Dogfish Head, Milton/Rehoboth Beach, Del.
The Discovery Channel killed his Brew Masters series but beer fans can still get a look inside the mind of Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione through tours of Dogfish Head's Milton brewery and seeing how he reverse-engineered the recipe for Midas Touch based on an ancient Turkish recipe from remnants left in a 2,700-year-old drinking vessel in King Midas' tomb. If you're lucky, perhaps you'll see the secret behind the Theobroma, a chocolate beer based on chemical analysis of a more than 2,000-year-old Aztec pottery fragments found in Honduras.
If all of that sounds a little bit too much like summer school for even hardened beer geeks on vacation, time a tasting at the brewery to happy hour at Dogfish Head's Rehoboth Beach brewpub and distillery. It's technically a brewpub, but its giant burgers and big plates of pita and cheese (known as Dogpiles) combine well with small-batch, brewpub-only scratch brews such as Noble Rot and Zeno and offerings from the upstairs distillery including Dogfish rum, vodka and "Jin," a gin distilled with pineapple mint, juniper berry, green peppercorn and rosemary.
Once you're done, you're in the middle of one of the most popular summer destinations on the East Coast. Rehoboth Beach's population swells from less than 1,500 year-round to more than 20,000 during the summer as the beaches, boardwalk, Sea Witch Festival and Independent Film Festival draw the throngs down Routes 1 and 1A and into the hotels.