STONE HARBOR N.J. While I was down the Shore, I tried several South Jersey beers with lunch throughout the week.

Coho Brewing Co. Crime Scene Lager

A light lager with a little malt-forward. It’s surprisingly strong – 7.2% ABV and it comes in a pint can.

A pre-prohibition style lager made with American barley and corn; fermented with both American ale and lager yeast.

Solid pairing with hot dogs or BLTs. It’s a summer lunch beer. Reminds me of Schafer with some bite.

Cape May Brewing Co. Cape May White

A solid choice for a summer lunch outside. Cape May White is an approachable Belgian-style.

Cape May White is brewed with orange and lemon peels, coriander, grains of paradise, and our favorite Belgian Witbier yeast. Fruity esters up-front with an easy-drinking finish yields a traditional Belgian-Style Wheat Ale brewed in the heart of the East Coast.

This comes in 12 oz. cans with a 5.2% ABV.

Avalon Brew Pub Belgian Beach Bum Lager

AVALON, N.J. The only draft beer I drank down the Shore and probably my favorite of the three.

A very sharp and twangy wheat based beer. The perfect alternative to those who prefer a spicy, less hoppy aftertaste.

It is a bit more flavorful than that Cape May White and comes with an orange slice if you like. I don’t think it’s packaged. 5.2% ABV.

Is there are quintessential Jersey lager?

I’m inclined towards lagers, especially the darker ones like marzens and Vienna lagers.

In the commonwealth of Virginia, Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager became ubiquitous in the last decade. It was so successful, the brewery got acquired by AmBev.

Yuengling amber lager conquered Pennsylvania a generation ago and spread to other states. I’ve moved on (see above) but it’s still on lots of taps in the Mid-Atlantic.

As far as I can tell, there isn’t a New Jersey-brewed lager that has reached the levels of those too. I tried Double-Nickel Vienna last year and would have gotten it again if I could find it.

Come the evening…

File photo – taken 2019, Long Beach Island

If there is a better combination than taste, time and place than a gin & tonic after a day of bodysurfing at the Jersey Shore, I haven’t found it.

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