Next up on my list of breweries to visit in 2021 – Tonewood Brewery. My friend and I picked a gorgeous May weekday afternoon to meet up and see what’s what at the brewery. I love they are open Tuesday thru Sunday. Some of us like visiting breweries during the week rather than wait for the weekend. For whatever reason the location through me off a bit. The location is part industrial and, yet, part residential. I’m not sure what the building used to house and the person from Tonewood I spoke to didn’t know either. Reminded me of an old firehouse but don’t think it was. It butts right up to a residential property and neighborhood. I bet the zoning meetings for the approval had to be interesting. Also, there is a free parking lot across from the side of the building.
My friend and I chose to sit outside at the picnic tables that run along the side of the brewery. Beware you are sitting at a slant and might occasionally have to keep your beer from sliding down he table. The brewery itself is small but there are several tables inside, as well as, a bar. The wood table tops are are beautiful and I love the use of wood showcased in it’s natural glory. Pretty much the entire time I was there they played the Grateful Dead so you know this Gal was happy and it earned them huge bonus points!
Tonewood does not offer beer flights but once I saw they had a Schwarzbier on tap I new exactly what this Gal would be drinking. Black Bird Schwarzbier 4% Dark German Lager and oh so delish! Smooth, crisp and clean with hints of chocolate and pumpernickel. It was the perfect Spring beer for the early May afternoon. The day I was there the IPA’s were all hazy, just not my thing right now, so after the Schwarzbier I enjoyed the Two Versions of Me Dry Hopped Pilsner 5% and a collab beer from Tonewood and Cape May Brewing. It was a respectful Pilsner with tones of melon, white grape and a hint of oak.
Back in early May I had plans to meet a friend at Tonewood Brewing but realized Kings Road Brewery was just 10 minutes from Tonewood so felt it necessary to stop and check out Kings Road first. So glad I did.
Kings Road Brewery is located in the heart of downtown Haddonefield, NJ and what a cute town! A gorgeous downtown that just calls out for one to spend an afternoon strolling the streets, popping into the various mom and pops shops, restaurants, bakeries, and brewery. To say Haddonfield is cute is an understatement and I plan on going back to enjoy an afternoon of #smallbusiness. However, I did stop into a fun little spice and tea shop before heading to the brewery. The brewery is close to the Heritage Winery Tasting Room and across the street from The British Chop Shop which happens to be byob.
There is street meter parking out front and a rather large lot near the rear of the brewery across the street. Beings I was there on a weekday afternoon I had no problem finding parking out front. I opted to enjoy my beer outside in the back of the brewery where they had several picnic tables set up with a tent overhead for some shade. Besides the picnic table area they also had a few barrel tables outside in the front of the building and another outside area in the back with a few hightop tables and lots of sun. Inside the space is generous with lots of warm tones, wood and plenty of seating. You are allowed to bring food in and dogs are welcomed outside. The interior is a nice size and felt warm and inviting. The staff was very attentive and welcoming.
This Gal absolutely adored the tap list. It was really one of the most diverse brewery lists I’ve seen in a while and spot on for Spring. There were so many I wanted to try so opted for a taster flight:
Empire Strikes Back – English Bitter 5.1% ( you know I had to order it with a name like that) Very happy to see an English Bitter and even happier drinking it. This ESB had the perfect combination of malts and hops.
1944 Pilsner – 4.4% My go to style now a days. This was a true classic German style Pilsner. Starts with a bit of doughiness and follows up clean and crisp.
Hell n’ Bock – 6.7% A bock! Love a bock and so happy to see one on their menu. I cannot stress enough how much I loved their selection. This bock wasn’t as malty as some I’ve had but that’s ok there was still plenty of malt and had a slight taste of peppers.
Since the lager had kicked and the IPAs were NE stye, which just wasn’t in the mood for, I opted for the Black Musket Stout to round out the flight.
Black Musket Stout – 6.2% It’s been a while since I ordered a stout. I used to love the roasted coffee flavor to stouts but my taste have changed and since most stouts seem to have the coffee thing going on I tend to pass. This black beauty passed on the coffee and offered up an abundance of dark malts countered by hops and a hint of nuttiness. Rich, Smooth & Creamy.
