A Central Jersey Guide to Local Breweries!

A Central Jersey Guide to Local Breweries!

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Beer! It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Well, that could get a little aggressive, but this bubbly, foamy imbibing brew always brings people together for a fun, delicious time no matter what time it is. We are happy to report that New Jersey is on the rise in the craft beer movement with 56 breweries and counting! Why wouldn’t we want to support these small, local beer businesses that proudly position New Jersey on the map?

It’s a great way to entertain out of town guests, and as long as everyone drinks responsibly, a fun weekend activity than we can feel good supporting, especially in the wintertime. Some breweries allow you to bring your own food or have food delivered, which is the perfect balance for sampling each breweries wide array of seasonal offerings on tap! This is our Central Jersey Local’s Guide to the must-visit Breweries! Enjoy this tour of local breweries and stay tuned for our Jersey Shore Brewery list featuring Cape May Brewing Company and more!


Demented Brewing

A brewery named after the word meaning crazed, deranged, and insane might not seem like the most desirous place to be drinking beer. However, Demented Brewing Company is one of the top-rated spots by locals in Middlesex County. From a software engineer that lost his job to deciding to pursue his passion for brewing, Tom Zuber creates “insanely flavor ales” like the Belladonna, a witbier that classifies also as a sour ale, and one of the most common sippers, Double Dementia, an imperial IPA that is the perfect balance of bitter hoppiness and bright citrus flavors. 600 Lincoln Boulevard, Middlesex 08846 (732)352-3430 http://www.dementedbrewing.com


Lone Eagle Brewing

What do two home-brewing beer enthusiasts do when they want to start their own microbrewery? Call in an expert! At Lone Eagle Brewing, Todd and Bob added Alex to their team as head brewer, who worked for the world-renowned brewery, Dogfish Head in Delaware. With more creative freedom on a smaller scale, Lone Eagle consistently features 12 rotating beers, with the IPA and Saison styles being top favorites. With a laidback atmosphere, the owners all you to bring your own food and snacks, which can be necessary to balance out all the “hydration,” that will be had! 44 Stangl Road, Flemington 08822 (908)237-2255 http://loneeaglebrewing.com/pages/home


Flounder Brewing Company

Celebrating their 3rd anniversary just a week ago, Flounder Brewing has grown from three brothers brewing in their tiny kitchen apartment to their own nanobrewery in Hillsborough. Jeremy “Flounder” Lees brews a handful of staple year-round offerings, like their flagship Hill Street Honey Ale made with local New Jersey honey, and seasonal styles. We are pretty addicted to the Pumpkin Saison this time of year, a little bit spiced, perfect hint of pumpkin, and a bit of a yeasty funk to it. No tasting room just yet, but check their Facebook page for opening hours to get your growlers filled up to the brim! 1 Ilene Court, Bldg 8, Suite 16, Hillsborough Twp. 08844 (908)396-6166 http://www.flounderbrewing.com/


Conclave Brewing

When can we start our own brewery hopping tour? Conclave Brewing opened up the street from Lone Eagle about a year and a half ago. Only open Fridays and Saturdays, what’s unique about this brewery is that they want to focus on sourcing local, like the coffee from Benfatto Coffee in their Espresso Milk Stout. Try to sneak in right when they open, especially if you want a taste of the Mexican Morning, their Espresso Milk Stout punched up with dried chiles, vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa nibs! A spicy, delicious way to perk up the afternoon! 15 Minneakoning Road, Suite 202, Flemington 08822 (908)392-0893 http://www.conclavebrewing.com


River Horse Brewing Company

Ancient Egyptians thought the beer god had appeared to them in the image of a hippopotamus. River Horse is an ode to the origins of brewing, but is a bit catchier of a nickname for the portly animal. Chris and Glenn decided to quit their desk jobs in 2007 to purchase River Horse, which had already been brewing for a decade but needed a quality makeover. Their Special Ale is a smooth, easy drinking amber available year round, but stock up on the Oatmeal Milk Stout for these chilly winter months ahead. Tours are only on the weekends, but they’re also open on Fridays to stock up on a few cases or growlers to imbibe upon. 2 Graphics Drive, Ewing, 08628 (609)883-0890 http://www.riverhorse.com

