Kane Brewing

Beer Meister’s September Thoughts – Tommy Brennan

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Kane BrewingHey beer drinkers let’s get into it.  So a few month’s back we started on this venture together talking about a New Jersey Brewery, and I think it’s time to talk about the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.  If you’re going to talk about NJ Breweries, one name always comes up. Kane.  I can honestly say, they can do no wrong. If they do, I’m sure it’s buried somewhere next to Jimmy Hoffa. Head High, Over Head, Morning Bell, A Night to End All Dawns, Single Fin, the list goes on and on like a Billboard Top 100. Located in Ocean Township, the Brewery turns into a tasting room from Thursday to Sunday. Most of you have probably taken the trip. I have on a few occasions. There you’ll get a sample of some of the aforementioned beers or some crazy barrel aged goodies they are always playing around with.

“The path to Kane Brewing Company started after a summer trip to Europe following Michael Kane’s sophomore year in college. Through his travels across the European continent he was exposed to full-bodied English ales, crisp authentic German lagers, tart and refreshing Weiss beers and an array of unique Belgian ales. Following his return he looked to some of the small, recently opened craft breweries of New England as a way to explore new styles and flavors in beer. It was during one of these visits to a small Vermont brewery where he learned about homebrewing. Michael brewed his first batch, a German Wheat Beer, during his senior year in college and decided before it was finished fermenting that he was going to some day open a brewery.

Of course with no money and no concept of what it would take to even do that, he used his finance degree from Fairfield University to land a position as a litigation consultant in New York City. After four years of traveling, spreadsheets and countless batches of beer brewed in his tiny east village apartment, he left the city to pursue a MBA at the University Of Notre Dame in Indiana to continue his study of finance. This conveniently allowed him to explore the Midwest craft beer scene, but more importantly he learned more about funding, starting and managing a small business. During his time there he was also fortunate enough to intern in The Netherlands during the summer of 2004 and continue his exploration of Belgian beers.

Following graduation he moved back to New York City and got a job on Wall Street as an investment banker to gain some practical experience in finance and to help fund his project. Michael spent the next four years writing a business plan, researching the industry, visiting other brewers and brewery owners and occasionally actually during some work as an investment banker, so he could turn the brewery into a reality. He also continued to brew and develop his recipes winning a gold and silver medal at the 2009 National Homebrew Competition.

In 2010, he left Wall Street and signed a lease on a 7,500 square foot building formerly used to manufacture caskets in Ocean Township, New Jersey and began the process of building a craft brewery from the ground up. His goal was to bring his interpretation of American-style and Belgian influenced craft beers to the place where he grew up and to raise the level of craft beer awareness across the state. He chose this location because of his ties to New Jersey and his love of the small beach communities on the coast. After a year of construction, licensing and headaches, Kane Brewing Company opened to the public in August of 2011.”

So, that’s the story of how it all started for Kane. Come to think about it, looking back, I find it a little eerie that it used to be a casket factory. For those of you who have been there, maybe that explains the doctor’s like waiting room at the entrance of the brewery.

Now, most of you who have been coming to The Old Bay for years have met Pasquale “Pat” Pipi. After 15 years of dedicated service here at The Old Bay, Pat moved on to work for Kane in what seems like a no brainer for someone who loves beer as much as he does. I couldn’t in my right mind, mention Kane in a post and not bring up Pipi. As much as he is missed around these haunts, we all know he landed his dream job.  I for one am glad he’s gone, because I got to take over the beer here at The Old Bay and couldn’t be happier in my position in life.

So, if you can’t make it to Kane Brewing to taste some goodies and say hi to an old friend, you can always be sure that we will have one of their goodies on tap. From Head High to the “Hey we’re working on something awesome down here, keep an eye out” – beer, we’ll always keep you up to date on what’s going on tap and why it’s so awesome. Because when it comes to Kane, they just exude excellence.

Until next time, cheers to great beer!

fresh honey in comb

September’s Featured Cocktail: The Local Bee’s Knee’s – Ryan Loughran

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Warm weather, locally farmed ingredients and creativity bring me to this month cocktail feature. I’m really big into focusing our cocktail list on fresh ingredients by supporting local farms. I believe the fresher the cocktail the better!