I wish I had more time to spend at Kings Road Brewery but I had to move onto my next stop but I’ll definitely be back.
Even though my 2020 Breweries to Visit list…oh heck we all know what happened to any plans made in 2020. The fact that 2020 was a wash didn’t stop me from making my 2021 Breweries to Visit list. This year’s list focuses heavily only #NJCraftBeer with a few PA breweries in the mix and so far I’m on track with visits. My latest stop was to Icarus Brewing in Lakewood, NJ. I’ve been hearing so many good things about their beer and had to check it out for myself.
I recently met a friend there on a rainy afternoon so outside sitting wasn’t going to work. However, on nice days there is a small makeshift seating area in the parking lot in front of the brewery. Parking appears to be limited unless I missed a second lot. We chose to go early on a Friday in hopes it wouldn’t be crowded at 1:30pm and our plan worked.
The brewery is much smaller than I imagined but the layout doesn’t make you feel cramped and even though it’s in a warehouse they have it set up to be warm and inviting. There are only a handful of tables with the tables along the wall having hanging dividers between them. There are also hooks along the wall and under the bar to hang purses and coats or whatever, as well as, charging outlets. Very nice touch! (no bar seating right now) Since I had my pups with me I chose the corner table next to the bar which was really out of the way from others.
The tap list is diverse from Pilsner, IPA, Pale Ale, Fruit, Stouts and Quads on tap. I was excited to see two Pilsners on the list, my go to style right now and stuck to them and IPA’s for this trip. I was happy with all my choices. The Three B’s Pilsner 6.9% and Pound of Feathers Imperial Pilsner 7.1% both were well done, clean and crisp and my favs of the day. I enjoyed the Pound of Feathers so much I bought 4 pack for my brother. I also really enjoyed the Piner West Coast IPA 7.4%. I love a good old school W.C. IPA and the Piner was exactly what I was in the mood for with hints of pine and citrus.
The artwork on the walls is fun and I even spotted a Grateful Dead painting so you know that made this Gal happy. The have a large collection of vinyl that they play and I love that they display the album sleeve of what is currently playing. Another nice touch!
We brought our own food to enjoy. I stopped on the way to Icarus at Mama Dude’s a fantastic little mom & pop farm to table take out joint…highly recommend them. We enjoyed lunch, beers and catching up which really made for such a relaxing afternoon.
Right now seating is limited to 90 minutes if crowded, no flights and there’s a take out window up front for purchases. The staff is friendly and happy to answer any questions and the brewery is dog friendly. Mama T. and Sullivan felt very welcomed.
For the first time in a year I was inside a brewery. It was surreal and yet normal all at the same time. Being in the high risk group for Covid I have limited my time out in the public and only visited 3 breweries last year (all outside) and for the most part enjoy beer at home or at my local beer joint down the street that has a year round outdoor patio. Fortunately, their tap list is always top notch. However, it was nice to try out a new place and drink some different beers.
Newton Brewing Company had been on my list of places to visit last year but we all know what happened to our lists of things to do and places to visit in 2020. I’m determined to get through my list this year. Granted I showed up 5 minutes before they opened so I could get there first thing, limited myself to a taster round and promised my partner we would be out before it got people-ly. I had just wrapped up the taster round when others arrived so we had the place to ourselves pretty much our entire visit.
ATMOSPHERE – Like many other breweries it is in an industrial type complex but the minute you walk through the door you forget that. The owners did a top notch job making the brewery feel warm and inviting. I absolutely love all the wood and the overall decor of the place. I also really like that there are a choice of table styles to choose from – high tops, barrels, and regular 4 top tables. (Bar sitting doesn’t exist right now because of the pandemic ) Another bonus sound buffers on the walls and ceilings. The brewery is BYOF and often has food trucks, check out their schedule, and being its PA during Covid hot dogs are available for purchase to cover the required table food law.
THE BEER – The tap list is nice with truly something for everyone. Personally, I was thrilled to see a Dunkel on the list and that was my fav of the day. Their Imperial IPA also ranked high. They also serve wine from a local winery, soft drinks, hard cider and seltzer as well. This place has me excited to visit breweries again and I look forward to my 2021 Beer Tasting Adventures.
