New Jersey is becoming increasingly known as a hub for great breweries. The state that was, not all that long ago, primarily seen as a destination for beach-goers is on the fast track to becoming a hot spot for those who affectionately identify themselves as “hop heads,” craft beer enthusiasts and more. Whereas out-of-state breweries from the likes of Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Delaware once ruled, it’s time to celebrate the best hometown brewmasters.

Enter, Brew Jersey; this Best of NJ original series is dedicated to showcasing the Garden State’s best brews, whether they be breweries or brewmasters. If you’re a New Jersey resident with an eye for signature drinks, or just beginning to take an interest in the art of brewing beer, this is the series for you!

Featured New Jersey Breweries


What I Learned by Going to Every Tap Room in NJ

There are 64 taprooms and 13 brewpubs in New Jersey that you can go to right now. They’re in converted banks, town centers, recreated historic villages, strip malls, farms, hidden in biker bars — but mostly, they’re tucked away in warehouses. And from Asbury Park to Woodbury, I’ve been to them all in a 13-month period. Throw in around 500 beer tastings at tap takeovers at bars, festivals and on-site at the breweries…

10 NJ Breweries Opening in 2018

New Jersey is oh-so-close to housing 100 production breweries by the end of 2018. With about 75 tap rooms, a dozen brewpubs and a handful of brewing-only facilities, every New Jerseyan is within miles of a locally-brewed beverage on tap. We’re keeping an eye out for these 10 new craft breweries opening this year.  They’re just waiting for beer geeks and casual fans to come sample their wares…

Best Beers from the NJ Brewery Class of 2017

New Jersey drank a lot of beer in 2017. Let’s rephrase that…I drank a lot of beer in 2017. Eleven new taprooms, two new breweries that are canning and kegging and one new brewpub round out the Class of 2017. Whether you’re looking for your new favorite beer or simply want to continue your New Jersey beer tour, here’s who joined the state’s brewery landscape this year…

Lunacy Brewing Co.

New Jersey’s craft beer boom has brought with it plenty of fun events, festivals and nights out on the town. From 5Ks and yoga to tastings and fundraisers, there’s an activity for beer lovers of all shapes and sizes. But there’s one activity that tops the list as our favorite of them all, and it’s a little thing called trivia night. So, this week we’re kicking Brew Jersey off with a round of trivia on our featured brewery…

Third State Brewing

Burlington, NJ sits upon the Delaware River and is best known for being home to numerous historical sites, dating back to Colonial times as well as the Revolutionary War. Now, this city can add Third State Brewing to its roster of must-visit spots. Offering expertly-made ales crafted with decades of brewing experience, Third State is the place to go…

Human Village Brewing Co.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, the same might be true when it comes to brewing the perfect pint. That’s one of the inspirations behind Human Village Brewing Co. in Pitman. When Megan and Richard Myers started their storefront brewing operation in 2016, the idea was to create beers with a story behind them. Whether it be a saison brewed by 18th century Belgian farmers or a porter brewed in Colonial times…

Kelly Green Brewing Co.

Deadlifts and Drafts, Push-ups and Pints, or Biking and Beers – no matter how you shape up, we can agree that grabbing a cold one is an excellent way to recover from a grueling workout. That’s how we found Kelly Green Brewing co-owner and co-founder Justin Fleming, replacing some fluids and carbs with a pint after getting in some reps. The Pitman craft brewery was the first to open in Gloucester County…

Last Wave Brewing Co.

The crew at Last Wave Brewing Co. in Point Pleasant Beach wakes up each morning with one question on their minds: “Do we surf or do we brew?” For owners Nick Jiorle and (husband and wife duo) Bert and Dani Roling, the answer depends on whether or not their brewing is on schedule. Located in the shore community famous for Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Last Wave, dishes out a steady flow of brews…

Frye Brewing Co.

