CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY
A cozy café-styled firehouse in the heart of Cape May’s Court House district on Main Street, BUCKET BRIGADE BREWERY opened autumn, 2017. Brotherly firemen Karl and Kurt Hughes teamed up with long-time friend and brewmaster, Mark McPherson, to ‘extinguish your thirst’ with a bucket list of traditional styled beers.
The little engine red joint features a small L-shaped bar made from reclaimed wood with 12-plus fire-handled draught taps and TV’s on opposing sides. Metal chairs with flaming red cushions dot the walls and three small tables fill out the diminutive interior.
I grab a seat at one of the overhead garage door’s cement counters to sample five of the ten available brews this warm Saturday afternoon, April ’19.
As the first beer rushes down my gullet, a cavalcade of Harley bikers pass the Bucket Brigade in style.
Mild lemony grapefruit tang embellished the banana-clove-bubblegum expectancy of Halligan Hefeweizen, sitting softly on the tongue while developing slight vanilla sweetness.
Honey-licked apple and pear spicing contrasted rye-dried black tea pungency for crisply clean moderation, Axe Head Amber Ale.
Rustic English-styled(?) Chiefs IPA brought straw-dried buckwheat, alfalfa and raw wheat minerality to grassy-hopped lemon wedging in a moderate setting.
Dried fruited cocoa powdering and mild chocolate malting provoke Pump Primer Porter.
Peanut-buttered chocolate roast and dry cocoa tones gain oily hop resin at the finish of semi-rich Steam Engine Oatmeal Stout.