Please note me and my partner’s comfort level and precautions with the pandemic are our decision and I will not debate them.
This Gal was fortunate enough to travel around the coast of Ireland for 8 action packed wonderful days. Ireland is a very clean and beautiful country, the people are friendly and, of course, there’s lots of beer. Now I know the first beer that comes to mind when one thinks of Ireland is Guinness…they go hand in hand. However, I quickly discovered there really is so much other wonderfully crafted local beer available.
On our first day my companion and I had a bit of free time before the tour group was gathering so we started walking towards the Guinness store. We walked and walked and walked…our free time was dwindling and then I saw it! The sign for J.W. Sweetman Craft Brewery. Heck, one can get a Guinness ANYWHERE in Ireland (really it’s everywhere) but I knew I couldn’t get J. W. Sweetman beer everywhere. Seeing the brewery sign prompted me to develop a new beer plan for the trip – drink local. No worries I had a Guinness – actually 2 during my 8 days in Ireland but for the most part I sought out what was local to the area we were visiting and since we were in a new area almost daily I tried a nice variety of local beers. Craft beer is still a relatively new thing in Ireland and the bartenders almost seem apologetic when saying something is a craft beer. At each place if something didn’t stand out as local I would ask what was available from the area. Several times bartenders answered with – “…. but it’s a craft, is that OK?” YES!
J.W. Sweetman– Dublin
Amazing historic building with a beautifully ornate staircase, several small private seating areas and multiple levels. Service was superb and the prices very reasonable. The offered 7 beers on tap and this Gal had the pleasure of trying 5 of them. Full service food menu that is veg, meat and gluten free friendly.
Blonde 4.3% – Hints of hops with citrus and subtle malts.
Weiss 5% – Had the cloves and banana that I’ve come to associate with a weiss along with a delightful tangy finish.
Red Ale 4.8% – A true Irish Red Ale – Yippy! This is an easy drinking beer that offers sweet malts, caramel and just a tinge of cocoa.
Pale Ale 4.5% – West Coast Hops and dry hopped at that. Underneath the hops is a layer of malts citrus that combine for a medium mouth feel.
Porter 4.8% – So happy to have a porter and a good one at that. All the beers were great but this was my favorite from the taster round. First up is the rich roasted bitter coffee and chocolate with a smokey smooth finish. This a full-bodied beer.
That night I had to stop at the little pub down the street from our hotel – The Ferryman. It’s a traditional Irish Pub overlooking the water that provides old world charm and a wide selection of brews. For my local selection I went with the McGargles IPA.
McGargles IPA – Hello West Coast hops! It’s hops alright but there’s enough tropical flavors going on to help tone down the hops and end on a refreshing note.
The next town we stayed overnight at was Waterford. Yes, the home of Waterford Crystal. Also, home to Downes of Waterford Pub. Where they mix their own whiskey Henry Downes No. 9 Irish Whiskey. Now this Gal is not a whiskey drinker but I felt I must try the No. 9 since it’s not available anywhere else. Along with the whiskey I had a half pour of Metalman IPA from Metalman Brewing.
Downes Whiskey No. 9 – please keep in mind I know NOTHING about whiskey – all I can say is this was smooth.
Metalman IPA 4.3% – The citrus and floral announce themselves first followed by the hops adding up to a refreshing beer.
Killarney was up next. This town is so quaint and easy to get around. If you have the chance to visit Ireland make sure Killarney is on your list of towns to stay over in. I requested a local brew from the bar I was at and was poured a half pint of Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale which I later found out was not local by indeed brewed by Heineken. As much as I wanted to keep it local it wasn’t always possible. I also wanted to make sure and try the OTHER Irish Stout Murphy’s which I prefer over Guinness. I later found out Killarney Brewing is in town but unfortunately time did not permit a visit.
Cute Hoor Irish Pale Ale 5% – Mild hops accented by pine overall the taste fades quickly
Murphy’s Irish Stout 4% – Much smoother than Guinness with a slightly
The town of Galway was the next chance for me to try a local brew and that I did with Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale (yes, it’s mostly Irish Pale Ale’s that are available).
Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale 4.4% – Similar to an
American Pale Ale but with a bit more malts. Nice citrus aftertaste that tames the bitterness.
My final local brew was from a brewery in the town of Derry in Northern Ireland – Northbound Brewery No. 8 Kolsch Style. I enjoyed all the beers that I had the opportunity to try but the No. 8 was by far my favorite beer of the trip.
No. 8 Kolsch – The brewery makes of point of saying this beer is inspired by the German Kolsch which it cleary is but with a twist – a very smooth twist. Another words this has to be the smoothest Kolsch I’ve ever tried. The hops giveaway to the malts with a silky mouthfeel.
This particular tour has you on the go so not a lot of down time but made the most of time I had and enjoyed sampling the brews of Ireland. I hope to one day return and see what’s the Emerald Isle has brewing.
Small tasting room in the front and a much larger tasting room on the brewing floor. Kane is a bustling place on the weekend but the line for pours movies quickly. Love the use of barrels & old wood throughout the brewery. There are 17 beers on tap and they are available in as a 40z taste or full pour and responsibly priced.
Enjoyed taster pours of: Single Fin Belgian Blonde 4.8%
Citrus, tropical fruits and earthy goodness – very fresh
Port Omna – all wonderful
1 with Cacao Nibs
1 with Mocha
1 with Milk Chocolate
Hop Lab 5.4%
Easy drinking citrus, pine and malts
Silent Night Imperial Stout 12% Excellent – rich, silky and smooth
Something about this place really appealed to me. I loved all the wood and it just had an easy laid back feel to it. When you enter there is a long L shaped bar and plenty of seating along the glass wall overlooking the street. They offer 12 beers on tap available as full pours or a sample flight of 4. Only opened since January and doing things right.
Bond Street Brownie 4.8%
Great malts (had 2 Browns on tap – Go Dark City!)
What a wonderful little brewery is. Don’t let the size fool you great beer is being brewed at at Little Dog. Even though it was a busy afternoon at the brewery Gretchen (owner/brewer) took the time out of her day to chat with me and show me around the brewery. The beers are wonderful as is the atmosphere – a place where friends come to hang out. Speaking of friends Gretchen’s childhood friend works behind the tasting bar pouring beers for the patrons part of what gives Little Dog a quaint homey feel.
Brown Porter brewed with chocolate & toasted coconut
Duck Boy Pale Ale 5.25%
fresh and nice balance of local hops
Gesundheit! Altbier 5%
Classic German-style amber ale
Paulaner Salvator 7.9%
Always a favorite even though it was served in a frosted glass.
Was curious how it would stand up to the various German Beer Halls I visited in Germany. Definitely an americanized version but still a lot of fun. Like the German Halls there’s community tables, it’s loud and crowded but the atmosphere isn’t German nor is the music. I was pretty disappointment that my beer was served in a frosted glass. However, the food was very good. We enjoyed the potato pancakes, Blumenkohl & Hungarian Beef Goulash.
If I had to pick just one word to describe Beach Haus it would be – FUN. This place just has a cool fun vibe to that makes you gather with a group of friends and spend the day enjoying each others company and good beer. Oh and they provide a true tour (love the various creative ways NJ Breweries find to get around the tour law).
The tap room upstairs is very large with lots of windows and light. There’s a glass wall that over looks an Italian restaurant, with wood burning pizza oven, next door. You can bring food into the tap room from the restaurant. Unfortunately, I was so full from the day that I only had room to do two tastings of beer.
Herb’s Rye American Wheat Beer 6.5%
very refreshing, easy drinking beer
Toast Black IPA 7.5%
Love black IPA’s and this one is wonderful
2nd Story Brewing Company is a welcome addition to the Philadelphia beer scene and with so many great beer options in the city of Brotherly Beer to choose from you might skip over one of the newer kids but I recommend you stop and check them out.
