New craft breweries seem to be appearing with every new tide at the Jersey Shore, with several more on the way (in Avalon and Wildwood). The best offer a taste of local flair, and that’s especially true at witty Ship Bottom Brewery in Beach Haven, the year-old L.B.I. tasting room for Robert Zarko’s Media brewery, where the four-glass flights float by on mini-surfboards and the new saison, “Mary Lee, Please Don’t Eat Me,” offers a beery wink to a great white shark currently trolling the coast. I had lots of good sips from my surfer taster, including an unusual hefe-on-nitro (all creamy banana and clove) and a crispy Mexican-style lager made with corn (the crushable beach brew) called Cerveza del Playa. My favorite, though, was the CHEGG, an odd IPA tribute to the popular breakfast-brunch standby, The Chicken or the Egg, and one of its signature wing sauces called Beesting. As the name suggests, this beer brings a tingle of habanero-cayenne heat with a hint of honeyed sweet. Paired with a bitter hit of IPA hops, it was ultimately so much more drinkable than I expected. Even better news: The latest batch has been canned and is scheduled for release Friday.
- Craig LaBan
The Chicken or the Egg IPA, $10 a six-pack and $36 a case, Ship Bottom Brewing, 830 N. Bay Ave. No. 23, Beach Haven, 08008. 609-207-6331, shipbottombrewery.com.