The Barr Hill distillery is located in Hardwick, Vermont. Their focus is rooted on the freshness of their crop and how their local crop is preserved and transported locally. They’ve been around for over a hundred years by having a long relationship with the land, honey bees, corn, barley and rye.

At The Old Bay restaurant we feature Barr Hill’s gin because it adds that extra honey that most are looking for in a Bee’s Knees cocktail. The Bee’s Knees is a cocktail traditionally featuring gin, honey and lemon juice.

The Local Bee’s Knee’s

Ingredients:

  • Barr Hill gin
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey syrup
  • St. Germaine

Procedure:
Add 2 oz of Barr Hill gin to a shaker filled with ice.  Add 1/2 oz of lemon juice, 1/2 oz of honey syrup, and a splash of St. Germaine Elderflower liquor. Shake. Shake again! Strain into a glass filled with ice and add a lemon garnish! (or if your really trying to impress get some honeycomb from Wegman’s or Whole Foods)

Or come sit at our bar and let us do it for you! :)

As you can tell, I’m proud to be a part of supporting American local farms and distilleries!

Oysters

From the Chef’s Head September Edition – Joe Donlan

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OystersSometimes I find it very difficult to take the time to just sit down and write about what is going through my head. This is not one of those times. I have been noticing more places jumping on board the oyster boat. It seems everywhere you go you can find some type of oyster dish. If not a dish you will find oyster shooters. (Personally I don’t get the whole oyster shooter thing). What’s with this new found love? The answer is simple; oysters are getting to be more easily available.

They are more easily accessible because bays, inlets and tidal basins are being detoxed…so farmers are reseeding old oyster beds and discovering new ones.

Not a few here and there, but dozens around the country. Chips and pretzels are disappearing as happy hours on the coasts keep booze flowing with dollar-a-piece oysters … sometimes happy hour lasts all day. Mixologists and sommeliers scramble for steely white wines and new cocktails to match the bivalves. Locavores and farm-to-tableniks love the notion of plucking these critters from nearby waters … while sophisticates guess by brine, acidity and shape where an oyster’s from, giving rise to the term “merroir” as a parallel to wine-related “terroir.” (There’s even a shellfish place in Virginia called Merroir, which must be hell to pronounce down there.) At Waterbar in San Fran, oyster descriptors include: tropical fruit finish; clean lettuce finish; touch of bitter herb; honeydew melon, and sweet grass. Traditionalists stick to cocktails sauces … but for modernizing upstarts the world is their oyster and they’re provoking palates of the young and moneyed. We’ve seen oysters with lemongrass cocktail sauce or yuzu koshu dressing; The Girl & The Goat in Chicago has a muscatel mignonette with tarragon. Eventide in Portland ME assaults it oysters with kimchee or horseradish granita. Marshall Store & Oyster Bar in Marshall CA cooks its oysters with chorizo butter. For five bucks, Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston lets you add fried oysters and horseradish mayonnaise to burgers, steaks and roast chicken. Need numbers? Chesapeake Bay’s harvest grew eightfold between 2006 and 2012; in Connecticut the harvest about doubled between 2007 and 2010 and is still growing.

- Baum and Whiteman International food and Restaurant Consultants; 2015

After reading some of the information about this new group of “Merroir” it makes me think about all of the self described “Foodies” and “Amateur Chefs” that have sprouted up everywhere. You all know the type, they are the people that always know way more about the menu then the chef does and can tell you every detail of what the chef did wrong and why they are better then said chef. Does anyone ever think that the reason that some things are done differently is to throw off the people that think they know more then the chef. (End Rant)

Let’s get back to talking about the delicious oyster. No matter how you choose to prepare your oysters, it is going to be delicious. Here at The Old Bay we like to top our oysters with fresh spinach, smoked Gouda cheese and a bit of jumbo lump crab meat. We then bake them until the cheese is melted and top them with our silky house made lobster sauce.  Next time that you come in to visit us, do your self a favor and order the Oysters Old Bay. You will not be disappointed.

