Swedesboro Brewing Company 95 Woodstown Rd Swedesboro, NJ 08085
Reported by: B3 (with additional commentary by Pretzel)
Reviewers: B3, Pretzel, The Stoutmeister, John MACBeer, Princess, Queen of Funk
“Where everybody knows your name” can be synonymous with many neighborhood watering holes, but none more appropriate than at Swedesboro Brewing Company. Opening in May of 2021, Owner Marvin Bowe has already built a reputation as the friendliest brewery in Swedesboro (okay, it’s the only brewery in Swedesboro, but that’s not the point). Although he still has a full-time job elsewhere, Marvin is frequently at the brewery greeting his guests with his customary cheerful attitude. You can tell he loves what he does and it shows in many areas of how the brewery operates. The staff follows his leadership, being friendly and welcoming to all guests, with the occasional friendly (and funny) banter between them like a close-knit family. For Princess who doesn’t drink and serves (sometimes begrudgingly) as our designated driver, she even enjoys our weekly happy hours, stating, “Even as a non-drinker, I feel welcomed.” While we don’t know all the staff on a first name basis yet, we especially love talking to Traci, Jen, Steve, Dez, Nick and Freddy!
In the year since SBC first opened, and with no prior experience in the industry, Marvin and his staff have learned a lot. With a background in marketing, Marvin has lots of ideas to grow his brand. It starts with his commitment to giving back to the community, supporting local events such as Swedesboro’s Food Truck Thursdays, the annual Swedesboro Christmas Parade, and Dalton Farm’s Sunflower event. Starting May 1st, SBC launched their Sunday beer brunch, from 12-2pm every Sunday, offering signature beer cocktails and complimentary sweets (bring your own eggs and bacon!) along with live music. Cocktails include the Raccoon Mimosa, Bloody Harker, and the Brewer’s Paloma. Coming soon, SBC is introducing a Seltzer Bar, where patrons can get a base seltzer brewed onsite then customize it at the flavor bar! Ten flavors will be “on tap” at the Seltzer Bar where patrons can add flavors such as Mango, Blueberry, Orange, Passion Fruit and even Birthday Cake to their base seltzer. Mix and match to create new flavors!
The brewery operation is impressive for the limited space available. During our tour, Marvin showed off the 10-barrel system that was custom made for the space, with a future option to expand tanks vertically to a 20-barrel system. With 6 brite tanks in their cold room, SBC’s top 3 beers, Raccoon Juicy IPA, Flying Steagle Lager and Harker’s Glory APA, are served directly from the brites to the taps, providing the freshest beer possible. Head Brewer, Cory McDonald, joined SBC this past March. Cory loves all things hoppy, but gained a love for German beers during his time in the army and will be brewing a wide assortment. This is Cory’s fourth stint at a local brewery, spending time previously with Neshaminy Creek, Blueprint Brewing and 2nd Story Brewing before joining SBC this past March. Available mid-May, Cory will have his first of many new beers for SBC, launching his Belgian Tripel. Stop in for a taste!
Speaking of the beers, ratings from the posse were excellent, with the Posse split between their favorites, including Raccoon IPA, Flying Steagle Lager, Borough’s Best Pilsner and Cabin Fever Porter. The Stoutmeister commented, “If there is a brew that really stands out, a brewery did good. Tonight, there were several brews that really stood out.” Speaking of standing out, SBC plans a regular rotating tap called Brewer’s Select, where the team adds a twist to traditional beer styles, such as a Peanut Butter Stout, a Coffee Cream Ale or a traditional lager dry-hopped for a bittered lager. Coming out May 15th is their first anniversary beer, a limited-edition 11.5% ABV King’s Whey Milk Stout aged for the past year in bourbon barrels.
The facility is located at one end of a strip mall just South of Swedesboro. Plenty of off-street parking is available and with Ray’s Pizza and Sandwich Shop next door you don’t need to go far for food. The tasting room is well-designed, with a nice array of merchandise available just inside the main door. Large 8-foot windows surround the tasting area, with more large windows behind the bar showing off the brewing area. The indoor seating area includes low and high-top tables, with an outdoor patio area for when the weather cooperates. B3 commented that the two single restrooms were spacious and clean but didn’t have urinals, leading Pretzel to exclaim, “What? You don’t have good aim?”
