WARETOWN, NEW JERSEY
Celebrating their second anniversary in May ’20, rustic nanobrewery, OYSTER CREEK BREWING CO. is tucked away in the middle of a small mall in the unincorporated Jersey Shore hamlet of Waretown.
Its cozy, concrete-floored, crimson-walled 24-seat barroom offers a few signature beers (cream ale/ stout/ IPA) alongside many rangy one-off delights.
Entrepreneurial brewer, Kris Lewis, a former homebrewer, initially enjoyed Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, Guinness Stout, Yuengling Lager and Brooklyn Chocolate Stout during his developing years.
On my early August ’20 journey, I consumed a diverse menu of sampled libations under the makeshift covered tent in the rear.
Oyster Creek’s “gateway” beer, macro-lagered Yellow Cake Cream Ale, rendered maize-dried flaked corn graining, dried orange spicing and sour vegetal notions in a light-bodied setting.
Fizzy Seltzer-like Halflife Hefeweizen (Blueberry) let mild blueberry tartness sink slowly into its delicate honeyed wheat spine.
Bitter Clover honeyed malts seeped into black tea musk, mossy fungi-cellared earthen truffle pungency and Lemondrop-hopped oaken cherry snips for Skyshine Honey Beer.
Tangy blood orange goodness lavished Beta Particle Blood Orange Wheat Ale, picking up clementine, tangerine and tangelo illusions above its mild white wheat base.
A straightforward traditional Irish Red Ale, Heavy Water Irish Ale left amber-grained sugaring upon leafy cigarette-roasted dewy peat.
Citric-bound Huell Melon hops gave Nautilus New England IPA an ester-y green grape souring embraced by lemon meringue tartness above flaked wheat malts.
Hybridized Nauti But Nice Milkshake IPA plied tangy mango juicing to pastry-sugared vanilla eclair creaming with a light lemon-soured grapefruit twist. Its cotton-candied Orange Creamsickle finish retained a bubblegummy Tutti-Frutti resolve.
Lemony orange tanginess picked up lactose-soured vanilla milkiness and sweet floral accents above oats-flaked mineral graining for Critical Mass, a bountiful New England-styled IPA utilizing Citra and Mandarina Bavaria hops.
Moderate chili heat endowed Meltdown Habanero IPA, a habanero peppered hop-header with sweet green pepper reminder and lacquered varnish residue settling above its dry-hopped pale malting.
Dark candi-sugared Belgian pilsner malts sweetened Tihange Dubbel, a rich black coffee-stained Belgian ale with ample dried fruiting.
One of my faves, kettle-soured Berliner Weiss, Singularity Sour (Blackcurrant), spread citric lactobacillus acidity all over mango-salted blackcurrant perkiness and lemon-limed kiwi, guava and gooseberry tropicalia (as well as tart pomegranate-cranberry-boysenberry illusions).
Infused with vanilla, luxurious DarkMatter Vanilla Porter reached heavenly heights as molasses-sugared spiced rum sweetness girded coffee-milked dark chocolate bittering and toasted cinnamon niceties while vanilla white-caked frosting sealed the deal.
Light roast coffee led soft-toned Coldfusion Coffee Milk Stout, spreading its cold-steeped coffee extract over milk-sugared rolled oats groating.
During June ’23 two-hour stop off, enjoyed six more previously untried suds, plus the updated Nauti But Nice Mango Milkshake IPA – a sharply zestier upgrade with juicy mango tanginess breaching brisk grapefruit peel bittering, lacquered pine tones and honeyed pale malts.
A nifty variant, Halflife (Cranberry) kept sugared cranberry sauciness atop Hallertau hop herbage and honeyed wheat malting – finishing like a cranberry vodka.
Gooey Swedish fish candy sendup, 3 Eyed Fish Lime Gose, combined salty lime juicing with sugary lemonade and dry cherry.
Black grape tartness spread into mild charred hop bittering for Plutonium 94 Black IPA, hiding its hefty 10% ABV behind blackened mocha malts.
Tarry black chocolate and dark-roast coffee fronted Atomsmasher Irish Stout, leaving black-peppered smidge on its barley-flaked Maris Otter malt bottom.
Lovely fruited mocha nightcap, Nuclear Attraction Chocolate Cherry Stout, knocked off a cherry chocolate cake with its bruised dark cherry tartness draped by dark chocolate syrup and given dry burgundy-bourbon binge and molasses oatmeal whims.
Soft-toned English barleywine, Ceresfavor, retained elegant whiskeyed cherry warmth as well as raspberry-pureed cherry pie tartness and wispy floral perfuming.
On a Friday evening in August ’23, two delectable dessert treats, one West Coat-inspired IPA and a fruited wheat beer caught my attention.
Mannered Betaport Blood Orange Wheat Ale took its tangy blood orange adjunct to orange-powdered tangerine tartness atop honeyed white wheated crystal malting.
Re-creating a Pina Colada cocktail, coconut-toasted pineapple sweetness endured for offshoot Halflife (Pineapple-Coconut), a richly vanilla creamed wheat ale with cake-like buttercream frosting.
Tartly fruited Marie Currie Blueberry Cheesecake Cream Ale crammed blueberry pie goodness into marshmallow vanilla creaming as cinnamon-spiced strawberry pureeing ascended.
Soft-toned May the 4th India Pale Ale brought murkily perfumed citrus musk to Simcoe-hopped pine lacquer and juniper-embittered currant daubs.