Tuckahoe Brewing Co

Tuckahoe Brewing Company

I visited this new Cape May county brewery Saturday, meeting all four principals, but talked primarily with Tim Hanna and head brewer Matt McDevitt.

Three teachers from Mainland High School in Linwood (Hanna, McDevitt and Chris Konicki) and an architect at Blaine Steinman, Dennis Twp (Jim McAfee) had talked about starting a brewery, “years back” according to Hanna, but decided in 2010 that it was time to make the leap. “We were going to wait until we were in our fifties, but,” – gesturing at the brewing platform created from some discarded athtletic bleachers standing in front of their three-barrel brewing system, “we didn’t want to be setting up equipment and running pipe and wires when we were getting older.”

This hands-on approach was exhibited when I got there : three of the owners were busily bottling the brewery’s latest creation, a coffee stout;McDevitt was in the process of brewing another batch of their Marshallville Wit. The facility itself is located in the heart of Ocean View NJ, near the places their namesake beers are inspired by : the Brighton Coffee Stout, for instance, is a small batch for the brewery (only ten cases of bottles) and being brewed in honor of George Gerlach, who founded Surfers Supplies in Ocean City (originally named New Brighton) in 1962. Gerlach was a seminal figure in the history of East Coast surfing, who passed away in January of last year. All profits from this sale of this stout are being donated by the brewery to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, NJ. The brewery is participating in another fundraiser for the center in April, which will be held at Yesterday’s Restaurant, Marmora NJ. The Marshallville Wit is named for a town in the heart of Tuckahoe, and for John Marshall, an important figure in the birth of the local glassmaking business;the Dennis Creek, which the brewers named their flagship Pale Ale after, flows into the Delaware Bay;the Steelmantown Porter (which the owners had tapped and I was lucky enough to taste) is named for a local town important in South Jersey shipbuilding. Eventually Hanna hopes to brew an amber using only local New Jersey ingredients – this aspiration was almost realized, but the farmer who was going to grow the barley bowed out. This Head-of-the-River Amber, if it ever comes to fruition, will be a big step forward for New Jersey craft brewing.

Keeping their operation locally-focused has offered other benefits for the brewery : being located literally right-next-door to local coffee purveyor Harry and Beans was important, McDevitt says, when he started experimenting with the coffee stout. “We had started the stout as a homebrew a while back, I had thought of adding vanilla but decided not to. Harry (from Harry and Beans) had been giving me good ideas about coffees to use in the stout.” Taking the expert advice, McDevitt says that he throws Honduran grounds in with the first boil, and then cold-brewed Sumatran in the secondary fermentation. These technical details are somewhat beyond the scope of this writer’s limited brewing ability, but since coffee is his second-favorite adult beverage, he looks forward to trying the New Brighton Coffee Stout someday very soon.

Tuckahoe Brewing Co’s beers are distributed by Harrison Beverage, and can be purchased on draft at Yesterday’s, Marmora, the Tuckahoe Inn, Beesley’s Point, the Deauville Inn, Strathmere, Levari’s in Tuckahoe, the Seaville Tavern, Seaville and at Passion Vines, Somers Point. Bottled brews will soon be available at Gleeson’s Liquors in Dennis Twp.

Some upcoming events for Tuckahoe Brewing : the brewery will be in Wildwood for St. Patrick’s Day, then participating in Beer on the Boards in Point Pleasant Beach on March 24th and the Atlantic City Beerfest on March 30th and 31st. On Saturday May 12th, you’ll find some of the owners at the Garden State Brewfest in Berkeley Heights, and the rest at a craft beer tasting in Collingswood benefiting the Perkins Art Center.

After the dust settles on this all this spring activity, the brewery will be offering tours and limited tastings on Saturdays.

If you’re in the Sea Isle vicinity this spring or summer, check the brewery out, say hi to Tim, Matt, Chris and Jim. They’ll probably still be hard at work, but will be happy to take some time to talk to you about their craft and let you sample a taste.

Hanna says that after years of teaching and also having a background in software, he likes the change of pace of getting into the craft beer. “People in the industry help each other. You can go to school for business, and make a lot of money, but there’s no passion in it. People in this business are passionate about their product.”

These guys are; it shows


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