New Jersey has certainly become a beer destination and therefore we are privy to lots of regional beers that may not have been distributed here otherwise. Victory Brewing is always brewing up something new and their Monkey series is one of my favorites. For the summer, they released a lower alcohol version infused with mango. Twisted Monkey is a Belgian-style blonde ale with mango. And at less than 6% it’s a great beer to enjoy on a warm summer day. Southern Tier has joined the light beer fray with Swipe Light, a 110 calorie sipper. But even the IPAs are not immune to infusion. You will see Peach IPAs, Mango IPAs and even Pepper IPAs. Traditionally, wheat beers become very prevalent this time of year because of their refreshing flavors and local breweries do a great job with them. Hidden Sands has made sours very popular and their Strawberry Wheat Sour is a flagship for them. Cape May produces lots of shandies for the warm weather and The Bog, a cranberry shandy is a fan favorite. Look for it in cans and on tap.
Congratulations to Bucket Brigade in Cape May Court House for winning two third place trophies at the AC Beer & Music Fest for their Axe Head Amber and their Crow Bar Cream Ale. They also were named Business of the Year in the brewing, winery and distillery category by the Middle Township Chamber of Commerce. They hope to purchase a new brewing system and aim to minimize shortages this summer. They have a mad brewing schedule to keep the beers flowing for their loyal customers.
Somers Point Brewing opened up to the thirsty throngs several weeks ago and the reviews are glowing. In addition to their flagships, they plan on brewing up some summer beers: Bay Rat Wit, a 5% Belgian-style witbier, and 7th Street Saison at 6.5% abv. Their logoed 64-ounce growlers have just arrived and are ready for filling as well as 32-ounce versions. They are open Thursdays from 4-9 p.m.; Fridays from 2-9 p.m.; Saturdays from noon-9 p.m. and Sundays from noon-6 p.m.
On Friday, May 10, Cape May Brewing ‘s Follow the Gull IPA returns in 16-ounce cans! “Originally brewed to celebrate Cape May County’s 325th anniversary, we brew Follow the Gull with a ridiculous amount of Citra, El Dorado, Azacca, and Amarillo hops, yielding a juicy and ultra-drinkable hop-bomb bursting with tropical and citrus aromas. Though the anniversary has passed, we loved Follow the Gull too much not to brew it again.”
And on Friday, May 24, Cape May will collaborate with Morey’s Piers in Wildwood to bring shore revelers a tasty new brew: Wildwooder! It is a hoppy kolsch and both companies are looking forward to this intriguing collaboration.
The big news for Oyster Creek in Waretown is that the brewery will celebrate its first anniversary on Saturday, May 4. “We are planning on having a few barrel aged selections available for that event. We are looking to expand our distribution over the next couple of months. Our popular BETAparticle Blood Orange Wheat Ale will be back on tap soon.”
Saturday is also Stars Wars Day and breweries all over will celebrate with events. Three 3s in Hammonton will have specials on that day. There will be games, trivia, prizes and beers. Dress up as your favorite character and stop in.
Another event on May 4 is the Coast Guard Community Festival. Taking place at the Cape May Coast Guard station from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be tours, demonstrations, live music, vendors, food and several local breweries on hand to pour beers. Bring the kids and enjoy a day out.
The Brew Jersey Homebrew Club will be set up at 200 Bellevue Ave. in Hammonton on Saturday, as well, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for the Big Brew Day. Members will be there brewing over 100 gallons of beer and all are invited to come out to watch, learn and participate in this annual event.
Cinco de Mayo is Sunday, so get your sombrero on and enjoy some spicy dishes with your golden lagers and lime. Visit Ship Bottom Brewing in Beach Haven for the release of Mexican cerveza in honor of this event. Later in the month, Blueberry Bikini Bottom Wheat Ale will hit the handles.
Plan on hitting the Tuckerton Seaport for their Annual Arts & Craft Beer Fest 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25. Bring the family and enjoy all that the Seaport has to offer along with a few local beers and some munchies from the food trucks too! Shop for crafts from local vendors and tour the historic village.
Maynard’s in Margate will host the Ms. Wheelchair New Jersey fundraiser on May 19. For $20 advance tickets, stop and enjoy good food, house wine and beer. There will also be raffles and games all day.