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J.J. Bitting Brewing Company

Not Rated.
J.J. Bitting Brewing CompanyJ.J. Bitting Brewing Company
BA SCORE
85
very good

57 Ratings
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 15.78%
Active Beers: 24
Beer Ratings: 188
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask:
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

33 Main St.
Woodbridge, New Jersey, 07095
United States
phone: (732) 634-2929

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
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3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

muskiesman, Sep 16, 2014
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4.28/5  rDev +14.4%

Jaclynjanet, Sep 06, 2014
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3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Johnwf110, Aug 03, 2014
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3/5  rDev -19.8%

NJBeer265, Jun 02, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

lknox511, Feb 28, 2014
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3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

JMS1512, Feb 24, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

ArtZan, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

djrn2, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of Varkias41
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Varkias41, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of jamesg60
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%

We went for my birthday and heard positive and negative reviews so we went there with an open mind. You enter by climbing 12 or so steps could be a problem after a night at the bar. We were seated in dinning room nears cooper beer vats nice brick and wood floors it was quiet we were early there but could imagine must get very noisy when real busy.
We went early and were seated quickly and had waitress right away she never smiled but was friendly just the same.

I decided on the beer sampler and got eight small glasses of beer that they brew I must say my favorites are Victorian ale and the raspberry wheat ale but both could have been served a little colder. We both got cheeseburgers and I got waffles fries and she got sweet potato fries which were mixed with jalapeño peppers and onions which looked little bizarre and was extremely hot she she couldn't eat. The burger were very good and cooked to order. Overall the service and the food was jut fine for us and will return on some later date to try other food offerings.

jamesg60, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of threeviews
4/5  rDev +7%

J.J. Bitting's is one of my very first forays into the craft beer world. Everything is solid: beer, atmosphere and food. Head Brewer, Chris Sheehan brews the staples, but is always working to deliver at least one surprise. Located next to the Woodbridge, NJ train station, it is a NYC commuter's dream. If you are in the area, stop by for a pint (or two) and an enjoyable afternoon/evening...cheers!

threeviews, May 08, 2013
Photo of fulcrum
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%

This visit illustrated the wonderful power of the Internet and beeradvocate. I had a pleasant business dinner at El Costello in Woodbridge NJ (Little Italy kind of place--didn't even ask about beer here) and felt like a beer afterward. There was a shady-looking place across the street w neon signs for Bud and Bud Light so I called upon ba.com. Within a couple minutes I was on my way to JJ Bitting Brewing Co and arrived by foot in 3 minutes. These guys had a comfortable atmosphere and nice service. But the beer was the star. Their house IPA (W.H.A.L.E.S. IPA) was a solid 8 (nice mix of pine and citrus) and their barleywine was beautifully bourbony--AND they had it also on cask which was even better. Nice Pale as well. Overall, my colleague and I really enjoyed ourselves and it would be a no-brainer to return on a subsequent trip.

fulcrum, May 08, 2013
Photo of DrinkSlurm
2.64/5  rDev -29.4%

Stopped by here while on a local business trip. First impression is ok...neat looking building, old and iconic railroad. Thats where it all goes down hill...
It was quiet, and had a local only vibe. I sat at the bar and it was filty! Dust and dirt were everywhere. All the random crap on the wall had dust all over it...as if the random crap wasnt bad enough, now I have to look at it covered in dirt...reluctantly, I got a WHALE on cask...it was descent, not amazing...
The food menu was again, gross...it was dirty, sticky, cracked plastic, and cheap and cheesy. Menu selections was typical "food" choices from anytown USA...nothing looked good and based on the condition of the place, I opted to pass on dinner. (side note, as I read yelp reviews of this place, someone noted the best Tai food in NJ across the street...so thats where I had dinner, and it was great).
Anyway...I had a taste of their cherry stout and it was horrible..then I had a 10oz of the barley wine...drinkable but not worth the $2.50 price paid for happy hour...ok, well maybe for $2.50, but id be pissed if it was full price. Waitresses/bartenders were caddy/gossipy and called everyone sweetie or doll...not a fan of that crap.
Overall, not worth a visit at all...and im not sure how thsi place is still in business. I have been to almost all 50 states and visiting brew pubs is something I do all across the country...this was one of the worst I ever been to. Sorry JJ...

