I’ve been busy working my way through my 2021 Breweries to Visit list but this particular visit to Source Farmhouse Brewery was much anticipated having heard so many great things about Source and being a big fan of Farmhouse beers. From the minute you turn and see the brewery you know you arrived some place special. So much so that for a moment I just stood out front taking it all in. That was after I turned around from accidentally driving past the brewery. Source sits back and I was so busy looking at the distillery that sits out front…what can I say I zoomed right by the brewery.
As I was making my way to the entrance the aroma of roasting malts was in the air. This wonderful smell made me smile and also made me realize this was something I’ve been missing. I’m not sure that last time I smelled anything brewing on a brewery visit and I miss that. I guess the timing was just right on this particularly gorgeous Friday afternoon in August.
The Jersey heat was hanging on but being a bit more kind on this particular day and the awful humidity was finally taking a retreat which enabled me to enjoy a beer outside rather than spending the entire visit inside. However, both the inside and outside are beautiful and offer plenty of seating to relax and kick back with a beer. Inside there are high top barrel tables and picnic tables on the main level as well as additional seating in the upstairs loft area that would be a great space for a small group. From the loft you can access the outside upper deck which, also, leads to the grounds. The outside area is lush with plenty of seating spread out around the lawn area with more seating on the patio section. To say the expansive outside area is beautiful is an understatement. The beauty of this South Jersey brewery grounds reminds you just how special Jersey is and why it’s called the Garden State. Please folks stop thinking of the congestion of North Jersey and the horrendous Jersey Shore show as representation of all Jersey is because she’s a special Gal with so much to offer.
I enjoyed my first two beers inside. Looking at the diverse tap list I knew I had some tough decisions to make. There were seven to eights beers I wanted to try but had to limit myself and be responsible for the drive home. No flights but they do offer half pours and tasters. I started with half pours of the Summer Saison – Farmhouse Saison 6% and the Socal West – West Coast IPA 7.4% (Woohoo WC IPA!) The Saison was everything I love in Saison from the herbal hops, to the citrus and ginger with the slightly peppery finish. The Socal West…first I want to thank Source for having a West Coast IPA on tap, Thank you!…this IPA was spot on a smooth and crisp IPA full of hop bitterness that ends dry with a variety of citrus fruits and pine in between.
Next up I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I ordered a sour beer. I used to love sours and for years begged for breweries to brew more of this style. I learned the hard way careful what you ask for. Most are not for me but on this day, I was intrigued by the Good Ribes – Sweet Tart Ale w/ Currants & Vanilla 5%. It was tart without being overly so; yet it’s the tartness I enjoyed because my fear was it would be sweet with the vanilla and currants. It wasn’t. It was a pleasant, thirst quenching easy to drink beer with such a pleasant tart finish. Followed that up with a half pour of the Ultra Motueka – Imperial IPA 8% I didn’t realize when I ordered it that it was a NE style DIPA but I looked past that when drinking it. With bits of tropical fruits, some earthy herbs and a hit of lime it made for an enjoyable beer. I enjoyed it so much I bought a four pack. I was on a roll mixing it up that day.
Last pour for this Gal was the Source of Cheers Munich Style Helles Lager 5.4% this beer is only available for half liter and full liter pours so went for the half. This beer really did bring me back to Germany with its bread/malt sweetness and hop bitterness. An easy drinking beer is always a good way to end a summer day brewery visit. Decided to have another out of the box moment and buy a four pack of this beer as well.
What I truly loved about Source is their passion and love for what they do not only shows in the beer they brew but in the positive energy that zips around the brewery and within the professional, friendly and helpful staff. It’s a bit of a drive for me but I know I’ll be making regular treks to Source because their beer is great, I love the vibe of the place and it’s now one of my Top 5 fav breweries!
Well it only took me forever and a day to visit Punch Buggy Brewing but I finally made it. A little backstory. Punch Buggy has been on my list of breweries to visit since before they opened. As the sponsor of the Beer & Wine Garden at Trails4Tails Fest (happening Oct. 16 this year) part of responsibility is securing the beer for the event. The one year we rented beer equipment from a supplier located next to the soon to be opened Punch Buggy Brewing. However, there was some issues with the equipment and Punch Buggy came to our rescue and loaned us, free of charge, some items we needed and just asked we bring them back. The person handling the pick up and delivery did return everything with our sincere thanks and she and I made a pack to visit once they opened. Well we finally did meet up at the brewery. In our defense there was that whole 2020 mess so we lost a good year or more with that.
Back to the summer of 2021. I packed up the pups and headed into Philly on an absolutely gorgeous Friday afternoon in July to finally meet my friend at Punch Buggy. The brewery is located in a residential part of Fishtown and parking can be tricky. Truth be told it was this Gal’s first trip back to Philly in over a year and I forgot about the NON stop construction on 95 that has seriously been going on for the last 20+ years and Philly parking. Took me 3 trips around the block before I found something but I scored a sweet spot. This was the pups first visit to the City of Brotherly Love/Beer and they were quite taken with all scents and sounds as we walked the short distance over to the brewery.
