EGG HARBOR, NEW JERSEY
Filling out a large 10,000 square foot aluminum warehouse in Central Jersey’s Egg Harbor, HIDDEN SANDS BREWING COMPANY opened January 2018. A multifarious high ceilinged venue with a welcoming ground floor pub, spacious table-chaired mezzanine area (with twelve draught handles) and upper level seating space, Hidden Sands utilizes a freshwater aquifier that provides a clean briskness to each handcrafted beer.
There are twelve taps at the ground level, formica-topped, ten-seat serving station. Antique beer cans line the front wall and a Hidden Sands insignia hangs down on the opposing wall while decorative barrels and five small tables fill out the concrete-floored room.
My wife and I hang around for a few hours, downing all twelve crisply clean watered suds this seasonally warm March afternoon, 2020. Not many breweries offer three pilsner-lagers, but Hidden Sands did.
Pleasantly mild Bavarian-styled flagship, 800′ Pilsner, brought sugary pilsner malting to lightly salted lemondrop souring and daintily citric Hallertau/Tettnanger-hopped floral spicing.
Sweet orange peeled peach, tangerine and clementine fruiting glided thru mild mineral-grained Noble hop herbal bittering for crisply clean Helles Lager.
Easygoing Hidden Helles Lager placated its tangy peach-tangerine-clementine conflux with moist earthen-grained Noble hop bittering.
Maize-dried pilsner malts crisply engaged light lemon sugaring for The Kolsch, a delicately sparkling straw yellow light body.
Glistening Citra-hopped orange and grapefruit spicing added pizzazz to pilsner-lightened honey wheat as lemon-dropped floral herbage fluttered behind pale yellowed moderation, Pump Handle Honey Wheat Ale.
A milder West Coast interpretation, 107′ IPA let refreshingly citric floral-perfumed Citra-Centennial-Columbus hops enjoin coniferous pine needling and mild juniper bittering to top its dry pale malted spelt spine.
Delicate citrus-spiced tanginess, oats-flaked pilsner malting and relegated piney hop bittering set the stage for straightforward 608′ Imperial IPA.
By blending 608′ with strawberry, tart citrus piquancy and oats-flaked pilsner malts subsumed much of Strawberry Imperial IPA’s floral-bound berry essence.
Kettle-soured compost soiling seeped into tart lemon-candied peach sourness for spritzy white wined Sand Blasted Sour Peach Ale.
Just as approachable, tropical fruited lollipop, Sand Blasted Sour Guava Ale, stayed slightly sour as tart guava salting grazed lemon-candied gooseberry, passionfruit and papaya snips.
Dark-roasted coffee infiltrated maple syrup-draped First Drop Coffee Maple Baltic Porter, leaving rye-dried Black Patent malt bittering on its caramel-burnt dark chocolate bottom.
Creamy milk-sugared coffee crowded roasted chocolate malts for sweet mocha dessert, Imperial Stout, the perfect afternoon delight to close my visit.