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In a small mall on the way to the beach off NJ Parkway, Point Pleasant’s FRYE BREWING COMPANY opened June ’17. The familial entrepreneurial product of Colleen and Mike Frye, this inconspicuously small microbrewery serves its community well.

At the glass entrance, the Frye logo and a Point Pleasant emblem welcome customers to the cement-floored one-room space. Street lights adorn the right side serving station (spotlighting a poured concrete bar top and rusty corrugated steel siding) and brew tanks stake the rear. Frye’s three white picnic tables, six high boy stools and low-ceilinged exposed pipes provide spare detail.

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Before heading out after my one-hour April ’19 visit, I sampled a half-dozen Frye faves, including four dark ales, one IPA and an Irish Red.

Enigmatic Irish Red Ale, Irish Blood Sweat & Tears, let sea-salted blood orange tartness drift off into dewy Scotch-licked beechwood smoke, picking up roasted tobacco crisping and light éclair creaming in a weirdly compelling way.

Named for Elon Musk’s rocket launch, vibrant India Pale Ale, Falcon Heavy, loaded creamy pale malt sugaring upon juicy grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess and earthen rhubarb-celery snips.

Black-malted Irish Stout, The Dark, reinforced its dark chocolate and dried cocoa bittering with musty hop-charred nuttiness, sweetening at the dark mocha molasses finish.

A few nifty Dark offshoots also took hold. Coffee bean-engaged full body, Coffee In The Dark, placed its dark-roast mocha muck above oilier hop charred nuttiness than the original version.

Perhaps the best Dark ale, coconut toasting sweetened milk-sugared dessert treat, Coconut In The Dark, leaving brown chocolate and toffee sugaring on the back of the tongue.

Complexities abounded for creamily fudged barrel-aged surefire, Bonfire Imperial Brown Ale. Aged on rum-soaked cherrywood, its dried-fruited black cherry, burgundy and bourbon tones surged towards the oats-sugared fudged mocha surface, picking up latent anise spicing.



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The first brewpub in Point Pleasant, LAST WAVE BREWING COMPANY, opened for business Memorial Day weekend 2017. Specializing in nicely tweaked New England-styled IPA’s, but also well-versed in standard American fare (light and dark ales), Last Wave’s sunset logo welcomes patrons to this nearly intimate glass-windowed and sage green shingled Bay Avenue one-room venue.

Families gather with avid brewheads at sunset on a muggy Friday evening in August ’18 while my wife and I survey the homemade suds. Colorful surfboards, paper lanterns, squiggly acoustic wave designs and Edison lights provide a kitschy beach setting and the ocean blue left wall features a nighttime surfer mural. Community tables and four-stool tables spew across the epoxy-floored pub while the mosaic-wooded rear wall draught handles dispense liquid goodies from the big silver brewtanks located in a separate backroom.

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On tap this weekend were a dozen hand crafted brews. I missed out on Dawn Patrol Guava Gose and A Frame Wheat IPA, but the other ten were top-notch interpretations of standard stylings.

First off, summery light body, Spot Check Golden Ale, let its subtle lemon licks receive grassy hop astringency over doughy pilsner malting.

Nearly as light-bodied,  Flatspell Belgian Wit spreads delicate orange-peeled grains of paradise across wispy coriander-spiced lemondrop tartness and mild grassy hop astringency.

Sharp IPA-like fruiting and woody hop embitterment heighten ‘classic’ copper golden medium body, Layback Pale Ale, an aggressive busker plying seltzer-like lemon spritz to tangy citrus tones, serene caramel malts and distant tea leaf notions.

As for the three rangy India Pale Ales, sunny yellow-hazed medium body, Quiver Hazy IPA, brought pine-lacquered orange rind bittering to the fore as tangy grapefruit, pineapple and mango undertones wavered.

Briskly perfume-musked Green Room Imperial IPA let its lemony yellow grapefruit bitterness and pine-sapped juniper bite overwhelm biscuity Vienna malts.

Eccentric champagne yeast-derived hybrid, Toast To The Coast Brut IPA (a collab with nearby Asbury Park’s Dark City) allowed subtle orange rind, grapefruit pith and pineapple bittering to anchor its dry brut champagne adjunct, gaining weedy hop astringency over doughy pale malts.

Tea-like Red Sky Red Ale rendered brown apple and pear fruiting for mild caramel-chocolate malts and calm citric-pined Cascade hops.

Brusque alcohol-whirred medium-full body, Bay To Bridge Imperial Red Ale, gathered a floral-spiced bouquet to enhance tangy apple, apricot, peach, pear and tangerine illusions above leafy hop oiling.

Toasted coconut chip sweetness endeared Right Coast Coconut Porter, a robust dark ale with dark chocolate-toffee sugaring that’s perfect for dessert.

And there was no denying 5/4 Chocolate Coffee Stout, a full-bodied nightcap reigning in dark-roast coffee bitterness for espresso-milked dark chocolate malts.



Spot Pizza Grill in Point Pleasant and Toms River | New Jersey Spot Pizza Grill Bar


While staying at popular Jersey Shore haven, the White Sands Resort, August ’13, found upbeat pizza-beer joint, THE SPOT PIZZA GRILL, one mile west of Point Pleasant’s beach and boardwalk. Perfect for family dining, business gatherings and beer geeks, this roomy sportsbar-geared neighborhood cafe opened in 2010. Located directly behind Spirits Unlimited (one of 25 Ocean and Monmouth liquor chains), its earth-toned stacked slate columns provide a stellar bucolic tone enhanced by pendant lighting, ceiling fans and exposed pipes.

Besides having arguably the best pizza in town, The Spot’s central bar features 20 tap handles serving regular fare such as Guinness Stout, Smithwicks, Blue Moon, Yuengling and Budweiser alongside several local faves by Carton, Kane, East Coast and Flying Fish (as well as nationally recognized micros by Starr Hill, Ithaca, Founders, Lagunitas, Allagash and Leinenkugel). The varied bottle selection will also please beer aficionados. Dining booths and TV’s surround the bar at every angle.

Seated at the open air front deck with family in tow, my wife and I share Arugula Pizza (garlic-oiled tomatos, bruschetta, pancetta bacon and oregano) after quaffing white wine-sauteed drunken clams and blackened tuna appetizers. My kids thoroughly enjoyed the thin crust pizza and black angus burger.  A local artist plays Harry Chapin’s melancholy epic “Taxi” at the makeshift stage just past the entrance foyer as I consume Starr Hill Double Platinum IPA and East Coast’s Beach Haus Cruiser IPA.

The Spot wants to be a ‘foremost retro-diner with an Irish pub fare.’ Happily, it’s all that and more.  A second location one-half hour north at Toms River in a tan-bricked building (also housing Spirits Unlimited) with 25-seat central bar and sidled dining tables is also worthy.