Staying Local- A Year of Beerventuring During Corona Times


As you might have noticed, our blogs are mostly dedicated to recapping our travels and the breweries we visit along the way. Of course, most of our travel plans have been put on hold for the past year because of Covid-19 but that doesn’t mean we didn’t visit any breweries. We used this time to visit and revisit (and revisit) some amazing local breweries; so it’s probably about time we highlighted some of them. 

Untied Brewing Company

Untied has definitely become one of our go to spots during Covid. They have almost 20 taps with a wide variety of IPAs, sours, stouts, lagers and seltzers so that you’re sure to find something for everyone. There is plenty of space to social distance with two large outdoor seating areas (bring your own chair if the tables are all full) and a spacious indoor taproom. The outdoor area is kid/dog friendly so it makes for a fun family outing.  Our favorite beers are usually the Decadent Darkness stout series or the Profusely Fruity line.

  • Flights, pints, cans, growlers.
  • BYOF indoor/outdoor seating.
  • Family friendly/ dog friendly.

Untied Brewing Company (New Providence, NJ)

 

NJ Beer Co.

NJ Beer Co. in North Bergen is a bit of a ride for us to get out to but we love going after work for a round or two.  They always have a wide variety of styles on tap and they often have some non-beer related things going on like movie nights, trivia, food trucks and/or live music.  NJ Beer Co. has a great line of traditional beers (like their Parkway Pilsner) as well as their more adventurous beers like Cups of Peanut Butter & Chocolate or Just Peachy.  The tap room has limited seating, but there are several tables scattered in the brewhouse as well as plenty of outdoor seating when the weather cooperates.

  • Flights, pints, cans, growlers.
  • BYOF indoor/outdoor seating

New Jersey Beer Co (North Bergen, NJ)

Fort Nonsense Brewing Company

Fort Nonsense Brewing Company is a small brewery that opened in 2018 (we were there for the grand opening) and we’re glad to see them doing well.  Their taproom and outdoor seating area is a bit on the smaller side, but it’s worth the wait for a table.  They usually have about 8 different beers on tap in a variety of standard styles (flagships are Arnold’s Tavern Porter and Benedict Amber Traitor Ale) and some more experimental styles like the radioactive green looking one called Back Off Man, I’m a Scientist. Unfortunately due to Covid, Fort Nonsense has not been serving flights, but you can treat yourself to full pours or half pours at the brewery or grab some cans/crowlers/growlers to go.

  • Currently no flights. Pint’s and half-pours only.
  • Online, next day delivery.
  • BYOF indoor/outdoor seating
  • Dog friendly

Fort Nonsense (Denville, NJ)

 

Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant

Fun fact: Gaslight is the only brewpub on this list!  It’s got a great local pub vibe and a solid offering of house made beers in a wide variety of styles; but don’t expect crazy flavors like pastry stouts or milkshake IPAs.  Gaslight offers a great selection of traditional styles as well as the occasional guest beers on tap as well.  If you’re in the market for delicious food and large portions, Gaslight has an extensive food menu; we’ve never been disappointed in or left this place hungry.  Adventurous meat lovers can delight in “Moink Balls” or an “Antegator Burger”; yes, these are exactly what they sound like.  The portion sizes are very generous and prices are super reasonable for NJ.

  • Flights, pints, crowlers, growlers.
  • Indoor/ outdoor seating
  • Family friendly.

Gaslight (South Orange, NJ)

 

Glenbrook Brewery

We have lived in Morristown NJ for almost five years and lamented that there wasn’t a brewery in town. When Glenbrook opened this year we were so excited to have a walkable brewery in town. The taproom is a large open space and the system is ambitiously big.  We have enjoyed a few flights and pints and are excited to see the new new beers coming out and how they grow! The one negative is the parking or lack thereof. There is street parking and a paid lot close by but spaces may be hard to find when town is busy. Luckily, we are a quick walk from our apartment to the brewery so we can avoid the issue but something to keep in mind if you are traveling here.

  • Flights, pints, crowlers and growlers.
  • BYOF indoor seating.
  • Family friendly

Glenbrook Brewery (Morristown, NJ)

 

Ashton Brewing Company

One of the newest breweries to spring up in NJ, Ashton Brewing Company made its home in Middlesex, NJ at the old Demented Brewing facility.  Like most NJ breweries, they offer a wide array of styles and have a solid mix between traditional beers like their Hop Garden IPA to the more adventurous and decadent concoctions like the Parent Trap Porter (a crazy delicious peanut butter cup beer).  Unfortunately, we haven’t had the pleasure of partaking in it yet but they frequently have Cask nights with crazy beers like a Strawberry Daiquiri IPA.

