Friday, August 19, 2011
The Ship Inn - Oldest Brew Pub in New Jersey
Doc and Rich are two retirees who make it their life’s work to find the best food and drink in this part of the country. For example, they have been driving down to Maryland on what they call the “crab train” for 35 years to dine on the tasty crustaceans. So when they invited me to join them on this brewery visit I couldn’t say no.
Upon entering this establishment we had to side step a piano that must make this pub come to life on weekend nights. We visited on a weekday for lunch, but the dark wood walls made the pub feel warm and cozy. We sat in a sunken dining area which overlooked a creek that surely flowed into the Delaware. Over the bar, which is made from the floor of the old bowling alley, hung dozens of pewter mugs that only added to the Victorian feel of the place.
I have been reading a lot about the “small” movement in the craft beer industry but hadn’t experienced it until visiting the Ship Inn. From the limited production of beer made with local ingredients, to the personalized tour by the brew master to the tiny Delaware River town this brewery calls home, our visit made me a believer that the old ways sometimes are better.