Name: Two-Shoe Brew
Brewing Company: Angry Erik Brewing
Location: Hampton Twp, NJ
Style: English Bitter
A classic English pub-style ale that has excellent flavor whose relatively low ABV encourages multiple pints.
From the Beer Description on untappd:
This copper ale is named for our late dog Brewer who loved to carry a shoe or two around the house! A fruity aroma (sweet cereal malt & subtle citrus), typical of traditional English-style amber ales complement a crisp, refreshing body with nutty/biscuity flavors and a lightly bitter Australian hop finish.
Angry Erik Brewing has been part of the New Jersey Craft Beer scene for 8 years, they were a stop on one of the early Birthday Brewery Tours (2017), which is when I made my first visit. Since then, owners Heidi and Erik have moved to a purpose-built production facility a few miles down the road with a spacious taproom and greater capacity of beers on tap. I visited recently since they are part of the Skylands Ale Trail and knew I had to finally give one of their beers a full review, but what beer in particular? Well, I figured I’d go for a style I typically don’t have and since this beer is named in honor of an old family dog, Brewer (whose handsome picture greets visitors to Angry Erik’s web site and graces the can art below), I had my candidate. After tasting a pint on site, I knew I’d want to tak some home
Two-Shoe Brew is an English Bitter and directly aligned with Angry Erik’s focus on English and German style beers. The can calls this a “Copper Ale” or “English Style Amber Ale” which is essentially an English Bitter. As I said, I haven’t had too many English Bitters, a few Extra Special Bitters (including the fantastic ESB from Odd Bird Brewing), but it isn’t one of the more prevalent beer styles in these times.
The beer I’m handed looks exactly like a beer I’d expect to be served in an English pub or an American interpretation of an English pub. First sip is very pleasing, mostly sweet malts.
I was enjoying this beer with friends at the brewery and it was the perfect beer to start the day. It has a prominent flavor of malts, mild bitterness, and some welcome fruit evocation from the hops. All these elements hit every button on my palate extremely well. It wasn’t a knock your taste buds out of your mouth kind of beer, but one that fits the mold of “beer flavored beer.” I’d love to try this on cask for the full English/British effect.
We had the opportunity to speak with co-owner and head brewer Heide quite a bit during the visit, she was able to help us out with our Skylands Ale Trail passports and despite the growing crowd at the brewery spent time with us, talked about the beers amongst other things. While my friends were settling their tabs, I was chatting with her husband, Erik about the brewery’s new facility which has a spacious loft that I think was being used that day for a private event. The main floor of the brewery was very welcoming and reminiscent of a Viking or Danish beer hall you might see (though much more clean, less bloody, and less profane) on The Last Kingdom or Vikings. Outside, plenty of seats were available around the building with firepits to warm people in cooler weather.
I’ve visited over 50 of the 130+ breweries in New Jersey and Heide and Erik rank near the top of the list of the nicest, most welcoming people in the NJ Craft Beer Scene. A brewery worth visiting for the tasty beers and a brewery whose welcoming atmosphere makes you want to stick around for more than just one pour.
As for the beer under review – Two-Shoe Brew – I was extremely pleased with the beer, which I found to be elegant and straightforward. Not too fancy, just a tasty beer. I think what speaks to my enjoyment of the beer the most: I liked it so much I was compelled to bring home some for my fridge.
Recommended, link to 4.25 bottle cap untappd rating check in.