Sours

Beer Meister’s August Thoughts – Tommy Brennan

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Hot enough for ya? This time around I want to delve into the “Sour Craze” that is sweeping the nation. First and foremost, I’m going to throw this out there, I’m not a huge fan of sours. I’m sure eventually my palate will change with each sour I try just as it did getting used to IPAs.  So let’s take a moment with our good friend Wikipedia for the breakdown and we’ll all learn something.

While any type of beer may be soured, most follow traditional or standardized guidelines.

American Wild Ale
Main article: American Wild Ale
Beers brewed in America utilizing yeast and bacteria strains instead of or in addition to standard brewers yeasts tend to fall under the catch-all term American wild ale. These microflora may be cultured or acquired spontaneously, and the beer may be fermented in a number of different types of brewing vessels. American wild ales tend not to have a specific parameters or guidelines stylistically, but instead simply refer to the use of unusual yeasts.

Berliner Weisse
Main article: Berliner Weisse
At one time the most popular alcoholic beverage in Berlin, this is a somewhat weaker (usually around 3% abv) beer made sour by use of Lactobacillus bacteria. This type of beer is usually served with flavored syrups to balance the tart flavor.[7]

Flanders Red Ale
Main article: Flanders Red Ale
Descendent from English porters of the 17th century, Flanders red ales are first fermented with usual brewers yeast, then placed in to oak barrels to age and mature. Usually, the mature beer is blended with younger beer to adjust the taste for consistency. The name comes from the usual color of these ales.

Gose
Main article: Gose
Gose (pronounced “go-suh”) is a top-fermenting beer that originated in Goslar, Germany. This style is characterized by the use of coriander and salt and is made sour by inoculating the wort with lactic acid bacteria before primary alcoholic fermentation.

Lambic
Main article: Lambic
Lambic beer is spontaneously fermented beer made in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and Brussels. Wort is left to cool overnight in the koelschip where it is exposed to the open air during the winter and spring, and then placed into barrels to ferment and mature. Most lambics are blends of several season’s batches, such as gueuze, or are secondarily fermented with fruits, such as Kriek and Framboise. As such, pure unblended lambic is quite rare, and few bottled examples exists.

Oud Bruin
Main article: Oud Bruin
Originating from the Flemish region of Belgium, oud bruins are differentiated from the Flanders red ale in that they are darker in color and not aged on wood. As such this style tends to use cultured yeasts to impart its sour notes.”

Now me personally, when it comes to stomaching these mouth puckering monsters I tend to lean towards Lambics. They’re just tart enough and the fruit really comes through giving it a refreshing taste. We haven’t really toyed with the idea of adding syrups to a Berliner Weisse, but that could be something we try in the very near future as I’m already hoarding kegs for our Summer of Sours event coming up this month… I know, that was a shameless plug, but for me to get some really rocking sours in, I figured I should sit down and try to wrap my head around them and each of their personalities. So why not share that with you? So, my beer drinking friends, love ‘em or hate ‘em, Sours have been around for quite some time and I don’t think they’re going away anytime soon. So pull up a stool, and get ready to pucker up. Be sure to check out our beer list online for when these sours hit the lines.

Until then, cheers to great beer.

crawfish

From the Chef’s Head August Edition – Joe Donlan

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Here at The Old Bay we embrace summertime traditions. We had our annual Red, White and Brews BBQ fest in July and are gearing up for Shellfish festival in August.  That being said, and me being the Chef here, I have had shellfish on my mind. Since we are a Cajun/Creole restaurant you would think that it is a no brainer and we are going to a traditional Louisiana Boil and call it day. The problem with that is that I went to culinary school in New England and lived around for Boston for a few years. When it comes to a Shellfish Festival nothing beats a good old traditional New England Clam Bake. There in lies my dilemma. Do I stick with the traditional Louisiana Boil or do I do a New England Bake. Some of you are probably thinking what’s the difference? Let me tell you:

New England Clam Bake/Boil
In New England, a clam bake is traditionally done on a beach. A pit is dug in the sand and lined with stones. A fire is built on top of the stones from driftwood. Once the fire dies down, seafood is placed on the stones and covered with seaweed and a canvas tarp. The residual heat from the stones along with steam from the moisture of the seaweed combines to cook the food. While lobster is often featured at clam bakes, some authors suggest that in practice, lobster will not be fully cooked by the time the stones have lost most of their heat.

