It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holiday season. Small Brewery Sunday! To help you celebrate this amazing day, and the industry that continues to be one of the fastest growing in our state, I’m here to give you a guide to some of the great small breweries that are keeping South Jersey deep in beer. Because I can’t follow an assignment, here are some breweries that I keep coming back to, and ways to make the most out of your visit to them.
Visit South Jersey welcomes and thanks Alexis for being a guest blogger this holiday! See more about Alexis below.
Axe and Arrow, Glassboro
Axe and Arrow has a peanut butter and jelly beer, made with actual peanut butter. That’s all I have to say. Just kidding. This brewery has made a name for themselves executing beautiful beers that feature bold, fruity flavors. Their blender series is like a rotating list of flavors on top of their smoothie sour base. For some local pride, their tap list currently features Jersey Viking, which was one of two beers they made entirely of ingredients sourced right here in New Jersey!
Farmers and Bankers, Woodstown
Farmers and Bankers is Salem County’s first craft brewery, and they are making the strong case for the county to get more. They have a healthy mix of the popular IPA and the more old-world styles that are taking off these days. Their current tap list features an English Pub Ale that is giving me life. They also feature a rotating selection of craft soda for the designated drivers or non-drinkers in the group.
Make it a tour: Salem is just catching on to the craft beer scene, but Lost Elephant will soon be open in Elmer. It’ll be a minute before you can do a proper Salem County brewery tour, but from what I’ve heard, it will be worth the wait.
Tanner Brewing, Haddon Heights
Tanner Brewing just opened in Haddon Heights, joining Lunacy Brewing as the second brewery for this quiet, historically dry town. Tanner has been building their tap list One Beer At A Time. They’re up to ten and they haven’t even had their official grand opening yet, featuring rolling soft openings to introduce themselves to the community. You’ll love their cozy tasting room with garage door-style windows that open to the street. If you like margaritas, you’ll love their Sour Hour.
Village Idiot, Mount Holly
Village Idiot was New Jersey’s first Main Street brewery, paving the way for downtown breweries across the Garden State. They have one of the smallest brew systems around with some of the biggest flavors. Their dynamic tap list hits all the marks, including their Monkey’s Breath Banana Bread Ale which was my introduction to their beer. They recently expanded their outside area, and while this doesn’t feel like drinking al fresco season, it’s worth the experience.
Make it a tour: You can’t go to Mount Holly without visiting Spellbound Brewing. If you’re looking to stick with beer, pop on over to Third State as your third spot. If you’d prefer to stick around Mount Holly, this town has become a hub for craft alcohol producers and retailers.
Whims Brewing, Waterford Township
When Whims Brewing opened earlier this year, they had some shoes to fill. Taking over the Atco Brewing space, owners Dorien and Heather have knocked it out of the park. They offer a tap list that will take you through a beer journey, featuring a fantastic variety of styles executed superbly. They’ve made the space their own with purple walls and living plants giving it a whimsical (GET IT?) feel. I’m a basic b so I of course tried their Lil Spooky Pumpkin Spice Ale, and I would recommend it to even the most aggressive pumpkin spice hater.
Alexis Degan is the former Executive Director of the New Jersey Brewers Association, co-founder of craft beverage industry-supporting non-profit Brewery Strong, and star of Alexis Drinks, her craft alcohol chasing show that features the people making the alcohol you love. These together make her a professional amateur drinker, and an all-around good time. She also is one of the forces behind the inaugural Made In Jersey Festival, which celebrates all things Garden State.
For her day job, Alexis is the Vice President of Development and Communications for Volunteers of America Delaware Valley. She has worked in multiple levels of local government, starting her career in Jersey as Constituent Services Representative for the Camden County Board of Commissioners. Next, she became the Director of Communications for Senator Donald Norcross, then Chief of Staff to Senator Nilsa Cruz Perez.
These days you can more often than not find her with a craft beverage in hand, because she feels that the best way to support local business is to drink your way through it.