America on a beer bottle budget #2: New Jersey and New England

A while ago we wrote about our road trips to New Jersey and New England. If you recall we mentioned visiting some breweries, and that I (Shaun) would be writing posts about them – sorry it has taken so long, but here we are!

Cape May Brewery Co. – Cape May, NJ.

The brew house at Cape May Brewery Co. was a buzzing little place – a big long bar with lots of enthusiastic staff. It was a Friday afternoon and there were heaps of people there tasting beer, of which there were many on offer! We did a self-guided tour around the brewery and saw where the action happens. It cost $10 to taste four beers, and you got a nice glass to take away. We particularly liked the ‘Bringing Sexy Bock’ Vienna-style bock, and the Cape May IPA. There was also a beer called ‘Apple Bomb’ which tasted as if a cider and a beer had had a baby! Rather interesting…

It was well worth the short drive from Cape May town – highly recommended.

Samuel Adams – Boston, MA.

On our road trip to New England, we passed through Boston. We’ve been enjoying Sam Adams beers since arriving in the States, and visiting the home of these beers was a high priority! It was a horrible rainy day when we visited, but fortunately we found a park right outside. The brewery is in an old brick factory in a residential area of Boston.

samadams-2

The brewery tours are free with a suggested donation of $2, which goes to a local charity. This was hands down the best brewery tour we have been on! The guide Jack was incredibly knowledgeable (despite only being in the job a few months) and you could tell he had a true passion for the beers. We were taken through the brewery, and saw where and how they make the beer. We were given hops, barley, malt and yeast to smell and taste which was really cool. Not a lot of production happens at the Boston brewery any more, it’s their centre for R&D for the specialty beers they produce.

At the end of the tour we got to taste three beers. First up was the flagship Sam Adams Boston Lager, which has become my day-t0-day beer while being here in the States. It has plenty of body and flavour and it’s not watery, and it goes down too well! The Summer Ale was also good, it’s light and fruity – Petra enjoyed this one particularly. Finally, the Black & Gold lager was a pleasant surprise – it looked like a heavy dark beer but was in fact quite light with caramel notes – it had the subtle flavours of a darker beer but none of the body. Unfortunately, you can’t buy this one on store shelves – such a shame! We also got a small tasting glass to take home for free.

After the tour, the guide recommended lunch and a brewski at Doyle’s Cafe just down the road from the brewery – they even have a free trolley that you can catch there from Sam Adams! Doyle’s has your typical pub grub (yum), and serves the full flight of Sam Adams beers. You even get a free glass that the guys at Sam Adams are very passionate about – apparently it releases the aroma by creating more bubbles, and the outward-turned lip brings the beer to the front of your palate so you can taste the fruity flavours. Well, anything that makes beer taste better is a bonus in my books!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this belated post, and it would be great to get recommendations of other breweries to visit in the Northeast!

Keep on drinking!

– Shaun

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