We had just finished up at Carton Brewing Company, and we were STARVING. The evening prior, we were headed to Tommy’s Tavern and Tap, as we’d heard great things about their tap list, brick oven pizza, and sushi (how can you go wrong across the street from the Atlantic Ocean?), but the power had gone out in the town of Sea Bright, and they, along with most of the other shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, had closed early. We decided we would go to Tommy’s to quench our powerful hunger (If you’ll recall Part I, we had only eaten 2 things of Auntie Anne’s pretzel nuggets and two Diet Cokes since breakfast…)

By this point, we were both exhausted, still trying to wind down from our day-to-day stresses, (I believe I’ve mentioned how stressful and wonderful it is living in this hectic, smelly, gross, beautiful, monster that is NYC), and I began to feel very emotional, and also a little bit guilty. I told Holly that I felt like I was dragging her around on all these beer vacations, and I was upset because I never wanted her to feel like we were doing something she didn’t want.

She cocked her head a little bit, and smiled, and said “I suggested we do these types of trips, so that you had things to write about for the Blog. Also, I love any vacation where we’re together. You’re not dragging me anywhere.” She also told me that she hates when other people take credit for her ideas. We both cried a little bit more (stress is weird, you guys) and ordered what any two grown adults would, chicken fingers and pizza, which were comforting and delicious.

But wait… Isn’t this a Beer Blog?

Yes it is!  It’s the BENEDICT Beer Blog, and Holly brought up an amazing point, (after I asked her if I should leave that last part in) that sometimes it’s good to get some insight into our lives, because my goal with this blog is to talk about our life, our love, and our adventures and how craft beer is involved.

So, now the beer!

Holly and I split a Kane Brewing Head High IPA. Kane Brewing is another brewery about 15 miles south of Highlands, which unfortunately wasn’t open during our stay. Thankfully, most of the bars with craft beer carry their selections on tap, and we were lucky to have tried this. Flavors of juicy pineapple, orange rind, and pine dominate, with some grassiness, and cracker. At 6.5% ABV, this is crushable.

New Jersey is literally inside this beer!

We had seen this cute little boutique wine and beer shop, Cork & Barrel Wine and Spirits (I’m still amazed in states that sell beer, wine and liquor in the same store). We were hurried into the store quite quickly, not really knowing what was going on, but the employee filled us in, saying one of their regulars had called to see if they were open, and they were turning off all the lights to play a prank on them. They told us to hide towards the back of the store, which we did. When the customer showed up, they pretended as if they were closing up shop and leaving, and I’m not sure they got the reaction they wanted, but Holly and I appreciated being a part of the joke.

We were recommended a bottle of wine from the 90+ cellars, a company that partners with respected wineries from around the world, puts their label on the wine and sells it for less. We ended up with a delicious Malbec for around $10. Not bad.

When we got back to our wonderful, luxurious AirB&B, I think we maybe had a sip or two of wine before falling asleep. We were so thrilled to still have a full day ahead of us (we’re not used to two-day weekends, yo.), and so exhausted from all our activities (Boardwalking, Apple Picking, Drinking, Eating, Crying), we fell asleep with no trouble.

The next morning we were met with another amazing breakfast, this time, a scrambled egg dish with tomato sauce, a side of fresh fruit, and a toasted English muffin with a sweet basalmic drizzle. Also, a fresh pot of coffee. We took our coffee to the porch to plan our 2nd (!!!) day off together, and this morning, unlike the last, was warm, and the sun was out in full force. Today. Today would be our day at the beach, our last “See Ya Later!” to summer.

But first, we explored the Twin Lights of Navesink, a historical site about a half mile from the AirB&B. This monument consists of two identical lighthouses (one of which offers a spiraling, multi story staircase leading to incredible views of Sandy Hook Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and New York City). It was a bit hazy that morning, but we were still offered some stunning views.

One of the lighthouses!

The other lighthouse!

View from the top!

View of Sandy Hook Bay and the Atlantic Ocean!

We realized before we went to the beach that we didn’t have any towels, so we made a quick pit stop at Target, (which of course turns into a nearly $70 excursion, but we get 5% off with our Target card!) and walked out with towels, I forget what else, and a fresh copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I and II in Hardback.

We spent nearly 4 hours on the beach. Now, if you know what Holly Kay and I look like, basically take the palest thing you can think of, and multiply it by 856,462. That’s how pale we are. So we set up our awesome little beach umbrella and our Home Depot branded chairs, and Holly Kay read the Harry Potter play to me, and also we dipped our feet in the ocean as it was about -856,462 degrees. I also made a fun Facebook Live video with facts about the ocean and the Jersey Shore (which were 100% factual and not at all made up by me on the spot).

After we were sufficiently beached-out, we took a walk over to Tommy’s Tavern and Tap (which was open!), and made a new friend. I will not give his name, but he was in charge of his company purchasing another company that was going out of business, which I won’t name, but it makes really famous sweet treats and rhymes with Schmostess. He bought us two rounds of drinks, lamented to us about how his brother talked him out of purchasing a boat, his mansion down the road, etc. It was amazing. 

Kane and a Cocktail!

I started with a Kane Head High, and moved on to a Brooklyn Bel Air Sour, a nice, tart citrus refreshing brew from Brooklyn Brewery. I find I’m never blown away by anything from Brooklyn, but I’m never mad at them, either. Everything they do is solid and their six packs are usually super cheap and will do in a pinch. Don’t know what to bring to your friend’s party? Pick up a six pack of anything from Brooklyn. Can’t go wrong.

Cute little seaside town!

Before we headed back to the city, we wanted to take advantage of our proximity to the ocean and decided on a seafood feast at Bahr’s Landing. We had fresh oysters, grilled lobster, fried scallops, shrimp, and cod, and french fries. They had Carton Brewing Company’s Wit Whale on tap, it’s zesty orange notes playing off the probably 856,462mg of sodium we took in from all the food. What a way to end a vacation.

Carton Wit Whale and a view of the bay!


Sometimes it’s necessary to take little trips away, even for just a day or two, to reset and relax. I think Holly Kay and I squeezed every last drop of relaxation we could out of our time in Jersey, and because of the hospitality of our hosts Robin and Robert, will absolutely make our way back here to enjoy the seemingly innumerable restaurants and bars we’ve been recommended.

Enjoy yourselves! Drink amazing beer! Holly Kay and Patrick love each and every one of you!

Thanks for reading.

One thought on “Highlands, Sea Bright, and Carton Brewing Company, or “Everything is Legal in New Jersey”, Part II

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