NJ beer: Toms River Brewing has something fresh on tap for summer in Ocean County
Let's make one thing clear right off the bat: Toms River Brewing is not Rinn Duin Brewing by another name.
Yes, Toms River Brewing moved into the former home of Rinn Duin — 1540 Route 37 — one Rinn Duin fixture ("Bob the Brewer" Warzecha) is working at Toms River and the former Rinn Duin brewhouse is cranking out its own re-vamped version of the former's flagship St. John's Irish Red Ale.
But all things considered, this is yet another relatively new craft beer operation at the Jersey Shore.
"It's a completely different brewery," said Lacey Stryker, vice president of marketing, office and tap room operations for Toms River Brewing.
"We're really making a huge effort and we're putting a big focus on just making the absolute best beer that we possibly can," Stryker said. "I mean, that's our goal. That's the goal with any brewery, but anything that comes kind of secondary to making the absolute best beer that we can is just that, it's secondary. The focus is definitely on the beer."
With breweries' indoor tasting rooms closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Toms River Brewing is now among the Jersey Shore craft breweries that have made their beers available for delivery and curbside pick-up.
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Toms River Brewing is open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays for pick-up and free home delivery within a 20-mile radius of the brewery from 4 to 7 p.m., with Sunday hours of noon to 6 p.m. for pick-up and 4 to 6 p.m. for delivery.
The brewery's new outdoor beer garden is also now open noon to 6 p.m. Sundays and noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Toms River Brewing launched last May and undertook a complete renovation to the brewery's tap room, which opened in November. They also overhauled the existing 25-barrel system and added an additional five-barrel system to explore different beer styles they're interested in, such as kolsches or pilsners.
"We love the stouts, but we're getting away from just the traditional, kind of niche U.K., Irish-style beers that were produced here before," said Stryker. "And we're really just expanding into multiple other styles. We have 16 beers on tap in our tap room, and our goal is to have every single one of those full and full of something different."
Go: Toms River Brewing, 1540 Route 37 West, Toms River, 732-608-1004, tomsriverbrewing.com.
Cheers to local beer
In addition to Toms River Brewing, there are plenty of craft beer options for you to explore this summer. After all, New Jersey is in the midst of a craft beer boom, with more than 100 breweries operating across the state.
Here are a dozen more craft breweries worth checking out in the area this summer, listed in geographic order from north to south, that are offering delivery and/or pick-up options as of press time.
- Raritan Bay Brewing Co., 32 Church St., Keansburg, raritanbaybrewing.com, pick-up only.
- Carton Brewing, 6 E, Washington Ave., Atlantic Highlands, cartonbrewing.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Source Farmhouse Brewery, 300 Route 34, Colts Neck, sourcebrewing.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Kane Brewing Company, 1750 Bloomsbury Ave., Ocean Township, kanebrewing.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Bradley Brew Project, 714 Main St., Bradley Beach, bradleybrew.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Little Dog Brewing Company, 141 Steiner Ave., Neptune City, littledogbrewing.com, pick-up only.
- Beach Haus Brewery, 801 Main St., Belmar, beachhausbeer.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Last Wave Brewing Co., 601 Bay Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, lastwavebrewing.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Icarus Brewing, 1790 Swarthmore Ave., Lakewood, icarusbrewing.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Backward Flag Brewing Co., 699 Challenger Way, Forked River, backwardflagbrewing.com, delivery and pick-up.
- Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing, 1940 Olney Ave., Cherry Hill, forgottenboardwalk.com, pick-up only.
- Hidden Sands Brewing Company, 6754 Washington Ave., Egg Harbor Township, hiddensands.com, pick-up only