Thompson Island Brewery : Sneak Peek

/ Updated on December 31, 2019

The brand new Thompson Island Brewery in Rehoboth Gateway Center in Rehoboth Beach is up and running! First-time visitors will immediately see the differences – and similarities – to its next-door neighbor, Bluecoast Rehoboth. Thompson Island Brewery is as large as Bluecoast, but has more of a “lodge” sort of feel, with exposed beams and a huge canoe suspended over the main seating area. Makes sense: SoDel Concepts had no intention of competing with the seafood bent at Bluecoast, so Thompson Island is a bit more carnivorous in its look – and on the menu. The SoDel Concepts signature open kitchen is there, affording a great view into where the action is. Corporate Chef and SoDel Concepts Vice President Doug Ruley was expediting during the Media/Friends/Family event we attended. Leave it to SDC to do it right.

The menu is loaded with goodies that people will like. Counter snacks are a bit reminiscent of the little apps menu at Salt Air (created partially by Matt Haley many years ago) with a popcorn mix, deviled eggs and a little ham plate. Sandwiches offers 4 selections, including bratwurst and country ham. One of the little surprises on the menu are the 6 “bowl” offerings with tasties like Thai Chicken, Shaved Collards and hummus.

Little apps include warm pretzel knots (tossed with butter, mustard & beer!), Loaded Tots (which came highly recommended by the staff) and beautifully presented Crab Rangoon (think crab wonton with an attitude). There are 9 apps in total.

Mains are particularly carnivorous with Sloppy Joe Rosotto and meatloaf, but seafood receives its props with clams, blackened catfish and trout.

The “wood-fired” section offers 7 choices, with the Drunken Half Bird and the Sausage Mixed Grill taking the lead. One of our companions had the Filet Mignon and loved it. I know what I'm getting next time! Chef Ruley went over the top on the sides, with everything from Pork & beans to Kimchee. The candied radishes might be an acquired taste, but give 'em a try and tell me what you think.

We started with the Sloppy Joe Eggrolls (already a Rehoboth Foodie pick hit!), the Crab Rangoon and the Country Ham Plate with pimiento cheese spread and a particularly tasty not-too-sweet cranberry compote. The little biscuits were sublime.

If you are a fan of ales, don’t miss the Thompson Island Loblolly. I loved it, and it’s not too brightly hopped. I had two. So there.

As a fried chicken aficionado, I of course had to check out Doug Ruley’s signature fried chicken. It’s totally different from the chicken dished up at Northeast and the two Matt’s Fish Camps. This is more of a traditional preparation, on the bone, with a crunchy, peppery crust encircling moist and tender meat. I accompanied it with the pickled radishes and the cheese grits. The dish arrives with a little ramekin of honey to sweeten. Another entrée was the Smoked Bird (chicken) with a Thai accent. Wait ‘til you taste this one!

This is just a sneak peek, of course, so I still owe them a couple more visits before I write a full review. But I’ll be posting photos as I go along. So stop back here often for more info!

Thompson Island Brewery is in the Gateway Center near Fresh Market and Bluecoast Rehoboth. Parking is virtually unlimited. They are open 7 days. If you must call, call 302- 226-4467.

See the entire menu HERE.

The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

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  1. Avatar Mauro says:

    Maybe time for a follow up visit?
    We went a few days ago and were quite disappointed. Other than the beer flights which were good, there were few items that had us say wow, we want to come back. The sloppy joe eggrolls were burned (on the bottom – nice try!), some of the thickest eggroll wrapping I’ve ever had, and dripping with grease on the plate, literally in a pool of oil when served. The entrees were part cold, part warm, and part hot. As an example, I had the kung pao chicken sandwich which was good (chicken tending to over done) but the fries were cold – as in I’d guess pre-cooked earlier in the day, stuck in the fridge, and then “warmed” in the fryer before serving. That’s the only way I can think that they’d be served at less than room temperature! While our waiter was quite blasé when we told him, the manager did come and apologize and the cold food was replaced. Not a great first impression and certainly not up to SODEL’s standards that night!

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