OCEAN VIEW, NEW JERSEY
Inside a gray aluminum warehouse right off the NJ Parkway in Ocean View, LUDLAM ISLAND BREWERY opened its doors in 2016. A wood sign with baby blue Ludlam Island emblem guards the entrance to the large-scale microbrewery.
There are large brew tanks serving the silver-topped serving station in the meager cement-floored pub room (featuring five bar stools, slight center table wall seating). Ludlam Island began canning recently. My wife and I tossed down eight worthy brews that displayed colorful flavor profiles on a cool Friday evening, February ’20.
Soft-toned floral citrus tang rode atop herbal oats-dried German pilsner malting for Lawn Chair Hoppy Pilsner, picking up mild melon-guava-gooseberry souring and leathery barnyard acridity.
Easygoing orange-juiced lemon zesting and yellow grapefruit tang fronted Fish Alley IPA, an amber-hazed moderation with sticky pine resin coating its dry pale malt spine.
Lactic vanilla-creamed strawberry bluster hoisted yogurt-soured yellow grapefruit bittering to contrast tangy tangerine juicing for Creamsickle-like dessert treasure, Thickie Strawberry Milkshake IPA, leaving Peach Melba, strawberry shortcake and vanilla cake illusions in its wake.
Tangy yellow grapefruit spicing and light wood dankness marked sunny moderate-medium body Water Guns & Rainbows IPA.
Tropical-fruited DIPA #2, a yellow-hazed New England India Pale Ale, laced tidy gooseberry-guava souring with nestled juniper bittering to contrast mango-salted pineapple, peach and grapefruit tanginess.
Ashen walnut and salted peanut roast gained sour dried fruiting for Bay Muck Brown Ale.
Creamily decadent Double Polar Bear Smoked Vanilla Porter (10% ABV) allowed smoky vanilla beans to serenade hazelnut-glazed brown chocolate sweetness and dried cocoa powdering.
Spectacular Whiskey Barrel-aged Polar Bear Vanilla Porter brought lusciously silken bourbon vanilla sweetness to brown chocolate, dark cherry, toasted coconut and hazelnut pleasantries.