The hardest part about not being a local is trying to separate the actually good places from the tourist traps. Our first night out on the town landed us right in a few of those tourists traps — but at least margaritas and a live band were involved.
Hollywood Beach, FL
Not exactly Hollywood California but hey, at least it's warm here too. Did research into how this city got its name (there are only so many ways I can prove I'm a nerd) and it turns out this beach town was, in fact, named after that California neighborhood we all know and love.
Anyway, history lesson over — here's a mango IPA from Hollywood Brewing.
Riverside Market South in Fort Lauderdale, FL
The first thing I did when I got to FL was map out the top-rated restaurants, bars, and breweries (yes, on an actual Google map). Hit Riverside Market South first. Beer selection was A+ (I had the J. Wakefield Nuzzle Session IPA, bomb). Expected more from the food though — was a little disappointed with the mahi tacos, which were a bit too fishy for my liking.
Blue Mountain in Palmerton, PA
Snuck in one more day on the mountain before booking it to Florida to escape the rest of the winter weather (with a nice assist from Evil Genius beer).
Garden State Beer Company in Galloway, NJ
Wasn't joking when I said I was starting to make a dent in the list of NJ breweries. This one is Garden State Beer Company. Not gonna lie it kinda felt like a VFW hall which reminded me of middle school dances except this time with beer.
Tuckahoe Brewing Company in EHT, NJ
Pretty sure Tuckahoe is the closest brewery to my house and I see their cans all the time at the store but for some reason it's taken me forever to actually visit. It didn't disappoint!
Coho Brewing Co. in Cape May Court House, NJ
Yet another new NJ brewery! I tend to try IPAs at each new brewery so I can compare and contrast, but what I really appreciated were the beer names. A+ to whoever on the Coho Brewing team pulled that together!
Gusto Brewing Company in North Cape May, NJ
Remember when I said NJ seems to have a new brewery every day? Gusto Brewing is one of them. Their branding is on point and so is their beer. I had the Milkshake IPA (not pictured here), and it was fire.
Mudhen Brewing Company in Wildwood, NJ
Breweries in NJ can't sell or make food, but Mudhen Brewing does it all. Not mad about it because their food and beer were fire.
They recently reached out to me to let me know how they’re able to cook and brew on the same premises and clarified that they “carry a full liquor license and are considered a brewpub with a restricted license whereas most breweries carry a limited brewery license which is prohibited from selling food.”
The more you know!
Okatshe in Atlantic City, NJ
Lived in AC for well over 20 years of my life and didn't know there was a little speakeasy hidden right in plain sight until now. Had a GNO at Okatshe and let me tell you, the food was bombbbbbb. Just don't spend $40 on mochi like the two 14-year-old girls next to us. Or do, I'm not gonna be the one to tell you how to live your life.
Avalon Coffee in Rio Grande, NJ
Drove 45 minutes to try a new coffee shop and get some work done but all of the tables were occupied so instead I took my coffee to go and drove 45 minutes back home. The latte was good tho!
The Windjammer in Somers Point, NJ
Left Hawaii after putting a mimosa down and picked one right back up upon my arrival home. I think champagne tastes better on the islands, but this will have to do for now.