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Breweries Food

Beer. It’s What’s with Dinner Featuring Pinelands Brewing Co.

In this edition we travel North on the Garden State Parkway to Pinelands Brewing Company in Little Egg Harbor. We met with head brewmaster and founder, Jason Chapman, who was a gracious host and chock full of knowledge about beer. Pinelands Brewing Company is a 3 BBL brewery which opened on March 1, 2014 and, in that short period of time, has quickly become a local and regional favorite. Locally sourced ingredients and water from the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer, which has an estimated 17.7 trillion gallons of some of the best all natural drinking water in the world, is a big reason for that. The only problem we had was picking the right beer from their great stable of brews to pair with the food I prepared, but that’s the fun part. Let’s begin.

Cheese Course

Once again, quality deserves quality, so we went with DiBruno Bros Prima Donna. This sweet, nutty, firm cheese is slightly oily with a bit of salt. Originated in Holland, its inspiration was to create a hybrid of Parmigiano Reggiano and Gouda which will pair nicely with most beers. As Jason and I mulled over the tap list, we both agreed to go with Swamp Donkey IPA. Don’t let the name fool you, this is a great brew with an aroma and taste consisting of Amarillo and two other American hops. The color is great with a great balance of floral and fruit and a nice dry finish. Swamp Donkey was a great choice for the cheese, and with a robust 6.8% ABV this donkey has a kick.


For the appetizer I went with an oldie, but a goodie. I stuffed baby Portabello Mushrooms with my hot crab dip recipe, and topped them off with a nice French Emmental. This is a medium hard Swiss which has a savory yet mild taste.  I can never seem to make enough of these scrumptious little flavor bombs!  We chose to go with Sharp Shooter IPA, a beer that made for their friends at Shooters Gun and Archery Range down the street from the brewery. This bronzed colored ale has a citric character which lends itself well to this seafood dish. With a moderate body and malty backbone, it was definitely the right choice for this appetizer.


For the main course I went with something I’ve made about 100 times. My pulled pork tacos with blue cheese coleslaw is a dish I feel I’ve finally perfected. It takes 12 hours to get the pork butts to fall apart, tender. The blue cheese coleslaw was inspired by my wife’s love of the fragrant cheese. Looking over the tap list their was one beer that stood out. It was the first Pinelands Brewery Beer I tried the day the brewery opened, Pitch Pine Ale. This crisp American Pale Ale made from Chinook and Cascade hops is a very easy drinking beer. With a 5.9% ABV it can go with a lot of dishes and was a favorite at a Memorial Day Party I had a few years ago. Definitely a go to any time I see it on tap.


For dessert I tapped into a family resource. My daughter, Lauren, is in the culinary program at ACIT and is enrolled in ACCC for Baking and Pastry this fall. One of her decadent desserts is her Espresso Chip Meringues. Although these little flavor pillows are light as air, they burst with espresso and chocolate flavor. There were two choices for this dessert: Zero Shucks Given Oyster Stout and Evan John Porter. Don’t let the Oyster Stout name fool you, this is a smooth and silky stout with big flavor! After taking with Jason, we decided to go with the Evan John Porter. This delicious Porter made with whole vanilla beans is smooth and complex, making it a perfect match for the Meringues, and it also is great all on it’s own. With an abundant tap list, Pinelands Brewing Company is definitely worth the drive for great beers and great atmosphere. Til’ next time…

Enjoy your pour!

Visit Pinelands Brewing Company on the web at

Follow Pinelands Brewing Company on twitter @pinelandsbrew

Visit Pinelands Brewing Company’s Facebook Page HERE

Follow Pinelands Brewing Company on Instagram -pinelandsbrewingco


Breweries Cigar Pairing

Stogies and Sips With Paul

I have been a student of cigars for over a decade. I have also been known to indulge in a few beers as well. My goal with this series is to inform you, the casual cigar smoker, in the fine points of smoking affordable cigars as well as pairing them with some of South Jersey’s best local craft beers.

One of the most daunting things to figure out as a new cigar smoker is how to know which cigar is right for you. The correct answer is that it really depends on how long you have to smoke a cigar. The length and ring (circumference) are as important as your palate, or taste preference. Cigars range from mild (Connecticut and natural wrappers) to full bodied (Maduro) stogies. My suggestion for the novice smoker is to purchase a sampler. Samplers are a bundle of 3-10 cigars that you can purchase online at any cigar site, or have one put together at your local Cigar Store.  With samplers you modify and tailor the cigars to what you think you may like. I believe the best way to learn what you like is to start out mild and work your way up.  This allows you to define your palate and learn the nuances as you work your way around the different cigar flavors.  And remember, the darker the stogie the more nicotine it contains.

The spotlight cigar for my inaugural entry is the El Baton by J.C. Newman. These Nicaraguan beauties are full bodied and oily in a good way with hints of coffee, raison, and nuts.  Most people equate Cigars with dark and heavy beer, but  I feel that it can go just as well with an IPA.  Angry Osprey by Slack Tide Brewing Company is the perfect companion to the El Baton. This American IPA with it’s dry, crisp, and citrusy flavor only intensifies the experience of both the smoke and the drink.  The cigar really brings out a lot of the flavor in the beer, and the beer brings out the flavor of the cigar in a perfect, symbiotic relationship.