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Screamin’ Hill Brewery

Combining their love of beer with farming, that’s six generations of farming history to be exact, Screamin’ Hill Brewery grows all their own hops and grains for their handcrafted American ales. The tasting room is in a restored barn on the farm and open Friday and Saturday. Rotating at least 6 different varieties of brews, purchasing a flight of samples is a great way to try their wide array of styles. From Black Raz Wheat with a subtle raspberry flavor to their Desperado IPA, not too hoppy, not too bitter, we can’t wait to go back to stock up on their seasonal flavors. 83 Emley’s Hill Road, Cream Ridge http://www.screaminhill.com


Village Idiot Brewing

In the former space of a local pub, Village Idiot Brewing opened in 2013 by two friends who considered themselves village idiots. Vince and Rich accidentally went to their bank loan meeting to support opening the brewery a week late, but thankfully they’ve been in business ever since. Sadly with the unexpected passing of Rich, Vince resumed all brewery responsibilities in honor of his brewing partner and friend. “Open til Empty,” the tasting room works on a token system and is actually open Thursday-Sunday. Must-try’s are the Bridgetown Blonde Ale, a favorite of Vince’s father, and the Thong Removal Tripel, risqué yet worth it. 42 High Street, Mt. Holly 08060 (609)975-9270 http://villageidiotbrewing.com


Spellbound Brewing

A geeky passion for brewing beer and having close relationships with the community is what the three owners of Spellbound Brewing are all about. Their tasting room has a consistent variety of year-round staples on tap, but they are more proud of the pilot test batches to expand their beer creativity skills. A porter enhanced with ghost and scorpion peppers? If it’s a little too feisty, then opt for the approachable and refreshing Cucumber Saison to balance out the heat. 10 Lippincott Lane #12, Mt. Holly 08060 (609)832-0077 http://www.spellboundbrewing.com


Lower Forge Brewery

“The Brewery that changed the rules,” is the motto strewn across their home page, and we think that’s a pretty accurate assessment when you combine a beekeeper, a graphic designer, and a firefighter to be the owners of a small brewery. Family-owned Lower Forge Brewery crafts recipes from the inspiration of their community and the original folklore of the Garden State, like the Jabberhoppy that’s an IPA and also an ode to the Jersey Devil. Check out their seasonal gingerbread style release soon, the “Catch Me if You Can” beer. 14 S. Main Street, Medford 08055 (609)975-9532 http://www.lowerforge.com/


Third State Brewing

Did you know New Jersey was the third former colony to ratify the Consitution, and that drinking the beers brewed by Third State Brewing will make you smarter? Well, perhaps that all isn’t true, but this 7-barrel brewery in historic Burlington is derived of three owners with a combined 50 years of brewing experience! Many of their beer names are based in historical backgrounds, like the Yorkshire Tenth, a black ale named for the Trenton area of old West Jersey…yes, there was an East and West Jersey, see, we’re learning already! 352 High Street, Burlington 08016 (609)387-1620 http://www.thirdstatebrewing.com


Rinn Duin Brewing Company

A renaissance beer story, an ode to a historic medieval castle, and a bond between father and daughter brought the Rinn Duin Brewing Company to where it stands with locals today. Always homebrewing on the weekends, Chip and Jacqui both lost their jobs within weeks of one another, so they partnered up and began their 6,500 square foot brewery together. Sandpiper, one of their flagship beers, can convert anyone on the fence about brown ales, and the Pota Caifé is a great local go-to when one craves an Irish dry stout with a hint of coffee too. 1540 Rt-37 W, Unit B-5, Toms River 08755 (732)569-3261 http://www.rinnduinbrewing.com/index.html


