12 Mile Circ… no wait, 16!

On March 22, 2011 · 4 Comments

Look at the bottle my wife brought home from the grocery store a few days ago.

16 Mile Brewing Company Bottle

Can you see the name of the brewery on the bottle? That’s the 16 Mile Brewing Company. More importantly, the brewery is located in Delaware. Now, I’ve heard of a certain 12 Mile referenced in Delaware before (look at the top of the page if you need a hint) but 16 Mile was brand new to me. I had to consult their website:

The 16 Mile Brewing Company name hearkens back to the late 1700’s when Georgetown was still known as Pettijohn’s old field, a rather isolated town, centrally located in Sussex County. The area was "16 miles from anywhere" in the county and was the best place for farmers, merchants, and politicians to meet to conduct official business.

It’s a rare confluence of two of my greatest enjoyments: geo-weirdness and beer-geekery!

This is one of those times that I wish I could combine the functionality of various online mapping services into a single super-system. Wouldn’t it be awesome to show a map with county lines and a circle of specific radius from a known point, which could then be embedded within a WordPress blog? Well, get over it. That doesn’t exist, or more accurately, I don’t have the technical ability to produce it. I’ll give you the next best thing, though: an image that shows a sixteen mile radius around Georgetown made using Free Map Tools and a link to a map with Sussex County boundaries.

Sixteen Miles Around Georgetown Delaware

You’ll have to use your imagination but you’ll see that the "16 miles from anywhere" in Sussex County is remarkably accurate. I’m constantly amazed at the number of geo-oddities packed into tiny Delaware. This one is closer to the Transpeninsular Line than it is to its more famous 12 Mile cousin at the other end of the state but it’s a circle and it’s in Delaware and it’s good enough for me. I’ll be sure to stop at the brewery the next time I’m on the way to Rehoboth Beach. I’ll be the one talking about all those crazy circles in Delaware.

I tried the beer over the weekend. It was their Old Court Ale that they describe as "An American-style ale that reserves the right to be different. A bit lighter in body, Old Court provides a citrusy hop aroma and caramel finish." I found it nicely malty, with a dark amber hue and very drinkable. I could probably do more justice to the description if it had been my first beer of the evening rather than the last. I’ll leave it to the likes of regular reader Daniel Harper of Zymurgical Explorations to someday get around to that.

I also found it interesting that the 22 ounce container isn’t a bottle at all but an aluminum can that’s shaped like a bottle. That’s a nice size but wouldn’t it be more appropriate for 16 Mile to serve their beverages in 16 ounce increments to take advantage of the numerical symmetry?

I know of only one other brewery with a tenuous geo-oddity connection now that I think about it: Southern Tier Brewing Company sits right off the Southern Tier Expressway in western New York. Take the expressway a couple hundred miles towards the east and you’ll hit a stretch of highway that’s signed for New York but runs through Pennsylvania briefly. I told you it was tenuous.

With no other major contenders, I hereby proclaim 16 Mile to be the official beverage of the 12 Mile Circle blog.

On March 22, 2011 · 4 Comments

4 Responses to “12 Mile Circ… no wait, 16!”

  1. Hey, thanks for the link! We’ll see if I get a bunch of traffic from fellow beer geeks who also love strange geography.

    I’ll be on the lookout for this one, but given how little I travel (budgetary reasons, I assure you) and the surely limited distribution, it’ll be a long, long time before I get the chance to pick this one up.

    BTW, while I’m posting a comment do you happen to know of any geographical weirdness afoot in my current locale, Kalamazoo, MI? Or the spot where I lived for nearly a decade (and will probably always consider my “hometown”), Huntsville, AL?


    • I’d love to see the Venn diagram of that population. Let’s see; you, me, umm… well, please let me know if you do find anyone else. I’ll try to keep my eyes open for another bottle/can (whatever it’s called) of 16 Mile and see if I can get one out to you eventually. Kalamazoo and Huntsville sound like calls to action and I enjoy a good puzzle, so thanks for the suggestions. I’ll put them on the list and save them for a rainy day.

  2. Bill Harris says:

    Georgetown also had a bit of geo-oddity: until 1986 it was one of the few towns with perfectly circular boundaries. No more, alas.

    Georgetown’s other claim to fame is the bi-annual Returns Day celebration. Two days after Election Day, all candidates for state-wide office, and a lot of other politicos, gather in Georgetown to listen to the county returns and to literally “bury the hatchet.” Lots of fun and an event that could only happen in Delaware.


  3. Hm says:

    The county seat was moved farther inland long ago, to Georgetown, to be far away from the coast and hurricanes/storms. It is a fascinating town and a great place to live. Along with Return Day, there is the annual Oyster Eat – for men only. The ladies get a Shrimp Boil on the same day. 🙂

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