There are 114 miles of New Jersey’s beautiful shoreline to take in this summer. And, if Point Pleasant is on your list of stops, the family-run Frye Brewing is your destination for an ice cold pint to beat the heat. Frye Brewing, run by husband and wife duo Colleen and Mike Frye, is celebrating its first anniversary this month. It’s been a year filled with flavorful brews…

Tomfoolery Brewing Co.

The term “beer geek” is an affectionate nickname used to describe someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about all things beer. It’s a badge that Tomfoolery Brewing Co. owners and founders Shawn Grigus and Gayle D’Abate wear proudly.”We’re both geeks. We’re not shy about it,” Grigus said as he smiled and looked at his wife.”She’s an engineering nerd. I’m a chemistry nerd. I think it informs what we do here…

Three 3’s Brewing Co.

While it’s common knowledge that Germany and Belgium laid the foundation for beer culture, America has since made craft beer a worldwide phenomenon, with special attention constantly being showered down upon the IPA style. Mike Geller, co-owner and brewer of Three 3’s Brewing Co. in Hammonton, saw first-hand the development of the American craft beer movement during his time spent traveling…

Rinn Duin Brewing

They say that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, but one family took the phrase in a decidedly hoppier direction. After life took a surprising turn for father-daughter duo Chip and Jacqui Town, they didn’t wallow. They made beer instead. In 2010, when both Chip and Jacqui lost their jobs within weeks of each other, they both agreed that starting a brewery would be their single focus going forward…

Village Idiot Brewing Co.

When it comes to the New Jersey craft beer scene, Village Idiot Brewing Co. is a small, but mighty component. The brewery and taproom, which is located in historic Mt. Holly, is often cited as having paved the way for craft beer in the South Jersey community. Veteran homebrewers Vince Masciandaro and Rich Palmay founded the brewery in 2013, and were early members of the New Jersey craft beer scene…

The Referend Bier Blendery

You might not have known it, but New Jersey is home to one of the most unique beer locations in the country. The Referend Bier Blendery in Pennington isn’t a traditional craft brewery, but a tap room dedicated to one style of beer, the lambic. The large tap room is a place for beer lovers to enjoy a Belgian-style ale that isn’t normally produced in the United States…

Little Dog Brewing Co.

The woman behind Little Dog Brewing Co. in Neptune City has been brewing artisan ales for longer than you’ve probably been drinking beer. With two decades of professional experience on her resume, as well as authoring a homebrewing book (Making Craft Beer at Home), Gretchen Schmidhausler is one of the key figures in the NJ craft beer revolution… 

Belford Brewing Company

Belford is a tiny enclave on the north shore of New Jersey best known for being a fishing village and ferry harbor to New York City. With around 1,700 residents, it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” town nestled within Middletown Township. It’s also where brothers Kevin and Mike Enny have lived all their lives. “Me and my six brothers and sisters were born here and raised here,” Kevin explained…

Double Nickel Brewing Co.

If you have any doubt about the popularity and growth of the New Jersey craft beer scene, take the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge from Philadelphia, or a jughandle from Rt. 73, and visit Double Nickel. Since opening in 2015, the brewery has increased its output, expanded its taproom, won awards in Philly and refreshed its branding. More importantly, they’ve created a series of seasonal and barrel-aged beers for the true connoisseur…

Icarus Brewing

Any mythology buff knows the story of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun. He was warned against it, as the heat would melt the wax that held his wings together, but Icarus couldn’t resist and, as a result, he fell from the sky. Luckily for us, Jason Goldstein, founder and head brewer of Icarus Brewing in Lakewood, is still flying high. The Queens, NY native has churned out dozens of expertly crafted beers…

902 Brewing Co.

Hoboken can lay claim to many historical moments, including the first baseball game (albeit debatable) at Elysian Field, the birth of Frank Sinatra and, in 1663, America’s first brewery was established in the town at Castle Point. Flash forward to today, it’s taken more than 80 years following prohibition for the Mile Square City to have a beer that they can call their own…

Wet Ticket Brewing

Details matter in the beer world. For instance, which combinations of hops to use, the temperature of the boil and the right amount of carbonation each make a huge difference in the final result. For the guys behind Wet Ticket Brewing in Rahway, their focus is constantly on the details – even the ones that don’t necessarily have to do with making beer. Local guys Tim Pewitt and Al Povalski love every aspect of craft beer…

Jersey Girl Brewing Co.

