Happy New Year!
We all see the New Year as being a time to start over and make resolutions. My resolution this year will be to visit all the breweries in New Jersey that I have not been to yet. I am open to anyone tagging along and I will keep my activity journal up on Facebook.
2018 was an amazing year for beer in the Garden State. We were blessed with a multitude of new breweries as well as the introduction of some great beers from other states being sold here. Tap takeovers and beer dinners have become a common occurrence and more people are opening up to the world of craft beer.
The first local brewery in our area, Tun Tavern, has once again handed over the brewing reins to a new brewmaster. Brad Judge actually began to brew in Nicaragua when he went there to manage a bed and breakfast. Returning to the US, he found the job opening in A.C. and now wows the locals with his brewing prowess. The recent collaboration with Little Water Distillery, Whitecap Barrel-Aged Stout, was a big hit and I expect more to come from the new guy.
The “Friends Giving” fundraiser instituted by Cape May Brewing, Double Nickel Brewing, Tonewood Brewing and Urban Village raised $75,326 for local food charities. This was the first year for this event and I am sure that it will see a lot of growth over the next few years. Cape May Brewing has become a local mainstay for charity giving in the area. They not only make amazing beers, but they also give support to all things local. To go from a very tiny brewery to what they are today in just seven years shows what effect caring for your customers can have. Follow their events on Facebook and support them in their work to make the area a better place.
Bucket Brigade Brewing in Cape May Court House and Ludlam Island in Ocean View have joined the nationwide effort to raise money for the Camp Fire in California. Resilience is a fund started by Sierra Nevada Brewing to raise money for the victims of the devastating fire. Ludlam recently released their Butte County Pride IPA and Bucket Brigade will release theirs this month.
Bucket Brigade also has its eyes set on an upgraded system and will also begin limited distribution in the area. Stop in for their Crooked Creek Kolsch named after the creek that runs by the brewery.
A newly-opened pub in Atlantic City is the Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall at 133 S. Tennessee Ave. Featuring 40 taps of craft beer and over 100 bottles for your drinking pleasure, they also offer a complete menu and full bar serving lunch and dinner as well as happy hour snacks.
I recently attended an amazing beer dinner at Maynard’s in Margate. One of the last remaining vestiges of Margate’s bar scene, I was pleasantly surprised by the eclectic selections on tap there with craft beers leading the charge. This place hasn’t changed much over the years and is still the epitome of an old neighborhood taproom. The dinner featured Hidden Sands beers paired with great cuisine by Chef Stephanie Merrill.
The reps from Hidden Sands gave us the lowdown on each beer and what was happening at the brewery and the chef deconstructed the food selections. Look for any future events here as they will be worth the time.
I spoke to Jeff Thomas at Charlies Bar in Somers Point and he assures me that more craft events will be happening there. An amazing tavern known for its incredible wings, Charlie’s has also begun to delve into the craft beer craze. I am sure that when Somers Point Brewing opens its doors, Charlie’s will be right there to support them.
Support your locals and drink responsibly!