Bucket Brigade Brewery 205 N. Main Street Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Review Date: 1/27/2018
Reported by: Pretzel
The Stoutmeister and I headed down to Cape May Court House to meet up with John MacBeer to review the Bucket Brigade Brewery which recently opened up. The Stoutmeister has been complaining incessantly about the lack of Oatmeal Stouts in South Jersey, and the Bucket Brigade has one on their menu. The rest of the Beer Posse is hoping he’ll find it to his liking, so that he will shut up about it already!
Bucket Brigade Brewery was started by 2 brothers who are Cape May County firefighters, and they have revolved their establishment around that firehouse theme. Very original. The building is bright red, with some striking beer themed artwork. The front 2 windows look like firehouse doors, and when opened provide additional seating space outside with the ledge providing adequate space for your beverages. An antique fire-hose holder sits outside, and small fire buckets are used as lampshades. The entire building is small, but very welcoming. Inside there is a large bar, 3 small tables with seating, and bar seating that lines the walls with a small ledge for beverages, and hooks underneath for stowing your purses, backpacks, and other gear. My only negative feedback is regard to seating. The ledges around the room, although adequate to sit you beer do not offer any room if you decide to bring in your own food. And if you are a party of more than 2 people, it does not make for an easy conversation area, as you end up lined up in a row, unless you are lucky enough to snag a corner or a table. Likewise the tables are quite small, and very few available. The Beer Posse managed to stalk a couple who were finishing up, and we did manage to snap a much sought after table. I was surprised we didn’t have to arm wrestle anyone for it, although I did hip-check another patron away from the table as we made a mad dash for this premium seating. I think she was about 90, and had an artificial hip probably made of titanium, as I ended up with a sizable bruise on my hip the next day. But it was worth it.
The beer selection offered a fine assortment of brews as shown below. The flights come in a very cute fire bucket, adorned with their Bucket Brigade logo. I gotta say, I think this was the best flight tray I’ve come across. Before we could imbibe, we were under law required to take a tour of the brewery. The bartender gave us a coaster which outlined their brewing process. He pointed to the first stage, and said “Crap goes in here”, and then he pointed to the diagram of the final process and said “Beer comes out here”. To which I pointed to my mouth and said “Beer goes in here”, and pointing to my butt “Crap comes out here!” I totally got the concept! The Stoutmeister was a happy camper as he finally found a good South Jersey Oatmeal Stout. I want to thank Bucket Brigade profusely for this, as The Stoutmeister has become somewhat insufferable of late with all his whining about finding a good stout! Since he apparently does not care for Coffee Stout or Chocolate Stout, I was about to change his Beer Posse name to Mr-Girlie-Beer-meister, but I will hold off for now. John MacBeer liked the Stout and the Black Ale. (John MacBeer is actually 2 people, but they are too lazy to fill out an evaluation form each, so they get lumped under 1 Beer Posse identity). I loved everything. Since we had been unable to bribe any of our usual DDs (Designated Drivers) to join us on a trek down-the-shore, The Stoutmeister and I had to drink responsibly, limit our intake, and opted to take a few growlers home to enjoy on Superbowl Sunday. It actually took me a while to decide which beer to get a growler fill. The Stoutmeister of course got a growler of the Oatmeal Stout, while I finally opted for the Amber Red Ale.
Mark, the master brewer gave the Stoutmeister and I the brewery tour, which was one of the best tours we’ve taken to date. John MacBeer stayed in the main bar area to protect our coveted table from any unscrupulous scoundrels who may want to usurp our right to eminent domain. At least that’s what they claimed. I think they just wanted to hang out and drink more beer. That being the case, and knowing how all the Beer Posse members will chug down any unguarded brew, we were forced to take our drinks with us on the tour. When questioned, he told us the leftover Mash is given to local pig farmers and some is used to make the Bucket Brigade dog biscuits. Nice! Mark was very personable, and gave a very informative talk on their brewing process and philosophy. The brewery is small, but they manage to maintain a decent number and wide variety of brew offerings.
Our experience was very positive, and I look forward to another visit in the spring when we can sit outside on a cool spring day enjoying a good cold beer with friends. Well done Bucket Brigade!
Beers on Tap:
- Bucket Brigade Fire Pail Ale – American Pale Ale (ABV: 4.8%)
- Bucket Brigade Nozzle Nut Belgian Wheat – Belgian Wheat (ABV: 5.2%, IBU: 24)
- Bucket Brigade Five Bugle Belgian Golden – Belgian Blonde (ABV: 7.4%, IBU: 39)
- Bucket Brigade Seasonal Ale (AKA Fall Fest) – Spiced Ale (ABV: 5.6%, IBU: 14)
- Bucket Brigade Pry Bar IPA – American IPA (ABV: 7%, IBU: 59)
- Bucket Brigade Axe Head Amber Ale – Red Ale (ABV: 8.2%, IBU: 64)
- Bucket Brigade Brotherhood Black Ale – Dark Ale (ABV: 7.5%, IBU 57)
- Bucket Brigade Steam Engine Oatmeal Stout – Oatmeal Stout (ABV: 4.2%, IBU: 7)
- False Alarm ESB – English Special Bitter (ABV: 5.1%, IBU: 23)
- Pike Pole Pilsner – Pilsner (ABV: 5.2%, IBU 26)
Favorite Beers of the Day:
- Pretzel – Bucket Brigade Brotherhood Black Ale (but I loved all of the offerings)
- John MacBeer – Oatmeal Stout, Black Ale
- The Stoutmeister – Steam Engine Oatmeal Stout
Additional Posse Comments:
- The Stoutmeister – Hallelujah! First Oatmeal Stout I have found in New Jersey! I am a happy camper!
- John MacBeer – Beautiful Day. Windows can be open.
- Pretzel – Love the whole firehouse decor and theme.
Overall Pretzel Score (8.77 out of 10):
Final Scorecard (click to open): BucketBrigadeBrewery