and around the river. It's a rather romantic experience in that it beckons of the old days.

The Whitehaven Ferry is a passenger and automobile cable ferry that crosses the Wicomico River in Whitehaven, Maryland, located to the southwest of Salisbury. The ferry is operated by the Wicomico County Department of Public Works and runs between the community of Whitehaven in Wicomico County to the north and Somerset County in the south. The ferry can carry a maximum of 6 passengers and 3 cars and has a weight limit of 10,000 pounds. The Whitehaven Ferry operates from early morning until the evening every day of the year except Christmas and is free. A ferry has crossed the Wicomico River in the area since 1687. The current ferry is believed to be the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States.
— Whitehaven Ferry - Wikipedia

The ferry was waiting and we enjoyed the quick trip across the river in this unique style. Red Roost is a place with a lot of Eastern Shore character. The lights over each table are housed in wooden bushel baskets, the kinds watermen use to hold their catch. When we were there, soft crab poppers were an appetizer option.

Now, you probably are asking yourself how does this tie in with a beer story. While at the Red Roost ordering a beer to have with my meal, the waitress mentioned in her description of my choices that they had a beer from Evolution Brewing — a new local brewery — that happened to be a venture that the owners of the Red Roost had begun. From that moment, an awareness grew and some dots began to be connected. A friend had mentioned some weeks earlier that he had gone to a tasting room at a new brewery in Delmar, DE. Interesting, I know Delmar and there is not a lot there. Come to find out, this was the beginning of Evolution Brewing. As they expanded their demand and need for capacity, they later moved to their current site in downtown Salisbury, MD. 

Whitehaven Ferry, Whitehaven, MD

Whitehaven Ferry, Whitehaven, MD

Take a ride into history on the oldest continuously operating ferry in U.S. history.
— White Haven Ferry, Wicomico County MD

Evolution First Awareness

The history of beer and brewing on Maryland's Eastern Shore is nicely documented in Eastern Shore Beer: The Heady History of Chesapeake Brewing by Tony Russo. While the history of Evo is not found on their website, Eastern Shore Beer states that the brewery had its beginnings in Delmar, DE, a town in both Delaware and Maryland, back in 2009. They later moved to their current location in Salisbury in February 2012. As reports from fellow beer geeks and foodies about the quality of the food at Evolution, at was inevitable that a visit was in order. I've been there at least six times (probably more) and have never been disappointed with the beer, food, atmosphere or service. If you are visiting Salisbury on your way to the ocean, then this short side trip is highly recommended.

Hopper's Tap House

Back to my April 2017 trip. Hopper's Tap House is located at 1400 South Salisbury Blvd, Salisbury MD. Knowing about my passion for good beer, Hopper's was recommended as a dinner spot by a local colleague. With over 40 beers on tap — you have my attention — and any good beer drinker will find something to their liking.

Hopper's Tap House

While the beer selections certainly were great, the most interesting twist about Hopper's is the collaborative venues at that location. 1400 S Salisbury Blvd is an address shared by not only Hopper's but several artisianal food vendors. Grab a beer, choose your meal depending on your mood and then grab a seat in the common enclosed area. Here there are tables, cornhole games and plenty of room to spread out. Families were there with little ones practicing their cornhole game.

Food options include DaNizza Pizza, Wingin’ It, Smokin’ BBQ Grille, Melted. Buy food at one of these places and eat it in Hopper’s.
— Hopper's Tap House

More Drink Local

If you are headed to or through Salisbury MD and are interested in other local breweries, here are some considerations.