  • Flights, pints, cans, crowlers and growlers.
  • BYOF indoor/outdoor seating.
  • Family friendly

Ashton Brewing Company (Middlesex, NJ)

Muckraker Beermaker

Another haul to get to, but holy crap is it worth the drive.  Muckraker Beermaker celebrates beer creativity through wild and spontaneous fermentation practices.  While the owner and brewer doesn’t like to label his beers as sours, several tend to align to a tart profile with varying degrees of facepucker.  Don’t let that deter you from stopping though because Andrew is a baby with tart anything, and this is one of his favorite places to visit.  Not to mention, there really is never a dull moment in the fantastic beer lineup; like the Pie To the Face series, various wine barrel aged creations and once even a Martini beer (not kidding!).  Bring some food, games and friends to pop bottles with because this stop will end up in an all day affair; that’s almost guaranteed.

  • Beer delivery!
  • BYOF indoor/outdoor seating.
  • Pints, cans, bottles, and growlers.

Muckraker Beermaker (Franklin, NJ)

 

The Trio of Fairfield

Magnify Brewing Company

A short drive from Morristown is Fairfield NJ, home to two very different breweries and a distillery.  Magnify Brewing is one of the more well known NJ breweries and for good reason. They are always releasing new and exciting beers of all varieties but they are known for their IPAs. During Covid times, the beer had been to-go only but we’re super happy to hear their Biergarten is back open!

  • Pints, cans, crowlers and growlers.
  • Outdoor seating is back!

Jersey Spirits

Literally right next door to Magnify is one of NJ’s best distilleries.  They are open for on premise tastings and cocktails as well as selling bottles and cocktail kits to go. We’ve always enjoyed our visits here as a nice switch up from our usual beer tasting. There’s plenty of different options for spirits including vodka, rum, whiskey, bourbon and gin. They also specialize in Jersey Hooches which we learned is a much more complex process than just taking cheap juice and adding some sugar and yeast. Seriously, if you are a PB&J fan, check out their PB&J hooch.

  • Indoor/outdoor seating.
  • Cocktails and bottles to go.

Cricket Hill Brewing Co.

Cricket Hill is just a few minutes away from Magnify but has a totally different vibe. At 21 years old, Cricket Hill is old enough to legally drink its own beer! With 16 beers on taps, there’s a variety of styles to choose from. It is definitely more geared towards a local crowd. The brewery feels like a production brewery first and taproom 2nd, but they have tables and seating nicely spaced out and a beer garden set up outside to enjoy pours onsite.

  • Flights, pints, crowlers, growlers, cans.
  • Indoor/outdoor seating.

 

The Duo of Clifton

Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. and Silk City Distillers

Is there anything better in life than being offered two excellent choices side-by-side?  Well, yes there is because in Clifton, NJ you can start with choice A and then moving over to choice B after.  Just like Magnify and Jersey Spirits, Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. and Silk City Distillers are literally right next door to each other and both offer such a distinct and unique drinking experience.  Ghost Hawk Brewing has a delicious line of IPAs in a wide variety of styles and colors for you hopheads.  Our current favorite IPA from Ghost is the Friluftsliv DIPA.  Not an IPA fan? Try and get your hands on the Good Boy Stout or the Fantome Rogue Grand Cru; both excellent choices for less hop-intense beer drinkers.

After a round or two at Ghost Hawk, and a couple cans to go, be sure to make a quick trip to Silk City Distillers for a round in house or a bottle to go.  Their liquor selection is all top shelf and spans the entire spirit range (vodka, gin, dark/white rum, bourbon).  The cocktails are also always fun and delicious.  Andrew prefers everything and anything that resembles a Manhattan, while I stick to the sweeter selection like the Forever in Blue Jeans (gin, lavender, violet and lemon) or the Dirty Shirley (vodka, whiskey, Luxardo cherry syrup, soda and bitters).

 

The Trio of Hackettstown

Jersey Girl, Czig Meister and Man Skirt Brewing

We don’t get out to Hackettstown as often as we like, but the little town has three breweries!  All the breweries offer a great selection of beers, each with their own signature spins.  Jersey Girl’s King (Belgian), Queen (Belgian) and Joker (sour) beers always impress us. With over 100 different beers in rotation, we’re sure you will find something you love.  Czig Meister boasts over 730 different beers made and their stout and porter variants range from “yeah that makes sense in a stout” to “wait-what?” but in a good way.  After we get out of Covid times, their Stout Day is something to be on the look out for; it’s an amazing day of churning through kegs of variants.  Last up is Man Skirt Brewing.  While we enjoy the beer of Man Skirt, their claim to fame in our opinion is the Let’s Get Fizzical seltzer line.  Have you ever wanted an Amaretto or Pistachio seltzer? We didn’t know we did until we tried these delicious carbonated beverages.

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