Mark Haynie

Vernon Ogrodnek//////////////// Mark Haynie, beer columnist for At The Shore.

In spring a person’s fancy turns to beer, beaches, BBQ and baseball. The advent of longer days and warmer temps invigorates us to accomplish what we left lay all winter. That includes getting out and enjoying ourselves. With 11 breweries now open in Cape May County, six in Atlantic County and 10 in Ocean County, there is no excuse not to explore the local area’s beers.

We will add one more to the Atlantic County tally soon with the opening of SoPo Brewing Co. in Somers Point. Finally you will be able to chill once again at the old Somers Point Ice Co. building at 705 W. New York Ave. Taps start pouring 4 p.m. Thursday, April 11, until 9 p.m. They continue from 2-9 p.m. Friday, April 12; noon-9 p.m on Saturday, April 13, and noon-6 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. Some of the brews you’ll get to enjoy are: AYCE Oatmeal Stout, Beesely’s Point Brown, Big Fish DIPA, Big Nose Blonde, Flake News NEIPA, OC Amber and Points West IPA. It will be a great day for Somers Point and will fill the dry gap between Cape May County and Egg Harbor Township. Hope to see everyone there.

Expansion continues for some locals also. Slack Tide in Ocean View is adding 60BBL of fermentation to their capacity, giving them the capability to brew 120BBL at a time. Congratulations are in order for this local brewery for winning the Craft Beer Madness Competition from a North Jersey publication. Great job, guys!

Ludlam Island will reprise its annual release of The Big Dirty, a 2x DIPA brewed with oats and wheat 4:20 p.m. Saturday, April 20. This event will be held rain or shine under the big tent with Hank Sauce supplying the eats.

The new guy on the block, Coho Brewing in Cape May Court House will do a Coho county-wide Easter Egg Hunt where followers will have a chance to win prizes and a chance to win a mug club membership. They have decided to implement limited distribution in the area. You can find them on tap at The Mad Batter in Cape May, The Rio Station in Rio Grande, The Salty Mermaid in North Wildwood and Passion Vines in Egg Harbor Township.

Their new neighbor, Gusto Brewing in North Cape May, is getting up and running with new beers coming online all the time. Check their FaceBook page for new info.

Three 3s in Hammonton is serving up their great saisons and IPAs and will be visited by Hog Day Afternoon BBQ Food Truck Saturday, April 6, and Friday, May 10, and by Potato, Patoto on Friday, April 12.

Tomfoolery released its Fool’s Beer this month which should be on tap for a while. Brewed as a mystery beer, you need to come taste it to guess its style.

On April 20, Cape May Brewing will release their kettle-soured, New England-style IPA, Twin Fin. Brewed in collaboration with Iron Hill Brewery, Twin Fin is infused with juicy hop aroma and an enticing tartness, exhibiting flavors of pineapple, tart lemon, and tropical fruits. A portion of each sale will benefit the Surfrider Foundation, a powerful activist network dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches.” It will be available in 16-ounce cans and on draft.

On April 15, they will reprise their popular summer wheat, Summer Catch, for its third year. On the same day, a fan favorite returns in 12-ounce cans — a first. The Bog, Cape May’s well-loved cranberry shandy, is coming back. A tart cranberry wheat beer blended with lemonade, it is light and refreshing and perfect for warmer weather.

Up on Long Beach Island, Ship Bottom Brewing will release fan favorites Chicken or the Egg IPA and One Love IPA.

Stop by Bucket Brigade in Cape May Court House for their new offerings and enjoy them on the patio. Check out the new crowler labels honoring the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. A portion of each crowler sold will be donated to the cause.

Little Water Distillery in A.C. has become a popular place for cocktails with fresh spirits and even did a collaboration with Pinelands Brewing on a cocktail using their Liberty Rum and Pineland’s Passion in the Pines. Currently you can find this unique libation at Wingcraft in A.C. They have recently released a craft gin made with local ingredients named Rusted Revolver after finding that object buried in the floor when digging in drains.

A.C. BEER FEST WINNERS

Congratulations to all the winners at the A.C. Beer and Music Fest! Here is a list of our locals who won awards:

Bucket Brigade: 3rd Place in Lagers for Crow Bar Cream Ale and 3rd Place in Malt Forward Ale for Axe Head Amber Ale

Three 3’s: 1st Place NEIPA for Back In Reality

Garden State: 3rd Place in Wheat for Blue Jersey American Wheat

Mudhen: 2nd Place in Porter for Captain Doug’s Porter, pictured above.

Slack Tide: 2nd Place in West Coast IPA for Angrey Osprey IPA

Ship Bottom: 2nd Place in Pilsner for Czech Pilsner

Manafirkin: 3rd Place in Stouts for Wake The Firk Up

Vinyl: 1st Place in Sours for Glitch In The Matrix

Pinelands: 2nd Place IPA for Swamp Donkey.

Get our Best Bets at the Jersey shore delivered to your inbox every Wednesday, just in time to plan your weekend!

Associate Editor, At The Shore/ACWeekly

Freelance reporter for At The Shore/Atlantic City Insiders from 2011-2015; Editor in Chief, MainStreetMarlboro.com,2014-2015; Writer for Zagat, 2013

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