As the crowds of tourists and vacation homeowners pour into Wildwood for the start of the summer season, craft beer fans were in for a treat with the 4th Annual Wildwood Beer Fest.
Although the morning of June 9th started rather drab, raining here and there, the skies seemed to part for just long enough for the afternoon session at this beer festival, located at Fox Park in Wildwood, NJ.
I’ll be honest, I just happened to be in town with family and spotted a sign for the event out of the corner of my eye driving past. Luckily it was my son’s naptime, so we had the perfect opportunity to stop in and have a look.
With over 100 beers to sample, a commemorative wristband and tasting cup, live music (for the first session it was Ned Ryerson and the Groundhogs, fantastic food, craft vendors and special exhibits, this was a surprisingly large beer fest. We’ll have to make sure our vacation lines up with this one next year too.
Food options were a bit slim, but that is likely to blame on the weather, as they’ve apparently had a larger selection of food truck vendors in the past. Luckily, a few were willing to take the chance on the rain, and you could get some great sausage and steak from Ribeyes, a Hoagie from The Whitehall Store, or snack on some popcorn from Ye Old Kettle Corn and beef jerky from The Jerky Hut.
Craft Beer Highlights
This was a really fun event. As a veteran of most beer festivals within 30 minutes of Philadelphia, I had yet to venture further for event coverage. I got lucky being in town for this one, as it had a plethora of beers I’d never tried.
It was hard to limit this to just a few, so I picked five to focus on and will be sure to list the rest of them at the bottom.
Quatrain by Tuckahoe Brewing Company
A hazy, yellow-golden straw color with a foamy, white head with strong lacing. Aromas of grapefruit and orange with floral hops, it tastes dank with grapefruits, peaches, pine hops and a rather bitter hoppy finish.
Medium-bodied with a perfect level of carbonation. At 6.4% ABV, it’s rather crushable as well. Delicious IPA offering from Tuckahoe Brewing Company.
Blue Bishop by Dark City Brewing Company
This interesting beer from Dark City Brewing Company pours a muddled purple color with white head and lacing. Blueberry and grape aromas in the nose. Tastes of sweet berries, citrus, grass with a soft dank hoppiness in the background. Very easy drinking.
Almost seems like more of a fruit beer than an IPA, but incredibly enjoyable regardless. Both my wife and I thought this was the most interesting beer of the day at the festival, and our beer tastes couldn’t be more different. Never had anything like it.
Halfwit! by Lunacy Brewing Company
A wonderfully hop-forward beer from Lunacy Brewing Company. This White IPA pours a hazy yellow-gold with moderate white head, and an absolutely intoxicating scent, with the aromas of mangoes, blueberries, and oranges.
Possessing a creamy, thicker mouthfeel and a tropical hop finish, this one stood out from the others as well.
Wrestling Moves by Ludlam Island Brewery
This IPA from Ludlam Island Brewery is a wonderfully hop-forward. Pours a hazy yellow-gold with moderate white head, and an absolutely intoxicating scent, with the aromas of mangoes, blueberries, and oranges.
A smooth sweetness and tropical hop flavors throughout, this has a creamy, thicker mouthfeel and a hoppy finish.
Super Villain by Urban Village
This is a wonderfully hazy New England IPA with a complex combination of mosaic, motueka and Vic secret hops, alongside oats and milk sugar.
This was only recently released for Urban Village’s first anniversary just two weeks prior. At just 33 IBU this is one that anyone can enjoy, with a wonderful balance of hops and sweetness, excellent mouthfeel and finish, leaves you wanting more.
Other Craft Beer Highlights
As I said… there were just too many new and wonderful beers at this event. I know, that’s not really a problem, that’s a benefit. Here are a few other beers that deserve a mention, at the very least.
• Gallows Hill by Demented Brewing Company
“A beer as hazy as the nights sky in Salem. This take on the New England style IPA will have you wondering if we’re using magic. Like concocting a spell, we used a different combination of citrus hops and yeast to bring you into a realm that nobody has been to before.” –Demented Brewing Company
• Peach IPA by Spellbound Brewing Company
“Light in color and body, refreshing hoppy citrus notes intertwine with the peach, that peach rounds the edges of the hop.” –Spellbound Brewing Company
• Caboose Juice by ATCO Brewing Company
“So this abc version of ‘the juice’ , Citra and mosaic dry hopped, ready to go, jump on board the caboose juice ” –ATCO Brewing Company
• Hop Joose by Cross Keys Brewing Company
“Dry hopped American Pale Ale with oats. Smooth, crisp, slightly bready, easy drinking. Hopped with Warrior, Centennial, and Cascade.” –Cross Keys Brewing Company
• IPA #2 by Eight & Sand Beer Company
“Our second style IPA made with Citra, Cascade, and Mosaic hops. Oats give this IPA a full body, with a citrus-tropical fruit finish.” –Eight & Sand Beer Company
• Dub Town by 13th Child Brewery
“A classic west coast IPA brewed with 4 different US hops then dry hopped to give it that California IPA taste and aroma.” –13th Child Brewery
• Up & Out by 2SP Brewing Company
“Very juicy IPA. It’s got a big aroma, moderately bitter, and is earthy with notes of stone fruit, berry, & citrus. Brewed with Simcoe, Cascade and Mosaic hops.” –2SP Brewing Company