The “Jersey Girl” label is a proud term of endearment given to and adopted by the women of the Garden State. While those outside the state might think of high hair, thick accents and a rough attitude, those born and bred know that it means fiercely independent, strong-willed and deeply proud of their Jersey roots. For co-owner/co-founder, Chuck Aaron, “Jersey Girl” means something unique…

Jersey City Craft Brew Fest

The Jersey City Craft Brew Fest just made its November debut (their spring offering happens in April), which means more beer, more local food and more chances to out-geek your beer-geek friends. The festival is a must-attend for NJ and NYC craft beer fans because of its convenient Harborside Atrium location, right across from PATH and NJ Transit stations, and its view of the New York City skyline…

Glasstown Brewing Company

The term “all in” gets thrown around when people are dedicated to achieving their goal, dreams or big ideas. For Paul Simmons and his wife Jenifer of Glasstown Brewing Co., they were “all in” and then some. “When we opened, we had maxed out a few credit cards and had $600 to our names,” Paul explained. “I didn’t have a job, we worked countless hours on building this and we had no backup plan”…

Eight & Sand Beer Co.

Every October, the beer world descends upon Denver for what is their version of a championship game, award ceremony and beauty pageant all rolled into one. The Great American Beer Fest is a chance for breweries to showcase their wares and be judged by an expert panel. For visitors, it’s an opportunity to sample 1,000 beers in an afternoon, which sounds like a blessing  and a curse…

10 Jersey-Made Pumpkin Beers for Fall

Pumpkin beer is a divider in the beer world as either a seasonal fad drink or a worthy beer style. Some brewers in New Jersey won’t even go near the popular beer, while others fully embrace it in all its dark orange glory. While it’s understandable that seasonal pumpkin saturation from lattes and muffins can be a turn off, you could be missing out on some interesting flavors and crave-worthy concoctions…

Beach Haus Brewery

When I meet John Merklin on a late Wednesday afternoon, he’s busy stacking 12-bottle boxes of Beach Haus beer. Even after ten years, the president and co-founder of one New Jersey’s largest breweries still finds time to do the nitty-gritty work. The Livingston native has taken Beach Haus from an operation that brewed in New York to a local New Jersey brewery…

Jughandle Brewing Co.

While former Tinton Falls mayor, and current co-owner and operator of Jughandle Brewing Co., Michael Skudera doesn’t wear a sash, he does wear a badge of honor. “Tinton Falls has the largest solar energy farm in New Jersey,” he proudly shared. This is one of his signature accomplishments from his time as mayor of the Monmouth County town…

11 NJ-Made German Beers for Oktoberfest

The start of the fall season signals one thing and one thing only to beer fans around the world; it’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest. That means dusting off your beer stein, drycleaning your lederhosen and dirndl and brushing up on your traditional German beer hall songs. Festivities happen in Munich from September 16 to October 3. If you can’t make it, Jersey craft breweries offer up their own German-style beers…

Lone Eagle Brewing

For history buffs, Flemington holds historical significance as the location of the 1935 “Trial of the Century,” in which Bruno Richard Hauptmann was tried for murder in the Charles Lindbergh baby kidnapping case. You may be asking yourself what any of this has to do with beer; don’t worry, we’re getting there. Take a 10-minute walk south of the Hunterdon County Courthouse and you’ll find Lone Eagle Brewing…

Zed’s Beer Brings Craft Brews to Marlton

For the past two decades, Geoff Bado has spent his free time outside of work thinking about beer. The former advertising executive and his wife Lori would spend their vacations going on beer excursions to destinations such as Ireland, England, Germany and the Czech Republic. At home, he toiled over beer recipes that won him medals in homebrewing competitions… 

