Stopped by White Horse Wine and Spirits in Absecon for a six-pack and to have a few words with Adam Sternberger and Chad Umansky, co-beer-geeks-in-charge. The store has a truly awesome selection, too many craft beers to list, six packs and large format bottles.
Sternberger wants the word out, for people to know that their store is going to be a force on the local beer scene. “People coming down to Atlantic City, if they know we’re here and what we’re about, we want them to stop by. We’ve got a great selection, and knowledgeable staff.”
This is very true. On my last visit, Adam recommended Left Hand Brewery’s Fade-to-Black Ale;this time Chad suggested Mikkeller Texas Ranger Barrel-aged Chipotle Porter. Both porters, one American, the other Belgian;both recommendations were right-on.
The store’s layout is large and open, with the usual surrounding walls of refrigerated cases (with unusually large selections), cases and shelves with cases, six-packs and individual bottles. For the inquisitive or just overwhelmed shopper, there’s a central PC kiosk to help in making an informed selection. Front-and-center on the touchscreen is White Horse’s very comprehensive website, well-structured and detailed, offering selections for every type of drinker, and all types of beer drinkers. For the truly craft-obsessed, warehouse manager Pat and co-employee Eric write the store’s blog Tap Talk – recent reviews include the Mikkeller Texas Ranger that I tried, Troegs Brothers’ Flying Mouflan and The Poet, Oatmeal Stout, courtesy of New Holland Brewing. There’s also a section devoted to staff picks : Eric devotes his to beer, and his recent selections are Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout, Trappistes Rochefort 330 ml and Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale, sold in six-pack-cans.
The homebrewer isn’t neglected. Sternberger says that store does well on their IPA beer kits stacked at the front of the store near the checkout lines. If you’re feeling something more seasonal and less hoppy, there were also Maple Porter and Gingerbread Ale kits available. Chad recently brewed his own kit, says he’s looking forward to sampling the finished product.
The store does feature tastings and events : their most recent visitor was Brian from Beach Haus in Point Pleasant, spreading the word about and the love for his brewery’s newest addition, Winter Rental Black Lager.
Stop by, take a look, there’s a lot to take in and you’ll enjoy the experience. Nothing’s guaranteed, but it’s almost certain that you’ll find something obscure and delicious to take home with you.