An alternative to the labor-intensive bake is the New England Clam Boil. Like other regions, corn, potatoes, and sausage are popular additions. Recipes from the region suggest that little or no seasonings are added. Beer is often used as the boiling liquid.

Louisiana Boil
A boil is usually done in a large pot (60 to 80 quarts) fitted with a strainer and heated by propane. However, some traditionalists see no need for a strainer and make use of a net or a wire mesh scoop. Seasonings include crab boil packets, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt, lemons, and bay leaf. Ears of corn, new potatoes, onions, and heads of garlic are usually included in shrimp and crawfish boils. Some people will add smoked sausage links and/or mushrooms. When cooking crawfish there is a debate over whether or not the crawfish must first be purged by covering them with clear water and a generous amount of salt for a few minutes. Advocates argue that this forces the crawfish to rid their bodies of impurities. Others argue that it does not work and is an unnecessary step. A “Boil Master” is in charge of making sure the ingredients go into the pot in the proper sequence and controls the timing of the steps. There is no right or wrong when seasoning a crawfish boil and many experienced boilers simply go by feel although there are some guidelines to follow and a great deal of opinions on how a boiled crawfish should be seasoned.]Many recipes call for a short boil followed by a period of soaking with the heat turned off. The contents of the pot are removed, drained, and then dumped onto a newspaper covered table. Sometimes, crawfish may be dumped into the traditional watercraft in which crawfishermen have historically used to traverse the bayous and swamps; a pirogue. Bottles of hot sauce, lemons and melted butter are usually available, along with cocktail sauce at a shrimp boil. Some families like to use Italian salad dressing or ketchup, or a mixture of both.

Now that you know the difference the question is, what I am going to do? Will I stay traditional and serve a Louisiana Boil or will I buck tradition and go with The New England Boil? If you want to know the answer, all you have to do is come visit me at the restaurant starting August 5, 2015. That is when we start our annual Shellfish Festival at The Old Bay.  See you soon!

 

August’s Featured Cocktail: Pimm’s Cup – Ryan Loughran

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As August approaches New Jersey, we’re all looking for a refreshing cocktail. A lot of people go to the liquor store and pick up ingredients to make a sangria or purchase a bottle of vodka and some mixers. I encourage you to go in the New Orleans direction and impress everyone at the party!

There may not be a better hangover drink in the world than a Pimm’s Cup. If you’re ever in the French Quarter in New Orleans there’s a magical place called the Napoleon House. The bartenders at the Napoleon House have mastered the art of the Pimm’s cup. It’s professionally made and refreshing enough to bounce you right back after a long night of drinking. It’s something everyone should live to experience!

Ingredients:

  • Pimm’s #1
  • Lemonade
  • Lemon soda
  • 2 cucumbers peeled and sliced
  • A bunch of strawberries

Pimm’s Cup Instructions:
In a highball glass or pint glass filled with ice add:

  • Pimm’s: 1.5 oz
  • Lemonade : 2 oz
  • 7 Up: 2 oz
  • Sliced cucumbers and strawberries
  • Top off glass with club and stir or roll drink into a different glass to mix

Feel free to triple the recipe and add all the ingredients to a pitcher or glass drink dispenser for a party or group. I also recommend marinating the mixture with the fruit overnight as it adds an extra refreshing element.

old bay swamp water

July’s Featured Cocktail: The Swamp Water – Ryan Loughran

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Recently I’ve received a number of emails in regards to the Old Bay’s Swamp Water cocktail. The Swamp Water is the our take on the French quarter and Bourbon St. favorite known as the Hand Grenade. If you’re ever in the French quarter take a walk down to the Tropical Isle. It’s on the corner of Bourbon St. and Toulouse St. We make them a little different here, but we’ve mastered our recipe in order to pack the same explosive punch!

