The brewing scene in the Garden State continues to expand at an astounding rate. Every day I hear of a new brewery in planning or building stages. Not all are in our part of the state, but as these breweries grow, more may be encouraged to come online down here.
Aside from the latest expansions of Cape May Brewing, Tuckahoe and Glasstown, 2015 will be a banner year for new brewery openings. Little Dog Brewing in Neptune, Forgotten Boardwalk in Cherry Hill, Spellbound Brewing and Village Idiot in Mt. Holly, Belford Brewing in Belford and Lunacy Brewing in Magnolia just opened and the new East Coast Beer brewery in Belmar is moving along nicely. Breweries in various stages of planning are: Sea Isle Brewing, Garden State Beer Co. in Galloway, Third State Brewing in Burlington, Brix City in Little Ferry, Demented Brewing in Middlesex, Conclave in Raritan, Screamin’ Hill Brewery at Bullock Farms in Cream Ridge, Man Skirt Brewing in Hackettstown, Berlin Brewing in Berlin, Slack Tide Brewing in Cape May County, Cypress Brewing in Edison, Dark City Brewing in Asbury Park, Departed Soles in Jersey City, Tomfoolery in Hammonton, Asbury Park Brewing, Backward Flag in Ocean County, Lower Forge in Medford, Brooks Brewing at Northside Pub in Manville and Stibinger Brothers in Sparta. Those are what I could find on those that are seriously planning to open. Perhaps there are even more.
When I coauthored “New Jersey Breweries” with Lew Bryson in 2008, the joke was, when is your pamphlet coming out? Not far from wrong, there were only a handful of breweries and brewpubs open and not many more bars that even served good beer. Now everywhere you go in the state, you find local beers and a great selection of regional and international brews.
That, of course, increases the amount of events that take place throughout the area. “Local” has become the new rallying cry and tap takeovers and beer dinners have flourished in popular restaurants around here. Next time, I will delve further into the beer dinner phenomenon.
On the beer side, Cape May Brewing will release six new beers at its tasting room over the next six Thursdays. Add that to the “One Off Wednesdays” and you get 12 beers over six weeks. The taproom, located at 1288 Hornet Road in Rio Grande, is open from noon to 8 p.m. every day.
Saturday, Feb. 21: Big Brew Beer Fest, Morristown Armory,430 Western Ave., Morristown. More than 200 beers. Noon to 10:30 p.m. Tickets cost $85 for VIP; $60 for general admission. Go to BigBrewNJ.com for tickets and info.
Feb. 26: Macallan Master Class by Passion Vines, Greate Bay Country Club, 901 Mays Landing Road, Somers Point, 6p.m. $70. Call 888-601-8463 or go to PassionVines.com to register.
March 3: Carton Brewing Event, Passion Vines, 265 New Road, Somers Point, 6:30p.m., $20. Call 888-601-8463 or go to PassionVines.com to register.
March 20 and 21: Atlanitc City Beer and Music Fest. Tickets available at Joe Canals in Egg Harbor Township and Black Horse Pike or Ticketmaster. Don’t miss this 10th Anniversary celebration!