Devil’s Creek Brewery

We have still yet to see a Jersey Devil sighting in Collingswood, but the beers at Devil’s Creek Brewery keep tempting us to return. From the reclaimed wood walls to the unique lighting structures, Anthony and Kathy Abate tirelessly crafted the brewery from the ground up. Their 1888 Old Ale is a historic tribute to the area, which was once formerly known as a dry town, but we keep coming back for the devilishly delicious DC Dunkel, a dark German-style lager with a hint of hop and a hint of sweet. Sneak in their tasting room Thursday and Friday, or sip the day away on Saturdays when they’re open all day. 1 Powell Lane, Collingswood 08108 (856)425-2520 http://devilscreekbrewery.com


Jughandle Brewing Co.

The Scientist, the Artist, and the Strategist…or just three really great friends that decided to open a brewery together a mere 6 months ago! A name anyone with New Jersey roots can appreciate, Jughandle Brewing Co. is brewing a mix of common styles, like their IPA and Hefeweizen, to more obscure beer types: a crisp refreshing Kolsch, to a Rye IPA, and a more potent Baltic Porter! In an unassuming strip mall, Jughandle is anything but nondescript and locals couldn’t agree more. 4057 Asbury Avenue, Tinton Falls 07753 (732)898-2220 http://www.jughandlebrewing.com

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Kane Brewing Company

Think unfiltered and hop-centric for one of the most quintessential New Jersey craft breweries tucked away in an industrial complex in Ocean. Kane Brewing Company is still considered small, distributing every one of their kegs themselves to local restaurants and bars, yet their reach is quickly expanding nationwide over the past 5 years. Michael Kane, the founder and owner of the brewery, intertwines his love of small beach and coastal communities by naming most of his brews after nautical-surf themed phrases. Head High is one of their top staples, a take on an American-style IPA that’s everyone should be required to sample. The brewery is open for tastings Thursday-Sunday, and if that’s not enough, Kane is now canning, bottling, and allowing the general public to bring home smaller-sized kegs too. Check out their online swag store to support this incredible local brewery! 1750 Bloomsbury Avenue, Ocean 07712 (732)922-8600 http://www.kanebrewing.com


Carton Brewing

2011 must have been the year of starting craft breweries with one’s own last name! Augie Carton and his cousin, Chris, opened Carton Brewing in Atlantic Highlands because of its vicinity to their six generations of family history in Middletown. Their desire to bring unique flavors of craft beer to the community exceeded their expectations, and has brought on an expansion within the past year of their brewing facility. In the summertime, Boat Beer is an easy-drinking refreshing, session ale that goes down pretty easily, we warn you! Now that the first snowfall is in the forecast, we crave the Epitome, an Imperial Black Ale that the brewers say was a decision “to embrace the teenage metalhead in each of us and get discordant with a seriously hoppy, high gravity, black ale.” Only closed Monday and Tuesday for tastings, try to sneak in early because the space fills up fast! 6E. Washington Avenue, Atlantic Highlands 07716 (732)654-2337 http://cartonbrewing.com


Dark City Brewing Company

We know, we know, this is definitely more of a Jersey Shore locale, but we couldn’t help but feature Asbury Park’s first craft brewery! Embracing the nickname of this City by the Sea and celebrating their 1st year anniversary of opening their doors in January, Dark City Brewing Company identifies its brewing culture as creative and eclectic. The tasting flight is a great way to sample their wide array of brews, where you can taste a mix of flagship brews and seasonal offerings. City Limits is a staple fall/winter pale ale with a pleasantly hoppy flavor, but the Populous is an exciting smoked porter brewed with locally roasted coffee from Asbury Park Roastery. To continue their local community support, Dark City also features locally made art on their walls, with tours and pours Thursday through Sunday. 801 Second Avenue, Asbury Park 07712 (732)455-3792 http://www.darkcitybrewing.com