Dark City Blue Bishop IPA

The first craft brewery in historic Asbury Park NJ, Dark City Brewing opened off Main Street 18 months ago. Founded by lifelong Mommouth County resident Kevin Sharpe, the brewery features three 15-barrel fermenters, and a tasting room that features a line of core beers, mixed with seasonal and occasional limited releases that vary from IPA’s to Gose with collaborations from other local business.

Blue Bishop is an IPA with mosaic hops, fermented over a huge amount of Blueberries for a fruity finish.

ABV: 5.5% IBU’s: 45

Pour: (from Tap) A dark reddish almost mahogany color, the blueberries really imparted a nice color.

Head: Thin off-white lingers before leaving with no lacing.

Nose: A nice mix of hops and fruit, each there without over powering.

Palate: Lots of flavor and easy to drink. The hops lead with nice pine notes and hint acidity before the blueberries send it all home. The finish is clean, refreshing and leaves you coming back for more.

Overall: Awesome stuff! Some of our Bottle King stores have started receiving small shipments of Dark City, but this is the first I’ve tried and definitely won’t be the last. Just awesome! Enjoy with spicy pulled pork, oysters or fruit salad.

River Horse Belgian Freeze

A local favorite, River Horse Brewing Companybelgianfreeze has grown into one of New Jersey’s premier craft breweries. I have had the pleasure of visiting this brewery on multiple occasions, and though I do miss the old location in the charming town of Lambertville, the new production facility allows for a better overall brewery visit. Not to mention all of the additional beer they can make!

ABV: 8.0 %

Pour: Amber/Mahogany, slightly cloudy.

Head: Thick Ivory/Cream color.

Nose: Very sweet, with a mix of fruit and caramel notes. Apple. Maybe candy apple?

Palate: Malty with prominent notes of caramel, cookie dough. Lots of rich flavors here.

Finish: Hop notes come through here, with a slight bitterness, but well balanced with more rich, malty flavors. Milk duds, toast, a hint of cough syrup.

Overall: A very nice pour. I remember liking this even more when I had it at the brewery, but this one gets a solid rating from me.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints

Bolero Snort KOW Lime Pie Session Ale

Bolero Snort KOW Lime PieBolero Snort Brewery is one of North Jersey’s latest entrants to the craft beer world. The brewery strives to create hand-crafted ales and lagers that are influenced by both traditional and emerging styles with their own bold spin. From their year round offerings to their specialty releases they keep turning heads in the craft beer community.

One of their newer releases is a Key Lime Session Ale brewed with cinnamon, vanilla and of course key limes.

The beer pours a light and very hazy yellow color. The thin white head settles quickly and leaves nothing much in the way of lacing.

Aromas of key lime leap from the glass. In addition to the key lime you will find hop notes of citrus and pine. There is a non-descriptive sweet note hanging out alongside a hint of vanilla that helps to balance the lime and hop notes.

The palate gives you exactly what the nose promised with even more key lime goodness. The citrus and piney hop notes are discernible up front and sweet grain and vanilla notes make their appearance around the mid-palate. The finish showcases the key lime and adds a touch of the zest into the otherwise juice dominated flavor profile.

A balanced and delicious beer from Bolero Snort ,and a great pairing with blue cheese, grilled shrimp skewers or blackberry pie. PintRate-4

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out Of 5 Pints

Forgotten Boardwalk Funnel Cake Cream Ale

Forgotten BoardwalkLocated in Cherry Hill, Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company was founded by Jamie Queli in 2014. Queli, a beer enthusiast and home-brewer left a career in investment banking to launch her dream brewery. Growing up at the Jersey shore, her memories inspire Forgotten Boardwalk’s theme, including this cream ale appropriately named Funnel Cake.

The beer pours a slightly hazy golden honey color. The one and a half finger fluffy white head shows some retention. Once it dissipates, a light lacing is left behind.

The nose offers doughy/bready aromas, along with a sweet sugary note that definitely conjures images of powdered sugar. Creamy notes of vanilla are also noticeable and offer an additional layer of excitement.

