I’m back from vacation, where I checked out no less than FOUR new breweries in Cape May County of New Jersey. I’ll be covering all five breweries I checked out with my family last week, starting with Ludlam Island Brewery, officially located in Ocean View, New Jersey. Having opened in June 2016, Ludlam Island occupies a small part of a multi-tenant industrial space about 10 minutes away from the nearest shore town, Sea Isle City. The state-mandated self-guided tour is about standard, offering a wide view of their production space, with what looked like 4-10 bbl fermenters up close and personal.
The tasting room is small with a fairly rustic look—the wood-paneled walls do actually make a nice difference from most breweries’ fairly sterile and industrial looks—featuring 8 standard taps, along with an additional two taps set aside for cask-conditioned ales. This particular day, they were serving one of their IPAs in a tropical style with coconut and tropical fruit. They seem to cask-condition their year-round New England-style IPA, Fish Alley Ale, fairly regularly with various fruits, but will also do things like chocolate candy-infused stouts and more.
Their core line-up is fairly pale ale-heavy, including a collaboration with the coffee roasters next door to create a coffee version of their Foundation Rye Pale Ale. Notables from the visit included an excellent core stout called 547, and a Nitro version of their very good Bay Muck Brown Ale. You’ll also find a Kolsch among their standard line-up, and might even see a Gose there right now. Thanks to the magic of flights tried virtually everything they had in-house (I had just a sip of that cask-conditioned ale, as I am no fan of coconut, and this ale had PLENTY), and found all of it to be very solid. I also appreciated their desire to go beyond the standard with the Nitro and cask offerings—even if that particular one wasn’t my thing, I could absolutely appreciate the quality put into it.