A few miles from the Maryland border just off Route 13 in a nondescript brown aluminum double-wide trailer, 3RD WAVE BREWING took over the space previously occupied by Evolution Brewery (before its great expansion) during September 2012. A cozy cubbyhole-like pub with 8-seat tasting bar, a few stool tables, glass-encased brew tanks, low drop ceiling and wall-strewn surfboards, 3rd Wave concentrates on providing stylishly efficient and well-rounded brews covering a wide spectrum of flavors. And a makeshift patio with picnic benches and cheap party lights attracts the summer beach crowd. My initial visit came in April ’16.
Ostensibly a flagship offering also available in bottles, 3rd Wave 1st Wave IPA tendered a sharp citric-spiced Cascade hop bittering and subsidiary floral-fruited frolic above its crisp barley base. A tad more aggressive, Bombora Double IPA brought its brisk yellow grapefruit tang to the piney hop bitterness contrasting sugary crystal malts.
Sour champagne wining embraced North Bay Sour IPA, a lightly pungent brettanomyces yeast-infected wild ale with lemony grapefruit tartness cresting over acidulated malts.
Like a tart cherry lollipop, More Cherry Lager retained its moderate red cherry sweetness above astringent hop spicing and wheat-honeyed spine.
Sinewy honey sweetened Shoreline Honey Ginger Cream Ale, a delicate ginger-spiced moderation, gained spritzy orange tartness.
Using Big Barrel Bourbon Belgian Quad as its base, 3rd Wave 136 Strong Ale, aged in Cruzen rum barrels, let its lemony orange marmalade tang absorb crystal malt sugaring.
Charcoal-smoked dark roast coffee and dark chocolate syruping received bittersweet blueberry puree lacquering to create the rich ‘n creamy Blue Balls Blueberry Porter.
Dark-roast coffee affluence also pervaded Dawn Patrol Coffee And Cream Stout, a full-bodied mocha dessert for hearty thirsts.
During June ’16 revisit, found five more previously untried libations.
First up, soft-toned light body, Beach Juice Berliner, brought stylishly salty lemon-limed tartness to woodruff syruping, leaving a mouth-puckering lactobacillus sourness at the finish.
Mild Beachbreak Apricot Wheat allowed polite apricot sweetness to pick up fig-dried hop astringency above its honeyed Graham Cracker base. A powdered orange tang reinforced crisp Gibson Orange Wheat, a spritzy seltzer-like moderation with navel orange, clementine and tangerine influence.
Lovely Sandstorm Belgian Tripel coalesced tangy orange sweetness with rum-spiced banana daiquiri boozing and candi-sugared pineapple-mango-cantaloupe juicing to contrast mustily sharp resinous hop bittering as well as salty black-peppered herbage.
Just a tad stronger (at 8.6% ABV), Upstream Strong Ale’s brisk IPA fruiting and bark-dried hop bittering picked up sugared spicing to rally its pineapple, grapefruit, orange, peach and lemon illusions.