It’s National Beer Day – although limiting it to a day is just so wrong.
Nonetheless, what better time than now to raise a glass to the craft breweries in our region and catch up on their news?
If you haven't ventured out to visit some of the newer breweries in our area — Nale House and Lower Forge in Medford, for instance, or Human Village and Kelly Green in Pitman — it's a great time to do it. And the region can look forward to the addition of several more.
Here are eight more reasons to be excited about craft beer right now:
Double your pleasure
Cape May Brewing Company and Weyerbacher Brewing Company of Easton, Pennsylvania, are two stand-outs in the craft beer world.
So how great it is it that they are teaming up for Cape May’s first beer collaboration?
Paradise 160 is an India Pale Lager to be released by the breweries on May 19.
“As we move into our sixth year, this is a really exciting time for us,” said Ryan Krill, Cape May Brewing co-owner and president, in announcing the partnership. “Partnering on our first collaboration with such a well-established brewery as Weyerbacher means that we’ll be able to gain some of their knowledge of the brewing process and they’ll benefit from our innovation and dedication to variety.
“And we get to brew a beer we’ve always wanted to brew with a brewery we’ve always looked up to.”
Weyerbacher Brewing was founded in 1995 in a livery stable in downtown Easton. The brewery is known for beers including Merry Monks, Blithering Idiot and Last Chance IPA.
Paradise 160 is inspired by the 160 drive between Easton and Cape May. The beer is a basic IPA dry-hopped with Wakatu from New Zealand and Hallertau Blanc from Germany.
“A slight departure from typical collaboration brewing, the two breweries are participating in a ‘hops swap.’ After sharing their hops contract for the year, the two companies determined that the flavors of white wine and fruit from the Hallertau Blanc at Cape May will play well with with the floral and lime flavors from the Wakatu in Weyerbacher’s inventory,’’ according to the folks at Cape May.
Paradise 160 will debut at Chickie’s and Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township on May 18 during American Craft Beer Week, with representatives of both breweries in house.
The next day, both breweries will host release parties at Cape May’s tasting room, 1288 Hornet Road at Cape May Airport, and Weyerbacher’s taproom at 905 Line St., Easton.
Tonewood can, can you?
As it approaches its first anniversary, Tonewood Brewing Company in Oaklyn has already put itself on the map with an exclamation point.
The brewery is always hopping, literally and otherwise, and Tonewood beers are now poured throughout the region.
Tonewood owners recently installed a reclaiming canning system relocated from Epic Brewing Co. in Denver, Colorado.
Starting today, the family-owned brewery on Clinton Avenue will begin offering several of its beers in cans. Tonewood already sells plenty of 64-ounce growlers and 32-ounce crowlers to go, but beginning at 4 p.m. while supplies last, Tonewood guests can purchase 12-ounce six packs of Fuego and SIPA available in the tasting room.
SIPA will be $11 and Fuego will be $13. One case of each per customer.
SIPA ($11) is a session IPA hopped with Mosaic and Centennial hops, at 4.8 ABV.
Fuego is a “massively hopped IPA,’’ a blend of the Facchinei brothers’ favorite hops. The 6.2 ABV brew offers “notes of bubblegum, grapefruit and pine resin, while still maintaining the bitterness of an IPA.’’
Keep on top of Tonewood at www.facebook.com/tonewoodbrewing/
Speaking of big moments, Atco Brewing Company is celebrating its first year in business.
The celebration includes giveaways today every half hour from 7 to 9 p.m., as well as birthday cake.
Sunday’s fun will include spring crafts for the kids and parents, as well as a chance to find a plastic egg with a special discount inside.
Among the beers on tap include: Atco Booby Trapp, a 4.8 ABV Belgian Ale, Atco Jackson Junction IPA, a 5.8 ABV single IPA brewed with what and oats and dry-hopped with Cascade, Mosaic and Simcoe; and Atco Piney Pale Ale, a 6.0 ABV ale brewed with German grains and Chinook and Cascade hops.
If you are an optimist, you can also ask for the #theProcess Black IPA, a 7.2 ABV brew “named for one of our hopefuls on the Sixers.’’
Catch up with Atco at www.atcobrewingcompany.com/
Rhythmn and Brews 2017
Mark your calendars for April 22 and head to Haddon Heights, where it’s all about the beer – and wine – on Station Avenue.
The 500 and 600 block will be closed to traffic, so guests can mingle among vendors, browse and shop, dine from food trucks and enjoy a larger-than-last-year beer garden.
Live music by area bands, international wines and beers from regional breweries will be offered from 3 to 8 p.m. The beer lineup includes Cape May, Eight and Sand, Tonewood, Lunacy (which is planning a move to the borough), Ludlam Island, St. Benjamins, Spellbound, Tuckahoe, Neshaminy Creek and Victory.
Admission is free and rain date is April 29.
Glasstown Brewing Easter Egg Hunt
If you make a habit of swiping the best stuff out of your kid’s Easter basket, this one’s for you.
On Saturday, April 15, Glasstown Brewing Company will host its fourth annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt at the brewery and tasting room.
Glasstown is located at 10 Peterson St., Millville. The hunt is on from noon to 6 p.m.
Crafts meet crafts when WheatonArts hosts its first What’s on Tap festival on May 13 from 1 to 5 p.m.
More than 25 craft brewers will be on hand to pour their brews WheatonsArts and Cultural Center.
Local breweries on the bill include Eight & Sand of Woodbury, Glasstown Brewing Company of Millville, Tomfoolery of Hammonton, Tuckahoe of Egg Harbor Township, Spellbound Brewery of Mount Holly and more.
Come discover a new favorite beer, while learning more about the region’s history of glassblowing and exploring the cultural center.
Art and handcrafted
It’s a rite of spring, this Perkins Center for the Arts fundraiser that puts the focus on fine crafted beer and spirits.
The 7th annual event will be held Saturday, May 20, at Perkins Center for the Arts, 30 Irvin Ave., Collingswood.
The event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $60. Among the two dozen beverage companies on board are Tonewood, Weyerbacher, Riverhorse, Troegs, Lunacy, Double Nickel, Cooper River Distillers and much more.
Call (856) 235-6488 Ext. 316 or visit perkinsarts.org
Hop on the Bus
So many new breweries have opened up in the area in just the last year or so, it is hard not to miss one.
One way to sample more of what the local beer scene has to offer is to hop aboard the Brew Bus NJ tours.
Owners Scott and Susan Akins are “all hopped up on Jersey brews’’ and eager to share their discoveries with you.
Brewery tours typically hit three area tasting rooms in one afternoon.
To find out about upcoming events, or to book a private tour, visit www.brewbusnj.com/