Seacrets was as quiet as it gets at 10 a.m. in the middle of winter. The renovations and maintenance mostly were complete but the bar had yet to be stocked. As far as I could tell I was the only one in the place. The woman who tends the palm trees had gone to find assistant bar manager Adam Peix, who was going to walk me through the Seacrets beer selection and as I waited I marveled at how massively silent the beach bar was. There were a few people left, buzzing around in preparation for the Feb. 9 reopening, but most of the work was done and now it was just a matter of waiting.
Adam joined me in short order. He’s tall and pleasant and has that kind of loosey-goosey aura that hides expertise common to many if not most beverage pros. For those on the outside, Seacrets has this constant party atmosphere. But that kind of managed chaos only works if there’s a solid plan of execution. That’s kinda what winters are for.
The best and the lightest
On a normal day, Seacrets carries five local beers: Namaste by Dogfish Head, White Marlin Pale Ale by Fin city, Just the Tip by Burley, Tropicale by Seacrets (via Evolution Craft Brewing) and Lot 3 by Evolution Craft Brewing. Lot 3 is the biggest of the beers, all of which have different characters. This, Adam said, is by design.
It was something of a fight to get craft beer in at Seacrets, especially four or five years ago. The trouble and concern was that so many of the craft beers were also high alcohol (many at the time had two to three times the alcohol as an average Bud Light).
“Seacrets is the kind of place where you come to spend the day,” Adam said. “So we needed lower alcohol beers.”
For the uninitiated, if you usually drank two Coors Lights per hour, drinking two, say, 90 Minute IPAs from Dogfish was like having more than four. Multiply this over time and it can be iffy. Namaste, however, has essentially the same alcohol content, but twice (or three times) the flavor, so you can drink a couple responsibly. Tropicale, designed by Evo specifically for Seacrets essentially has the same advantage as well.
Taking your work home
When he’s not at work, though, Adam has a great time going out to find and try new beers and local favorites. His favorite overall, he said, was Rude Boy by Burley Oak.
“I can’t drink more than two or three because they’re over eight percent,” he said.
Speaking of IPAs
Adam describes himself as an IPA drinker “through and through.”
“If you looked in my fridge you probably would see Ballast Point, Lagunitas, Dogfish or Evolution at an given time,” he said. “I love a good 90 Minute on draft but, to be fair, the IPA I consume most throughout the year would have to be Evo’s Lot 3.”
A recent sour convert
Adam never had been much of a fan of sour beers, but this summer he, like many of us, had his head turned by Dogfish Head’s new Seaquench Ale. It’s limey and salty but in the best way. He was gifted a six-pack by Dogfish owner Sam Calagione during the big release events last spring.
“For me it was the right blend of beer and sour,” he said. “It certainly was a beer I could drink all day.”
Adam talked about the upcoming Love on Tap event at Seacrets. Last year was pretty great but he feel like this year might be even better.
“It was cool having all the different beers here to try,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
This year there will be more breweries and more beers to taste. It will be the best opportunity to get a sense of each of the breweries on the Shore all in one room which is pretty rare, and pretty spectacular.