The brewery is located between a small cafe (the former beer equipment place) and residential living. I just adore how small this brewery is and how much happiness radiants from it. One can tell the owners have put a lot of love and thought into making this small batch brewery a fun, relaxed spot that makes folks feel welcomed and invites them to hang and chill. The pups loved all the attention from the guys working that day and the other guests.
Even though the brewery is small they have made the most of the space with a small bar, high top tables along the one wall and regular tables and bench seating along the other. With the garage door open its airy and roomy. The inside has funky hops lamps hanging from the tin ceiling and be sure to check out the local art for sale in the rest rooms. There’s a nice patio are with several picnic tables and umbrellas for shade. Since I had the #beerdogs with me and it was so nice out we chose to sit at one of the picnic tables.
You go up to the bar to order both beer and food. Food will be brought out to your table when ready. On this particular visit there were 8 beers on tap, available in 10oz or 16oz pours, and the recently released collab DIPA in cans was available as well. For the non beer drinkers they do offer cider. There’s also a small eclectic food menu available with different hot dogs and grilled cheese options. My friend and I enjoyed the grilled cheese but were a bit perplexed by the s’mores sandwich. We didn’t realize the S’mores offering was a sandwich served with a pickle and chips. Let’s just say it was an interesting combo. The fresh Pico de Gallo comes highly recommended.
Back to the beer! I started with a 10oz pour of the Cruise Control Session IPA 5.0% – again happy to see the Sessions popping back up. Such a nice option for the summer or when you have to drive. It was refreshing and tropical fruit driven counter balanced by the hops.
Next up I had to try the collab with Urban Village Brewing – Mischief Maker DIPA 7.5% – This was a fun beer and not just because the label is funky. Citra hops balanced by the Loki yeast made for a smooth drinking DIPA.
I would have loved to have enjoyed a third beer but since I went with a DIPA and had to drive I put the breaks on the drinking. However, I do look forward to returning to Punch Buggy Brewing and trying some of their other beer offerings.
If you find yourself in Philly do yourself a favor and stop in at Punch Buggy Brewing. It’s hidden gem worth visiting.
About two weeks after Aristaeus Craft Brewing Co. opened a friend had reached out to see if I had checked out the brewery yet – I had not. I like to give new places a good four to six weeks to work out the kinks before I visit. Fast forward a couple days from that conversation only to find myself at the brewery. Who am I to turn down an invitation to celebrate a family member’s birthday with a beer or two?
Even though Aristaeus had only been open a couple of weeks rest sure they have all the kinks worked out. Right from the beginning I was impressed with the attention to detail…the logo/branding is beautiful, the building is upscale casual and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The decor is clean and contemporary with rustic accents such as the exposed ceiling and an old piano on the wall. Even though the overall brewery is small they have made the most of the space and laid it out in such a way that it’s spacious and inviting. There’s plenty of seating at the bar plus ledge seating around on the opposite wall and the brewing floor plus both high top and regular tables to choose from. Outside there’s some seating out front and a large patio area on the side that overlooks the train tracks. Dogs are welcomed on the patio!
The other thing that really stood out was the sense of community that is evident from the moment you arrive. They clearly state CRAFT. LOVE. COMMUNITY. and follow that up with partnering with local businesses in the area. Several of their food offerings are from local businesses and the wine they serve is from the Lehigh Valley. #supportlocal
Not only do they support local businesses but the sense of community is shown with how welcomed they make each patron feel.
On this particular day there were seven (out of twelve) beers on tap and the variety was nice. Of course, I ended up trying all seven but what shocked me was that I ended up going with the Kalapa Stout 5.5% for my full pour. It’s been forever and a day since I ordered a stout. This one was easy drinking with hints of toasted coconut and cocoa without the roasted coffee that can over power some stouts.
The other beer that really stood out to me was the Alpha Brown 5%. Woohoo, I love when there’s a brown on the tap list and glad to see them a bit more now. This Southern English brown did not disappoint. It had that nuttiness I just love with a good brown ale balanced by the malts and finishes clean.
The tap list was rounded out by a Rye Saison, Irish Red, Cream Ale, Belgian Blonde and a Session IPA. This gal was so pleasantly surprised to see a session IPA on the list. For me, personally, I just need a break from the hazy IPA’s and was happy on this warm day for a session IPA. Cascade Affect 5% is a clean classic easy drinking IPA, how refreshing.
As I previously mentioned there is a small snack menu plus you can bring in your own food and on the day I visited there was food truck in the parking lot. So plenty of options if you’re hungry. On this particular visit I enjoyed a soft pretzel with hot mustard. I’m hoping they partner with a local cheese place to make a beer cheese to accompany the pretzels. They also offer wine and hard seltzers plus cold brew coffees for the non beer drinkers.
Aristaeus Craft Brewing Co. is a welcome addition to the community and a place I look forward to watching how they grow. One can tell they put a lot of thought and attention to making sure their guests are comfortable and appreciated while brewing good beer which makes me really look forward to my next visit.
Next up this Gal returns to her 2021 Breweries to Visit list.