New Jersey has a thriving (and ever growing) craft beer scene. Almost everyone who drinks has a favorite brewery and fans can be
very loyal. Knowing this, creating a top ten list of the best breweries in New Jersey has been quite a daunting task. Still, I believe every establishment on this list deserves a visit – I’d love to know if you agree. Each earned a spot for different reasons, from high quality classics to critical acclaim and truly innovative brews. They are listed below in no particular order.
1. Spellbound Brewing - 10 Lippincott Lane, Unit 12, Mount Holly
Spellbound Brewing is sure to enchant you! They were big winners at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, with their Porter Aged on Palo Santo Wood beer taking home a gold medal. A seasonal favorite that customers travel for is the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ale, and you'll surely want to try it. Visit this Sunday (February 10th) for special Valentine's Day brews including Double Chocolate Covered Raspberry Porter, Dulce De Leche Brown Ale, and Cherry Tripel with Rosewater & Honey. Tours are available throughout the day!
2. Cape May Brewing Co. - 1288 Hornet Road, Cape May
Beer Connoisseur labeled Cape May Brewing Co. as the third best brewery in the nation, but that's not all. The brewery's very own Topsail was named the number one best beer in the United States. Receiving a score of 98, it was designated as a world class beer. Other favorites include their Fresh Brewed Coffee Stout and The Bog Cranberry Shandy. A variety of tours are offered, including the Sour Brewery Tour (30 minutes) and the Production Brewery Tour (1 hour).
3. Flying Fish Brewing Co. - 900 Kennedy Boulevard, Somerdale
There's a lot to love about Flying Fish Brewery but one of my favorite things is their Exit Series. Each beer celebrates New Jersey in a special way, specific to Turnpike Exits. Exit One is brewed with oysters, Exit Three is brewed with Blueberries, honoring the Blueberry Capital of the World (Hammonton). Perhaps most New Jersey of all is Exit Seven, a pork roll porter. They've also got a great sense of humor - on tap this week, Patriot's Tears.
4. The Alementary- 58 Voorhis Lane, Hackensack
This microbrewery is kid, dog, and beer drinker friendly. In addition to fantastic brews, the events bring locals in. Visit on February 11th for NamaStay For The Beer, a beer and yoga event! They also offer doggy yoga, live music, and more. More than a place to grab a drink, it's a place to get together.
5. Carton Brewing - 6 E Washington Avenue,
Boat Beer is what put put this brewery on the map but there are many other fan favorites! Carton of Milk and Regular Coffee are perfect breakfast (or brunch) beers but we're all about their creative specials like Cupid (a chocolate stout with hints of rose) and Sundae (Neapolitan Russian imperial stout aged in cognac barrels with walnuts and maraschino cherries). What will they come up with next?
6. River Horse Brewing Co. - 2 Graphics Drive, Ewing
Another American Beer Festival award winner, River Horse Brewing Co. has been around since 1996 and was taken over by its current owners in 2007. It's been a hit for decades! Try the Belgian -Style Tripel, seasonal Chocolate Porter and Summer Blonde Ale, or their Sour Series. Come take a weekend tour or visit for special events including a Girl Scout Cookie & Beer Pairing on February 17th and Art & Ale on March 4th.
7. Magnify Brewing Company -
1275 Bloomfield Avenue, Building 7, Unit 40C, Fairfield
Magnify has a core group of year-round beers and comes up with new concoctions every 4-6 weeks. They've offered up everything from a S'mores pale ale to Stop With All The Madness, a blueberry, chocolate, and coffee milk porter. Be sure to stop by for a tour.
8. Czig Meister Brewing Company - 106 Valentine Street, Hackettstown
This 15 barrel craft brewery offers 5 year-round beers, a variety of seasonal beers, and occasional one-off batches. Besides being delicious, their beers have the best names - Unholy Ritual (a Belgian quad), Chaos (a Belgian double), and The Shipwright (an American IPA). The Gardener is a fun seasonal flavor with notes of lemon and basil. Visit on February 17th for StoutFest, exploring over 50 variations of the classic stout.
9. Departed Soles Brewing Co. - 150 Bay Street, Suite 2A, Jersey City
Departed Soles is everything you'd expect from a metropolitan area brewery - fun, hip, innovative. They've got gluten-free beer, creative cans, and more. Big Nuts has chocolate, caramel and a hint of peanut butter flavor, Ghost of Pumpkins Passed is basically a boozy Pumpkin Spice Latte...everything is delicious. They offer frequent events including yoga and live music.
10. Eight & Sand Beer Co. - 1003 N Evergreen Avenue, Woodbury
This award-winning brewery offers 8 spectacular year-round beers and a variety of seasonal flavors. New Potato Caboose, a limited release, offers a unique mix of sweet potato, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Also check out their rotating casks...every couple of weeks they throw some interesting things into a cask with one of their beers. Also check out occasional events like a wine glass/beer mug painting party on February 14th and Pilates and Pours on April 14th.
So, I’ve got to know…what did you think of this list? Did your favorites make the cut? If not, let us know your favorite brewery in New Jersey and why. Are you aware of any big brewery opening that I need to check out? A second brewery will be opening in Hackensack, soon – keep an eye out if you live in the Bergen County area. If wineries are more your scene, check out