Among the things you can count on with summer in full swing down on the Jersey Shore are sun, sand and beating the heat with Jersey Shore craft beers.
New Jersey has many craft brewers making some outstanding seasonal brews including Artisan's Brewery & Italian Grill in Toms River and the East Coast Beer Company, who craft the popular Beach Haus beers. East Coast will be setting up a new shop in Belmar on Main Street.
East Coast Beer Company, which is currently located in Point Pleasant Beach, has a big summer hit with its Beach Haus Classic American Pilsner. The recipe is inspired by early German immigrants who brought the old-country brewing methods and used them with ingredients found in the United States. To that end, Beach Haus Pilsner mixes North American yeast with North American hops and grains, making a beer that's got medium to high bitterness and is crisp and pale. Other Beach Haus beers include Winter Rental Black Lager, Kick Back Ale and Cruiser IPA.
The new East Coast Beer Company brewery is set to open in the late summer of 2014 in the former home of Belmar's Freedman's Bakery, which closed down in February 2014 after more than 60 years in operation.
Meanwhile, Artisan's - located in Toms River - has released several beers for this summer. Brewmaster Dave Hoffmann has put out a perfect Czech pilsner, along with an abbey dubbel (a Belgian beer) that's been fermented with yeast sourced at Westvleteren, which is a Belgian brewery founded by monks in 1838. If you find the abbey dubbel, know it's the first time Hoffmann has crafted that particular brew.
Artisan's also produces Artisan's Light, Red Ale, West Coast IPA. Seasonal brews include Czech Pilsner, Hefeweizen, and the strong Dunkel Weizenbock(7%). You can find Artisan's crafted beers in brewpubs only.
When it comes to enjoying a cold beer in the summer time, here are some of the popular brew styles to quaff by the beach or swimming pool:
Pilsner: Originating in the Czech Republic and Germany, pilsners are usually crisp, straw-colored lagers that may have a hint of spicy hops.
Hefewizen/Dunkelweizen: An often unfiltered German-style beer that's wheat brewed. Yeast adds banana, clove or bubble gum flavors and aromas. Dunkelweizen gets brewed with darker malts, producing a darker look with a richer mouthfeel.
Gose: A very old German lager that's brewed with Wheat, barley and salted water. The palate is tart, somewhat salty, and sometimes has a fruity accent.
Abbey Dubbel (Belgian): This beer has been brewed since the middle ages when monks came up with the recipe. It boasts a medium-to-full body with a complex malty flavor that can showcase sugary or fruity sweetness.
Shandy: A shandy is any beer mixed with fruit juice or Sprite/7-Up. It produces a tart character that's very refreshing on a hot day, so beat the heat with Jersey Shore craft beers.