Ingredients: Midori (melon liqueur),  Southern Comfort, Bourbon, Bacardi 151, Sour Mix, Club Soda, Ice and a Smile :)

The Swamp Water:

First fill a mason jar or glass with ice and add:

  • Midori: 2 oz.
  • Southern Comfort: 1 oz.
  • Bourbon: 1 oz.
  • Bacardi 151: 1/2 oz.
  • Sour mix: 1 oz.
  • Top your glass off with club soda and stir you drink or roll it into another glass to mix

Feel free to triple the recipe and make pitcher’s of it for your summer bbq’s! it’s important to note that our swamp water is strong, sweet and sure to bite you back!

bbq ribs

From the Chef’s Head July Edition – Joe Donlan

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Rub on ribs

Here at The Old Bay we are the midst of our annual Red, White and Brews BBQ Festival. This got me to thinking about all of the different types of BBQ out there. Let me start off by saying, BBQ is NOT grilling some chicken and covering it in your favorite store bought BBQ sauce. BBQ is a type of preparation as well as a sauce. The one thing that is a must is smoke. If you want true BBQ, the meat needs to be smoked. Preferably at a low temperature and cooked slowly. Nothing is better than tearing into a great piece of smoked meat and seeing that pink ring that has penetrated the meat. That ring is actually the smoke ring. The deeper the ring goes into your meat the more smoke flavor you will have.

Let’s get into the different styles that I was talking about earlier. The four main styles of BBQ are Carolina, Memphis, Kansas City and Texas. You can also check out the chart at the end for more information about BBQ in all regions of the United States.

Carolina Style
We will start with Carolina BBQ. What makes it Carolina style BBQ, like every BBQ the meat is prepared with a dry “rub” and smoked? Carolina Style BBQ sauce is mainly a mustard based sauce with some vinegar and sometimes some ketchup.

Memphis Style
Like many southern varieties of barbecue, Memphis-style barbecue is mostly made using pork, usually ribs and shoulders, though many restaurants will still serve beef and chicken. Memphis-style barbecue is slow cooked in a pit and ribs can be prepared either “dry” or “wet”. “Dry” ribs are covered with a dry rub consisting of salt and various spices before cooking, and are normally eaten without sauce. “Wet” ribs are brushed with sauce before, during, and after cooking.

Kansas City Style
Kansas City-style barbecue refers to the specific style of slowly smoked meat over a variety of woods and then covered with a thick tomato and molasses based sauce.

Texas Style
Depending on where you are from in Texas, the style of BBQ that you would call “Texas BBQ” differs. You have the Eastern Texas Style that is Ketchup based with Chili and Worcestershire Sauce or you have the North Texas Style that is sweet with Honey and Brown Sugar or you have Central Texas Style that contains vinegar. In my opinion, Central Texas Style is the best. The sauce is an amalgamation of all of the styles and just works the best for me. Again though that is just my opinion.

In all honesty, I like to use a Memphis style rub with a Central Texas Style of BBQ. I don’t like to cover any BBQ in sauce but I do like to have a bit on the side to dip into. By doing this you get all of the great smoked flavors of the meat with just a hint of that vinegar bite from that delicious sauce. In all of my years of cooking, I think that I have finally nailed down a recipe for BBQ that I love. I would love to share it with you all, but I am not going to that. I will on the other hand share with you the recipe for the Memphis Style Rub that we use here at The Old Bay. I encourage everyone to come and try some of our great BBQ items while we have them. This festival only happens once and year, so don’t miss out.

OLD BAY MEMPHIS RIB RUB:

  • 1.5 Cups Paprika
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • .25 Cup Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. Dry Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder

Yield: 18 oz., 1.5 oz. per slab or .75 oz. per order

Click to enlarge

 

Beer ready to drink for the Fourth of July holiday

Beer Meister’s July Thoughts – Tommy Brennan

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As we come up to yet another Holiday Weekend I was thinking about the Holiday itself. Hot dogs, burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, fireworks, and who could forget a heaping dose of freedom! So, I was planning on writing about another local brewery but I decided to shed my shackles of what I’m supposed to write, and write about freedom. The freedom to drink really good beer!

