Monthly Archives: March 2016

Crime & Punishment

IMG_4525Crime & Punishment
Facebook   Twitter @CandPBrewingCo

If brewing excellent beer is a crime then Crime & Punishment is guilty. What a wonderful surprise C&P was. I had heard good things about the brewpub but still didn’t know what to expect. Located in Brewerytown – Yippy beer is finally being brewed again in Brewerytown – Crime & Punishment is nestled among a various row of storefront businesses and can easily be passed by. Seek it out! It’s much smaller than I imagined and laid back which made me very happy. For some reason I thought it might be more of a hoity-toity place but was pleased it’s really has the atmosphere conducive of kicking back with some friends or making new ones like this Gal did on my recent visit. Offering a very down to earth welcoming vibe and a staff that’s outgoing, knowledgeable and a pleasure to talk to.

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Bad Haircut & Disturbing the Beets

The tap list consists of 7 diverse beers available in full or half pours. Flight aren’t available but if you go for half pours and have a friend with you willing to share a taste or two of their beer you have the list covered. The food menu has something for everyone as well and leans towards the ethic character of the neighborhood with homemade dumplings and locally produced meats. It’s surprising what quality homemade food they are serving considering the tiny size of the kitchen which is located behind the bar. It’s local artisanal at it’s best.

How good is the beer – REAL GOOD. So much so that the God-father of the Philly Beer Scene sat down on the stool next to this Gal and enjoyed a couple of C&P’s finest selections.  I for one was impressed with diverse selections from a Beet Beer (yes, beets) to an AMAZING English Brown Ale.

My friend and I decided to approach the list in a way so that we could try all the beers and IIMG_4529 could still be responsible to drive back to NJ. Key was tastings, half pours and food. We started with one of the 3 food specials of the day a meat, cheese & pickle plate which complemented the Disturbing the Beets American Wild Ale and Bad Haircut English Brown Ale perfectly.

IMG_4532For the next food pairing we ordered the Farm at Doe Run Cheese Plate with the 100 IBU’s to Life IPA and the Nightingale the Robber English Barleywine. Both beers matched nicely with various cheeses on the board. However, the match up of the Nightingale and the creamy cheese and honey was outstanding.

The final pairing for this Gal was the Behemoth Oatmeal Stout – you know I had to go for the stout – with the homemade Mushroom Pelmeni. The richness of the stout and the earthiness of  mushrooms were made for each other. My friend went for the homemade Pork & Beef Pelmeni and the Bad Haircut English Brow Ale which made for attractive match.

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Mushroom Pelmeni

No worries I also had taste of the Indecent Exposure Pale Ale and the Baikal Insurrection.

The beers shine on their own or go great with the various C&P food selections. One can tell a lot of thought goes into both menus at Crime & Punishment so that the best of the old and new world combine to create a community of amazing flavors.

C&P is a 7 barrel/8 tank system and shortly will be distributing to 3 Philly Bars including one of Brendan Hartranft establishments. C&P with one of Brendan’s bars is a match made by the beer gods.

For only being opened 8 months or so Crime & Punishment has an amazing establishment with a strong following that’s growing daily. The only crime would be for you to miss out on enjoying the fine beers and delightful food they have to offer.

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100 IBU’s

Indecent Exposure – Signal Hop Pale Ale 4%
Hoppy crispness nicely accented by various malts – makes for easy drinking

Disturbing the Beets – American Wild Ale 5.7%
The beets are present but the sourness meshes to keep the beets from overwhelming. Bonus you feel healthy while drinking it!

Bad Haircut – English Brown Ale 5.8% (so good companion had it twice)
Yes! So happy to see a Brown Ale on tap. Love this style and C&P brews a fantastic rendition. Great coffee nose and combo of bitter and malts leaves you feeling more than satisfied.

100 IBU’s To Life – IPA 7%
Yup, this Gal went for the IPA and thoroughly enjoyed. I find IPA to be one of the best beer styles for pairing with various foods. The West Coast hops let themselves be known and enjoyed while the malt helps tone them down so you can taste all the other wonderful complexities of the beer.

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Behemoth

Behemoth – Oatmeal Stout 6.5%
Soft velvety mouthfeel with cocoa, fig and the roasty bitterness this Gal loves.

