Draught Diversions is the catchall label for mini-rants, think-pieces, and posts that don’t just focus on one beer here at The Tap Takeover. We hope you don’t grow too weary of the alcohol alliterative names we use…
Are you all sick of me rambling about beer yet? Because it has been two years since I launched the Tap Takeover. Well, yesterday marked two years since I launched the Tap Takeover. I figured I’d wait a day and not break my Tuesday/Thursday pattern.
Not too much I can say now compared to what I said on the one year anniversary of the Tap Takeover. I haven’t quite reached 100 reviews or 100 Draught Diversions yet. The 89th review went up this week and this post marks the 87th Draught Diversion, for a total 73 posts of the last year. Still not too shabby and on average, more than one post per week.
Maybe a few things have changed since last year. Sam and Sam….or rather Jim and Sam are now business partners as Boston Beer and Dogfish Head announced a few weeks ago that they are merging, more breweries have opened in New Jersey since last year, with the sad closing of Demented Brewing. I’m not going to go into too many details about Demented, aside from saying the quality of their beer was good enough to sustain them in the area. Business/financial and personal reasons caused them to close. But, with the increase of more breweries in NJ (105 as of this writing, according to New Jersey Craft Beer), I’ve found myself gravitating even more to NJ beer as some of the breweries are more widely available via distribution. I’m looking at you Cape May Brewing Company, thank you!
In terms of my evolving beer tastes, I continue to enjoy and seek out IPAs. Over the last year or so; however, I’ve come to re-embrace the beauty of Lagers in their many varieties, Pilsners, Helles Lagers, Pale Lagers, Amber Lagers, with a hope that more Bocks will be made. Like a many beer drinkers, I overlooked Lagers for a while. But as the smaller/independent/regional breweries began to embrace lagers, and make delicious lagers, I’ve really taken to the style once again. Alementary’s Hackensack Lager is an incredible beer, Cape May’s Pale Lager, simply called Lager, is a delicious, complex beer, last week’s review beer, Post Shift Pilsner from Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, might be my favorite Pilsner right now, the two Pilsners I had from Steam Whistle were revelations last year, maybe my favorite beer at the Meadowlands Beerfest earlier in the year was Steamworks’ Pilsner, and Carton Brewing’s This Town is near the very top of the list of my favorite NJ beers. I have a feeling my cooler will be filled with a variety of Lagers this summer.
I had the opportunity to visit some more breweries since the blog began its second year, including these which garnered a full Draught Diversions/Brewery Spotlight post:
- Fort Nonsense (Denville, NJ)
- Cypress Brewing Company (Edison, NJ)
- Steam Whistle Brewing (Toronto, Canada)
- Village Idiot Brewing (Mount Holly, NJ)
- Spellbound Brewing (Mount Holly, NJ)
- Wet Ticket Brewing (Rahway, NJ) (I visited them two years ago, but only briefly. I visited twice in the last month)
Other breweries I visited for the first time are below in chronological order. Not all of these breweries were great, some I will be or would like to visit again. Other breweries below, I’m far less inclined to visit or try their beer again. I’ll leave the guessing up to all of you.
- Flying Fish Brewing Company (Somerdale, NJ)
- Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing (Cherry Hill, NJ)
- Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company (Croydon, PA)
- Third State Brewing Company (Burlington, NJ)
- Common Sense Brewing Company (Bordentown, NJ)
- Dark City Brewing Company (Asbury Park, NJ)
- Barrel of Monks Brewing (Boca Raton, FL)
- Robot Brewing Company (Boca Raton, FL)
- Great Divide Brewing Company (Denver, CO)
- Trap Rock Restaurant and Brewery – Brewpub (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
- Jersey Cyclone Brewing Company (Somerset/Franklin Township, NJ – just opened on May 4, 2019!)
- Mission Brewery (San Diego, CA)
- Karl Straus Brewing Company (San Diego, CA)
I also returned to favorite local breweries Conclave Brewing in Raritan/Flemington, NJ pretty frequently; Carton Brewing a couple of times, one day at the end of the Summer and again for their annual New Year’s Day (sort of) tradition for the release of the latest variant on Regular Coffee; River Horse (for their second 6K race), Beach Haus and of course Lone Eagle Brewing in Flemington.
Like last year, I would like to thank the readers of the blog and folks who have supported my little hobby by spreading the word and simply chatting up with me about beer. I’d especially like to thank Mike K. of NJ Craft Beer, Al Gatullo, Chuck of NJ Beer and Wine, the new podcast Two Brewthers, Matt of Massive Beers, and John Holl, among many others.
I can also be found on Instagram as @robhbed where I’ve gotten into the habit of posting one beer photo (very amateurishly taken) per week.
With all of that, Cheers to another great year!