Remember, there is no right or wrong beer/cigar combos.  Learning what you like and experimenting along the way will help you define you personal favorites.




Girls Take Flight!

Hi, I’m Karen Renzulli, and I am just as much a lover of beer as my husband, Tom, who also writes for the site.  With the increase of popularity of beer, women enjoying, tasting, and learning about beer is becoming more the norm.  While living in Flagstaff, AZ for a brief period, microbrews were the big thing in the local beer scene and we grew to love them. At first sip, I was not in “flavor” of them. I could make a beer last for hours and it was not enjoyable. I decided that if I was to learn to like these new flavors I would have to teach myself a new style of tasting so I could appreciate all the different brews.  Beer tasting can be very intimidating to a woman who doesn’t know about the different styles of beer. I hope to use my knowledge and style of tasting to encourage all ladies to be confident in ordering and enjoying a flight of beer.  A flight is a sampling of several beers in small glasses and is a popular way to try new types of beer without committing to a full pint.  By using our senses of sight, smell, and taste, we all can join in any conversation about the beer in front of us.  With each article, I will focus on one aspect of a flight using my own “girl” take on the topic, and hopefully, make you laugh a little! Please join me in exploring an exciting, interactive way to taste and ultimately appreciate a beer you might never have even considered.

Pucker Up with an IPA

One of the most difficult types of beer to appreciate, and more importantly enjoy, is the IPA. IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It is a hoppy beer style that is described with a puckered pout as bitter.
I felt the same way when I first tried these golden lip smackers. My face contorted and I wanted to spit it out. I couldn’t understand who would actually like this pour. What helped me to enjoy IPAs is not thinking that they were bitter, but that they were citrusy, like a grapefruit. Having this different mindset completely altered my taste buds to expect citrus and not bitterness. I like to rate the IPA on how close it is to a grapefruit or orange. I also like to imagine how refreshing and crisp the IPA would be on a hot summer day sitting by a pool. If I can taste and picture this, then that’s a keeper in my book! By no means are all IPAs citrusy, but I do think this is a fun way to start my flight.  The love of an IPA may not come overnight, but each small sip a girl takes is one giant leap for womankind!

Now sit back and enjoy your flight!

Breweries Events

Here’s What’s on Tap This Week!

If you attend any of these events, remember to tell them you found it on South Jersey Beer Scene!


Wednesday, April 5th

Tomfoolery Brewing will be hosting Mystery Fools’ Trivia at 6:30 PM

Thursday, April 6th

Passion Vines Wine & Spirit Company will be hosting a Beer & Cheese tasting featuring pairings of Di Bruno Bros. cheeses and Tuckahoe Brewing Company’s Beer. Tuckahoe Master Brewer Tim Caron will attend as a guest presenter to talk about each of the beers they are pouring, while PV Beer Expert Sean guides you through the cheese pairings.  Tickets are 25$ and can be found HERE!

Cold Spring Brewery will host a Thankful Thursday to benefit Family Promise of Cape May County. The event is from 4-8 pm and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Family Promise.  This is a great organization that keeps families together.  We have personally supported this group and feel that it is money well spent!  If you cannot attend and still want to help Family Promise of Cape May, you can get more information HERE!

Cape May Brewery will be having a Beer Dinner in EHT at the Flat Stone Tavern & Grill. The event starts at 6:30 and costs $50 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity. Tickets can be bought in person at Flat Stone, for more information please call (609) 272-8808.

Tomfoolery Brewing‘s Tap It Thursday will feature Blood Orange Kolsch!

Slack Tide Brewing Company will be tapping the next contender in the Battle of The Brewers contest, Lake Effect Lager, Paul’s entry into the “friendly” competition

Friday, April 7th

Slack Tide Brewing Company will be having their first Slack Tide Scavenger Hunt from 5pm-7pm.  This looks like a fun event to kick off the weekend!  More info can be found HERE!

Garden State Beer Company will be having Quizzo starting at 7 pm!  Brewery opens at 4 pm if you need to warm up your brain with a few of their outstanding brews!

Saturday, April 8th

Glasstown Brewing Company will be having a can and bottle release per Instagram.  I am not sure what they are, but they did have a picture of the Danky Jr on the post!  Follow them on Instagram @glasstownbrewing to get the full scoop!

