POINT PLEASANT, NEW JERSEY
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.
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.