Last summer was too short notice to participate in many beerfests, but this year Marvin is ramping up his presence at the local fests, starting with the Maple Shade Beerfest on May 14, then the Pints in the Park in Washington Township on May 21. You will also find them at the Atlantic City Beerfest on June 4th and 5th and the Summer Swelter outside Pitman on August 13th, with plans to attend other local events as well.
Insights from Pretzel:
When we go to breweries, The Beer Posse likes to play games, taste and compare beers, and have various riveting conversations. After a visit to SBC and conversations with some of our more senior Posse members, I have come to the conclusion …. THAT I AM OLD! Based on our dialogues, I have come up with my own list …
You know you are old when:
- Your longest exchange is about what body parts are giving you pain and trouble, and what medical treatments and/or drugs you are having to address them.
- You’re on a first name basis with your pharmacist
- You consider it a good night if you only had to get up and go to the bathroom 3 times
- You’re children are starting to get gray hair
- You only know about 25% of the celebrities in People magazine
- You find yourself singing along to elevator music
- Your radio station is classified as an “Oldies” station
- Some forty-year-old calls you ma’am or sir
- Your glasses are bifocals or trifocals
- You wear black socks with sandals (Yeah, that’s you Stoutmeister!)
- You get overly-excited when you get a 30% Kohl’s coupon in the mail
- You visit a family members grave, and realize you know at least 10 people buried nearby (yes, this is kinda sad)
- You get season tickets to the Pitman Broadway theater for the matinee, because you can’t stay awake through the 8 pm show.
- You consider anything over 30 minutes away to be a major road-trip
- During the Covid lockdown, you didn’t worry about running out of toilet paper, since you always keep at least 50 rolls on hand any way, just in case.
- You go to your high school reunion, and think everyone’s brought their parents because everyone looks so old.
Feel free to add your own comments to this list.
Any way, to sum up… SBC has become our local hometown hangout for many of the Beer Posse, who live in this area. We like to do happy hour at SBC every Thursday evening. Stop in and say “Hello!”
Beers on Tap:
- Borough’s Best – Czech Pilsner (ABV: 4.2%)
- El Mapache – Mexican Lager (ABV: 5%)
- Morton’s Cabin Fever – American Porter (ABV: 4.8%)
- Smokey Oak – Smoked Wheat Beer (ABV: 4.2%)
- Three Sisters – Amber Ale (ABV: 4.5%)
- Creek Water – American Brown Ale (ABV: 5%)
- Wee Elephant – Scotch Ale (ABV: 10.8%)
- Racoon – IPA (ABV: 6.5%)
- Piney – Dark IPA (ABV: 6%)
- Harker’s Glory – American Pale Ale (ABV: 5.5%)
- Flying Steagle – American Lager (ABV: 5.5%)
- King’s Whey – Stout (ABV: 5.2%)
- Breadbasket – American Pale Wheat Beer (ABV: 5%)
- Hopeweizen – Wheat Beer (ABV: 4.5%)
Favorite Beers of the Day:
- The Stoutmeister – Morton’s Cabin Fever and Wee Elephant
- John MacBeer – Racoon
- Pretzel – Borough’s Best (kicked), Flying Steagle, Cabin Fever
- Queen of Funk – Flying Steagle
- B3 – Flying Steagle
Additional Posse Comments:
- B3 – No urinals!
- Queen of Funk – The clientele and staff are our kind of peeps!
- Pretzel – I love the beer specific shirts! I bought Borough’s Best!
- Pretzel – I don’t normally like pilsner’s, but Borough’s Best is the best pilsner I have ever tasted!
- Princess – SBC is my favorite place!
- John MacBeer – TP was empty in the bathroom. But filled promptly when it was brought to the staff’s attention. One of my beers was warm, but again, staff was extremely attentive to the problem, and rectified it promptly.
- The Stoutmeister – My ears are hot!
- The Stoutmeister – In my book, if there is a brew that really stands out, this brewery did good. Tonight, there were several brews that really stood out – even the types that I least expected.
- Swedesboro Brewing Company – https://www.swedesborobrewing.com/
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SwedesboroBrewing
Final Scorecard (Click to Open): SwedesboroBrewingCompany
Overall Pretzel Score (9.1 out of 10):