2nd Story has a rustic industrial feel to it with a long bar that takes up most of the wall to the right and multiple sitting areas throughout the downstairs. Something I absolutely loved (besides the beer) is the space between tables. Yes, the owners could have fit in several more tables but instead chose to leave lots of breathing room between tables which gives each group/table a sense of privacy. Such a welcomed retreat from overcrowded dining areas.
There’s also an upstairs which is where the brewing takes place hence the name 2nd
Story. ; ) There’s also a smaller bar and some dining table upstairs which makes for a perfect spot for a private party. On this particular night the area was empty and all the action was taking place on the main floor including a birthday celebration for a special someone – my awesome nephew! So happy my brother chose 2nd Story to celebrate his son’s 23rd birthday at.
2nd Story is a full service restaurant/bar with a diverse and tasty food menu and excellent service provided by Kelly. The beer selections are diverse as well and really offer something for everyone’s beer taste. During this Gal’s visit there were 10 beers on tap and one can do a flight of 4 5 oz pours for $8.50 (pints and growlers are also available) Naturally, this Gal chose to go with a taster round.
Who Dunnit American Pale Ale 4.5% Hops, with odd after taste, sort of a dank funkiness mixed with herbs.
Pickers Pride Wet Hopped Ale 5%
One can taste the cascade hops in this nicely brewed ale. More and more this Gal is enjoying wet hopped beers.
Berliner Weisse 3.8%
Sour German wheat beer with a good amount of tartness that is counterbalanced by a saltiness. You have a choice of it being served with raspberry or pomegranate syrup.
Fest Beer Oktoberfest 6.4%
A true classic Oktoberfest beer with earthy and sweet malts, hints of toffee and hops.
After the taster round was drained and the dinner consumed the group chose their dessert choices. Dessert for this Gal was a full goblet of Great Pumpkin Porter.
Great Pumpkin Porter 7.3%
This is a great combo of pumpkin spices, malt, vanilla and hints of a rum flavoring. Very clean, smooth and subtle pumpkin. The house-made doughnut dessert is served with a small taster of the this porter and compliments the dessert nicely.
Small taste of Adsultium IIPA American Double IPA 8%
Yup, lots of hops and rightly so. Although, the honey helps to balance the hops.
Overall 2nd Story Brewing Company is a great addition to the Philly Beer Scene. Located in Old City one could easily make it a stop on a beer crawl since it’s located across the street from Eulogy and around the corner from Khyber Pass.
Go around to the back. No, really go to the back of the abandon looking building where you think nothing will be and you’ll have arrived at Prism Brewing Company. You’ll also feel as if you entered something from a 70’s campy scream flick. Yea, Prism Brewing Company can be confusing to find and looks a bit sketchy from out the outside which makes it all that much more appealing.
Inside has a somewhat throwback biker/dive bar feel to it with several tables and a long wooden bar, dark atmosphere and arcade games. The bar overlooks the brewing floor but when we towards the end of our stay and that added a nice touch to the atmosphere and livened things up a bit. Although, I have to say the glass overlooking the brewing floor was in dyer need of a good cleaning.
A limited bar menu is available from the “kitchen” behind bar and there are various weeknight specials too. FREE Bacon (take note House of Skip) on Wednesdays.
I was astonished to find out they have been in business for 5 years since I really just starting hearing about them in the last 6 or 7 months. It was at a recent beer festival that I had the pleasure of trying their Felony . It’s a Double IPA that was so smooth and coming in at 10% also a bit scary. This beer alone is the main reason I sought out Prism Brewing Company.
Since I had already had the pleasure of trying the Felony I decided on this visit to try a few others from the 8 beers on tap. One can do a full taster of all 8 beers or half, plus pints are available as well. I went for the half taster since I had to drive – safety first.
ParTea Pale Ale 5.5%
This is an English pale ale brewed with black tea which you can really taste. An unique flavor with the tea overshadowing the malts and hops a bit but over all an enjoyable beer.
Light sour with spices and a maple syrup finish.
Mason’s Porter 4.8% Hazelnut Coffee Porter – delish. My fellow beer taster for this trip tends to shy away from porters but loved this beer. The hazelnut is upfront and wonderfully rounded out by chicory, roasted malts and a ever so slight hint of vanilla.
