I had the pleasure of visiting ManaFirkin Brewing on a nice Sunday in June 2019, at 9am! Yes, I was tasting beers at 9 in the morning, but it’s not an usual occurrence, I was just finished racing the Stafford Triathlon and I went to the brewery for the post-race party.
Open since 2017, ManaFirkin is on Bay Ave in Manahawkin (off Route 72) as you go towards Long Beach Island. Perfect for a beer pickup on your way to LBI, if you’re going to stay there for a few days or longer. Or for a nice post-beach stop on a weekend trip. I was impressed with their tap list – no less than 24 beers! I don’t think I’ve seen a micro-brewery with such a large offering! It helped that their flights contain 5 samples, but I still had to take 2 flights so I can check out most of the beers I was interested in. So here’s what I tried:
- Haze What’s Up – 6.3% New England IPA not making for a good start. It felt light and flavor-less. Not sure it was even hazy.
- Hazy Hops and Humid – This 7% New England IPA started setting the tone for a good series of hoppy IPAs. Still not their best, but a great rebound after the start.
- Ju Sea Shore – A ManaFirkin favorite of mine, it’s a pure IPA with the perfect amount of Citra, Mosaic and El Dorado hops at 7.4%.
- Bang A Wicked Uey – Their best New England IPA, hazy as I prefer them, with strong flavors yet very drinkable at 7.2%.
- Sip Happens – Even if I’m not a big fan of saisons, this is a nice Belgian-style one at 6.1%.
- Disc Head – A session IPA at 4.2%, but way too light even for a session, no really hop or even IPA feel.
- Coconut Coffee Kobra Kai IPA – A nice strong 7.6% IPA spiked with delicious coffee from local hot spot Shore Good Donut.
- Clint Yeastwood – One of my favorites, a great IPA, hoppy yet still easy to drink at 5.9%. Nice mix of Amarillo and Simcoe.
- Luke I’m Your Hopper – A very good dark IPA (which doesn’t happen often). It has 7.1% and it’s brewed with Cascade and several other hops.
- Quik Escape – Summer-y refreshing Hefeweizen, at only 5.9%. It’s brewed with strawberries and while I don’t like too fruity beer, it’s just the right amount to give it some tropical aromas.
Besides these, they have a very varied offering that include several different pale ales, lagers, English bitter, kolsch, tripel and stout. And as you can see from the ones I mentioned, they all have funny / punty names. When I visited in June 2019, there were no cans for sale, but everything was available in crowlers.