Hidden Sands Brewing Co. opened in Egg Harbor Township jin January. They drilled down hundreds of feet to tap into the pristine waters of the AC Sands aquifer to brew their beers – which include Pump Handle, a wheat beer brewed with NJ honey; Sandy Blue Pale Ale, First Drop, a Baltic Porter with coffee; and the Unfathomable IPA series with rotating single and Double IPAs. Brewer Luke Lindsay with experience at Victory, Southern Tier and Lagunitas breweries mans the 20-bbl state of the art automated brewery. The brewery is located right off Exit 37 of the Garden State Parkway and is open Thurs through Sun.
Heavy Reel, Seaside Heights first brewery, is putting the finishing touches on its tasting room and plans to open in March, according to owner Jeff Greco. Greco’s 3-bbl brewery is located a few blocks from the ocean, where he can be found saltwater fishing in warmer months – when he’s not brewing. Greco expects to have four standard taps and four rotating taps when he opens. Local artist Gregg Hinlicky has done some great mural work for the taproom as well which you can see on the Facebook page. Look for the official opening date there as well.
Speaking of beach breweries, Bradley Brew Project is getting closer to its April opening date for the 2-bbl nano. The storefront brewery broke ground in late 2017, and is expecting to get its CO by the end of Feb., said owner Mike Ziolkowski. The brewery will open with four house beers – an American Pale Ale, organic American Pilsner, IPA, and session Stout, along with six rotating beers. And while you are in the neighborhood, it is only a 10-minute walk to Little Dog brewery in Neptune City. Little Dog just celebrated its third year this past November. The 4-bbl brewery features a half dozen beers on tap, with an accent on German styles, and some cask surprises as well.
Continuing north on the shoreline, Carton released its first nitro cans this past Valentine’s Day – Cupid, a 6.6% chocolate malted stout brewed with roses, and Carton of Milk, a 4% session milk stout. Look for it in four packs at the brewery. Carton makes its annual trek out to Cigar City’s Hunahpu’s Day celebration in Tampa, FL at Raymond James Stadium on March 10, joining over 100 other breweries.
A short drive away in Keansburg, Raritan Bay Brewing is waiting on its NJ license to open its 7-bbl brewery. The brewery is looking to open as early as March, and will feature eight taps. Raritan Bay is about three miles north of Belford Brewing, a 2-bbl nano that opened last year.
Beach Haus releases its Parade Day Coffee Stout, made with coffee from local roaster Turnstile Coffee, to celebrate Belmar’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. The brew will be available in 16-oz cans and on draft. The brewery continues its Test Dept. series, tapping a new one-off style every Friday. The latest brew is a New England IPA featuring Vic Secret hops – which the brewery will have available on draft and in cans.
Ship Bottom Brewing continues its seasonal can releases – next up is Chicken or the Egg IPA on March 31. This brewery is definitely pushing the “can” envelope with its can release club, and canned versions of its 2016 Barleywine and 2017 Imperial Stout.
Source Brewing is a new farmhouse brewery in planning for Colt’s Neck. The brewery will be housed in a historic 125-year old barn on a 1.75-acre dairy farm. Brewer Greg Taylor and the other owners will start renovations in the next few months. The 10-bbl system will produce beer for sale and consumption on premises, with a farm-to-glass brewing approach using locally sourced ingredients. “We are forming partnerships with farmers throughout Monmouth County to help us achieve this,” he said.
In addition to fermenting in steel, the brewery is planning to use oak foeders as well as some horizontal tanks for lagering, Taylor said. The space will be pet and family friendly and will include a courtyard, and German-style biergarten.
Up north, Cricket Hill in Fairfield features several bourbon barrel-aged treats through the remainder of winter months, including an Imperial Red Ale (7.4%), Abbey Cherry Tripel (9.6%), Imperial Porter (7.5%), Russian Imperial Stout (8.9%), and Doppelbock. All are aged in Wild Turkey barrels.
NJ Beer Co. in North Bergen has a few seasonals coming up, including an Imperial IPA, Berliner Weiss, Imperial Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Stout and Saison. Look for new releases every other week, with one-off tappings every Friday.
