Surf and Sip Brew Trail Showcases Best of Region’s Wet and Dry Recreation

Jun 27, 2018
Photo by: Jon Coen

The Surf and Sip Brew Trail campaign of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, launched in January, is another way for visitors to see what the LBI region has to offer. The tour encompasses Long Beach Islanders’ pride in the authenticity and uniqueness of their home and showcases LBI’s history and lifestyle within a framework of surfing culture and local breweries.

The first of its kind in the country to combine beverage tourism with non-alcoholic stops along the way, the trail offers visitors opportunities to check out breweries and enjoy New Jersey’s fine local craft beers, as well as to take part in surfing lessons, eat at local restaurants and get an overall sense of what it is like to live on Long Beach Island and the nearby mainland.

A press tour kicked off this past Tuesday with a group of writers, bloggers, food critics and related media representatives. The first stop was a visit to the Jetty Flagship store in Manahawkin, where guests were taken through the store and shown how Jetty makes its surf-centric clothing and introduced the company founders, who talked about the history of the company and how Long Beach Island inspired their business.

Afterward, a surfing lesson on the beach gave Philadelphia-based social media director Brett Blackwell his first taste of wave riding.

“It was so amazing,” he said. “I stood up my first time, and it was unbelievable. Like nothing else. I see how it is so addicting.” The conditions were small, but fairly clean. It was a perfect day to learn how to surf.

After some downtime, the tour departed for Manafirkin Brewery for a tasting and education. The microbrewery has 14 original beers on tap and hosts a variety of events that support good causes and good times. Its beer list includes Easy Bay Blonde, Trippin Monkey, Ouija Wheat, Peace Pipe Porter, Wake the Firk Up, Going Kiltless, Sasion Clause and Ju Seashore.

Day one wore everyone out, so in an effort to revive the troops, day two began with some rooftop yoga to prepare their minds, bodies and spirits for another event-filled day.

At the Tuckerton Seaport – where the mission is to preserve the area’s rich maritime history, supporting artistry inspired by the region and the unique contributions of its baymen – tourists were picked up at the dock and taken to Rose Cove for “the oyster experience” with Matt Gregg, founder of Forty North Oyster Farms. (See related story.) Upon their return it was time for lunch at the Union Market, followed by a walk-through of the New Jersey Surf Museum and Jersey Shore Folk Center.

Up the road at the Pinelands Brewery, the group was introduced to the homegrown nano-brewery, including a Pine Barrens component to the itinerary.

Another early morning came, and the crew would try standup paddling at South-End Surf ’N Paddle, then make their way to the last alcoholic stop on the tour, Ship Bottom Brewery, actually located in Beach Haven’s Bay Village, where a tasting room revealed a selection of handcrafted ales and lagers for sampling or purchase.

To end the tour, the group visited the Ann Coen Gallery in Surf City, filled with images and artwork inspired by the Long Beach Island region.

For 104 years, the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce has been dedicated to preserving and celebrating the LBI region. The Surf and Sip Brew trail was born out of a passion for the Island and surrounding mainland and a desire to share its magic with the wider world.

— Johnny McGinley

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