DrinkSlurm, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of Naugros
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%

I came here with a bunch of children so that might explain why the waitstaff wasn't all that attentive. But at least the kids weren't up banging on the piano. They were standing in the doorway between the dining room and the bar so they could watch the Jets game. They occasionally got in someone's way.

Anyway, this place is pretty neat-looking, with the fermenters in the center of the dining room, encased in glass with the tables around the outside walls where a little locomotive goes around on a track. The bar area is in the tower where the coal was and you can look up high into the rafters. If I hadn't had the kids I would have been in there.

The food was very good and they've got a decent menu for the kiddies with excellent pricing. I had a burger that was very nice and their waffle fries are cooked to crispy perfection. You can't beat their prices for the burgers, sandwiches or any of the meals for that matter, without going to a fast food joint.

The beer was okay. Some of them had a few off flavors. I wasn't fond of any of the hoppier ones, like the WHALES. In the Bad Boy, I felt that the Noble Hops were used excessively and threw off the beer's balance. But it won a bronze at the GABF, but that was back in 2000. Maybe that batch had better balance. I thought the Victoria's Golden was their cleanest beer and that the Avenel Amber had some good flavor. The Dunkel-Weizen smelled spot-on, but the flavor had some mineral-like off-flavors that made it disappointing.

Not a bad place with some pretty decent beer. At least the beer isn't watery which is a common complaint I have with brew pub offerings.

Naugros, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%

I found out about this brewpub from "The Brewery Show" podcast. I recommend this show. It has good production value and the brewers reviewed cover many different areas and quality.

This restaurant and micro brew is located in a building over a hundred years old. The exposed beams and brick give a strong sense of history. I give a lot of credit to the owner for salvaging this historical location. In the center of the dining room is a set of kettles to show the priority of brewing for this company.

I started with a barrel aged english ale. It was served at room temperature (as it should be); earning early respect from me. It was a pretty good english bitter, and somewhat understated.

I had the wings as an appetizer. They were pretty good, and the sauce was tasty... but I would have liked a wetter wing.

With my dinner, I had the W.H.A.L.E. IPA with my dinner. I will review this beer very soon, as I picked up a growler since I enjoyed it so much.

I had the ribs with butterfly chips. The rib sauce was excellent and the butterfly chips were very tasty. BTW, the butterfly chips were invented by the restaurant.

The restaurant is very good and I thoroughly enjoyed the beer offering. I plan on returning.

Side note: Jersey laws prevent this brand from properly distributing their beer. Laws like this prevent best distribution of tasty beer. People outside central NJ are missing out on a very good creation. (much love to Sam at DFH)

ummswimmin, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of beenitty
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%

Been here a few times, firt time being for Merck & Co. Christmas Party, beer geekdom and palate has advanced since Christmas 2009 but this is an overall review.

Solid Beer menu. Most stuff is on the lighter side in terms of ABV and body of the beers that they have. Only few types of darker beers which is more my thing, but the ones they have are solid. A bit watery, even the stouts and porters, but still solid. Everything they have is pretty tasty, but picky beer geeks may find this place a bit lacking.

You're not going to get wasted off of one beer here unless you cant control yourself at their Mon-Fri 3-7pm Happy Hour with 2.50$ pints, and free food as well - whoa! This is the type of place you can get pitchers and such and not break the bank.

Additional points for having really good food and full bar for spirits as well. Some brewpubs dont give you the option of getting spirits, which is cool for your buds who may not be as into beer as you are.

Definitely the type of place that can persuade a non beer person to appreciate beer and keep a true beer lover happy with the selections offerred.

Cool place to eat and drink.

beenitty, May 10, 2011
Photo of cic444
2.35/5  rDev -37.2%

Walking into this place, you really want to like it. It's very warm feeling, homey, and there is even a train track up above that circles the entire brewpub with a working train engine.

That, unfortunately, is all this place has going for it. The service was absolutely terrible - I went there with my wife and it took over an hour to get our food, which consisted of a spinach salad and and a sandwich. Once the food was finally delivered, we were severely unimpressed. It was very bland, and the presentation was mediocre.

I was most disappointed with the beers. I had the Barley Legal Barley Wine and the Raspberry Wheat ale. Both were forgettable. I was particularly excited about the Barley Wine, but after the first sip, knew that this was not a top notch beer. My wife had the Golden Ale and Amber. I tasted both, and was again let down as I finished sipping each.

