Tag Archives: HAMMONTON NJ


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Inspired by the spirit of rock ‘n roll, VINYL BREWING COMPANY opened for business autumn ’17. One of three newly established breweries gracing the blueberry capital of Hammonton, halfway between Philly and Atlantic City, Vinyl is headed by entrepreneurial punk rockin’ head brewer, Jim Sacco, a former homebrewer who started crafting elixirs at nearby Three 3′s Brewing.

Inside a centrally located tan-bricked garage house with two glass overhead doors, the cement-floored open space features a 20-stooled serving station, a few surrounding tables, two blue brick-walled TV’s, various exposed pipes, the famous NYC-shirted John Lennon poster, walled album covers and a hard-to-find bottle and can beer collection at the middle metal beam.

Sacco’s suds are a fine array of limited edition one-offs and a few seasonal to year-round staples pulled from a small-batch three-barrel system. I settled in one rainy Friday evening in April ’19 to sample ten fine samples.

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Delectable flagship, creamily soft-tongued MRE Belgian Blonde, kicked things off with spritzy candi-sugared lemon zest and clove-spiced orange peel sweetness embellishing its dewy Vienna-malted oats base.

Next, dryly passionfruit-imbued saison, What Happened To The Passion, let limey lemon-juiced passionfruit, guava and gooseberry tartness infiltrate its leathery barnyard acridity.

Sweet lemon-dropped tartness picked up herbal residue for Fully Actualized Saison.

Sea-salted coriander spicing received puckering lime souring and lactic lemon yogurt caking to engage dry gose, Dag.

Lemon-juiced grapefruit bittering and light wood dryness scoured Citra-Amarillo-hopped cream ale, He Wears T-Shirts Sometimes.

Sunnily soft-toned DDH Advances Citra Pale Ale placed lemony grapefruit, mandarin orange and blood orange zest above bready malts.

Just as briskly easygoing, Souvenir IPA let lingered grapefruit bittering and wispy melon snips gain minor pine resin above sugared oats malting.

Stylishly straightforward Razor Burn IPA brought mild grapefruit-orange-tangerine tanginess to the fore above lightly spiced oats-wheat malting in a clean-watered setting.

Dry rye-malted Element 115 Honey Rye Porter soaked chalky cocoa-chocolate bittering in sinewy dark honey.

Milk-sugared brown chocolate contrasted dry cocoa powdering for VP The Punk Milk Stout, a lovely dark ale with fudged brownie undertones.

The ever-popular double dry-hopped Advances In Modern Technology went undiscovered.




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A half-mile from Vinyl Brewing at an old red brick warehouse down the block from residential housing in a bleak industrial setting, Hammonton’s TOMFOOLERY BREWING COMPANY came to fruition, December 2015.

The former bottling home of defunct Eastern Brewing Company, this rustic cement-floored high-ceilinged warehouse pub features a front-walled purple Tomfoolery banner, large backroom 7-barrel brew system and a separate right side room still being developed. The 12-stool U-shaped silver top bar holds sixteen-plus draught taps and six metal-leather tables furnish the spacious interior. A fridge carries canned product.

Traditionalist brewers Shawn Grigus (a former Egg Harbor brewing supplier) and his electrical engineering ‘alewife,’ Gayle D’Abate, have won many accolades for their well-defined standard fare.

I spent an hour-and-a-half happily perusing Tomfoolery’s cheekily self-defined ‘serious beers’ in late April ’19.

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Dry pilsner-malted oats lied beside herbal Saaz hops, spritzy citric licks and mild barnyard acridity for light-bodied Not So Old Bohemian Pilsner.

Sour-candied lemon drops indulged dryly pale-malted moderation, A.C Lager, a politely straightforward, highly sessionable flagship.

Seltzer-like lemon briskness and tangy orange spurts remained subtle above pleasant perfume-spiced herbal whims for cagey Kanoe Kolsch.

Mustily lemon-soured banana and clove tartness overrode the cracked wheat dryness of Orbit The Sun Hefeweizen, gaining sweet vanilla undertones.

A gentle pilsner malt base softened expressive Crack Concrete Belgian Tripel, leaving tingly lemon-sugared banana bubblegum sweetness and pithy grapefruit zest to contrast herbal fungi mustiness.

Out of the three IPA’s tried, each had its own simple distinctions. Easygoing New England IPA, Eastie Boys, placed tangy lemon-licked mandarin orange and navel orange juicing above light dry wood tones.

Brisk Citra-Mosaic-hopped Sun Grown IPA brought blood orange, grapefruit rind and lemon zest passion to astringent hop resin.

Sorta blending the two, Take Flight Double IPA left floral citrus spicing upon mellow piney hop bittering.

Dewy dried fruiting subsumed Bob’s Bottle House Bock, keeping its sweet caramel malting subtle.

Nutty espresso dryness countered milk-sugared chocolate malting for  smoothly creamed Feck Off! Irish Stout.

Peat-smoked brown chocolate fronted S.M. Alder Imperial Smoked Porter, a cocoa-milked dark ale with sedate coffee roast.

Though it’s only limited edition, Tomfoolery’s second version of Wee Bit O’ Milis (2019) utilized honey-glazed Irish potato candies to sweeten doughy sugar cookie, vanilla bean, cinnamon and coconut subtleties in a most mellow way.