Philadelphia is arguably America’s best beer drinking city, with a plethora of fine tap houses to patronize and a seemingly year-round calendar of events culminating with Philly Beer Week. The high demand for craft beer is additionally leading to a proliferation of quality places well outside the city limits. Delaware may be slight in size, yet it contains many excellent spots to include on your beer radar. Two Stones Pub is perhaps the epicenter and it is easily one of the best establishments in the entire state. Two Stones gained a legion of loyal followers since opening in Newark two years ago, becoming a notable destination for beer enthusiasts and foodies alike. Don’t be fooled by outside appearances, upon entry it is evident that this is a beer-centric joint; the back wall is affixed with a massive chalkboard detailing 24 craft draught selections and usually one cask option as well. A giant Buddha statue presides over the double L-shaped bar, which serves as the heart of the pub, while high top tables finish out the main area. A separate back room provides more seating, allowing for a quieter dining experience.
American craft breweries dominate the tap handles and one can usually find a contingency of offerings from near and far, including Dogfish Head, Evolution, Victory, Stone, Brooklyn, and Allagash, to name a few. The taps rotate often, allowing for solid options in a variety of styles and strengths. The staff frequently updates the draft list via social media, enabling customers to stay on top of what will be pouring from the lines prior to each visit. Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace seems to be a house favorite and this outstanding saison is a regular in the rotation. The bar staff is knowledgeable and willing to offer a helpful sample pour prior to settling on a selection. An impressive bottle list with 85 choices is also available to further complicate the decision making process.
Two Stones puts forth great care and commitment into their food offerings as well, whipping up some of the tastiest cuisine around. The menu options are quite diverse, focusing on much more than just your typical pub fare. House favorites include Parmesan truffle fries, jumbo hog wings, fish tacos, and for those looking to indulge—a decadent foie gras topped burger. Daily lunch and dinner entrée specials ensure that there is always innovative food coming from the back of the house. The kitchen shows its jovial side during weekly themed Taco Tuesday while Sunday brunch is quite serious business at Two Stones. Items change weekly but normally include some reincarnation of a breakfast burger and the smokehouse meat special paired with a selected brew.
Six-course monthly beer dinners frequently sell out well in advance and this is where the kitchen raises the culinary stakes to an even higher level. The back room is the ideal setting for these events; lucky patrons can expect artisanal food expertly paired with accompanying beers. A recent menu course included a sashimi trio with Kona Kampachi, blood orange tiradito, and salmon tartare; served with minced mint and grapefruit, along with a homemade tuna roll. A fresh draft of Evolution Lot #6 matched perfectly with this well-executed dish.
Two Stones preaches a believe nothing, try everything philosophy. Pay a visit to sample their many offerings; you will undoubtedly believe that this is indeed a temple worthy of great respect. Two Stones Pub also opened a second Delaware location at the corner of Foulk and Naamans Road in North Wilmington, featuring a more industrial vibe along with 32 draft selections and two casks. Two Stones Pub is located at 2 Chesmar Plaza, Route 4 & Marrows Road, Newark, DE 19713.