[Editor’s note: This article was first published in January 2019. Contact the breweries directly to confirm updated information on hours.]
The idea of a Dry January has taken hold with many — as people debate the pros and cons — but New Jersey’s growing brewery scene wants you to enjoy good brews in moderation through the month of January and is providing opportunities to do just that with tastings, special events and the Asbury Park Beerfest on January 25 and 26.
Check out this list of places where craft ales and lagers are always on tap. We’ve provided links to their event pages (where available) to help you get through the winter and into the spring with responsible drinking — and some good eats.
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. Cape May IPA is a West Coast-style IPA brewed in the heart of the East Coast.
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.
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.
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.
See River Horse’s events calendar here (jam-packed in January with lots of tasting events in Eastern PA).
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. You can host a private event at Trap Rock; visit here for more information.
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.