Asbury Park Brewery

While the rebirth of Asbury Park highlights the great new restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, art studios and the refurbished Convention Hall, at it’s heart it’s always been a music town. The Boss, Southside Johnny and Count Basie spent their early years playing concert halls and dive bars, but it was the punk and indie scene that survived during the 80s and 90s when Asbury was a rough neighborhood…

10 NJ-Made Farmhouse Beers for Labor Day

It’s time to honor the American workforce this Labor Day (and celebrate the end of the summer) with a few refreshing beers. Saisons or farmhouse beers were traditionally brewed by Belgian farmers using leftover grains for saisonniers (seasonal workers) to drink after a long, hard day in the fields. This style of beer is typically light in color, low to mid-level on alcohol and often has a zesty kick in flavor…

Man Skirt Brewing

Trousers, jeans, slacks, chinos, khakis, britches, corduroys, bloomers, overalls, pantaloons, pantalones and just plain old pants — Joe Fisher wants none of it. Not only are pants protested at Man Skirt Brewing in Hackettstown, the battle against bad corporate beer is fought everyday in kilts. It’s easy to spot Fisher in the brewery, he’s the man wearing a utility kilt…

Brew Jersey: Cypress Brewing Co.

Cypress Brewing Co.

While “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” Thomas Edison, didn’t invent beer or the equipment used for making it, his spirit of innovation, inspiration and perseverance lives on in Edison, New Jersey’s craft brewery, Cypress Brewing Co. Now, these inventors of fine IPAs, stouts, browns and Belgian ales are shedding light on the state’s craft beer boom. The idea to start a brewery came from three guys who met in the world of homebrewing…

Brew Jersey: Flounder Brewing Co.

Flounder Brewing Co.

One thing that legal-aged college students should realize is how good they have it when it comes to the quality of beer today. Back in the 90s, you just accepted the watered down, cheap swill that the bars around Rutgers University in New Brunswick were serving. For Jeremy Lees, it took a trip to Colorado to discover the path that would lead to owning and operating Flounder Brewing Co. in Hillsborough Township…

Brew Jersey: Flying Fish Brewing

Flying Fish Brewing Co.

If there is a face of the New Jersey craft beer scene, it belongs to Gene Muller of Flying Fish. With two decades of making Jersey-inspired beer already under his belt, Muller shows no signs of stopping. Year-round beers such as HopFish IPA, Extra Pale Ale, Abbey Dubbel and Farmhouse Summer Ale are just as ubiquitous in Jersey as hoagies, toll booths and Sopranos references. But their new limited series is the most innovative yet…

Brew Jersey: Tuckahoe Brewing

Tuckahoe Brewing Co.

If you think back to your high school days, you probably spent some time wondering what your teachers were like outside of school (while hoping you wouldn’t run into them). What did they do for fun? Were they interested in the same things as you? Well, for a group of teachers in Egg Harbor Township, when they aren’t molding the minds of future generations and grading papers, they make beer under the name Tuckahoe Brewing Co…

Brew Jersey: New Jersey Beer Co.

New Jersey Beer Co.

October marks the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the effects of which the East Coast is still dealing with today. For New Jersey Beer Company in North Bergen, the storm not only flooded their space, it nearly ended their business. Looking at the warehouse and tap room walls, you can see water marks at waist-high level. These markings serve as a reminder of how the brewery survived that devastating ordeal…

High Point Brewing Company

High Point Brewing Company (Ramstein Brewery)

Germany has given the world BMW cars, bratwurst, lederhosen, dirndls and Werner Herzog, but let’s face it: None of that is as important as beer. While Belgium, England, Czechoslovakia and Ireland should be mentioned in the same breath, it’s Germany that’s the birthplace of modern brewing and many of the styles we drink today. And in one of the oldest craft breweries in New Jersey, it’s always Oktoberfest…

Brew Jersey: Conclave Brewing

If you sit in a tiny cubicle or drab office for the majority of your waking hours, chances are that you daydream about a more colorful life. For Carl Alfaro, his mind wandered towards beer. The New Jersey native spent a decade and then some as a project engineer before he delved into the world of craft brewing full-time. By trading staring at a computer all day for the smell of wort and hops, he created Conclave Brewing…

Brew Jersey: Climax Brewing Co.

