10 Lippincott Lane, Unit 12 | Mount Holly, NJ 08060
It’s not often that all three of us – Dan, Wayne, and me – get to experience a “brewery day” together. This past Saturday we did just that and chose to explore some New Jersey breweries.
I contacted our New Jersey brewery expert and uhh-mazing friend Mark Graves, brewer at Manayunk Brewing Company and Episode 42: ‘Yunk Come Back Now, Ya Hear? guest. He gave us quite the list of breweries to choose from, and narrowing the pack seemed quite difficult.
While I was messaging back and forth with Mark, he happened to be sipping brews at one of his favorite local breweries, Spellbound Brewing in Mount Holly, NJ, a brewery I knew had a reputation for brewing creative beers, including very spicy ones.
Mark let it slip that “we” (translation: Steph) love spicy beers. The guys at Spellbound quickly decided to make “something so hot you can’t even drink it.”
Challenge accepted… More on that later.
Spellbound Brewing is owned by homebrew friends Mike Oliver, John Campanick, and Scott Reading, three guys that are passionate about craft beer and the community they live in. All three of them still work full-time day jobs while running Spellbound along with their three significant others.
John and Mike have been friends since childhood, and they met Scott through High Street Grill in Mount Holly. Scott was always winning homebrew competitions with his porter recipe, which is now Spellbound’s porter. The IPA is John’s recipe, and Mike has a German-style hefeweizen recipe that will appear once the weather warms up.
During our visit, John spoke with us and took us on a tour of the brewery. They are brewing unique and tasty brews on a 20-barrel brewhouse with four 40-barrel fermenters, and two 10-barrel fermenters for the more “extreme” beers. Next week they will be purchasing two more 40-barrel fermenters and a 40-barrel brite tank.
Currently sitting in the 10-barrel fermenters is a yet-to-be-named Tripel brewed with 60 pounds of local New Jersey honey. Half of the batch will have cardamom and cherries added to it. Look for this beer to debut during Philly Beer Week.
The guys also can and keg beers for distribution across the central parts of New Jersey. You can find them in bigger chain restaurants like P.F. Chang’s, PJ Whelihan’s, and Chickie’s and Pete’s, as well as local establishments.
Spellbound currently distributes to Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean, and Camden counties in New Jersey. You can also find their beer as far north as Asbury Park and Seaside Heights, NJ. The goal is to distribute to all of central and south New Jersey, as well as Philadelphia.
The 1000-square foot tasting room is open for flights, pints, growler fills, and swag, including T-shirts, glassware, signs, and cans. The flagship IPA is canned on site and available for purchase in 6-packs for $10 or cases for $35 at the brewery.
Spellbound looks to can other beers in the future, including the Peach 2x IPA. The on-site canning machine fills 32 cans per minute. Canning occurs on Sundays when visitors are given a unique opportunity to watch their case of IPA being packaged. Doesn’t get much fresher than that!
During our visit, we tasted everything on tap.
- IPA – 6.5% ABV, 65 IBU flagship beer. This IPA has aggressive hoppy aromas and flavors balanced with a malty backbone. Bright citrus and pine hop character are apparent from dry hopping.
- Porter – 6.9% ABV, 35 IBU year-round robust malt forward, medium-bodied beer with notes of chocolate and coffee.
- Pale Ale – 5.5% ABV light-bodied classic American pale ale dry hopped with Cascade hops.
- Peach 2x IPA – 7.5% ABV Pilot Batch IPA with flavors of peach and citrus hops.
- Palo Santo Porter – 6.9% ABV, 35 IBU year round porter aged on palo santo wood, bringing out more of the chocolate and coconut flavor and hints of vanilla, anise, and even mint.
- Gingerbread Brown Ale – 6.5% ABV brown ale brewed with gingerbread spices.
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookie – 7.0% ABV, 16 IBU brown ale brewed with 150 lbs of raisins, cinnamon, and 2 lbs of vanilla beans. Tastes like an oatmeal raisin cookie!
- Firkin – Coffee Porter – 6.9% ABV porter with French Roast coffee beans added.
- Firkin – Chocolate, Smoked Serrano Pepper Porter – 6.9% ABV porter with cacao nibs and smoked serrano peppers added giving intense chocolate and smoky flavors with slight heat from the peppers.
All of the beers were truly delicious, but one of our unanimous favorites was the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, which truly tasted like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Some of this brew is currently sitting in 20-year old dark rum barrels. That will taste epic.
It should be no surprise that my favorite beer was the “something so hot you can’t even drink it.” The beer was their porter with scorpion, ghost, and serrano peppers added. The dark, roasty flavors from the malts paired perfectly with the flavor and heat of the peppers. Mark claimed me as the winner, but simply getting to enjoy this amazing brew makes me feel like a winner!
Some other creative beers coming soon from Spellbound include a White Sage Black Pepper Saison, Mango Pale Ale, Cucumber Saison, Hefeweizen, Irish Red, and a wheat beer made with local New Jersey fruit. They hope to do a Berliner Weisse and Session IPA sometime in the future.
If you happen to find yourself in Mount Holly, New Jersey, or you are looking to take a trip to a truly awesome brewery, do yourself a favor and go to Spellbound Brewing. The beers here are delicious. I only wish Spellbound was my local brewery!