The Ship Inn was New Jersey’s first brewpub established after prohibition ended. For starters, shame on me for taking this long to go out there. This place has history so many of our members and readers are probably already familiar with The Ship Inn, at least with the name. As a matter of fact, one our very active members that is in constant contact with us was the one who got us the contact information. Thanks Scott!
Scott got us in touch with Tim Hall. Tim is not only the son of the couple who opened The Ship Inn, he’s also the one running the show there. Oh, and did I mention he was also the first brewer for The Ship Inn? The place overall is welcoming, warm and makes you feel at home. This “Traditional English Pub” atmosphere is reflected in the beers.
This takes me to my meeting with current brewer Lea Rumbolo, but if you will, allow me to quickly take a detour. Last week a TV network aired a segment on a popular morning show about “Chick Beer”. In this segment there was a mix-up and they claimed “Chick Beer” was the first beer created by a woman. The brewery instead claims it’s the first beer brewed FOR women? Ok, so fresh off all the commotion this reporting and marketing has caused I felt the timing for a sit-down with Lea was perfect. I told her I would mention this and I got the reaction I wanted and would expect by someone who loves the craft. She went into history of women brewing in the ancient times to Jersey’s first female brewmaster Gretchen Schmidhausler who was also once the brewer for The Ship Inn.
Lea’s culinary background is a huge asset when it comes to brewing. Understanding and enjoying the science and creativity of cooking, she also applies this to building taste, aromas and complexity in the beer. The ale’s at The Ship Inn all aim to stay true to the “traditional English” style. All the brewing equipment is in turn, English style brewing equipment. With Tim’s guidance and input Lea strives to put out a well balanced beer. You will not find a “punch you in the face” overly hopped beer. The beer fits the atmosphere. All session style beers from Pale Ales (Golden Wheat) and English Bitters (Best Bitter, ESB) to Porters (Randy’s Panhead) ranging in the 4% to 5% range are meant to accompany the good times, not to shorten your night. The one exception is the “Killer Bee” which is a spin off from the ESB where Lea and Tim add local honey (for taste but not too much sweetness) and it ranges around 7%. They tend to keep 6 of their beers on tap, my favorite of the night was the Best Bitter. I took a growler home, it’s very silky and smooth from the natural cask style carbonation. Cheers to The Ship Inn!
The Ship Inn can be located at 61 Bridge St in Milford or online at http://www.britishbrewpub.com/