Nightingale the Robber – English Barleywine 11.2%
I heard someone say it’s not Barleywine season?! Get over it you can drink them anytime of the year and am glad to see one still on the menu. Besides it’s still March perfect time for a barleywine and the Nightingale is one to savor and enjoy. Has that great underlying whiskey tone with subtle hints of butterscotch and earthy goodness.

Baikal Insurrection Belgian Strong Dark Ale 10.2%
Loved this and wish I could have had more than a taste but at 10.2% it wasn’t meant to be, at least not on this visit. The yeasty maltiness with hints of dark fruits and toffee undertones combined to make a very enjoyable Strong Dark Ale.

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Fat Tire or Flat Tire – would you say it?

Most of you have probably heard New Belgium Brewing beers will now be available in New Jersey. Some folks have wondered why I’ve been so quiet about this news when most in the beer world are clammering about it. Ummm, because I don’t think it’s that big a deal. There I said it. Boy does it feel good to get that off my chest.

Now don’t get me wrong I think New Belgium brews very good beer but so do numerous other breweries. Which leads me to ask is everyone really that excited or are they feeding off each other?

New Belgium has been available in Jersey’s neighboring state of Pennsylvania for several months now and since this Gal’s go-to-beer store, Trenton Road Takeout, is located in PA I’ve had access to New Belgium since the early fall and have tried various styles. I did enjoy them but not to the point that I understand why people are tripping over themselves in their quest to do the happy dance about the Jersey release. Mind you most of the folks doing the tripping have tried it before so  I wonder do they really think it’s incredibly awesome or do they feel that they have to say that?

Let’s look at some of the Holy Grails of the beer world. You know the ones I’m referring to Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger and Heady Topper. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying 2 out of the 3 – eventually I’ll try the Younger. Yes, Elder and Topper were both very good. No, I did not wait in line for hours, fight my way through throngs of humans nor did I pay some ridiculous price. I tried them for free via kind individuals. A bottle of Pliny the Elder was left on my desk by a client as a thank you for helping him with a project. I was excited to finally get to try it but thankful I didn’t knock myself out doing so. A good friend was given a can of Heady and chose to share it with me one night while enjoying dinner at a BYOB establishment. Very enjoyable indeed. BTW – if forced to pick I enjoyed the Heady more but both were wonderful. I would love to try the Younger and feel it will happen one day but nope I’m not going to great lengths to do so.

The whole thing of making customers jump through hoops to get these Holy Grails has become increasingly annoying. “Watch for our post of when it goes on tap so you can rush like a mad person to get here and wait in line for hours for the golden ticket”. Have fun and I’m sure some wonderful beerships will be formed from the experience but this Gal will be chilling with a good beer elsewhere.

But seriously do folks really think the beers are worth all the hoopla, is it bragging rights to say you had them or does one feel pressure to says it’s good? Would one dare say they didn’t think Pliny was all that?!

So yes, New Belgium is now available in Jersey. I’m happy for the brewery expanding their market and for my fellow beer lovers who can’t wait to try it but I’m not jumping on the band wagon doing the happy dance because I don’t feel it’s dance worthy.

March Beer Crawl

March 2016 – Jersey Shore
5 Stops Totaling 18 minutes travel time and covering a mere 6.5 miles.

For March we’re headed to the shore. I’m a Jersey Gal so it’s shore not beach. I love the shore in the Spring before the crowds start swarming so it’s a perfect time to visit for a beer crawl. Stop one is Kane Brewing – Kane happens to be  not only one of this Gal’s favorite NJ Breweries but is working it’s way up the list of favorite national breweries. I have yet to have a beer I didn’t like from them.

Next we’re headed to Dark City Brewing followed by a food stop at Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten. I’m curious to see how it stacks up against the beer halls I visited in Germany. No pressure.

Then it’s onto Little Dog Brewing – by now you know how this Gal feels about anything to do with dogs & beer. Gretchen is always brewing up something fabulous and what better way to place to follow up a German beer hall than a brewery that brews great German style beers?! The fifth and finial stop is Beach Haus Brewery which I’ve heard is a fun place to hang out.

Let me know how you enjoy March’s Beer Crawl!

Kane Brewing – 1750 Bloomsbury Ave, Ocean, NJ 07712
Dark City Brewing – 801 2nd Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten –  527 Lake Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Little Dog Brewing  – 141 Steiner Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753
Beach Haus Brewery – 801 Main St, Belmar, NJ 07719

I’ll personally be enjoying this beer crawl March 19!