Jersey Shore Breweries-What's new for 2019
The Jersey Shore is becoming a destination for the beer-loving community and that community is huge.
Beer and brew “trails” are becoming the new tourism niche all across America and the Jersey Shore is becoming a force in that arena. The Garden State has grown from about two dozen breweries at the beginning of the decade to more than 100 in 2019.
The slow growth of the industry in New Jersey is due to a difficult regulatory climate and it is much tougher than other neighboring states like Pennsylvania. The state still lags behind other states on a brewery per capita basis. There are regulations on licensing, the number of events that can be held and even serving beer on premises. That has made it tough for new breweries to open and do business.
Because the state’s tourism industry is driven by the Jersey Shore, coastal breweries are extending their seasons, engaging in unique branding races, carving out trails and catering to the ever-changing tastes of the beer community.
In the old tourism world, it used to be all about the beaches, boardwalks and the amusements. Now tourists and locals are often choosing destinations where they can go for the beach and a brewery.
According to Forbes’ “Best States to do Business” ranking, New Jersey was ranked 45th overall in number of breweries and regulatory environment. That, along with restrictions on breweries, explains why the craft beer revolution is just now beginning to grow.
Despite the confining climate, scores of craft breweries have emerged along the shore and boosted tourism.
The First of Its Kind
Cape May Brewing was the first to open at the Jersey Shore in July 2011 and has helped to create a new form of tourism in the Victorian town. The brewery will produce more than 17,000 barrels this year and is an anchor in the Cape May community.
Since Cape May Brewing opened many other breweries have launched. Located just east of Cape May Brewing, is a brew pub in the “Doo-Wop Capital of the World,” Wildwood.
MudHen Brewing opened in 2018 and has become a local favorite and a tourist destination offering many different beers. IPA's, porters and ales among the offerings and a full menu of foods.
Up and down the shore breweries like Ship Bottom Brewing on Long Beach Island, Dark City and Asbury Park Brewery in Asbury, the Bradley Brew Project in Bradley Beach and Little Dog Brewery in Neptune have pushed the boundaries of the industry and made the Jersey Shore a destination for beer lovers that flock to the state to enjoy a flight of their favorite brew.
2019 figures to be another big year for breweries at the shore. New for 2019 is Source Brewing in Colt’s Neck. It is located right next to another Jersey Shore institution, Delicious Orchards. It’s a farmhouse brewery that will offer a French-style farmhouse Saison conditioned in Sauvignon Blanc-soaked American oak barrels.
There will also be an Oktoberfest-style lager and an apple cider donut imperial cream ale made with Delicious Orchards apple cider and apple cider donuts and locally-grown and malted grains.
Asbury Park will have a new brewery to add to the large community of brewers. Phresh Phlavors will be opening this year with a warehouse on Sewell Ave. They will strive to make a local craft beer that is reasonably priced.
Ross Brewing in Red Bank will be the fourth brewpub in Red Bank and will be located in the former White Street firehouse next door to the Bow Tie Cinemas. They will offer five signature brews including an IPA, an amber lager, a porter and a rye.
New on the beer horizon is Hops on Main brewery and tasting room in Tom’s River. They will be a seven-barrel brew house located in the space formerly occupied by the River Market restaurant in the heart of town.
They will focus on India Pale Ales, light beers and more. Opening should be in early spring.
The Jersey Shore is also home to some of the best beer festivals around. Visit the 2019 Jersey Shore Food & Drinks Festivals page for more information.
No matter what craft beer you love, the Jersey Shore has a destination. What could be better than sand, surf and a great brew?