Cape May is booming with some of the best breweries in South Jersey, and Ludlam Island Brewery is definitely one of the best. With their unique beer concepts and laid back atmosphere, I definitely enjoyed spending my evening there.
When I arrived at Ludlam Island Brewery I was lucky enough to meet with owner Bill Topley who has been home brewing since 1995 with fellow co-owner Larry Szarek. They decided to open up their own brewery in 2012 when the new brewery laws were put in place.
Originally from Philadelphia, Bill spend his Summers vacationing in Sea Isle City. It was always his dream to move to Cape May County, and he officially moved to the area in 1993. When he decided to open his own brewery, he ideally wanted to open in Sea Isle City hence the eventual name of the brewery, Ludlam Island. (Ludlam Island is the name of the barrier island which Sea Isle City is located)
When the brewery in Sea Isle City never came to fruition, Ludlam Island Brewery found a new home when it took over Tuckahoe Brewing Co’s old space in Ocean View, NJ. This location was already used as a brewery, making it a lot easier to manage.
The brewery opened in June of 2016.
Over the course of the year, Ludlam Island Brewery makes anywhere from 25-40 beers with a lot of seasonal beers to try. They are also open every day from 12-8, year round, so there’s always a time to stop in.
They have 8 beers on tap, plus too hand handles, and during my visit I tried basically everything they had.
Their most popular beers are their Fish Alley Ale (New England style IPA), Harry’s Coffee Pale Ale (made with their next door neighbor’s Harry and Beans Organic Coffee Roaster), and the soon to be renamed Lamplight IPA.
Although they have many unique beers, I definitely thought their Reuben Gose is the most interesting beer I’ve ever had. Conceptualized by Head Brewer Joe Laluk, the Reuben Gose…well…tastes like a Reuben sandwich, and I mean that in the best way possible. Once you smell the beer you will get a whiff of rye bread, and this sour beer will make you feel like you’re at a Jewish deli.
Other beers I thoroughly enjoyed was their “Mashing Pumpkins”, one of the better pumpkin beers I’ve had, the East Koast Kölsch, and the “Oh Becky”, a pumpkin spice latte beer (nothing basic about it).
Besides their unique beer, Ludlam Island Brewery also has a really cool upstairs bar giving the brewery more space and options for small private events.
Want to take your beer to go? Ludlam Island Brewery has growlers AND crowlers.
If you’re looking for unique beer year round, definitely be sure to stop by at Ludlam Island Brewery. I may or may not have tried some upcoming beer releases…so I’ll definitely be back.
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