You have beer brewed with hibiscus, pine needles and peanut butter and flavor notes of fresh-cut grass, stone fruits and afternoon sunshine. Then you have cutesy, punny names like As Hoppy As They Wanna Be, The Big Brewbowski or I Wanna Bock With You. But sometimes, you just want beer to taste like beer. That’s where Climax Brewing Co., New Jersey’s oldest continuously operating craft brewery, comes in…

Brew Jersey: Cricket Hill Brewing

We tend to think of craft beer as a relatively recent trend that came up alongside the foodie movement and DIY culture. But independently operated breweries have always been around. They were called microbreweries back in the day. Even in New Jersey, a handful of microbreweries have been around for a couple of decades. Such is the case for Cricket Hill in Fairfield. Going into their sixteenth year of operation…

Brew Jersey: Devil’s Creek Brewery

Collingswood is one of a handful of New Jersey towns that’s designated as “dry.” That means liquor is not sold within the city limits, an old law courtesy the founding Quakers and Methodists. So when Anthony and Kathy Abate were able to bypass the laws that date back to prohibition and tap the kegs at Devil’s Creek Brewery, located within Collingswood’s dry borders, people were a little excited for opening day in May 2016…

Brew Jersey: Alementary Brewing Co.

Combine a chemical engineer, a doctor of molecular biology, a love of beer and a desire to create something new and you’ll create The Alementary. The nearly one-year-old craft brewery, hidden in a small industrial park in Hackensack, has gained a reputation for its sought-after ales, lagers, and sours that draw crowds every weekend. Blake Crawford and Mike Roosevelt are the men behind the magic — or in this case, the science…

Brew Jersey: Angry Erik Brewery

Husbands and wives and partners usually take up something simple as a couple’s hobby — long walks, gardening, maybe a house renovation. Now, home brewing is a popular couple’s activity. For the husband and wife team of Heide and Erik Hassing, their part-time hobby became a full-time business. Angry Erik Brewery in Lafayette Township is the result of years of homebrewing practice and a desire to spread the craft beer love…

Brew Jersey: Ship Bottom Brewery

Visiting Long Beach Island during the winter feels like being the last person on earth. You will see a stray car, perhaps cross paths with a random person, and you can drive along Bay Avenue for six miles without stopping at a red light. Then you enter Ship Bottom Brewery and see that all the locals are hunkered indoors in the tap room away from the gusting winds. Since opening last summer, Ship Bottom has cornered the market…

Brew Jersey: Demented Brewing Company

Brew Jersey: Demented Brewing Company

When Thomas Zubar lost his job at a software company, he didn’t drown his sorrows with a few pints of beer. Instead, he decided to make the beer himself. The Bayonne native was knee-deep in a computer science career as a software engineer when he discovered home brewing. Out of unfortunate career events, Demented Brewing Company was born, an idea that had been in the back of Zubar’s head for awhile…

Brew Jersey: Czig Meister Brewing Company

Brew Jersey: Czig Meister Brewing Company

When Matt Czigler told his parents that he was forgoing a potential career in medicine for the beer brewing arts, you can understand that they were surprised. “They paid for my undergraduate education so my dad was like ‘Noooooooooo. I thought you were going to med school, now you’re going to be a glorified janitor?'” If there was a doctorate for beer, Czigler would qualify. He took his education in chemistry and rejiggered it…

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Brew Jersey: Brix City Brewing

High school best friends Joe Delcalzo and Peter Reuther didn’t have dreams of that one-in-a-million, get-rich-quick idea. They just didn’t want to answer to anyone. Little did these Hasbrouck Heights High School graduates know that the path to being their own bosses relied on water, hops, grain and yeast. Today, Brix City Brewing is one of a handful of northeast New Jersey craft breweries reshaping the beer landscape….

