Photos by Melanie McLean and Ryan Brooks
Friday was the first 'First Friday' of the season in Snow Hill.
"What's First Friday?" you ask? You might even ask "Why First Friday and not third Friday? Or heck, why not first Thursday?" Well we're here to tell ya.
First Friday is a town-wide event where local galleries, shops and restaurant owners get a chance to strut their stuff and show off this beautiful, historic little city. With tons of quaint shops, authentic brick buildings, and an ambling river (the Pocomoke) running through it, Snow Hill seems easy to love. We decided to take a stroll to see what was going on.
The first stop was Bishop Stock Fine Art, Craft & Wine. The owner, Ann Coates, gave us the grand tour of this truly diverse operation. Her offerings run the gamut from painting and sculpture to merlot and craft beer with more than a few options in between.
We walked down the street to Pocomoke River Canoe Company which had a few things going on. First off and perhaps most obviously, they're a rental and guide service for canoeing and kayaking. Owners Ron Pilling and Barry Laws gave us the grand tour and invited us to the 3rd Annual Jesse's Paddle on July 16th at 5p.m. Kim Klump, Jesse's mom, was on hand with a little more information. The event raises funds for the Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship Fund which awards one deserving and pretty darn lucky high school-er a bundle of money to put towards their college education. Second, they have a scale train exhibit that takes up the entire second floor of the building! Confidently controlled with Steve Brown at the helm the trains whiz around the exterior of the room while you're free to walk around in the middle and check out the action. It's a special treat usually reserved for the holiday season that will attract big kids (me) and little kids alike. And if you're not into trains Steve will happily keep you entertained.
Just out the back door you can find the push off point for the evening river cruise being led by Captain Jerry Nolte. $10 will buy you an hour long tour of the Pocomoke River aboard 'Journey' his pontoon boat. From there we moseyed over to the Adcock Studio for some more art and live music. Then wound it down with some outdoor seating and few beers at the Blue Dog Café... and more music!
We saw some really cool artwork, met some really nice folks, saw a really gorgeous town, got really tired and drank a really good beer. Snow Hill you're really on to something!
It's no lie, Errol and I have gotten a taste of just about every local brewery in Delmarva this summer, but we couldn't leave the coast before giving you a better look at Fordham & Old Dominion. These are two companies in one, each bringing their own flair to the table, each carrying their own array of legends. Fordham's legacy goes back to 1703, when Benjamin Fordham, at the request of Queen Anne, set himself to the task of brewing beer in Annapolis. They disappeared for a while, but in 1995, the brewery was brought back to life to serve their refreshing malted elixirs once again. Old Dominion, however had a different kind of beginning. It was started by Jerry Bailey, a dreamer who drew his first business plan on a napkin and soon became a cult legend. He eventually merged his company with Fordham, improving business for both, and increasing efficiency to cut their impact on the environment.
The suspension you're seeing in this beer is characteristic of a Black and Tan at Stewart's. The golden ale at the bottom is not fully fermented, having more viscosity than the dark stout which has more alcohol and floats on top. Served with frothing pride, this is one of the many beers made at Stewart's Brewing Co., another brew-pub along Delaware's famous Wine & Ale Trail.
What's your staple drink? Most people have one – that type of beer they get every time they go out. They can walk into the bar and know just what they're going to ask for. It shows off confidence, I suppose. But then you have weirdoes like me who love to sample, ordering a different beer every night. This week, Errol and I went to Iron Hill Brewery in Newark, DE, where we met another guy who loves to switch around his beer choices just as much.
It was just after 12 noon when we, the intrepid Host Our Coast team, rounded a corner on Talbot Street in St. Michaels, chancing upon a sign that seemed directed at us. The sign read: