Browsing Category

Beer 101

Beer 101 Beer Biz Profiles Breweries

Beerworld! A Short History of Ponderlodge Golf Course and It’s Beer Connection!

Beerworld: A History

Deep in the Cape May County peninsula there was once a lodge on a non-descript golf course referred to as ‘Beerworld’.  Located in Lower Township, this mystical place was born out of the Ponderlodge Golf Course and built by William H. ‘Billy’ Pflaumer shortly after he acquired the land in 1976.

Ponderlodge would shortly be dubbed, Beerworld by locals of Cape May County chiefly because of Billy Pflaumer’s day job: owner of Christian Schmidt & Sons brewery in Philadelphia (more commonly known to many simply as ‘Schmidts’).  Once known as the 9th largest brewer in the country, Schmidts was an American beer icon for decades along with Pabst Blue Ribbon and Anheuser-Busch.

Pflaumer himself did not drink beer or play golf, but built the 16,000-square foot building within Ponderlodge Golf Course for friends and family anyway.  First, as a private 9-hole course and then in 1991, Beerworld was expanded to 18 holes and opened to the public for the first time.  Pflaumer’s family and Lower Township locals alike would play the course up until the crumble of the Schmidts beer empire, and a bankruptcy that would mark a sad end to Beerworld in 1997.  

Schmidt’s Logo Tiled On the Pool

Today, although you can no longer step inside Beerworld for a fresh draft before conquering the back-nine, you can walk the land it once stood on before the lodges’ eventual demolition in 2011.  After Billy Pflaumer lost the golf course in bankruptcy, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection bought the land and made plans to restore it into a wildlife management area (WMA).  

The Cox Hall Creek WMA makes Ponderlodge almost unrecognizable now in 2018.  The golf cart paths are replaced by nature trails.  Ponds once resembling course obstacles have turned into handicap accessible fishing hide-a-ways.  Migratory birds visit the lush grasses and woods that once held drunken golfers cursing a dismal shot in the rough.  

Beerworld is no more, but the lore lives on!  Throw those clubs in the back and let’s find somewhere that still pours a draft!

Cape May Brewing Company

Ah, yes.  New Jersey’s fastest growing craft beer brewer.  Located in the heart of Cape May County and quite literally so close to Ponderlodge/Cox Hall Creek WMA that if golf carts where still on site, one could make the trip to the brewery within five minutes.

Established in 2011, in what could be interpreted as rising from the ruins of Beerworld, the Cape May Brewing Company has gone on to dominate the region since opening its taps to the world.  With a full tasting room, newly renovated outdoor lounge, and nearly two dozen craftsmanship awards from around the globe – Cape May Brewery is a must see, sit, and drink location.

Whether you’re into tastings or pints (I’m a pint guy myself) there’s plenty of brews to try and even more options to take home in the company’s ‘Brewtique’ store (A+ on the creative name convention).  Cape May IPA is the brewery’s flagship beer, and was the very first draft the woman who would go on to become my wife and I tried on a sizzling late summer day in 2012 in a little place called Cabana’s Beach Bar on Beach Avenue in Cape May.  This also happens to be the historic first location Cape May Brewery placed kegs in and sometimes, I like to think we drank a beer from that first keg.  

We were blown away that someone in South Jersey had created an IPA to challenge all IPAs, and even beat out quite a few of our favorites.  On our next visit we went to see this brewery for ourselves and where not disappointed.  Now we find ourselves making the trek down from Camden County as often as summer traffic and hectic schedules allow.

Cape May Brewery has grown a lot since 2011, but you can still purchase as much Cape May IPA as you can carry and so many beers since then.  Coastal Evacuation DIPA is one of my personal favorites while my wife enjoys the taste bud tingle of Corrosion Sour IPA.  

Photo Credit: Cape May Brewing Company

Other flagship beers include Devil’s Reach and Honey Porter.  The latter of the two is made with local honey that is certified Jersey Fresh by the state.  Sign up for the newsletter and check out what’s on tap often from One Off Wednesday’s (week to week one-time brews) to seasonal brews such as Follow The Gull and the much coveted Apple Bomb.

Beer 101 Breweries Podcast

The South Jersey Beer Scene Podcast-Episode 18: Rob Mullin of Yuengling!

Rob Mullin from Yuengling is the guest on this week’s episode.  Yuengling just released it’s first new beer in 17 years, Yuengling Golden Pilsner, and Rob brought some for us to sample along with a few of their great legacy beers, Black & Tan and Lord Chesterfield Ale. Yuengling’s story is one of the best in all of the beer industry and is one of the most sought-after brands by both Craft Beer aficionados and everyday beer drinkers.

Beer 101 News Road Trip

Exploring South Jersey with Joe Moore-Lucy the Elephant: A South Jersey Staple

Exploring South Jersey with Joe Moore

Lucy the Elephant:  A South Jersey Staple

Scattered around South Jersey are micro craft breweries that many of us have come to know, love, and even enjoy frequently.  Another lesser-known but equally important aspect of South Jersey is the rich history the lies here.  The premier way to enjoy both magnetic aspects of this beloved region is to mix them.  An example?  

Well… Did you happen to know South Jersey is home to the ‘World’s Greatest Elephant’?  A safe bet might have been wagered that most outsiders and even some lifelong South Jersey residents did not.

Lucy the Elephant 

Originally built as a novelty attraction in 1881, Lucy the Elephant is a unique structure that stands six stories high, and at one time, towered over everything along the Atlantic County coastline.  When first erected by James Lafferty in the late 19th century, Lucy was situated in what was known then as South Atlantic City.  

Outwardly modeled after the Asian elephant, Lucy stands east facing the Atlantic Ocean and has served in the past as a hotel, a personal residence, and among other things, a tavern that nearly caused the structure to burn to the ground due to a visiting drunkard in 1904 (we all know one or two or those).  Lucy continued as the face of Southern New Jersey as she changed hands from various owners until finally being donated to the city of Margate (present-day South Atlantic City) in 1970.  The city, along with a newly formed conservation group dubbed the Commission to Save Lucy, together would face the elephant’s most difficult challenge to date: the physical movement of the entire six-story building.

The city of Margate and the commission decided that the damage from the building sitting so close to the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean while also sitting on prime South Jersey beachfront real estate would serve as Lucy’s end if the pachyderm shaped structure was not moved just over two blocks down the shoreline road to a vacant lot purchased by the Commission to Save Lucy and the city of Margate.  This major engineering feat was completed in under 30 days to relocate Lucy the Elephant to her new home, where she still welcomes tourists and locals today.  

Lucy was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and was converted into a museum where guests can tour the inside of the world’s greatest elephant and enjoy beautiful views of both the Atlantic City skyline and the Atlantic Ocean.  

Seeing this magnificent elephant costs a minor fee of $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 to 3 years old with children under the age of 2 touring for free.  Lucy the Elephant is open all year-round providing limited hours during the winter and spring months and longer touring schedules during the warmer months.  Check out LucytheElephant.org for seasonal touring schedules, for donations to the Save Lucy Commission, and the Lucy Gift shop, which stocks more things elephant than the average could be imaged.  The website dives deeper into the history of Lucy as well as serving as the primary source from which information was gathered for this article.

Atlantic City: In & Out of the Casinos

Whether you tour the inside of Lucy the Elephant, walk beneath the belly of this larger than life structure or merely admire her from the parking lot, there is only one more thing left to do from here: find a cold beer.

Out: The Back Bay Ale House

If you would like to continue your outdoor adventure, then the Back Bay Ale House located in the Gardener’s Basin section of Atlantic City should be the first and only stop.  The Gardener’s Basin section of Atlantic City is the spot locals and tourists without the urge to gamble largely find themselves in. 

Nestled between the Marina District casinos and the world famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Back Bay Ale House offers an entirely different vantage point, this time from within Atlantic City, while offering an impressive list of local craft beers including two brews from Flying Fish Brewery; the Back Bay Sunset Ale and the Back Bay 1858, both brewed specifically for the Back Bay Ale House.  The latter of the two was inspired by the year in which the mason jar was created and the beer, as well as all cocktails, come in a 16-ounce mason jar.  Other local craft beers on tap sample from other local breweries such as Cape May Brewing Company’s Cranberry Bog, and Dogfish Head’s flagship 60 Min IPA.

 

In: A Dam Good Sports Bar

If crowds and casinos are more your scene, then there is no other finishing point to an adventure, than A Dam Good Sports Bar located on the third floor of The Quarter in the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, just a short drive from Lucy the Elephant.

It comes as clear convenience that A Dam Good Sports Bar happens to be housed within the casino closest to Lucy, but there it is and offers many delectable craft brews on tap.  Some of the local craft options on tap are Glasstown Brewing Company’s 609 IPA, Ludlam Brewing Company’s Island Big Dirty Double IPA, and Dogfish Head’s 60 Min IPA.  

 

Beer 101

A Millennial’s Beer Journey with Lauren Emerick!

Editors Note-We would like to introduce another woman who will be contributing to the site, Lauren Emerick.  Lauren represents the millennial side of craft beer and will bring her unique take to the site.  She has grown up in an era when there has been a local brewery and a significant amount of craft beer available for her to try without going on a quest to find it!  We look forward to hearing her musings as she enriches her beer knowledge!  Welcome aboard Lauren!

Hi, my name is Lauren Emerick! I’m a South Jersey native and lover of all things craft beer. I grew up in Egg Harbor Township and have lived here most of my life. I got into craft beer right after I turned 21. My first brewery was Cape May Brewing Company in 2011, the first year that they were in business. It has always remained my favorite New Jersey brewery and it’s been awesome to see them evolve to what they are today. They started with a small tap room that had picnic tables to sit at and now it’s so much bigger! My favorite beer from Cape May Brewing Company is definitely the Cape May IPA!  After checking out Cape May Brewery, the hook was set, I couldn’t wait to check out more.

I’m not going to lie, as a girl it used to be a bit intimidating going to breweries but now I feel comfortable going in and knowing what I want to try. I even got my boyfriend to start drinking craft beer and now he enjoys it a lot as well! There can be a stigma that just because you’re a female, you won’t like certain beers or you don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s definitely not true! I’m always posting new beers I try on my Instagram and sharing my thoughts. IPA’s have always been my go-to but I always like to try other styles as well.

Currently, for summer, I’m all about the shandys! A shandy is typically a beer mixed with lemonade or some sort of fruit juice. With a lower ABV, they are very refreshing and great for drinking on the beach.

I love hearing the stories behind the local breweries and enjoying the different vibes at each brewery. We have so many great breweries in South Jersey and each of them are unique in their own way.  While I’ve tried quite a few, there’s still so many to explore and more breweries  are opening in what seems like almost every week. I always recommend doing a tour at a new brewery you stop at, even if it wasn’t mandatory (The State of New Jersey requires that you take a tour prior to enjoying a beer). You’ll hear interesting stories and learn something new each time.I’m excited to contribute to South Jersey Beer Scene because it combines two of my favorite things, writing and craft beer.  I’m also excited to be another female voice in the craft beer industry and share my thoughts!

Beer 101 News

Zymurgy Magazine Announces 2018 Best Beers in America

ZYMURGY® MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES 2018 “BEST BEERS IN AMERICA”

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale Takes #1 Spot for Second Consecutive Year

Boulder, Colo. • June 21, 2018—The results are in! For the second year in a row, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was named number one in the annual Best Beers in America survey conducted by Zymurgymagazine. Now running in its 16th year, the survey asks members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA), which publishes Zymurgy, to choose up to five of their favorite commercial beers available for purchase in the U.S.

“As brewers, the members of American Homebrewers Association can discern the subtle differences between a good beer and an outstanding beer,” said Gary Glass, director, American Homebrewers Association. “Zymurgy’s Best Beers in America survey showcases which commercial beers are truly the best of the best out there, and all the breweries who made the list should be proud.”

Despite the plethora of delicious options available to beer lovers, the same two beers have been battling it out for first place for the past eight years. For the second straight year, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale bested Russian River’s Pliny the Elder, which had taken the top spot from 2009 to 2016.

“When I think about the elements that Bell’s shares with the passionate homebrewing community, the values that rise to the top include creativity, a meticulous attention to detail, and the joy of sharing thoughtfully crafted beers with friends,” said John Mallett, director of operations, Bell’s. “To be recognized for excellence by people who truly understand all that goes into creating and delivering quality beers and experiences to our communities is a huge honor. These values are true drivers for us all.”

Top-Ranked Beers (T indicates tie; *indicates small and independent craft brewer):

1. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale*

2. Russian River Pliny the Elder*

3. The Alchemist Heady Topper*

4. Bell’s Hopslam*

T5. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale*

T5. Founders CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

T5. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)

8. Three Floyds Zombie Dust*

9. Founders Breakfast Stout

T10. WeldWerks Juicy Bits*

T10. Founders All Day IPA

Top-Ranked Breweries:

1. Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, Mich.*

2. Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, Mich.

3. Russian River Brewing Co., Santa Rosa, Calif.*

4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.*

5. Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, Calif.*

T6. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Ore.*

T6. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Del.*

8. Stone Brewing, Escondido, Calif.*

9. The Alchemist, Stowe, Vt.*

10. Three Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, Ind.*

Top-Ranked Beer Portfolios:

1. Stone Brewing (33 beers)*

2. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. (29 beers)*

T3. New Belgium Brewing (24 beers)*

T3. Founders Brewing Co. (24 beers)

5. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (23 beers)*

T6. Avery Brewing Co. (22 beers)

T6. Hill Farmstead Brewery (22 beers)*

T7. Boulevard Brewing Co. (20 beers)*

T7. Trillium Brewing Co. (20 beers)*

T9. Bell’s Brewery (19 beers)*

T9. Deschutes Brewery (19 beers)*

T9. Odell Brewing (19 beers)*

T9. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (19 beers)*

T9. The Bruery (19 beers)*

T9. Three Floyds Brewing (19 beers)

The complete list is available at HomebrewersAssociation.org.

For homebrewers interested in replicating some of the winningest beers at home, the AHA provides clone recipes in Zymurgy and online, including Two Hearted Ale, Pliny the Elder and much more, which can be accessed via the recipes section of the AHA website.

Contact: Jacob Streiter, on behalf of the American Homebrewers Association, (646) 695-7047

###

About the American Homebrewers Association

The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) has worked on behalf of the homebrewing community since 1978 and celebrates a membership of 46,000 homebrewers. The American Homebrewers Association organizes events including Homebrew Con™ and the National Homebrew Competition. The AHA also publishes Zymurgy® magazine and offers the Brew Guru™ mobile app. The AHA is part of the Brewers Association (BA), whose independent craft brewer seal is a widely adopted symbol that differentiates beers by small and independent craft brewers. The BA’s Brewers Publications™ division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today’s craft brewers and homebrewers.

Beer lovers and anyone interested in making their own homemade beer are invited to learn more at HomebrewersAssociation.org. Follow the AHA on Twitter, and join us on Facebook and Instagram.

The Brewers Association is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital/familial status. The BA complies with provisions of Executive Order 11246 and the rules, regulations, and relevant orders of the Secretary of Labor.