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Brew Jersey: Spellbound Brewing

When friends get together over a beer or four, conversation tends to go into wild tangents from fantasy football and politics to kids and big picture ideas. For childhood friends Mike Oliver and John Companick, and their homebrewing buddy Scott Reading, they talked about owning and running a brewery. Two years later, Spellbound Brewing planted themselves in Mt. Holly, when the craft beer boom was taking shape in New Jersey…

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Brew Jersey: Twin Elephant Brewing Company

The craft movement takes many shapes and forms. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, you might just have started an indie rock band or worked on the next great American novel. Today, starting your own business is a much more viable option. The craft beer movement is no different than starting your own artistic Instagram, creating a single-origin coffee roaster or designing your own line of speciality stationary…

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Brew Jersey: Screamin’ Hill Brewery

Here’s a fall Saturday afternoon excursion that will make you rethink NJ and its craft beer scene: First, get off on Rt. 195, Exit 11. Then, follow your GPS through backroads of farmland and horse pastures, past small colonial homes alongside a picturesque lake. Your final destination? A hidden gem of an area. While it’s only a seven-minute drive from the highways, it seems like a world away from the nearby outlet malls…

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Brew Jersey: Magnify Brewing Co.

When most college students graduate, they have short-term ambitions of getting an entry-level job, paying down their student loan debts and jump-starting their careers. For Eric Ruta, all he could think about was starting his own brewing business. “If you’re going to do something for a long time, you might as well love it,” he said. At 24-years-old, the Ridgewood native is the youngest brewery owner in the state…

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Brew Jersey: Departed Soles Brewing Co.

It’s not every day that you hear unsolicited praise for your product. But that happened for Brian Kulbacki, the 30-year old founder, brewmaster and all-around everything guy of the award-winning Departed Soles Brewing Company in Jersey City, when he stopped into Hoboken’s Cork City for a quick beer. There’s one thing that really sets Departed Soles apart: It’s the the only New Jersey craft brewer creating gluten-free beer…

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Brew Jersey: The Story Behind Carton Brewing

At the beginning of this decade, New Jersey’s craft beer scene was almost non-existent, with a handful of breweries scattered throughout the state. The major players came from popular out-of-state names like Delaware’s Dogfish Head, Pennsylvania’s Victory or Brooklyn Brewery. That’s when Augie Carton saw a void. Today, Carton Brewing in Atlantic Highlands is one of the most respected craft breweries in the state…

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Brew Jersey: Forgotten Boardwalk

Before shopping malls changed the landscape of New Jersey, the state was a beachfront resort destination for the well to-do. Down the road from one of America’s first malls, Cherry Hill Mall (founded in 1961), is Forgotten Boardwalk, one of the state’s most popular craft breweries. The two-year-old brewery uses the iconography of 1910-20s Atlantic City and Asbury Park to inspire their flavorful and hoppy beers…

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Brew Jersey: Kane Brewing

While starting a brewery can take two to three years of planning and executing, for Michael Kane of Kane Brewing, it was a decade in the making. One of the most respected craft brewers in the state, Kane has gained a reputation for its varied styles, a constant rotation of beer and its signature beer, Head High IPA. The five-year-old Ocean Township brewery is poised to become one of the largest in the state…

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Brew Jersey: Cape May Brewing Company

It’s arguably considered the must-visit destination for regional hop heads and craft beer aficionados looking for a unique experience. But it takes some planning to get there: Cape May Brewing Company is approximately a two-and-half-hour drive from Jersey City, an hour and half from Philadelphia and an hour from Atlantic City. But those who make the pilgrimage to the five-year-old brewery will be glad they did…

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Brew Jersey: River Horse Brewing Company

We are living in a gilded age when it comes to craft beer in New Jersey, with 60+ breweries and more than a dozen brewpubs in the state. Go back a decade, and independent brewing wasn’t even on the radar.But it was for businessmen Chris Walsh and Glenn Bernabeo, who took over River Horse Brewing Company in 2007. Back then, they were one of five craft brewers in the state…


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