Hops and Grapes is a local craft brew stop in Glassboro, New Jersey. Situated near Rowan University, it draws in young and old crowds alike. Compared to most other liquor stores in the area, Hops and Grapes take pride in their very large beer selection. Pete Dowghty, Beer Manager of Hops and Grapes, has worked at the store for eight years.
“I try to get anything and everything stocked on our shelves. I want Hops and Grapes to be known as a beer store,” said Dowghty.
This fact most people find to be true. One patron, Katherine Aucello, a Rowan University student frequents Hops and Grapes.
“It’s very college based and they have a vast assortment of beer that are already chilled. I love how I can walk in and grab a beer carton and pick six different beers to try rather than waste money on a whole six pack and not like it.” said Aucello.
I personally take comfort in being able to browse the beer aisle and find a new beer on the shelf. There are over 90 breweries in New Jersey and Hops and Grapes stocks beer from over 20 of those breweries. Dowghty went on to express his pride in New Jersey breweries and how the store purchases its beer selection.
“One of the store’s biggest sellers is beer from Ballast Point Brewing Company. Which is out of California. Sometimes it sucks that there are so many good local breweries that are not large enough to distribute beer across the state. One of My favorite beers is Heady Topper from The Alchemist Brewing Company and I absolutely love it. They are such a small brewery in Vermont, so I can’t get it in the store,” said Dowghty.
As always, when I walk in I like to grab some new beers and catalog them. This posts theme is “Beers For a Hot Summer BBQ”, or whatever outdoor activity you enjoy. Here are just a few beers in stock:
Owl’s Brew Radler The Blondie – 3.8% ABV
From the first sip, made me scream Arnold Palmers Iced tea. The Blondie is yellow-orange, almost looks exactly like honey, and rests with a nice head. I don’t personally find it too sweet and more so, am reminded every sip of tea. This is a beer I normally would not pick up off the shelf but I have to say I’m thoroughly surprised. The beer texture is a little iffy with some floating bits of tea, so if you’re a texture person, I’m sorry. Originating from tea junkies, The Blondie comes in at a modest 3.8 percent ABV which is enough for a BBQ and a safe drive home.
Wachusett Brewing Company’s Blueberry Ale – 4.5% ABV
This ale off starts with a light head, aroma of blueberries, and a light and clear color. I was really excited from the scent of blueberries and their very first sip. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to back up my initial impressions about the ale. On the head, it tastes like a wild berry pop tart and in the rear, the flavor drops off and leaves you with a bitter and flat ending. With anything, I say still to give it a try. After all, it may be your cup of tea.
Brew Free! Or Die’s Blood Orange IPA – 7% ABV
After pouring, this IPA presented a medium head that had the subtle orange aroma. For a non-IPA drinker, this may be a beer worth a test. It is more fruity in flavor and allows the taste of blood orange to really shine. For a hot summers day, you can be on your way to cracking the can and quenching that thirst.
Heavy Seas Brewing Company Tropi Cannon– 7.25% ABV
So, this one may be a little bias, because I love Heavy Seas Brewing Company, but this beer is awesome. I have yet to try it, so at least there is that. On the first pour, there was a more than medium head and sweet aroma of blood orange, grapefruit, mango, and lemon. The beer plays off of one of their flagship beers, Loose Cannon, and takes a step back from the piney-ness and bring in the citrus with the use of Palisade hops for Amarillo. Word of warning though, this beer is on the higher level ABV, so watch the how much you consume at the backyard BBQ.