No matter which part of the Garden State you call home, chances are you’re not too far from some pretty great beer. New Jersey’s homegrown breweries abound and each offers something completely unique.
Check out this list of places were craft ales and lagers are always on tap. Want to pay them a visit? We’ve included the tasting room hours, so book your designated driver and hoist a pint close to home.
Asbury Park’s first craft brewery, Dark City’s founders note that their goal is to brew craft beers that are “unique and eccentric.” Celebrating the creativity of the City by the Sea, the tasting room serves as a shrine to the imagination with a rotating local art wall, mural wall, and, of course, the beers themselves. One year-round brew illustrates the the brewers’ mission with its clever name and unexpected ingredients: Born to Ruin: An aggressively-dank West Coast inspired double IPA. Hopped with Hallertau Blanc, El Dorado, Centennial and Chinook.
The tasting room is open: Monday: 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday: 5-9 p.m., Friday: 5-10 p.m., Saturday: noon to 8 p.m., Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. For more information, visit Dark City’s website.
CMBC, started by three beer enthusiasts, prides itself on crafting each of its beers with quality ingredients, many of them locally-sourced. Committed to variety, CMBC features something to please every palate.
The tasting room is open daily from noon to 8 p.m. For more information, visit CMBC’s website.
Gene Muller founded Flying Fish Brewing Co. in 1995 and it is now the largest of the more than 70 craft breweries in the state.
The tasting room, open Wednesday through Sunday, features 15 taps and weekly one-off and barrel aged beers. Flying Fish beers are 10-time medal winners at the Great American Beer Festival, the most of any New Jersey brewery.
If you don’t feel like traveling to South Jersey, visit Flying Fish’s events calendar to see about a sampling in your neighborhood.
For more information, visit Flying Fish’s website.
Owner Paul Simmons opened Glasstown Brewing Company to realize his dream of having a job he loved. One brew we’d love to sample is “You’re Coconuts,” a coconut coffee porter with a forward coffee taste with a chocolate and coconut finish.
The tasting room is open Wednesdays: noon to 6 p.m., Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays: noon to 9 p.m., Sundays: noon to 7 p.m.
For more information, visit Glasstown Brewing Company’s website.
Founded by New Jersey native Eric Ruta, Magnify Brewing Company doesn’t serve food but invites brew-lovers to bring their own grub. Pack something to pair with the perennially popular Search Saison (fermented in the brewery’s oak Foeder with Brettanomyces, this is a rustic saison with notes of white wine), and Low Visibility Pale Ale (New Zealand and American hops bring out notes of citrus and tropical fruit in this hop-forward crushable ale).
The tasting room is open Wednesdays and Thursdays: 4 to 8 p.m., Fridays: 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays: noon to 8 p.m., Sundays: noon to 5 p.m.
Walking and virtual tours are available to visitors who’ll truly get a sneak peek at how River Horse brews are made – from the mill room to packaging. On the year-round menu is a Belgian Tripel Ale, Tripel Horse, brewed with spices and fermented with a Trappist yeast strain which lends hints of vanilla and creates a variety of complex flavors.
The brewery is open to the public Friday and Saturday noon to 7 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit River Horse Brewing Company’s website.
In 2010, co-founder Pete left the U.S. Army after serving in the infantry for four years. He spent two of those in Germany where he came to appreciate the many different styles of beer. This fall and winter the brewery is pouring Joe & Oats, a coffee and oatmeal stout featuring coffee roasted by Koffee Wagon Roasters located in Hasbrouck Heights, and locally-sourced malt from Double Eagle Malting located in Huntingdon Valley, PA.
The brewery is open to the public Monday-Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday 4 to10 p.m., Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit Brix City Brewing, Little Ferry’s website.
Trap Rock Brewery, Berkeley Heights
Seasonal craft brews are paired with a delicate menu that features a southern flare. And what’s more southern than whiskey? “The Whistler” Imperial Stout is brewed with dark malts and aged on premises in Whistlepig Rye Whiskey bourbon barrels for six months, imparting notes of oak, vanilla, chocolate, coconut and coffee. “The Whistler” is served in a snifter only.
Serving LunchMonday thru Saturday 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday noon – 4 p.m.
Serving DinnerMonday thru Thursday 4 – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 4 – 11 p.m.
Sunday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
For more information, visit Trap Rock Brewery’s website.
Twin Elephant Brewing Company was founded by three partners who dreamt of turning their passion for brewing craft beers into an exciting adventure they could share with their local community.
Paying homage to where the venture all began, Chuck’s Garage is the easy-drinking “champagne of ales.”
The brewery is open to the public Thursday: 4 to 9 p.m., Friday: 4 to 10 p.m, Saturday: noon to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit Twin Elephant Brewing Company’s website.
Did we miss your business in our round-up? Email us at email@example.com.