This place has the potential to be a top notch brewpub, but it has a long way to go. Hit up Trap Rock instead if you are in the area.

cic444, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of 9InchNails
3.33/5  rDev -11%

I went here with my girlfriend. We already had eaten so I just wanted to go there for the beer. My girlfriend got dessert since we didn't order any at the prior place. She seemed to have enjoyed it. It was Oreo Cookie Ice Cream Cake, it did look pretty tasty but didn't try it.
The service was okay. There was a new bartender, I could tell because she seemed like she knew nothing. She was polite, don't get me wrong, it just seemed like she was a little airheaded.
They advertised happy hour all day Monday, which was the day we were there but apparently it didn't start to nine o'clock; we were a little too early. On the pamphlets, also on the wall and monitors it said Happy Hour all day Monday. I can't blame the bartenders on that, that's the establishments fault. The female bartender wasn't sure about why it said that so she asked her fellow bartender which he said he's not sure and he's going to bring it up to his boss. He apologized for it, which is fine, like I said, not their fault.
I saw some manager looking guy behind the counter. He didn't look like he wanted to be there. It is always nice when the manager or owner walks on by asking if everything is okay and thanking you for stopping in. We never got that from him, oh well.
I tried DoppelBock and Cherry Chocalate Stout. The beer was good. Nothing great or to make me say damn, I should have gotten a growler of that.
Overall, I don't think I will be checking this place out unless I am in the area. I will not go out of my way to check it out once more.
If you want some really tasty brewpub beers, try Uno's which isn't too far from here. You may think oh its a chain restaurant. Hey, we're there for the beer, right?

9InchNails, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of schlewitt
2.58/5  rDev -31%

Went there to test out there selection. The place is really cool, lots of atmosphere, nostalgic. The service, however, was less than impressive. No knowledge of the beer they served.

The beer wasn't bad. I ordered an 8-sample tasting. The Rhaspberry Wheat was good, along with their IPA. The others didn't leave an impression on me.

The food, however, did. It was the worst food I've ever had. Bland, tasteless. How can someone ruin a caesar salad? Also had a french onion ale brew. Aweful!! The bar seemed crowded, but after our experience in the dining room, I really didn't feel like wasting more time. Too bad .... such potential

schlewitt, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Kwak
1.85/5  rDev -50.5%

I had to think about this one for a while before I posted it. I had a bad experience the first time and the second time wasn't much better.
the first time I sat at the bar it is set to the side of the dinning room a beautiful building the square bar has a high ceiling post and beem look with brick walls. it was one of the nicest brew pubs ive seen. after saying that. I ordered the pils. witch was just ok not really worth a second try. and then we just sat their as the bartender shift changed and a new bartender came on who would not even look over at us. we were their for about forty min. and could not get service so after all that I left a ten on the bar and walked out I think I over paid. I couldn't even find out how much the beer cost. it was six on a Saturday and not that busy the staff was all gathered talking at the side of the bar,not really working all those people and I couldn't get another beer.

I wasn't going to write this but I went back and the service was only a little better. I had the amber and the porter and wasn't impressed with either one.
I didn't get food because I couldn't get a menu I don't think I will go back their again.
I didn't want to post this but bad service two separate times is the managements fault and a reflection on the bar.
its not all about the service I didn't care for the beers either, if the beer was better I would go back but the beers were not good enough to overlook everything else but as always be your own judge.

Kwak, May 11, 2010
Photo of yemenmocha
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Nearly perfect atmosphere for a brewery at this old train station. I love the brick everywhere. Great vibe.

Beer selection was just about average for a brewpub, although some of their beers seemed a little tame for the style (their cask IPA did not seem like much of an IPA, sorry). Porter was probably their best offering.

Food was fried & covered in cold beer cheese. Not bad. Service was ok. Prices reasonable for the area, although the sampler with small glasses was a little overpriced, in my opinion.

