Sitting just outside the legendary Jersey shore town of Cape May sits the Historic Cold Spring Village, which for over 40 years has served as a re-creation of rural New Jersey living in the 19th century. The village features many craftsmen, including blacksmiths, bakers, potters, woodworkers, and more. The "and more" includes the modern-functioning Cold Spring Brewery, housed in a renovated barn that was originally built in 1804.
The interior maintains the historic charm of the barn exterior, and the rest of the property. Exposed wood beams, old-style lanterns converted to modern electric lights, and a rustic fireplace bring an incredible ambiance to the space.
Unfortunately, I found that the beer doesn't keep up with the brewery's incredible atmosphere. For starters, they make extremely small batches, which makes it hard to keep beers in stock. On this particular day, a posted 7- to 8-beer tap list had half or more of the offerings covered over. In speaking with a few locals, this lack of availability seems to be more the norm than the exception. With the exception of two wheat beers, a traditional German and an American style, Cold Spring pretty much makes one of each major style: Red Ale, Brown Ale, Porter, Farmhouse, Pale. My party and I were reaching the end of a brewery-hopping day, so we only grabbed the Red and Pale Ales. I feel like they were going for a more traditional style of beer overall, one that befit the era of the entire Cold Spring grounds, because both beers I found to be exceedingly sweet. Almost to the point that it overwhelmed all other flavors, and I couldn't even finish the Red Ale that I had ordered. The Pale wasn't nearly as bad, but was still easily the sweetest standard Pale Ale I've ever had. Again, and I could be wrong, but I feel this is an intentional brewing decision to reflect beers made in the 19th century. Sadly, I can't say I enjoyed either offering; Cold Spring's beer just doesn't live up to the facility's amazing atmosphere.