Seven Mile Times

Endless Summer 2018

BARRELS OF FUN

Taste & Tour Cape May County Breweries & Wineries

By Joanna Heston

Whether you’re planning a date for two, a fun “last fling before the ring” with your bridesmaids and groomsmen or just deciding on a spur-of-the-moment Sunday afternoon this fall, Cape May County is home to several wineries and breweries, each with a unique taste and style. With a mix of both on the map, it’s a fun experience to try each one and see what you like. Tour the vineyards, sample what’s on tap and take in the local experience of the Cape May County wineries and breweries this fall. Cheers!

 

     

 

Cape May Brewing Company

1288 Hornet Road, Cape May Airport

609-849-9933 | capemaybrewery.com

 

From its humble roots in a 1,500-square-foot space and three guys making one beer in 2011, Cape May Brewing Company has expanded to a 23,000-square-foot space at the Cape May Airport and now has more than 800 accounts throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and more than 100 flagship, seasonal, and small-batch brews.

 

The 1,500-square-foot space is now dedicated to experimental brewing for items such as sour beers and barrel-aged brews, among others with a separate, industrial brewing building. The sour brewery has an interactive self-guided tour, designed by a local artist in a style reminiscent of the Wildwood boardwalk of old. While on the tour, customers have the chance to play games, pose for photos, and learn how grain, hops, yeast and water eventually become beer while surrounded by beer brewing and barrel-aging.

 

When you arrive at Cape May Brewery, you will also enjoy a self-guided tour to learn about the history of the company and the brewing process. Along the way, visitors will have the chance to see some of the vessels used in the process, smell some of the grains and hops, and watch a live feed of the security cameras on the bottling line. There is also an opportunity for photos inside a fermenter, and fun facts and games throughout the tour. This leads you into the CMBC Tasting Room, where there are 23 taps available to accommodate everyone’s taste. Flights of four beers are available with a souvenir glass to take out to the beer garden. The area was recently expanded and renovated to include more seating and there are also handcrafted, homemade sodas for the kids, as well as your designated driver.

 

If you’re visiting on a weekend, tours are available of the production facility, where visitors have a chance to gain insight into how CMBC distributes its beers. You’ll walk to headquarters and check out the entire process from where beer begins in the silo to the brewhouse and the hot and cold liquor tanks all the way to the fermenters, centrifuge keg washing station and finally the cooler.

 

Following a tour of the CMBC facility, visitors will have a chance to visit and shop at “The Brewtique” to check out swag, as well as beer-to-go in six-packs, cases, or kegs. Customers may also purchase and fill up their growlers here using a filler direct from Austria that fills your 64-ounce growler in less than a minute with no spillage.

 

In 2017, Cape May Brewing Company’s “The Topsail,” barrel-aged sour blonde ale was named Beer of the Year by industry-standard magazine Beer Connoisseur. Other recent accolades include New Jersey Brewery of the Year, Best Brewery, and People’s Choice at the Atlantic City Beer Festival as well as several awards locally and nationally for a variety of beers including Mop Water 5-Spiced Ale, Devil’s Reach Belgian Strong, Tower 23 Berliner Weisse, Coastal Evacuation Double IPA, Biscuits and Honey English Special Bitter, Honey Porter, White Caps Double IPA, Always Ready American Pale Ale, Boughs of Barley Barrel-Aged Belgian-Style Dark Ale, Phantom Crew Barrel-Aged Flanders Red Ale, and Higbee Barrel-Aged Sour Ale.

 

Tastings and tours are available at Cape May Brewing daily from 11am-9pm.

 

 

Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery

600 S. Railroad Ave., Rio Grande

609-846-7347 | hawkhavenvineyard.com

 

Hawk Haven Vineyard was established in May 2008, with the tasting room opening just one year later, but its story starts in 1940 when Johan Felix Wuerker traveled from Germany to Cape May and purchased the land. When it became time for third-generation Todd Wuerker to plant something on the acquired land, he chose to plant the first grapevines with his older brother Ken and dedicated many years to learning about winemaking. When Wuerker met wife Kenna, whose background was in sales and human resources, the duo decided to begin work on opening a winery and Hawk Haven was born.

 

Since planting the first grapevines in 1997 and making wine in 2007, Hawk Haven has grown to include 14 acres of vines with 16 varietals. All the grapes are harvested, pressed, fermented, aged, blended and bottled on-site. Hawk Haven’s specialty is a single varietal vinifera grape wine with small production of fewer than 100 cases per label per vintage, including the Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Albarino, and the Gewurztraminer. Over the years, many of its wines have won various awards and accolades, including each of its vintages.

 

The winery is open daily 11am-7pm except for Christmas and Thanksgiving Day for tastings and tours. A tasting costs $10 and includes an educational wine tasting with a knowledgeable, dedicated tasting guide. Tours cost $25 and include an hour-long excursion through the vineyard and winery while you sip and taste wines and enjoy a gourmet cheese plate.

