AT THE SHORE
Hammonton is now becoming a hub for beer, wine and spirits in South Jersey. The home of numerous wineries for many years, its first craft brewery opened in December.
Tomfoolery Brewing, the child of Shawn Grigus and his wife, Gayle D’Abate, opened to eager crowds at 334 Washington St., Unit 24B. Grigus was known as the owner of Tap-It, a homebrew shop in Egg Harbor City, and is a well-respected brewer.
After years of trying to find his niche, he landed in Hammonton, in an old building that was once the bottling plant for Eastern Brewing Corp. They are serving up a nice assortment of six styles in a flight or a pint. Taproom hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 3 p.m. Sundays.
Across the street, at 333 Washington St., Three 3s is putting the finishing touches on their brewery and will open Friday, Jan. 22, from 5 to 9 p.m. If you can’t make that, they will be open noon to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Dave Tomasello (no relation to the wine family) bought and renovated the building and will brew up some fine ales. He expects this will be his retirement job, so we can expect to see a lot of tasty brews in the future.
Not far away on South Egg Harbor Road, Pinelands Distillery is setting up shop to brew some craft bourbons. Bourbon is really trending right now and some great local products will only move to pique the interest in this wonderful spirit. The effort by Lou and Joe Giansante will bring the second distillery into the area after Lazy Eye Distillery in Richland opened last year, producing craft vodkas. More info to appear in my next article.
Lots of things are going on at Vagabond Kitchen and Taphouse in Atlantic City. On Friday, Jan 22, there will be a viewing party for the show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” whose eccentric chef Guy Fieri and his film crew visited Vagabond in October. The viewing party is at 10 p.m. In celebration, there will be food and beer specials including half-priced tequila shrimp bangers, Guy’s three-way sandwich, a turkey-apple Brie sandwich, and $5 select craft beers. On Thursday, Feb. 4, there will be a Flying Dog Tap Takeover featuring The Truth Double IPA, World Premier, Raging Bitch Belgian IPA, Bloodline Blood Orange Pale Ale, and Snake Dog American IPA. A representative will also be on site to answer any questions. On Sunday, Feb. 7, watch the Super Bowl at Vagabond on their multiple big screens, and enjoy free tacos at halftime.
I hope you made your reservations for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Beer Dinner starting 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, at the Cape May terminal, located at1200 Lincoln Blvd. in North Cape May, featuring Glasstown Brewing of Millville. This four-course gourmet extravaganza is $59 per person. Reservations are required and can be made from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at 1-800-643-3779.
Mark Haynie is a craft-beer expert who lives in Somers Point and travels extensively to find new beers. He is a contributor to the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News and is the co-author of the book New Jersey Breweries with Lew Bryson. His column runs every other week.