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.
Cape May Brewing is located in a small industrial park and could easily be missed but is worth searching out. This was my second visit to the brewery. The first was shortly after they opened and were experiencing some growing pains. Upon arrival it was clear they had worked out the kinks. The tasting room is very inviting and beckons one to kick back, relax and enjoy. The tasting room is comfortable with large picnic tables to sit at or you can pull up a stool at the tasting bar. They had a nice crowd for a Friday afternoon at 2:30pm and several people were filling growlers for take home.
A taster round includes 4 4oz pours, a tour and a souvenir pint glass. You can taste an additional 4 4oz pours for only $5 more. There were 8 beers to choose from this time around compared to just 3 on tap the first time I visited. There was also a house brewed root beer for the nondrinkers. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable as well.
First up…. Dunkelweizen (a dark wheat – 4.7%) – Lots of caramilization going on that compliments the roasted malts perfectly. It’s a very clean, smooth and refreshing beer. They nailed the style.
Alt Bier (amber – 5.0%) – Fizzy was the first word that popped into my head after the initial sip. It seemed to calm down some by the third or fourth sip. Beautiful amber color with a slight greenish head which made me think I would be tasting some hops but really didn’t; it did however have a slight flowery taste to it. It didn’t knock my socks off but still a very drinkable beer.
Devils Reach (Belgium strong ale 8.0%) – Oh this is a lovely sipping beer. It’s creamy with light citrus flavors accented with hints of coriander and banana. Very smooth and goes down easily. Love this beer. Even my non beer drinker companions enjoyed trying this beer and were pleasantly surprised by the cornucopia of flavors it had going on.
Honey Porter (made with local honey 5.1%) – This is a very nice porter with a rich dark body and light creamy head. The honey was a nice compliment to the roasted/charred malts, coffee and nutty chocolate flavors of this beer but was not overwhelming with honey sweetness. If I didn’t know this beer was made with honey I would have sat there racking my brain as to what the accent flavor was.
A very nice afternoon at Cape May Brewing and I look forward to trying future offerings from them. They were out of the Hitching Post Bourbon Stout and I most certainly need to try that.