8 Craft Breweries You HAVE to Visit in New Jersey

New Jersey Food + Drink
by Michelle DeVona Aug 15, 2016

Cape May Brewing Company, Cape May

We're outdoorsy, like we like to drink beers outside kinda of outdoorsy. #capemaybrewco #capemayhopsfest #capemay #summer

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Brewing a special variety of pale ale in honor of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia is not only kind of badass, but definitely sets Cape May Brewing Company apart from the crowd. Located inside the Cape May Airport, it’s a great excuse to get sloshed before that long flight. Or just an excuse to randomly visit an airport. The tasting room is open daily from 11 am to 9pm. They’ve won tons of awards for their beer and are also planning to open a second location dedicated to brewing sour beers. Get a Tour & Flight package for $10 and you get four tastings, a souvenir glass, and a guided tour around the facilities.

Carton Brewing Company, Atlantic Highlands

Just reading the playful beer descriptions here is entertainment enough. For instance, the opening line for their Gilded Lily brew reads like this: “Are there any aromatics more corruptly appealing than that suspect waft of dirt and sex that is the heart of fresh white truffles?” Carton Brewing Company is known for their creative ingredients, which makes a visit here an adventure in itself, and has attracted its fair share of beer snobs. Taking pride in their experimental brews, it’s the place to go for some whacky pints like Intermezzo, a green apple and wasabi ale, or Decoy, a brew inspired by the five spice roast duck at New York City restaurant Eleven Madison Park. Tours are required here before tasting.

Flying Fish Brewing Company, Somerdale

Opening way back in 1996, Flying Fish Brewing Company is New Jersey’s first microbrewery. You can bet the beer is tasty as they’ve won eight Great American Beer Fest medals, more than any other brewery in New Jersey. Of all things Jersey, they even have an Exit Series, where each beer is named after, you guessed it, the Turnpike. Besides, where else but New Jersey can you order an Exit 7 Pork Roll Porter? To top it off, they are a sustainable brewery, so drinking here means you’re helping the environment. Sort of.

Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company, Cherry Hill

If you secretly pine for the old Asbury Park boardwalk, a step inside Forgotten Boardwalk Brewing Company will take you back to your glory days. The brewery is like walking through a boozy carnival, complete with skee ball, funhouse mirrors, spinning wheels, and a carousel for decoration. Each beer also comes with an old tale that took place at the boardwalk, so you can learn yet another weird thing about New Jersey. Have a Funnel Cake Ale and party like a kid again – only now with alcohol.

Kane Brewing Company, Ocean Township

Cheers. One of the favs. 🍻 #pregame #kanebrewing #headhigh #flight #craftbeer #kanebrewingcompany #drinklocal #drinkcraft #craftbeernj #njbeer #jerseystrong #njcb

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A small craft brewery on the New Jersey coast, Kane Brewing Company specializes in American style and Belgian influenced ales, most of which are only available on tap. Take a guided tour and get buzzed on beer tastings, and then get drunk afterwards in the taproom. In addition to the year round beers, the brewery has some specialty beers. The tidal series is a hoppy batch with ocean-themed titles like Ripple Session Ale. If you’re looking for something a little more different, go for the barrel-aged imperial stout A Night to End All Dawns, or the Apiary, brewed with local wildflower honey.

New Jersey Beer Company, North Bergen

It's opening day ! Why not open one of these? #drinklocal #nj #craftbeer

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As the name implies, New Jersey pride runs deep at this brewery. Located in Hudson county, New Jersey Beer Company is a mere hop, skip, and jump away from New York City – which is where, let’s admit, many travelers in northern New Jersey usually end up anyway. So to keep with the state theme, it’s only natural you will find beers named Garden State Stout, Hudson Pale Ale, and Weehawken Wee Heavy here. Consider taking a free tour of the brewery to see where all the hoppy goodness is birthed, look at the ginormous equipment, and of course, taste the beer. The tasting room is open Wednesdays – Fridays from 5-9 pm and Saturdays from 3-9 pm.

Spellbound Brewing Company, Mount Holly

Don't forget to bring beer to your weekend parties. Open 10-2

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A must-stop for experimental brews like Jalapeno Ghost Pepper IPA and White Sage Black Pepper Saison, Spellbound Brewing Company likes to mix things up. In 2015 they won a medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their Palo Santo Wood Aged Porter, a concoction they came up with when they threw in a few short sticks of Palo Santo wood into a porter they were making. It’s now a year round staple. Best bet is to visit the taproom and do a flight sample. That way you can decide which pint(s) to order so you can get properly inebriated.

Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery, Berkeley Heights

For a cozy dining experience, head to Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery. There are even glass windows that allow you to peep inside the brewing station and see the brewers whipping up some heady creations. The interior resembles a European ski lodge more than anything else, so the fact that it’s super comfy means you might end up wanting to extend your visit. The beers pair well with the food, and depending on the season, you’re bound to find something different on the menu; like Blueberry Wheat beer during summer.  If you’re there during the day you can stroll through Passaic River Park afterwards and walk off that lunch (er, sober up).

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