I thought it was lame that their table advertising boasts that they were something like #2 on BA when that's not true now, nor anytime in recent years.

yemenmocha, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
2.3/5  rDev -38.5%

Since I do not live nearby, this was a weekend excursion with my wife, and since I had read so much hype about this place, I guess that I couldn't help but get caught up in it...especially since this place markets the fact that some periodical survey rated them the #2 brewpub in the U.S. a few years ago to the point where you get brainwashed. My expectations were further heightened when I pulled up and beheld the beautifully restored former railroad station in which the brewpub resides. Then I sat down, ordered a sampler and some food, and woke up. To say that my heart came crashing down like Icarus came crashing down to earth is an understatement...this place defined overrated. The food was fried, fried, and more fried, and the beer was not impressive at all. The lone standout, which I gave a resounding A+ to, was a schwarzbier named Bitting's Black Magic...and it was a seasonal, so the odds of it being on tap if I came back the next time were very slim. I don't doubt that this place has won awards in the past, but resting on dead laurels is not the way to run a business. It'll take a lot for me to make this 'weekend excursion' again.

donniecuffs, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of magnj
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%

a - Towards the end of Main Street, you'll find this old brick building past the train station. Entering through the side you'll see copper conical fermenters in a glass case in the center of the room surrounded by tables. To the left is the bar and stairs to the upstairs dining area and outside patio. Family and towny crowd.

q - The beer and the food were both good. Location is good. Good "quality", whatever that means.

s - Friendly wait staff who checked in frequently. Fairly knowledgable about the beer. Food and drinks came out quickly considering we were up a flight of stairs from the kitchen and bar.

s - There was a lot of food on the menu, nothing fancy but something for everyone. Beer selection was ok with 6 on tap but a lot of them seemed kind of boring for my taste. There was a lager, hefe and amber to please the masses. A dunkel, IPA and a cask bitter for the more daring. Mixed drinks were kind of crappy but were on the cheap side. Beer was $5 a pint, $14/10 for growlers.

f - We stuck to burgers and fries. Fries come in waffle and sweet potato and are both excellent. Burgers were standard 1/2 lb paties available with a variety of toppings.

Cheaper and less trendy than some other local pubs, JJ's offers decent burgers and good beer at a reasonable price.

magnj, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%

JJ Bittings is THE brew pub if you are in central NJ.

I tried Knockout Maibock, Dunkelweizen, Hopgarden PA and Avenel Amber. I liked them all, but missed their IPA which was nota available.
I prefered them in the order listed above.
I'l like to try other when I return, and it's worth stopping if you are heading up the NJT.

The service was good, the atmosphere was very friendly. I got the impression that most of the 20 people at the rectangular bar were regulars.

What I enjoyed the most was the food. I had an enormous Steak Elizabeth, which I could barely finish. Outstanding. The second night I tried the Ribs, and was again quite satisfied.

JJ Bittings resides in an old house by a railroad station, hollowed out and converted into a unique and comfortable pub.

farHillsBrewer, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +7%

I wouldn't describe the vibe of this place as the most interesting evr, but it is far from being drab. It's a local. Pure and simple. Sure the Jaeger cooler is there, but who cares. Sure there is a train going around overtop the bar, but I like that. Reminds me of being a wee little one for some reason. I think the most interesting part is the tap handles. Not quite sure, but they look like handmade out of exotic wood. Even if they are trying to be interesting, tap handles can be so generic. Anyways.

Quality of the beer was good. Everything seemed pretty much on the level. I want to say everything carried a more English theme and was slightly subdued as opposed to the more obnoxious American versions of things.

Service was good. I was surprised to overhear that the bartender was only on her second day (at least I think I heard that.) Could've fooled me on that one. Usually new people at least slip up once or are running around slightly nervous, but she was on top of things. Perhaps she used to be a waiter and moved to the bar. Either way, she was nice. I always judge management by their selection of staff, and it seems like there are good people here.

Selection was nice enough. Standard array of styles and profile. Nothing outlandish. But 6 beers on-tap and one cask is enough to focus on.

I am surprised to read that many of the people thought the food was so-so. Upon Meghans (she's the one who I think was on her 2nd day at the bar) suggestion, I went for the ribs, and they were damn good. Super tender and falling right off the bone. So if all the other food is total garbage, I strongly suggest you go for the ribs.

Overall, like I said, this seems more like a local. As it should be. A good spot for the community to come get some fresh brewed beer in a nice enough spot.

Prices are good. Ribs were $12, growler was $13.95 (close to $3 deposit for the glass), beer sampler was $9 for 6 glasses that were about 4 ounce pours.

If I were in the area, I'd come back here again.

RblWthACoz, Apr 06, 2009
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J.J. Bitting Brewing Company in Woodbridge, NJ
85 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.