 

Also available at these locations in Avalon and Stone Harbor:

Fred’s Tavern and Liquor Store

Kudos American Grill

Quahogs Seafood Shack

 

 

7 Mile Brewery

3156 Route 9 South, Rio Grande

609-365-7777  | 7milebrew.com

 

This local brewery first started as a hobby of home brewing for founder Pete Beyda and his crew, and has grown to brew more than 1 million pints since its opening in 2016. Located just outside of Wildwood in Rio Grande, the company brews something for everyone’s palate: from easy-drinking ales and lagers to out-of-this-world hop bombs and Belgian-style ales. The brewery also distributes to many New Jersey bars, liquor stores and restaurants, so customers don’t need to head down to the brewery: They can enjoy it while out to dinner or pick it up to enjoy at home.

 

Its accolades include most recently being recognized at the 2018 New York International Beer Festival as a gold medalist for the Best Belgian Style Brewery. It also was recognized with a bronze medal for the 7 Mile Barrel Aged Trippel 7. At the New Jersey IPA Invitational, 7 Mile Brewery was awarded silver for two of its IPAs, 7 Mile Pale Ale and 7 Suns Double IPA.

 

When visiting 7 Mile Brewery, customers will enjoy 12-14 beers on tap including its flagship beers such as the 7 Suns Double IPA as well as Walter White, Shorty Stout, American Beauty, 7 Mile India Pale Ale, and Skinny Dipper. Experimental beers are available as well and customers may bring their own food or enjoy some of the options offered for delivery to the tasting room. Open Monday through Thursday from 12-8pm, Friday and Saturday from 12-10pm, Sunday from 12-6pm.

 

Also available at these locations in Avalon and Stone Harbor:

Avalon Brew Pub at Icona

Fred’s Tavern and Liquor Store

Stone Harbor Pizza Pub

Yacht Club of Stone Harbor

 

 

Coho Brewing Company

28 Indian Trail Rd., Cape May Court House

609-374-0512 | cohobrewingco.com

OPENING THIS FALL

 

Opening this fall in Cape May Court House, COHO Brewing Co. is the first brewery in the Cape May County circuit to be owned and operated by a woman, Karen Buckingham. Alongside head brewer Mike Johnson, the duo is excited to welcome customers to try out their unique style of beers.

 

Buckingham and Johnson attended Wildwood High School together, Class of 1982, and reconnected after 30 years. Each is retired from their respective careers and have decided it’s never too late to follow your dreams. After retiring from a career as a law-enforcement officer, Johnson took up home brewing and has been practicing for the past seven years. Buckingham hired Johnson’s Anglesea BBQ team for several catered events and was hooked on the food. But after tasting one of Johnson’s beers, she knew others had to experience his ability to create amazing craft beers.

 

COHO Brewery will offer a laid-back environment for visitors where you can view the entire brewing area from anywhere in the brewery. The building offers an inviting, open industrial warehouse setting with different beers on tap. Beers include catchy legal-themed names such as the “NGI (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity) Rum Ale,” “Overruled Porter,” “Bail Reform Pale Ale,” and the “Bench Warrant Blonde,” to name a few.

 

“Like” COHO Brewing Co. on Facebook for its fall opening date or check out its website.

 

 

Bucket Brigade Brewery

205 North Main St., Cape May Court House

609-778-2641 | bucketbrigadebrewery.com

 

When local twins, and retired firemen Karl and Kurt Hughes combined their passion for craft beer and their respect for the principles of those that wear the shield, The Bucket Brigade Brewery was established. Opened in November 2017, the Bucket Brigade Brewery specializes in handcrafted brews created to put out the fire of a thirst, including quality ales, pilsners and lagers served in an exciting place to enjoy them.

 

When visiting the tasting room, open daily, you are greeted with reclaimed items from various places throughout Cape May County and pay tribute to old businesses in the area. The bar is made of tweak wood from the MV Twin Capes, the bar rail is from the old Buck Tavern, the tavern sills are repurposed from the captain’s wheel of the MV Twin Capes, and the wood and walls are from the Christman’s Auto Parts in Wildwood to pay tribute to the building as the current location of Bucket Brigade Brewery was home to H.B. Christman & Sons’ second location, built in 1949.

 

A full list of current brews on tap can be found on the company’s website, but some popular favorites include the Fire Pail Ale, Pry Bar IPA, Five Bugle Belgian, Irish Brigade Red, and the Pike Pole Pilsner, to name a few. New brews and seasonal offerings are also available, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

 

As the company’s tag line says, “Whether you are a Craft Beer Enthusiast, Service Personnel, History Buff or just enjoy getting together with friends, the Bucket Brigade Brewery welcomes you.”

 

Bucket Brigade recently competed against 20 other breweries to come in third place for the AC Press “Best of the Press 2018” Bronze Award. They are open daily, Sunday-Wednesday 12-8pm, Thursday-Saturday 12-10pm.

 

 

Windrift Hotel Resort

105 80th St., Avalon

609-368-5175 | windrifthotel.com

 

A Wine Spectator Award winner every year since 2009, the Windrift Hotel Resort at 105 80th Street in Avalon has an extensive list of wines, offering the largest selection in Cape May County. Boasting more than 3,000 wines available, guests are offered the use of an iPad with the Tastevin app to browse through the entire list. The app allows users to research wines by region, flavor or grape and a list of which wines are available at the Windrift will show up. The app even shows tasting notes, video tutorials and information on the vineyard where each wine is made, providing both an educational and a fun experience for any wine lover.

