I invite all of you to check out our sister blog called Revealing South Jersey. It’s a place for all things South Jersey. We feature stories from all walks of life and the different culture that is South Jersey.
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I have a secret I want to talk about and share with you. Some of you may already know this and some may not. The blog brewjersey was conceived for a class at Rowan University called Online Journalism I. As the semester has now come to a close I wanted to let you know of my future plans for brewjersey. I will be continuing with the blog and with my searches for craft beer and good bars all over South Jersey, Philly and wherever I may be.
I may take a small break from blogging and use a bit of time to figure out exactly where I want to bring brewjersey in the future. Here are a few posts to keep you interested and hold you over until I begin again. These are some of my greatest hits for the blog so far. Until my next post please explore and enjoy all brewjersey has to offer local craft beer fans. Thank you for taking the time to read brewjersey! ~Lance
As I’ve chronicled over the last few months the brewjersey blog has always been in search of the best craft beer in South Jersey and Philly. I want to concentrate just on South Jersey for this post. To narrow it down even more, the area of South Jersey between Philadelphia, Wilmington and Glassboro. There are a few great craft beer bars in the area and I am including an interactive map to showcase some of these great bars. A few of these bars have been mentioned in previous posts and some will be mentioned here for the first time.
Brett Mullin, 27, of Haddon Township, NJ is the owner of Brew Your Own Bottle in Westmont, NJ. He told us to check a few of his favorite craft beer bars. “I really like The Pour House in Westmont, Blue Monkey Tavern in Merchantville, NJ and a new one which has replaced Cork in Westmont called Keg and Kitchen. It has now opened earlier this spring and is a great craft beer bar.”
Mary Thompson, 32, of Pennsville, NJ is a mom of two and enjoys craft beer as well. “One of my favorite places to unwind when we get a sitter is The Village Pub in Swedesboro, NJ. They have an awesome craft beer selection, which you don’t see much in this part of the state. Before the Village opened we’d have to travel to Wilmington, DE to get a proper selection of good craft beer.”
There are many great places in Philadelphia, Wilmington, Trenton/Princeton, New Brunswick and Atlantic City to find craft beer. With the explosion of craft beer over the past few years our corner of South Jersey is starting to finally catch up. I have shared with you some of these places since the beginning of my blog. With this post I created a guide to help you find some of them for yourselves.
I have included a map of some really good craft beer bars in the South Western part of South Jersey. Many have great specials and good craft beer selections on drafts and bottles. Each glass within the map has a link to that bars website. To find out more just click on it. Here is a direct link to the map. The bars mentioned on the map are The Village Pub, Landmark Americana, The Pour House, Blue Monkey Tavern, Keg and Kitchen, Mt. Royal Inn, Telford Inn, Barnsboro Inn, Carolina Blue, Charlie Brown’s, Lazy Lanigans Publick House and PJ’s Pubs.
A Philadelphia native and Rowan University alumni named Jack Swiker moved to Los Angeles in 2007. While living on the west coast Swiker picked up a new hobby and has had great success with it. What he’s been doing is home brewing craft beer. He’s made six different beers so far and has enjoyed the process in making them. Swiker talked about some of the process of home brewing and the beers he’s made.
Swiker, 29, started home brewing because he had an appreciation for craft beer and microbrews. A friend randomly posted on Facebook about a home brewing kit and Swiker was on the move. He ordered a one gallon home brew kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop and received the kit in the mail shortly after. “It was an appreciation and growing progression of an interest in craft beer and micro breweries that pushed me to try this out,” Swiker said. “I didn’t want to taste Coors or PBR, I wanted something with a great taste.”
Swiker explained that in order to brew you need to put aside about six hours and for him on a weekend day. The equipment he uses cooks down the grain to a process called mashing. Mashing extracts the malt. It then cools and goes in to a fermenter. Hops are added in later. It sits in the fermenter for about two weeks to the end process which may take anywhere from four to six weeks depending on the brew. While this is happening the yeast eats the sugar and the c02 carbonates the water. The beer is then ready to drink.
So far Swiker has made Grapefruit Honey Ale, Wheat Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Apple Crisp Ale, Chocolate Maple Porter and Blood Orange Wheat Ale. The Blood Oranges are only in season a few weeks a year in California. He later upgraded to a five gallon kit. He is planning to make an IPA Hoppy Ale for the summer and Peanut Butter Porter for winter time.
“The reason I make these beers is because they are hard to find in stores and are out of the norm,” Swiker said. “Brewing brings a sense of community with other brewers and friends who enjoy beer.” Swiker also enjoys sharing beer brewing stories with the dedicated people who also brew.
Jack Swiker plans to continue his brewing and explore more microbrews in the L.A. area. He hopes to someday upgrade to 10 gallon kit. Swiker also writes a sandwich blog called The Danger Sandwich. The blog recently had its 100th post. He reviews sandwiches and the restaurants that serve them. He mentions some great craft beers in the blog. On top of that Swiker hosts a webseries named Up All Night With Kurt Magnum.
Photo courtesy of Jack Swiker