By Jennifer L. Grazioso
Breweries have been popping up along the Jersey Shore for some time now.
Soon the Jersey Shore will be welcoming a new brewery in Manahawkin, ManaFirken Brewing Company. You may need a map, (I exaggerate a bit), it’s located at 450 East Bay Avenue in an unassuming warehouse. From the outside it could be anything, a storage facility, an empty warehouse or full of treasures.
It’s the latter, full of treasures! Once the huge industrial size garage door is lifted your eyes are amazed at the glory of the handcrafted bar top created from a log the owners picked in Egg Harbor City with the help of the Schairer Bros Saw Mill.
There are hundreds of pallets to create the back wall of the bar, which is lit from behind creating a nice ambiance. They used barn doors from Manahawkin circa 1960 as a wainscoting around the room. They even have a Toledo scale from the 60’s; care to weigh yourself before and after you indulge in the beer drinking. Another unique feature are the old tools they found at local flea markets utilized as beer taps.
Let’s take a hop back and talk about the partners, William Committe, Todd Hunt (Owner of Shore Good Donuts, LBI), and Donn Hoosack; each have a love for craft beer and thought it would be cool to open a brewery. Donn Hoosack has been home-brewing for ten years and brings a great deal of knowledge to the table. Together in January 2016 they decided Manahawkin was the perfect town and with the warehouse”esque” they were looking for right in Manahawkin, everything fell into place.
What is with the “firken” name? Well, Firken, my friends, is a small cask of beer. So, ManaFirken is a play on words between the town “Manahawkin” and “firken”.
Creating the beer is a collaboration of the three partners. ManaFirken Brewing Company will offer eight to ten beers on tap; STOUT, WHEAT, PORTER, BARLEY, KOLSCH, SAISON, IPA (Indian Pale Ale), and a ROOTBEER (non-alcoholic). Some beers will be offered all the time as others will be rotated throughout the months. They will also present seasonal beers.
Customers will be able to purchase taster flights, Firken 3 or Barrel 5; Growlers or Pints.
When meeting with Todd today, I asked “What sets you apart from other breweries?”
“We are selective about choosing grain from different areas to bring out unique flavors,” stated Todd.
If you haven’t visited a brewery in the past, it is an ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) rule to take a tour before being served at the bar. On said tour, you will learn how to make beer, which is very interesting. I learned that the amount of grain determines what beer is made.
Eventually, local bars in Manahawkin and Long Beach Island will have taps with ManaFirken Beer!
ManaFirken Brewing Company offers a membership, which has many perks: 1st beer every day is on the house; ManaFirken Beer Club membership card; ManaFirken T shirt; ManaFirken Glass; ManaFirken Growler; Once Annual Member Appreciation Party; Once Annual Private Party Pre-Release Party for new brew; and 1st year members will be referred to as “Firken Founders” and posted on website. They currently have 111 members for 2017, which is sold out.
You do not need a membership to enjoy ManaFirken Brewing Company, the brewery is open to the public.
ManaFirken will not serve food, however you may bring your own or order in. They will have plenty of events during the year. They will have live bands and you will be able to view sporting events.
ManaFirken is scheduled to celebrate their Grand Opening between May 5th and 19th, 2017!
Keep a look out on facebook for all our updates.
ManaFirken Brewing Company will be open–Thursday from 3 to 9pm; Friday from 3 to 10 pm; Saturday 12 to 10 pm and Sunday from 12 to 6 pm. (Subject to change.)
ManaFirken Brewing Company is available to be rented out for private events.