 

If you prefer to sample a few different glasses of wine instead of ordering a full bottle, the Windrift has 21 white wines and 16 red wines available by the glass. By joining the Windrift’s mailing list, you will receive information regarding special events such as “Meet the Wine Maker” and exclusive wine dinners. For a more exclusive experience, contact the events coordinator to schedule a Private Chef’s Dinner in which their head chef will design a menu with wine pairings for your group. Throughout the summer, the Windrift offers “50 Shades of Rose” tastings on Thursdays and a Sauvignon Blanc special on Sundays. Daily wine specials are also available through October, just ask your server.

 

Windrift Hotel Resort is open starting at 7:30am daily until September 30; weekends starting October 5.

 

 

Avalon Brew Pub

125 79th St., Avalon

609-967-2116 | avalonbrewpub.com

 

The Avalon Brew Pub opened in August 2017 as one of Icona Avalon’s restaurants on property. Open year-round, the pub is one of the only beachfront microbreweries on the East Coast specializing in in-house brews and seasonal menu options.

 

A true gastro-dining experience from the moment you walk in the door, customers will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner menus as well as a kids’ menu for the little ones. Some customer favorites include the Prime Rib French Dip Sandwich, the Giant Bavarian Pretzel and the “We Don’t Play IPA,” which is brewed in-house.

 

All in-house brews are available by the pint, in flights of four, 5-ounce pours or growlers to go and embrace catchy names such as the “Cooler by a Mile Session IPA,” “Chill Pils,” “Belgian Beach Bum Witbier,” and the “Healing Sun Amber Ale.” Brews rotate a few at a time; the lineup of what’s on tap can be found on the Pub’s website, avalonbrewpub.com, as well as each beer’s type, abv, appearance, aroma and taste, so you can plan before you go.

 

The Avalon Brew Pub is open daily starting at 8am.

 

 

Slack Tide Brewing Company

1072 Route 83, Clermont

609-478-2343 | slacktidebrewingco.com

 

Slack Tide Brewing Company debuted in 2015 when local brothers Jason and Tadhg Campbell decided to open their nautical-themed brewery just outside of Avalon on Route 83. The company specializes in brewing the highest-quality beer to style. Beer styles include American and New England-style IPAs, a variety of ales from pale ale to scotch ale, imperial, milk and breakfast stouts, a Belgian-style double and tripel. Slack Tide also offers a line of kettle sours made with a variety of fruit as well as easy-drinking lagers and pilsners.

 

Slack Tide Brewing Co. has some award-winning brews under its belt including first place in the 2016 Philadelphia Brew-vitational for Bell Buoy Belgian-Style Blonde; The bronze medal for American Style Black Ale in the 2017 Best of Craft Beer Awards for its Knockdown Black IPA; Slack Tide also received recognition in 2016 for Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine’s Top New Brewery.

 

Customers can indulge in tours and tastings with pints as well as growler and crowler fills. Join the Slacker Mug Club for deals on merchandise and access to mug club events. Tasting room hours are daily from 12-8pm.

 

Also available at these locations in Avalon and Stone Harbor:

Bobby Dee’s Rock ‘n Chair

Fred’s Tavern and Liquor Store

The Watering Hull

The Whitebrier

Yacht Club of Stone Harbor

 

 

Ludlam Island Brewery

9 Stoney Court, Ocean View

609-263-6969 | ludlamisland.com

 

Located just minutes from Sea Isle City, Ludlam Island Brewery continues to evolve and develop new beers since its opening in 2016. Owner Bill Topley and his team take pride in the always-changing experimental beers and development at Ludlam Island Brewery.

 

“It’s all about what’s new and what’s fresh,” Topley says. “I relayed to my dad about a year ago that the days of you finding a beer and drinking it for the next 30 years are over. We were maybe three months in, still getting our legs under us and struggling to keep our eight lines in the tasting room going, when someone asked, ‘What new beers you working on?’ It kind of caught me off guard as I thought, ‘They’re all new beers!’ ”

 

The question really stuck with him and the company has made it a point to keep experimenting and putting time aside for small test batches. The lineup of 2018 summer beer launches at Ludlam Island Brewery includes: “The Devil Went Down to Maui,” a Pineapple Habanero IPA that is a collaboration with Hank Sauce; “Wander,” a spruce tip IPA; “A Flower Shared,” a Rustic Farmhouse Lager, a collaboration with The Seed; “Last Minute Shandy,” a strawberry lemonade shandy; and “Hammock Nap,” a coconut brown ale.

 

Ludlam Island Brewery also started doing cask beers. These are naturally carbonated beers in pins (5.4 gallons) or firkins (10.8) gallons and allow them to play around without having to brew an entire new batch.

 

The tasting room is open daily noon to 8pm.

 

Also available at these locations in Avalon and Stone Harbor:

The Whitebrier

 

 

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