Departed Soles (Jersey City) releases Peaster Biere, a Biere de Garde brewed in the Easter tradition – with marshmallow Peeps! The brewery will also be releasing a collaboration beer it made with Montclair Bread Co., it is calling a White Stout. The batch included over 100 Brioche donuts in the mash, cold brew coffee, and cacao nibs. The beer will be available throughout the weekend of Feb. 24 at the brewery. On the gluten-free side, the brewery will be bringing on Rick Rolled-Oat Coffee Stout and Bumper Hops.
Angry Erik celebrates its fourth anniversary with Quadhalla, their first Belgian-style Quadrupel. High Point releases its award-winning Maibock at the brewery open house on March 10. Additionally, the brewery plans to do a limited wax-dipped bottle 20th anniversary release of its Winter Wheat in late February. Check Facebook and Instagram for more info.
In Hackettstown, Czigmeister hosted its annual Stoutfest Feb. 17, featuring over 50 different stouts on tap. Jersey Girl’s Sun Kissed Citra is now available at the Prudential Center in Newark. In other news, the brewery was named 2017 Emerging Business of the Year by NJBIZ.
Gaslight will be tapping its Eliminator Doppelbock in time for Easter. Also look for the Colossus Imperial Stout (11%) aged in a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel brewer DJ picked up on a trip to Kentucky. The brewpub hosts its annual bus trip to Tap NY on April 29. The trip includes transportation and a ticket to the festival. Call for more details.
Melovino, the state’s only meadery, will now be open from 12-10 PM every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The meadery will be serving house-only session meads on draft – many based on popular beer styles such as IPA, Witbier, and Porter. Crowlers available as well.
River Horse upcoming seasonals include Raspberry Tripel Horse and a kettle-soured Blonde Ale, brewed with juniper berries and lime and aged in wine barrels for March. You may still be able to pick up 750s of the 12% Stouty Stout in the tasting room. Lastly, on April 29, the brewery will host Crafts & Drafts, featuring 40 different vendors and food trucks.
Double Nickel (Pensauken) releases Love Bridge, a Chocolate Rye Porter, in Feb. and a West Coast Style IPA in April. March will see the return of Brick Face, a 10% Red IPA, available in cans. Iron Hill (all locations) brings back Bedotter, its 9.0% award winning Tripel in cans. In other news, the brewery chain opened its 13th brewery in Greenville, South Carolina.
Flying Fish will be releasing limited four packs of its 8% Wobbly Cow Milk Stout, aged in Dad’s Hat Rye barrels. The brewery now also features 32-oz Crowler fills of most anything it has on tap.
Pinelands Brewing has been canning some of its favorites, including Swamp Donkey IPA and Evan John Vanilla Bean Porter. The brewery will commemorate its fourth year in March with a Belgian Quad. Down in Hammonton, Tomfoolery continues its Tap It Thursdays. Upcoming beers include an English Bitter, Banana Cream Pie, Rauchbier, Irish Potato Candy, and Sarsaparilla Porter.
Cape May Brewing was thrilled that Beer Connoisseur magazine picked Topsail as its best beer for 2017. The 9.9% Topsail is part of the brewery’s barrel-aged beer series of sour beers. Lastly, Cape May enjoyed the sweet taste of victory in a different venue as well – the 2018 Super Bowl. Cape May had a friendly wager with Night Shift Brewing in Everett Massachusetts. To fulfill the bet, Night Shift owner Mike O’Mara will be serving behind the bar at Cape May Brewing while wearing a Patriots jersey with “We Lost” emblazoned on the back. All tips collected during this hour will be donated to the Eagles Charitable Foundation. Lastly, the brewery has released a special beer to honor the Coast Guard called Always Ready. Cape May houses a training center for the Coast Guard, one of the largest in the country. The Pale Ale is made with Mosaic, Citra, Denali, Calypso, Ekuanot and Zythos hops.
The AC Beer and Music Fest comes up on its 13th year on March 23 and 24. Festival organizers estimate that there will be nearly 1,000 different beers from over 150 breweries. This year’s musical guests will include The Descendents, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Pepper. The festival brings back its Annual Hops Trot 5K for the third year on March 24. The fun run will send racers around town to AC watering holes concluding at the festival. And of course, there will be yoga, wing eating contests, silent disco, and lots of food and retail vendors.
On May 19, the Beer, BBQ and Bacon show returns to Lewis Morris Park in Morristown. This fest will feature over 30 NJ breweries, bacon/bbq themed culinary competitions, and food trucks. Both VIP and regular tickets are available.