HAMMONTON, NEW JERSEY
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.
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.