UPDATE-Nightcap Bottles, Super C IPA Cans, and Danky Jr Cans will be on hand

Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House in  Atlantic City will be showing UFC 210 at 10 pm. Vagabond has Great food, and one of South Jersey’s best tap lists.  For more contact them at (609) 350-6721

Why Not Spend Saturday with one of South Jersey’s Fine Breweries

7 Mile Brewery will be open 12pm-10pm

Cape May Brewery will be open 12pm-8pm

Cold Spring Brewery will be open 12pm-8pm

Garden State Beer Company will be open 3pm-10pm

Glasstown Brewing Company will be open 12pm-9pm

Ludlam Island Brewery will be open 12pm-8pm

Slack Tide Brewing Company will be open 12pm-8pm

Three 3’s Brewing Company will be open 1pm-9pm

Tomfoolery Brewing Co. will be open 12pm-3pm and then will be closed for a private event

Tuckahoe Brewing Co. will be open 12pm-8pm

Sunday, April 9th

Garden State Beer Company will be hosting a Paint and Pints “Save the Bees” painting event.
25% of every participants’ ticket price will be donated to South Jersey Beekeepers to help with honey bee preservation. Paint for a great cause and have a great time doing it! For more information visit their website or click HERE!

Breweries Food

Beer. It’s What’s With Dinner Featuring Tuckahoe Brewing Company

For this pairing, we traveled to Tuckahoe Brewing Company in Egg Harbor Township.  We met with Tuckahoe’s Sales Manager, and all around great guy, Rob Callaghan in search of the perfect beers to pair with the food that we had prepared. Tuckahoe Brewing Company is one of the first South Jersey breweries, established in 2011 in Ocean View, Cape May County.  Tuckahoe made a move to Egg Harbor Township in 2015 to give them the extra room they needed to expand production and increase the size of the taproom.  The taproom is spacious and features many tables and a large wood topped bar.  The bar faces a large window which gives you a great view of the brewing area so you can see where all the magic happens.  In addition to the taproom, their beers can be found in many bottle shops, bars, and restaurants throughout South Jersey.

Cheese Course

For the cheese course, I once again decided to go with a high-quality Di Bruno Brothers Cheese, their Beemster Classic.  This robust, sweet and salty cheese is firm with a smooth feel.  Originated in Holland, Beemster is made from the milk of cows that fed on grasses located on a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Although Di Bruno Brothers suggest a dark stout, I chose to go outside the box and pair it with Tuckahoe’s Quatrain IPA.  Quatrain IPA gets its name from the 4 hops used in the brewing process namely Mosaic, El Dorado, Columbus, and Azacca.  With its citrus flavor and it’s hazy golden appearance, this juicy beer really complimented the Beemster Classic. It will be interesting to see what Di Bruno Brothers Cheese that Passion Vines Beer Expert Sean will choose to pair with the Beemster Classic at their tasting event with Tuckahoe Brewing on Thursday, April 6th.  For tickets and information, you can follow the link HERE.


For the appetizer course, I prepared a family favorite.  Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno poppers stuffed with a garlic and herb cream cheese.  This Spicy app had me considering a few different choices.  We first tried the pepper with Dennis Creek Pale Ale.  The use of Centennial and Cascade hops gives this beer a nice floral aroma with good bitterness on the back end.  Rob then suggested we try the Reed’s Bay American IPA as well,  and instantly I knew that this was the correct choice.  This  6.2% ABV IPA was brewed with Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial Hops, this beer had the perfect amount of citrus and a good bitter bite that perfectly complimented the poppers.


For the entree, I made my Applewood rubbed baby back pork ribs with a little brown sugar. Ribs are clearly a fan favorite with beer drinkers and I knew that there was only one beer to pair it with, Tuckahoe’s Anglesea Irish Red Ale.  The ale’s roasted barley, toffee, and caramel undertones really brought out the sweetness of the ribs.  At 5.3% ABV, this highly drinkable red ale really complimented the ribs perfectly.  As a side note, this is my personal favorite of all of the flagship beers that Tuckahoe produces.


I don’t think I’ve ever had a better pairing in taste and name than this one.  I knew there could only be one dessert that I would pair with Tuckahoe’s Kid’s Table Milk Stout, and it would be a nice, big chocolate chunk cookie.  This decadent stout, brewed with roasted barley, chocolate, caramel, and milk sugar really made for a great pairing.  What really put it over the edge is when Rob dunked his cookie in the stout, the rest of us quickly followed suit and it worked really well.  Coming in at 6.2% ABV, this stout made for a perfect finish.


Bonus Dessert

Bonus?  Yes!  Rob surprised all of us with a Blondie that he made from scratch using spent grain from Tuckahoe’s Steelmantown Porter.  Spent grain is starting to gain traction in baking, and Rob was really excited about the prospects of using spent grains in the future. We each had one (well maybe more than one) accompanied by the Steelmantown Porter and they were fantastic!  The spent grain gives the Blondie a unique flavor and texture profile that separates it from a traditional flour product. People are starting to use the spent grains to make pasta, bread, pretzels, dog treats, and most anything that calls for flour.  This brought a really nice finish to a fun, and flavorful, pairing session.

I would like to thank everyone at Tuckahoe Brewing Company for the tasting and the hospitality. Keep doing what you are doing and, as always, Enjoy Your Pour!

Follow Rob Callaghan on Instagram @iselltuckahoebeer

Follow Tuckahoe Brewing Company on Twitter @Tuckahoeco

Visit Tuckahoe Brewing Company’s Facebook Page HERE

For tickets to Tuckahoe Brewing Company’s Beer And Cheese tasting at Passion Vines click HERE