Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Carl Craft

Ocean County, New Jersey, craft beer on tap. Ya gotta love it!

I recently did a piece about craft beer on tap at local restaurants in Monmouth County. This piece is just like that except that it’s the Ocean County list. On the whole, there’s more for craft beer lovers in Monmouth County, however there’s some fine choices in the OC as well.

Interesting to me that there’s a bit more craft beer on tap in Monmouth County. But what Ocean County may lack for in the number, it’s quite made up for in quality.  And, quality is what we “Beerheads” are after right?  Just as a refresher, here’s how I’m judging why someone is on this list:

  • I want multiple beers on tap, and a good variety.  A mix of styles.  They all can’t be heavy double IPA’s.  I want a mix of sours, ales, lagers, IPA’s, and stouts.  Possibly more.
  • Include locals:  It’s the right thing to do.  The local craft beer is fresher.  And to take this a step further:  I want more from Kane than their excellent “Head High”; if you don’t mind.
  • Regional craft breweries should be represented too.  For us that means PA, NY, Vermont and beyond.
  • And:  knowledge. The person behind the bar should have a decent handle on what each beverage brings to the glass.

With all that in mind, here’s a list of restaurants in Ocean County that I think have a good handle on all these ideas ending up with good choices for people looking for good craft beer on tap.

  • Amendment 21

    This former Shore Awards winner for “Best Beer List” as become well known in northern Ocean County as a restaurant that cares about good, craft beer on tap.  Their selection of local crafties is admirable as well as their regional fare.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this list and by being able to pick a a path from light to heavy while trying all new stuff.  As of this writing (6/12/23) their list features Forgotten Boardwalk, Icarus, Shed Mountain, Maine, Workhorse, and Last Wave (from just down the street).

    Plus, their food is damn good.  Those lime/chili fries are bad ass.  In fact, what they do with fries in general is unholy goodness.


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  • Cornerstone

    The Cornerstone Kitchen and Tap serves both masters well.  Food and beer.  They’ve always have a few interesting local selections including (at press time) a tap for hard-to-find Source Brewing out of Colts Neck.  Carton, Icarus, and Kane are usually on the list with something out of the ordinary.

    If you read the Monmouth County list, you’ll know I’m a fan of Vermont’s Lawson’s.  Well, Lawsons Sip of Sunshine (careful, at 8% it’ll creep up on ya!) is represented on the current list at Cornerstone.  Regional beers are well represented like this one from PA.

  • Mc Intyre's Pub in Toms River

    Jimmy Steal (3-7p on 95.9 The Rat) reports a good tap list at this Silverton staple

    Known for friendly service and quality pub fare the beer list here pulls from the Long Trail company in Vermont and a few from South Jersey’s Cape May Brewing.


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    A post shared by Macs Pub (@mcintyres_pub)

  • Triton on LBI

    The Marlin and Triton in Beach Haven on Long Beach Island is a place that kicks in for happy hour that has a extensive craft beer list. There’s a decent representation of a few New Jersey breweries but where this place shines is their selection of national craft beer.  For a touristy area to have such a selection is a rarity.  Support these guys.

    They specialize in oysters and seafood so if that’s your thing and you find yourself on this great stretch of Ocean County a taste should be on your agenda.

  • Thirsty Piney: Honorable Mention

    No joke, it’s in a liquor store, so it’s not a restaurant (though you can order food to be delivered).  Thirsty Piney curates such an impressive growler station that I thought I should include them on this list.  TP is a great spot in Ocean County that is proving that the 609 is down with good quality craft beer.  In fact some beers on their current list aren’t available within a 2 hour drive.

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