#PeopleOfWilmDE: Craig Wensell

Craig Wensell is the President /CEO and Master Brewer of Wilmington Brew Works, and is this week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE! 

“I first moved to Wilmington 15 years ago as a professional freelance bassist. My ex-wife got a job here and my skills were such that I could easily find work in the area. I turned the page, but still love the area because of the climate and the proximity to all sorts of history and if I need to escape- the airport is right there!

A few surprising facts about me are: 

  1. I am a classically trained bassist. I still get the opportunity to perform from time to time.
  2. I served in Afghanistan as a Blackhawk Helicopter Crew chief. I logged over 1000 accident-free flight hours including 750 night vision combat hours. This was one of the best and worst times in my life and I still have cherished friendships from this experience.
  3. I absolutely LOVE baseball. I am fortunate enough to play on the Diamond State Baseball team. We play a historic form of baseball using very early rules, no gloves, and really interesting fields to play on!

My favorite Wilmington attractions are the parks. This is such a beautiful part of the country and our parks really highlight that beauty for me, including our awesome Riverfront! I enjoy walking in the parks, but I also play Disc Golf with my kids… Well, my youngest will do this with me for fun, but my older two will do it grudgingly- teens, what can you do?

If I were to paint a picture of the best weekend in Wilmington it would look something like this: Meet up at Wilmington Brew Works for a beer or two and a light snack from La Pizzeria Metro. Then head down to The Grand to take in a Delaware Symphony concert. Afterward, step across the street for a drink and an appetizer at Chelsea Tavern or Stitch House. Saturday morning would start with a trip to the Brandywine YMCA for a good hard workout then off to play a little disc golf at one of our area parks- my home course is Bellevue Park. Hopefully, the Blue Rocks have an afternoon game. Then for a fancy night out, I hit either Snuff Mill or Bardea. Sunday morning is perfect for sleeping in, and then off to The Bellefonte Cafe or Goobers for a killer brunch. Because I’m a Daddy, my Sunday afternoons are usually reserved for laundry and sports on TV. If I get lucky I can usually throw something on the smoker too!

Wilmington has been an amazing place to be professional. The people around town are all very focused on their businesses, and creating a better city to live in. The city planners and Mayor have been very helpful when pointing me in the right direction. I’ve lived in places where it seemed like people’s priorities have been to show off the things they own and my perception of our town is that people here love to demonstrate how much they care about each other. It seems like a recognition of the saying, ‘a rising tide lifts all ships.’ It’s so easy to focus on my business and to help lift others up! I am very lucky to be able to work with many different organizations through Wilmington Brew Works. Most recently we have worked with Meals on Wheels.

I’m very excited about the food and beverage scene in Wilmington right now. It’s great to explore all the restaurants around whether it be fine dining or a diner. 

One of the moments that I believe we, as Wilmingtonians, can be the proudest of is the most recent presidential election. It put a spotlight on Wilmington and the world was able to see some of our wonderful amenities! During that time, we released a beer that got some national coverage as well… That was too cool!

Finally, I would say that as a small business owner, I have a terrible work-life balance. I don’t get to do as much as I or my kids would like. So my advice to Wilmingtonians is to make efforts and search out new places to go get meals or drinks every weekend. Wilmington has so many great entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry. At Wilmington Brew Works we try to create engaging activities regularly. Get out and try something new!”

You can keep up with Craig by following him on Instagram. Follow Wilmington Brew Works on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Check out details on the upcoming Wilmington Beer Week, which celebrates our area’s local breweries!

To nominate next week’s #PeopleOfWilmDE, email us at info@wilmtoday.com. Read more #PeopleOfWilmDE posts here. Follow us on InstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube, and TikTok.

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