The palate echoes the nose seamlessly. A sweet doughy/bready flavor is front and center. A toasted grainy cereal note follows. A sweet creamy sweetness from the lactose is evident, and once again makes you think of powdered sugar. Vanilla flavors are notable throughout and the creamy mouthfeel of the beer makes it very enjoyable! All the flavors come together, and certainly remind you of funnel cake!

The Forgotten Boardwalk Funnel Cake Cream Ale is a great beer that pays homage to NJ Boardwalks. While the taste of funnel cake is discernible, it isn’t dominating or unpleasant. Try pairing this one with Monterrey Jack, grilled chicken or an apricot tart. 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

Flying Fish NJ 350

Flying Fish NJ 350Founded in 1996, Flying Fish Brewery is the largest craft brewery in New Jersey. Located in Somerdale NJ, Flying Fish produces a wide range of year-round offerings, along with a variety of seasonal specialties.

The folks here are truly committed to brewing their award-winning beer in the most environmentally friendly way possible. To honor 350 years of brewing history, Flying Fish created an Anniversary brew named NJ350. The historic style is an English stock ale, brewed with blacks-strap molasses and an array of traditional English malts and barley, finished with American hops, including Simcoe, Centennial and Cluster, the first variety of hop grown in the United States.

The beer pours a clear golden amber. When viewed in the light, bright orange hues seem to glow in the glass. The generous, soapy two finger off white head shows decent retention before dissipating to a light scattered lacing.

Hop aromas of pine and citrus, dominated by grapefruit lead. Following the hop aromas are sweet caramel, bready and malty notes. Rich molasses aromas are notable as well and add depth to the bouquet.

On the palate the English malts hit first providing a rich, toasty punch with a sweet caramel balance. The malt flavors give way to hoppy notes of grapefruit and pine resin. While the pine dominates the grapefruit notes add complexity to the hop profile. They malts return with a tinge of the hops for the finish where the rich sweet flavor of molasses dominates and linger through the otherwise malt laden finish.

NJ350 definitely has an “old school” taste to it. The beer shows remarkable balance and complexity. This would be a great pair for Stilton, beer battered fish and chips or molasses gingerbread cookies. 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Pints out of 5

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory

Flying Fish Forever Unloved Sandy

flying fish forever unloved sandyFlying Fish Brewing Company is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and in a state that once boasted 50 breweries, it’s the first microbrewery in Southern New Jersey. From its opening in late 1996, Flying Fish has tripled its capacity and became the largest of the approximate 20 craft breweries in the state. Forever Unloved Sandy (or “FU” Sandy) is a special offering from the brewery, and all proceeds go to rebuilding New Jersey after the devastating effects of Super Storm Sandy.

This American Pale Wheat pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color. The two finger white head is soft and fluffy like a cloud. It shows decent retention and dissipates to a nice lacing both on top the beer and the sides of the glass.

The nose shows a bouquet of fruity aromas mainly dominated by tropical and stone fruits like apricots, peaches, mangos and guava. There is a definitive “wheaty” aroma that adds depth and helps carry the fruit notes. There is also a great deal of notable hop aromas. While you can pick up on piney and citrus (grapefruit) notes the grassy notes dominate the hop profile.

On the palate you revisit most of what the nose offered. There are light fruit notes which become more focused on the stone fruit, specifically the apricot, although the tropical notes are still detectable. That signature “wheaty” note gives the beer a refreshing quality that conjures up a feeling of summer at the Jersey Shore. The hops are actually the dominating force on the palate. A hint of piney hops transform to citrusy hops on the midpalate. From there on out grassy and vegetal hop notes take over and continue through the finish. There is a bitterness that hits around the midpalate, continuing to the finish but does not linger beyond that.

Forever Unloved Sandy is a refreshing and well crafted beer, perfect for the summer months. While the beer is worth trying, supporting the cause it was created for makes it a no brainer. A great pair for lemon chicken, crab cakes or people who are proving they are “stronger than the storm.” 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Pints out of 5

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current inventory