While it might seem like breweries are popping up like wildflowers, our passion for them isn’t waning. Especially when they make good beer, and that’s exactly what the guys at Hidden Sands Brewing Company in Egg Harbor Township are doing. With a grand opening slated for this weekend, there’s no better time to head to Hidden Sands, which will celebrate its opening weekend 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday with tastings, food trucks, football, growlers for sale and more. Here are five reasons we think you need to be there.
1. The water. Call us crazy, but when we think of breweries, we think of beer, not water. But the guys at Hidden Sands Brewing Company have — lucky for us — thought just as much about the ingredients that make up their beer, primarily water. Rather than using whatever water might be available to them, Hidden Sands drilled through two aquifers to get to the Atlantic City Sands Aquifer, enabling them to create beer from a pure water source. Think of it like craft beer on overdrive. Hidden Sands doesn’t just locally source its ingredients, they source their own water, as well.
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2. The brews. The full lineup of Hidden Sands beer is set to include a well-rounded selection, with plenty of choices for every palate, including 800’ Pilsner, Pump Handle Honey Wheat, the Unfathomable Depth IPA Series (including 107’ IPA, 608’ Double IPA and 447’ New England IPA), Red Headed Session Ale, First Drop (a coffee maple Baltic porter), Sandblasted Sour Series (which will include an unflavored sour as well as peach, plum and guava sours), Sandy Blue Pale Ale and Cranberry Plum Wheat. Most of these will be available on grand opening weekend. We’ve sampled the Double IPA and it’s a good one. But don’t take our word for it … try it yourself.
3. The brewery. Many of our favorite breweries started off as garage establishments and later converted to more polished operations, but Hidden Sands Brewing Company has raised the bar by starting off with a state-of-the-art process. With a fully automated 20-barrel system, Hidden Sands has a production method that will allow them to consistently produce the same quality beer. But it’s not just the brewing system that’s impressive. That water source we discussed? It taps into such great water that Hidden Sands makes their ice out of it, serves it flat and serves it sparkling. The brewery has three floors, two of which boast tasting rooms and a third floor overlooking the brewery with plenty of seating. There’s no shortage of space at this joint.
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4. The food. According to New Jersey law, breweries cannot serve food. With that said, there are no restrictions on bringing in your own food and getting your nosh on while you sample some brews. During grand opening weekend, however, Hidden Sands Brewing Company will host some food trucks to keep you well-fed. Enjoy grub from Smokey’s World, Bare Knuckle Cafe and other food trucks throughout the weekend.
5. The crowlers. It’s not a typo. Hidden Sands Brewing Company will sell both growlers and crowlers, 32 oz. aluminum cans sealed with a crowler machine. So, you’ll have a craft beer, directly from the brewery, that isn’t in danger of going flat or breaking on the ride home. Crowlers are available for $10 each. Growler refills are $15 for 64 ounces and $10 for 32 ounces. New growlers (empty) are $11. Though these are great ways to take your beer home, trying them at the brewery is part of the fun. We recommend getting a flight (each comes with four 5-ounce glasses) for $8, a Round Trip flight for $15 or a Round Trip with a layover for $21.