Red Zone 6.6%
Fall Spiced Irish Red Ale with Spiced Sugar Rim – Yes a Spiced Sugar Rim! I wasn’t sure if I would like that but it was so tasty. This is fall in a glass with all the spices you associate with the season, maple syrup and brown sugar. Make sure to get it with the sugar rim!
Finally the day had arrived to go beer sampling at Round Guys Brewing and Prism Brewing Company. I picked up my companions for this latest beer excursion, plugged in the address for Round Guys in the GPS and we were on our way. It was a bit of drive but finally we were close so close the GPS announced we had arrived yet we were at a pizza shop not a brewery. We drove a bit more and decided to turn around thinking maybe we missed something. Indeed we did. The brewery is really around the corner in back of the pizza joint. In other words it can be a bit hard to find as is parking but we managed to do both.
The outside looks a bit upscale but upon entry you realize it’s a laid back bar. The décor is nondescript and the seating area is self is small but they make the most of the space with several tables and a large bar (with hooks underneath) that overlooks the brewing floor. The place was jumping when we arrived but fortunately we were able to snag the last available table.
Two of us had online coupons that were an amazing deal. For $15 each you received 2 pints, a take home pint glass and any food item from the menu. The food is mostly apps and sandwiches but offers something for everyone. I opted for the grilled cheese with jalapeños peppers. This Gal loves her hot peppers.
Even better was the beer menu with 15 beers on tap! The selection was varied and made choosing difficult. I decided to start with a pint of Take the Power Bock.
Take the Power Bock Dopplebock 7.6%
This Gal loves a well-brewed bock and this one is just that with loads of malty goodness with just a hint of hops to round it out.
Hipster Frogger Sour 6.6%
Don’t let the fact that it’s a sour scare you. Sours are wonderful and the degree of sourness varies with beers so be brave and sample sours whenever you get the chance. This Hipster is mildly sour and has that great sour funkiness to it that I just love. It was the perfect accompaniment to the jalapeños grilled cheese.
several of their beers on the festival circuit and have always found them enjoyable. If you’re looking to make a day of it Prism Brewing Company is just a few minutes away and where my companions and I were headed next…
Allow me to make things clear right from the start. Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing is Fun, Fun, and Fun! As soon as you walk in you’re transported back in time to Atlantic City’s hey day. What makes this place works is the details, they nailed it, with themes it can go cheesey over the top but instead the concept was thought out and perfectly executed.
The bar area is a throw back to speakeasy days with wood shelving, a fun spin wheel in the middle and whimsical cat tail tap handles. There’s historic photos displayed through out the tasting room, fun house mirrors, perfect mood lighting that resemble street lights from yesteryear, skeeball machines (one of this Gal’s favorite boardwalk games) and the topping on the cake was the music. The music really sealed the deal for this Gal – classic vaudeville carnival type jazz music.
In no way is this place gimmicky just relaxing and fun. You tend to forget you’re in a warehouse until you look through the glass doors at the brewery then you’re brought back to the reality of present day. It’s hard to believe this is the same brewery that used to house Flying Fish Brewery.
The brewery may be a throwback to a bygone era but the beer isn’t. David is brewing great innovative beers that stand out in today’s brewing world.
Title DeedImperial Oatmeal Espresso Coffee Stout 7.5% – I love everything about this beer from the name, style to roasted chicory flavor. Yup, this Gal’s favorite. Unfortunately, no growler fills of this beer allowed. : (
The Tourist Plum Berliner Weisse – surprised by the color sort of reminded me of coconut milk/water but the taste is very much a sour. Nice job.
Round Trip Hoppy Saison 7% Great balance of spices, bitter hops and refreshing citrus all balanced out by yummy malts.
1916 Shore Shiver IPA 6.9% Wow, the hops are balanced by a interesting combo of fruits (think nectarines ). I brought home a growler of this little delight.
Even the beer names are fun and be sure to read up on the story behind each name.
If you get hungry you’re welcome to bring in your own food from the outside. You’re welcome to either enjoy it inside why visiting another time period or outside in the fun beachy seating area.
I have to give high props to Jamie Queli, the owner, she really captured the look and feel of a bygone era.