Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.  


Summertime can be a fun excuse for a trip to the shore but for those of us on the east coast, that can also mean the imminent threat of a potential hurricane.  With each hurricane there’s the risk of a coastal evacuation, two words no one ever wants to hear, as it’s just a terrible situation.  Well, the folks at Cape May Brewing Company have taken those two words and really made them something great!

Though it’s still a relatively small operation, one that consists of about 10,000 barrels annually, Cape May Brewing has taken New Jersey by storm, becoming one of the Jersey Shore’s predominant beers, while branching into most of eastern Pennsylvania.  Started in 2011 at the Cape May Airport by three gentlemen, the company now boasts more than 100 different sudsy offerings – many of which are earning awards at both local and national beer tasting events – and many of which are worth your time.  One of Cape May Brewing’s best efforts is Coastal Evacuation, a year-round west coast-styled Double IPA that has become a staple of their lineup.

Coastal Evacuation is an 8% alcohol by volume, 70 international bitterness unit scale beer that, according to the packaging, pairs perfectly with hot dogs, chicken or even just a lounge chair – what’s not to like?  The label also explains the story behind the name of the beer and how it perfectly embodies the Jersey Shore:

“Coastal Evacuation – it’s a phrase that’s everywhere at the Jersey Shore.  This West Coast-style Double IPA is as big and as bold as hurricane season itself, with a Centennial-forward, brazen blend of hops serving up hints of orange citrus and honeydew melon.  It’s time to evacuate.  Are you prepared?”

When cracking it open, you’re immediately greeted by the sweet smell of hops, with maybe just a hint of citrus and other fruit.  It smells really good and left my mouth salivating.  The look of it is one that might entice most IPA enthusiasts – a slightly hazy, unfiltered, medium-bodied, beer.  As I’m pouring, the off-white head is noticeable, though my pour didn’t necessarily do any justice.  And then there’s the taste – oh, the sweet, sweet taste.

From the very first sip, your taste buds are greeted to that which your nose enjoyed – a citrusy, piney bitterness.  And, to be quite honest, the two are balanced out very nicely.  Some claim they can taste a hint of melon described on the label, but maybe my pallet is simply not refined enough just yet.  The finish is a little on the bitter side and might leave you wanting to take a few more sips of this very drinkable beer.  You would have no problem putting two of these bad boys away in one sitting but, after that, be careful because not only is it a somewhat filling brew, it’ll also leave you feeling no pain quickly.

The overall score for Coastal Evacuation on BeerAdvocate is a 3.88 (out of 5), which is probably pretty close to my personal score, which is 8.2 (out of 10) beer glasses.  You might have a tough time finding it depending on where you are, but if you do, a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles will set you back $11 or $12, which is a solid price for the quality of this beer.  Check out Cape May Brewing on social media to locate this fine libation.

Stay tuned for next week, when I sample well, I will need to see what I have buried in my fridge, since it’s the week of the Fourth of July.