NJ Breweries: Where to sip your craft beer in great outdoor spaces

Originally posted at Courier Post Online

by Tammy Paolino, Jenna Intersimone, and Rebecca KingAlex Biese

If you spend a lot of time at New Jersey's more than 100 craft breweries, you know the inner struggle of choosing between enjoying your favorite beers and staying outside on a beautiful day or a sultry evening.

But if you visit enough breweries, you'll discover spots that offer beer lovers a chance to enjoy favorite sours, shandies or stouts in the great outdoors.

Alexis Degan, executive director of New Jersey Brewers Association, knows better than most what Jersey breweries have to offer, so we've included her recommendations along with our own.

"(Newly opened) Source Brewing .,. has two gorgeous and picturesque outdoor seating options,'' she observed. "The first is a second-story deck which overlooks the wooded back of their property, and is covered in great wooden furniture. I can't wait for the fall because it's going to be insane.'' The second space may eventually include a bocce court and cabanas, she said.

Not every brewery has heaps of space, but that doesn't mean they can't get creative.

"Man Skirt, Twin Elephant and Two Ton each have these adorable side biergartens that they've opened recently running along the length of their property almost like a re-purposed alley. They're tiny, but they're doing some fun things with their smaller, more industrial spaces. I'm a sucker for string lights and those outdoor gas fire tables, though.''

Mudhen, Wildwood

A Jersey Shore brewery gaining a steady following is Mudhen, named after the first passenger train in Wildwood.

According to the brewery website, “In 1883, the West Jersey Railroad carried passengers from Cape May Court House to Anglesea over a ramshackle, problematic bridge through the marshlands. The tracks were washed out at high tide so often, the train was nicknamed the MudHen.’’

Whether you bike, drive or Uber there, you’ll likely arrive a little less soggy or frazzled. Brendan Sciarra’s Mudhen is proving to be a popular destination for beer lovers and offers a fun, partially shaded outdoor area to mingle and sample the brews.

Go: 127 W. Rio Grand Ave. Wildwood. https://www.mudhenbrew.com/ or 609-846-7918

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