Farmers & Bankers Brewing is Salem County’s first craft brewery and they opened in Woodstown New Jersey last Thursday June 23rd. Mark from 42Freeway was there for opening day!
Farmers & Bankers Brewing (FB) is located at 8 N Main Street in the center of town, in a building which previously was home to a bank.
The property is actually two connected buildings.
The corner building dates back to 1892… and decades later the adjacent building became part of the then still operating bank.
For the opening of the brewery they have setup in that second building (one in from the corner), which has made for a bright and open space… perfect for delicious beer and hanging out with friends!
As a point of reference, from our more central 42Freeway area Farmers & Bankers Brewery is about 20-25 minutes from the Seven Star Diner at 5-Points Deptford.
On the way to Woodstown you quickly reach an area of large farms that looks more like Iowa farmland than New Jersey! Truly this is why we are called “The Garden State”…. it’s like a bonus reason to take the ride!
And while you are in Woodstown, consider a stop across the street at the local tavern.. Woodstown Tavern! (FB). Auburn Road Winery and Wagonhouse Winery are just minutes away!
Keep scrolling and reading to learn more about this new locally owned brewery!
Farmers & Bankers Background
Farmers & Bankers Brewery is owned by Pilesgrove residents Mike and Rebecca Melniczuk.
Not only does Mike have a love for craft beer, he is also an antique enthusiast and always admired the Woodstown bank building. The building sat vacant since 2009 and twelve years later Mike and Rebecca made the decision to purchase the building (2021).
It’s been a 10-month effort to renovate and create the brewery.
Mike left the Corporate world to pursue this dream, and while Rebecca works in town as a Physical Therapist… she is also the brewery Tap Room Director.
While many friends, family and new employees helped immensely in creating the brewery and testing room, the couple split the core overall responsibilities of the brewery’s buildout.
Mike used his engineering knowledge to focus on the mechanics of the brewery, while Rebecca designed the modern-rustic tap room design.
To brew the beer, the couple brought in another Pilesgrove resident Michael Duva, who started out as a home brewer in 2013 and built his experience up to running the beer brewing systems of Farmers & Bankers!
The brewery is a 5-barrel system which supports 150-gallon batches of beer.
They can have 6 beers fermenting at one time!
The Melniczuk’s give a big shout-out to Buffalo Brewing Company (FB), which is who they purchased the equipment from. Buffalo Brewing was upgrading to a larger system, which made their original equipment available to Farmers & Bankers.
It was a busy day for the Grand Opening and I arrived within that first hour to a crowded brewery… so I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mike.
I realize now that I did get to chat with Rebecca… about the vintage motorcycle on display over the entrance.
Rebecca had explained to me it was her Grandfather’s and they have a written history of the motorcycle on site! But we never had a chance to get to the point of “oh, so you own this place?!”
My apologies!! I really love what you guys have done with the space and beers!
The Tasting Room and Brewery
I spent some time chatting with Director of Operations Clint Brown, and I also met up with his wife Megan who is the Director of Outreach and Events.
Clint and Megan had both recently seen my coverage of another area brewery and had decided to reach out to me for Farmers & Bankers… and then I made things easy and walked through the door! That 42Freeway guy is everywhere!
Clint stepped away from the busy tap room for a few minutes to give me a tour of the place, history… and introduced me to brewer Mike.
As a sidenote, the website for Farmers & Bankers has a lot of great information, basically everything you’d want to know about the brewery and the building. And I absolutely used that information to refresh my notes this post! So kudos on the website also, F&B team!
The Tasting room has large front windows which brings a lot of light into the space… which is an open plan with high ceilings.
You’ll appreciate how those windows bring the outside in just on their own, but when you realize that the building previously was mostly brick in front and they had to knock out a big chunk of the front wall to put in those windows.. it’s even more impressive!
The bar area and beer taps are in the back right corner of the room, and the bar seats about a dozen people.
The back bar area was nicely designed, with a large metal backdrop engraved with the logo.
Individual chalkboards highlight that day’s available beers.
The remainder of the tasting room supports about a dozen tables… a few large hi-top tables and many traditional height tables.
In the front window alcove is a lounge area set up like a mid-century modern living room.. maybe a hint back to the buildings prior life as a bank and law office?!
The wood-grained flooring, western cowboy town style support columns and black steel seating… really help pull of the modern rustic theme.
But the light color wall paint and big windows really lean the décor towards bright and lively!
What About the Vaults?!
While the current tasting room isn’t the original corner bank building.. when it became part of the bank they did add a vault… and it’s right off of the tasting room!
For Farmers & Bankers it is the clothing “swag” room! T-shirts, sweath shirts and more! You can walk right in and browse.
And yes old safety deposit boxes are still in place!
In the back of the building is the brewery area.
Clint explained that Mike and the team got a lot of advice from area breweries about how to set things up… and one item you wouldn’t have noticed… is the flooring.
They started with an all new floor in the back with long drains, and tapered the surface so that water/liquids naturally flow to it.
It seems like a small thing.. but it’s this attention to detail that is going to make Farmers & Bankers a success!
As mentioned the brewery equipment came from Buffalo Brewing, and the folks from Buffalo were incredibly helpful to the Woodstown team in getting the equipment setup and functioning.
While the vessels were purchased from Buffalo, all of the plumbing is completely new.. designed to match the space and the flow of production.
It is a 5-barrel system which supports 150-gallon batches of beer… and they can have 6 beers fermenting at one time
Still To Come: Outside Area and the Old Bank – With Awesome History!
In the back of the brewery is an area designated for outdoor beveraging… although it’s not 100% ready yet.
It is actually in the area of the former pull-up teller.. the window is still there!
But its nicely positioned to give a view of of the street, with pedestrians passing by.
The F&B team’s focus has been on getting the core brewery and beer up and running… so the rear outside seating area is one of the things in their “next” punch list.
The original corner bank from 1892 is currently not available for customer usage.
The Melniczuks absolutely want to get the building operational but they want to take the time and care to restore it back to what it once was… and that takes time.
The Farmers & Bankers website has a really interesting History page for the building, with a lot of cool information!
The First National Bank of Woodstown was incorporated way back in 1864!
The two-and-half story building features a 70 ft how tower above the entrance. A striking centerpiece for the 19th century town.
I really suggest you give the page a read as it covers the creation of the building, remodels and restorations over the years, as well as several surprises found in the building!
And finally lets talk about the delicious beers at Farmers & Bankers Brewery!
Our mission is to offer the highest-quality beer using the best locally-sourced ingredients, served in a casual and fun environment, with our guest experience being our primary focus. Our goal is to provide our customers a bespoke blend of the bank’s history with the latest in craft beer.Farmers & Bankers Website
The team is targeting all the regular styles of beers; Pilsner, IPA, Stout, Wheat, Pale Ale
And of course putting in their own mix of flavors!
During my visit I tried the Cow Tipper on Nitro, which is a 4.4 ABV milk stout and the American Gateway Pilsner (5.7% ABV). Both were delicious and refreshing and could easily make it into anyone’s stable as a top beer.
While I didn’t get a chance to try it, they also make a non-alcohol Root Beer!
Links and Locations
Farmers and Bankers
8 N Main St
Woodstown, NJ 08098
Hours as of opening (check their Facebook or Website for lastest!)
Mon : Closed
Tue : Closed
Wed : 2pm – 10pm
Thu : 2pm – 10pm
Fri : 11am – 11pm
Sat : 11am – 11pm
Sun : 11am – 6pm