Swedesboro Brewing Company at Swedes Plaza 95 Woodstown Rd. Swedesboro, NJ 08085
Visit Date: January 14, 2021
Reported by: Pretzel, B3
Posse Participants: Pretzel, The Stoutmeister, Princess, B3
Woo Hoo! I can’t tell you how excited several of the Beer Posse members were to learn that a new brewery was moving into our own backyard of Swedesboro. It will be nice to have a nearby watering hole to hang out in and enjoy some good brews. Now we won’t have to take a mini-road trip to Glassboro or Clarksboro to get some good local craft beer. Sorry Axe & Arrow, Bonesaw, and Death of the Fox. We still love you and will stop by periodically.
So we met at their location amidst the chaos of construction going on in the taproom. You can see the owners’ vision taking place from the industrial pendant lights over the bar, to the wooden accent wall that will be the future home of their merchandise center. Amid all the cacophony of drills, ladders being moved about, and hammering, the Beer Posse sat down to have a chat with the brains behind Swedesboro Brewing Company – Kevin (Co-founder and Brewhouse manager), Marvin (Co-founder and Taproom manager), and Andrew (Head Brewer). As far as brewing experience goes, Kevin and Marvin have been home-brewers for many years, and as I like to point out many of our best South Jersey brewers started out as home brewers. Andrew came from Tuckahoe Brewing, working his way up from volunteer to head brewer before being lured away to Swedesboro Brewing Co. (SBC). Kevin and Marvin both come with a life sciences background. Kevin bringing the healthcare scientific expertise with his long career as a triple-board certified PharmD and Marvin the creative expertise with his career as a healthcare marketer. So the marriage of science and art is what is driving the entry into the brewery business and it seems like a match made in heaven! As for the brewing process, their focus is on science, tradition, and quality control.
So what brings this new brewery to the Swedesboro area? While Kevin has family ties to the Swedesboro area, Marvin lived in Swedesboro for over 10 years. Not to mention that the Swedesboro-Logan-Woolwich microcosm continues to expand in terms of both residential and commercial entities. In addition to Swedes Plaza, SBC considered several locations within Swedesboro for the brewery including the defunct Beckett golf course (would require a total build out, and many years of planning), the empty lot on main street with the dilapidated warehouse out back (again, too much time and expense to make the dream a reality), even the old bank downtown was discussed (but, someone beat them to the punch). They finally decided to take over the location in Swedes Plaza that previously housed Spicy Affair, an excellent Indian restaurant that moved to the aforementioned bank locale in downtown Swedesboro. Plus, Swedes Plaza provides all the amenities suitable for a brewery including ample parking, strong central location and visibility, and let’s not forget, great food for pairing. This location at Swedes Plaza, brings a new restaurant, Hola Taco is opening next door, Ray’s Pizza, Latteria with their made daily fresh ice cream. Although as I remember from my college days, ice cream and beer do not necessarily go well together; SBC will be introducing their non-alcoholic Root Beer, great for root-beer floats! Since breweries in NJ can’t serve beyond small pre-packaged snacks, it’s nice to know the food options nearby.
Kevin and Marvin hoped to open up in the Spring of 2020, that quickly changed to Fall as pandemic hit. As we all know, Covid-19 threw a monkey-wrench into everyone’s lives. They re-evaluated some of their goals, and have made plans to open up an outside patio area for nice weather seating. The pandemic also brought increased cost of goods as well as delays in getting their materials for the buildout. With a focus now including canning and distribution, SBC started a Honeycombcredit.com crowdfunding to raise investor capital.
The construction required some significant changes, especially in the brewing space, where ceilings had to be removed to provide the required space for the large brewing equipment. Let me tell you, the brewing room is laid out very thoughtfully and efficiently with innovative ideas to minimize the footprint of these large vats. For instance, SBC had custom tanks built which included a double-decker with a Mash/Lauter ton on top and the HLT (hot liquor tank on the bottom). So where normally there would have been 2 physically separate tanks, they have 1. Process control through automation and strict adherence to procedures will drive quality control, ensuring consistency in their brews. The cold room contains 6 brite tanks that directly feed the taproom, reducing the need to use kegs for their most popular beers. Thus you will be getting the freshest craft beer directly from the tanks.
The beer menu is inspired by well known beers from around the world. I asked Andrew about his process for developing a recipe. He told me they have a small pilot system which they use to test and refine his recipes. THIS IS FABULOUS! Most breweries we have visited do not have smaller test system. It’s all or nothing! If they end up with a bad batch, everything has to be tossed, and it’s a big loss in both time, materials, and energy. Since a good number of the Beer Posse come from an IT background, that is music to our ears! We would never develop apps directly on a production system now would we??!! (Sorry, the computer geek in me popped out. No need to bore you any longer with my diatribe).
The labels are works of art, designed by Marvin because as we all know, he is the artistic one! The plan is to have 12 standard beers on tap, along with special editions in small batches throughout the year. You can check out the labels on their website below. The beers on the menu will include:
- Raccoon IPA – Juicy India Pale Ale
- Piney IPA – American Pale Ale
- Harker’s Glory – American Pale Ale
- Flying Steagle – Lager
- Borough’s Best – Pilsner
- Bread Basket – Wheat Beer
- Creek Water Brown Ale
- Three Sisters Amber Ale
- New Sweden Blonde Ale
- Morton’s Cabin Fever Porter
- King’s Whey Milk Stout
- B & B Roots – (A root beer soft drink for your Designated Driver’s)
As you can see, they is a very nice variety of brews coming our way. I especially love that a lager is included since many of the breweries shy away from the lagers since the brewing process takes much longer.
SBC is hoping for a late winter or early spring opening, but no grand opening date has been set in stone.
So, thank you Kevin, Marvin, and Andrew for the great conversation and impressive tour. We will be waiting with bated breath for your opening. Welcome to the neighborhood, and save us a seat!
- Swedesboro Brewing Company – https://www.swedesborobrewing.com/
- Swedesboro Brewing Company – Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/SwedesboroBrewing
- Spicy Affair – Indian Restaurant – https://www.spicyaffairnj.com/