New things, much less new breweries don’t come to the South Jersey shore very often, so when I first noticed the sign for an upcoming brewery, I could hardly contain my excitement. I contacted the brewery earlier this year and finally got the chance to check out the progress and get the scoop of the new 7 Mile Brewery located at 3159 Route 9 South, in Rio Grande. It’s located in an old plumbing supply store across from the Walmart Plaza.
As soon as you open the door, you completely forget that the location used to house pipes, faucets and other plumbing fixtures. Although it wasn’t completely done, the tap room looked like a place I’d like to grab a quick beer after work (luckily my day job is right around the corner) or spend a lazy Sunday trying out their different offerings. Assistant brewer, Alex Paul, not only knows his beer, but had a major hand in building the tap room. Actually, all involved in this operation have been hands on, knees in the dirt throughout the whole process. Co founders Pete Beyda (Business Director) and Chris Collett (Operations Director) have been involved in day to day construction and have spent countless hours in the brewery getting ready for the thirsty public on a daily basis. They have acquired Wayne Milford as their Head Brewer. With 18 years of brewing experience, most notably with Dogfish Head, you know this isn’t a bunch of guys just trying to cash in on the craft beer craze. Pete’s wife Claudia, rounds out the team as office manager. There have been some major hurdles, but the guys haven’t lost their excitement and you can hear the passion in their stories of the good and bad. These guys love beer!
Chris and Pete met during a real estate transaction and became fast friends. After brewing up several batches of beer together, they came up with the brilliant idea to turn that passion into a business and began putting together a business plan and looking for ideal places to have a brewery. After some searching, they found a perfect spot in the heart of Rio Grande, something that used to just be “on the way to Wildwood” but has been developed over the years. With the support of the Middle Township Economic Development Council and personal savings, Pete and Chris got started on building this beautiful brewery.
If you think that this is going to be an old warehouse facility that happens to brew beer now, you’re mistaken. The tap room is absolutely beautiful. It looks like it belongs at the beach without having the typical shells and lighthouses tossed around needlessly. There are stools at the bar as well as several tall tables and there’s room for about 100 people. I’d love to show you some pictures, but the guys want the whole thing to be a big reveal when it’s all done. So just trust me for now when I tell you that you’re going to be as excited about this place as I am.
There’s going to be 24 taps, of which 6 will be their base beers. 7 Mile is the name given to Stone Harbor and Avalon, which when combined equal 7 miles of beautiful beaches and lots of fun, and it’s a place the guys love. The 7 Mile theme will carry right through to their beers. 7th Son, a DIPA, 7th Sister, a Pale Ale and 7 Blondes, a Pilsner. There’s the ability to produce 3000 barrels a year and the plan is to be all keg for the first year, with some going out to local establishments. You’ll be able to get tastings and pints in the tap room as well as growlers filled and kegs to go. They’re also going to have Stewarts root beer on tap, which should keep designated drivers and non beer drinkers happy. Future plans include a beer garden out back and eventually canning. Production starts in July and doors will open in late August. Because the brewery is under construction and the guys want a big reveal, I didn’t take any inside photos. However, I’ll be back in July to see how it’s going and I assure you, it’s a place you’ll want to check out.
Follow the brewery on Twitter: @7milebrew Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/7milebrew and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/7milebrew/