Two Spectacular Releases!
It’s a double-release week!
We love it when we get to release two beers in one week — there’s a lot of buzz around the Tasting Room, preparing for the influx of fans, and getting excited about a new brew on the menu.
Regardless of our excitement about releasing two beers, these are two beers that you should definitely be excited about.
Both release on Friday, only through the Tasting Room!
Our Watermelon Wheat is one of our most anticipated beers each year. This is the ninth year that we’ve brewed this beer. Needless to say, it’s had some staying power.
“People really gravitate to this beer because it’s very approachable,” says Production Planning and Special Projects Manager Brian Hink. “It’s not so fruity that people who don’t drink fruit beers enjoy it, but it’s also fruity enough for our legions of fruit beer fans to enjoy.”
Not only is watermelon in August in South Jersey simply delicious, but the base beer is incredibly approachable, as well.
“The beer prior to adding the watermelon is very delicate,” Brian says. “There’s little to no hop presence, an out-of-the-way malt bill, and a clean ale yeast. Watermelon Wheat actually laid the groundwork for most of our future fruit beers to follow.”
For the first seven years, it was only available on draft, but, last year, we decided to can it up, and the response from our fans was incredible.
“Our fans loved it,” says Tasting Room General Manager Chris Costello, “so we decided to do it again.”
Usually, we do a 30-barrel batch for our Tasting Room Only releases, but we knew that Watermelon Wheat needed a bigger release.
“This is our largest batch of Watermelon Wheat to date!” Brian says. “Actually, it’s bigger than the past three years combined. We did a full 60 BBL batch, which is twice the size as our Back Door/Tasting Room only releases this year and four times the size of the batch we did last year.”
And, considering the aluminum can shortage wreaking havoc on the industry, we were lucky to be able to do it.
“You see, for these beers, we use blank “Brite” 16oz cans,” Brian says. “We happened to have stocked up on them before the summer, so we were able to get a few extra Tasting Room Only releases in the tanks that normally wouldn’t’ve made it.”
Chris says that Watermelon Wheat is a perfect beer for beach days.
“It’s crisp and refreshing,” he says. “It brings me back to being a kid eating a big slice of watermelon after a long day playing in the surf. Watermelon has always been my favorite fruit, so I really enjoy the slight but amazingly refreshing tartness that it brings to the palette.”
These days, it’s relatively rare for us to brew the same beer twice in a year, but the initial response to our strawberry lemonade shandy, Strawberry Sunset, was so positive that we knew we had to bring it back!
“We do our best to listen to what our fans want,” Chris says. “The first release of Strawberry Sunset had an amazing reception, and our fans wanted more.”
The initial release of Strawberry Sunset in June sold out in just over a day — at a time when we were in the process of reopening after the lockdown due to COVID. And the response on Untappd has been encouraging, as well, currently rated at 3.9, and our fans have been raving:
“Delicious,” says Conor M. “Frozen strawberry daiquiri vibes up front. Super sweet, light on its feet, refreshing. The lemon comes through on the finish to add some zest and lemonade sugar. Absurdly crushable in dat sunshine jawn.”
“Fruity tart,” says Jim H. “A great beer to sip sitting in the sand watching the sunset on the bay.”
“Now THIS is a beach beer!” says Scott D. “Looking forward to downing a few of these while cutting the lawn this summer!”
So, bringing back Strawberry Sunset was high on our list for later in the summer.
“We went back to our production team and begged for more of this,” Chris says. “Thankfully the team was able to rearrange a few things on the schedule to bring back this new fan favorite.”
And, thankfully, Production was happy to oblige.
“We knew it would move quickly,” Brian says, “and even with knowing how our fruit beers are received, we were still very impressed with its initial showing. It just made a lot of sense to bring Strawberry Sunset back for an encore.”
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” Brian says. “I think we nailed this one right out of the gate, thanks to extensive bench topping trials to exactly dial in the flavor profile. It’s just a beautiful total package. I don’t think we even considered making changes.”
Agreeing with nearly everyone on Untappd, Chris and Brian both agree that this is a great beer for the beach.
“This beer just makes me want to watch a sunset,” Chris says. “My favorite place to enjoy one is back on Higbee Beach, watching the sun disappear in the cotton candy skies. The lower, 4.4% ABV on this brew makes it a perfect no shower happy hour drink. When the sun sets with this beer, the night is just beginning.”
For Brian, Strawberry Sunset brings back many fond memories.
“Strawberry lemonades were one of my favorite drinks in the summer in my youth,” he says, “so I have a very fond association between summer and this kind of drink. I think it’s just a great flavor combo and really lends itself nicely to summer drinking.”
Watermelon Wheat and Strawberry Sunset will be available in the Tasting Room on Friday — available for online ordering Thursday night — both for $11.99 + tax per four-pack. Watermelon Wheat has a 3-case limit, while Strawberry Sunset is limited to two cases per person.
Don’t miss these! Once they’re gone, they’re gone for 2020!