As the Holiday weekend closes in I think of all the parties and partying that will be going on, and I want to talk about the average American Drinker. Sure we all know those friends who are happy pounding Miller Lites and what have you. So I got to thinking about craft beer in general, and I came up with this adage. “Craft beer has really crafted the American Beer Drinker”.

Now, whatever level of beer snob you may be, you have to agree with me, that the good folks who enjoy craft beer, tend to do it a little bit more responsibly than most. We look for lacing, and notes of pine, or chocolate, or coffee, or any of those other nuances that we love to pick apart in conversation. The American Craft Beer Drinker isn’t chugging 10% ABV stouts at a beer pong tournament, or doing keg stands off of a triple IPA that can only be found in five states.

We enjoy the beer for enjoying beer. Weather you’re an IPA person, a Sour person, or a Stout person, we can all agree that it’s not about getting hammered. It’s more of a social exercise surrounding yourself with good friends and good beer.

So sure, who am I to fault the Miller and Bud drinkers of the great ol’ U.S. of A? It’s their choice and it’s their freedom, so for everyone enjoying their favorite beverage this weekend, I wish you a happy and above all else safe Fourth of July.

I’m sure while I’m sitting on the beach (if I don’t get caught), or on my patio I’ll be crushing some Founders All Day IPAs, or maybe some Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. Sure I know it’s a little pricey, and I could get me a sleeve of some crappy cans; but this is America so let freedom ring.

Let me know what awesome Craft Beer you had over the weekend in the comments below.

Cheers to great Beers!

Old Bay BOLERO BEER

Beer Meister’s Thoughts – Tommy Brennan

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Old Bay Bolero BeerWelcome to my first entry in what I’m hoping will be an informative journey through all things beer. We’ll have a few laughs, and maybe learn something all at the same time. Now most of you know there is a growing amount of local breweries here in the Garden State, and I’m sure you could rattle off at least five of them off the top of your head; and eventually I’ll put the spotlight on all of them at some point.

The year was 2013 and Bob Olson was just kicking off his brand new company, Bolero Snort. Along with co-founder and head brewer Andrew Maiorana they had one goal in mind, “No B.S., just raging good beer”.  Hand crafted ales and lagers with their own twist and personality on each one. Scott Wells joined the team in 2014 just as the brewery was opening and signed on as their Sales and Event Manager. You may have also met Scott at our Pig Roast, he’s a fast talker, and master meatsman.

The summer months are upon us, and I could go on and on about hop bombed beer and high ABV’s and beers of that nature; but for me, the summer means awesome sessionable (yes, that’s a word I will be using often) ales. Slow and steady always wins the race, so I won’t be downing some odd minute IPAs that are pushing the ABV’s to 11, I’m going to stick with solid beer that won’t ruin my evening, or even worse, the next day.

That’s another reason I picked Bolero Snort for my first entry, these guys make beer for the American working beer drinker, because that’s who they are, and that’s who they care about. With their core beers “Ragin’ Bull”, an American Amber that comes in at 5% ABV with prominent biscuit and caramel flavors with just a hint of chocolate and spice. “Blackhorn” is an American Black Lager that comes in at 6.5%ABV, and when you’re going black you’re getting all those wonderful flavors of chocolate and coffee from the malts. My personal favorite is their “Long Hop IPA”, a West Coast style ale that doesn’t cripple you with hints of melon and tropical fruit and only comes in at a very crushable 4.2% ABV.

So what’s next for us here at The Old Bay and Bolero Snort?  “El Matador” Their “Long Hop IPA” brewed with cilantro, limes, and jalapenos; will be gracing our beer taps this weekend. You get a little heat on the nose which blends great with the tropical flavors of the hops. Only coming in at a very low 4.2% ABV, this one is great to sip all day long.

I spent a lot of quality time with these guys during AC Beer and Music Fest and was there when their “TaBull Saison” won the prize for best new wheat beer. Trust me when I say that, that beer deserved it. I was crushing them all weekend. So come on down and try Bolero Snort’s newest offering here at The Old Bay. No B.S. just raging good beer.

Next month I’ll focus on another Jersey Brewery, who will it be? Until then, let the good beers flow.

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