Amiss blueberry tartness fades quickly as corn whiskey malting and phenol hop stead create murkily acrid astringency. Raw-honeyed blueberry syruping usurped by cidery advance. Ripe blueberry aromatics far outweigh blueberry flavoring.
Robust dark-roast chocolate malting upends wood-dampened hop char dried out by raw molasses bittering. Oncoming black coffee sway picks up singed walnut tinge. For bold thirsts only.
Curiously amalgamated omnivorously-named full body brewed with bacon and maple syrup lets fudgy chocolate-coffee creaming and molasses-smoked bacon fat integrate alongside ashen nut dryness (atop chewy caramel-burnt oats sugaring). In the midst, charred cedar seeps into the syrupy mocha richness. Cocoa-dried cola, hazelnut and espresso illusions simmer below the busy mix. Light oily hop slickness coarsens darkest regions.
LONG BEACH ISLAND, NEW JERSEY
In the heart of Long Beach Island in Beach Haven’s Bay Village, SHIP BOTTOM BREWERY came into fruition during the summer of 2016. On a second floor loft overlooking the bay, this increasingly popular brewpub features a steady flow of year-round beers (lager/ hefeweizen/ IPA/ stout), seasonals and one-offs readied for crowlers-to-go or on-site imbibing.
A spacious right side brew area with small serving table holds several mid-size tanks while the left side tasting room offers 10-seat bar with several community tables, electronic wall board (with beer listing), rustic white-boarded walls, six draught lines and one cask.
During October Chowderfest ’17, I got to quaff five diverse homemade suds.
Dry German-styled Barnegat Lager brought grain-toasted pale malting to perfumed citric pleasantries, earthen fungi must, sweet toffee reminders and light vegetal tones.
Candied Blood Orange Wheat Ale let its tangy blood orange adjunct pick up tangerine, clementine and grapefruit illusions above mild wheat malting.
Seasonal Imperial Pumpkin Ale on Cask contrasted honey-sweetened pumpkin pie spicing against vegetal earthen gourd dryness.
Sharply clean The Shack IPA decorated its spicy grapefruit, orange, mango and lemon tang with resinous pine tones and musky earthiness, leaving a spritzy citrus finish upon the tongue.
Sweet chocolate countered cocoa-dried coffee sedation for Barnicle Bottom Stout, a medium-bodied dark ale with mild Blackstrap molasses sinew and dark-roasted hops saddling its brown-sugared oatmeal base.
On return visit, June ’18, quaffed sharp-tongued heater, The Chicken Or The Egg IPA, a mighty cayenne-habanero-doused mouth burner plying grapefruit-orange peel bittering to dry pale malts and herbal snips below its distinct red pepper singe.
During October ’18 Chowderfest, got to try four more Ship Bottom brews, three of which took their stylistic dimension to new extremes.
Thinly flat cask-conditioned The Shack IPA with Soarchi Ace, let fennel tea-like sedation and celery-dried lemongrass dismiss its dill-pickled lemon licks and wispy barnyard acridity.
Brut champagne added bubbly sparkling wining to I Am Groot IPA – Brut, a sharply bitter hopped medium body with crisply dry-wooded yellow grapefruit and orange rind bite.
Mildly briny oyster shells contrasted milk-sugared chocolate sweetness for Chowderfest 30th Anniversary Oyster Stout, a creamily seductive dessert treat gathering tertiary cocoa, vanilla, tobacco and hazelnut illusions.
For a tropical changeup, busy OG Series: Double Hazy Imperial IPA brought juicy grapefruit, pineapple, orange, peach and melon tanginess to candy-spiced pale malts in a briskly carbolic manner, leaving gluey oats groats in its wake.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Hoboken, crisply clean IPA lets grassy Citra hop bittering take the reins as its lemony grapefruit rind bite lingers alongside dry hop-charred pine dankness. Brisk carbolic prickle adds Seltzer-like spritz.
Unconvincing lighter bodied hefe lacks distinct banana-clove sweetness that softly fades away and gets sideswiped by an unexpected saison-like lemony grapefruit souring and salt-peppered (Belgian) yeast herbage.
Sunshiny yellow grapefruit tang gains brisk orange rind bittering above rye-dried pale malt backbone as bark-dried pine needling increases. Tertiary pineapple, peach and tangerine tones recede alongside recessive sugar spicing. Astonishingly well-hidden 11.4% ABV spikes raspy citric-pined delight hop-heads will highly regard.