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The Unspoken NJ Breweries

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by RobHB, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. RobHB

    RobHB Initiate (135) Aug 20, 2017 New Jersey

    There seem to be a handful of NJ breweries that don't get attention/love here in the forums (i.e. no thread dedicated to them). Maybe a combination of how long they've been around, their size, and that some of their beers have a pretty wide distribution in the region. Also, only one of the breweries I'm about to rattle off has a a well-received IPA or multiple IPAs.

    Flying Fish - Going on 20+ years of brewing beer in the state and widely available in the region. The Exit Series has produced some fine beers, including the outstanding Exit 17 - Russian Imperial aged in Rye Barrels and the "interesting" Exit 7 Pork Roll Porter.

    River Horse - Also going on 20+ years, but a relatively smaller portfolio especially compared to other, newer breweries. A solid Oatmeal Milk Stout, a solid Summer Blonde and a really tasty Chocolate Porter. The Craic Irish Stout collaboration with Jameson Whiskey was very well received, too (at least going by unatppd).

    Ramstein - Not distributed quite as widely (likely the issue), but their Winter Wheat is a standout and gets (well-deserved) high marks here at Beer Advocate. Their Hefeweizen is really good, too.

    Demented - I know they were catching some flak here in the forums back when they were in the final for for NJ.com's Best Brewery, but they make some good beers (which have gotten better over the years) and have a welcoming tap room. I liked Gluttony (coffee stout) and Night-Mare (Belgian Dark)

    Any other breweries you folks think aren't getting the attention they deserve?
    DEdesings57 and KingforaDay like this.
  2. neff_nyc

    neff_nyc Initiate (17) Apr 21, 2017 New York
    Beer Trader

    I liked some of the Departed Soles stuff when I was in JC. Inconsistent but decent.
    RobHB likes this.
  3. TheGent

    TheGent Defender (677) Jun 29, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

  4. cid71

    cid71 Initiate (137) Mar 2, 2009 New Jersey

    I' like to see flying fish make more of their exit series regulars and lose some of the ones they make year round. I like ramstein and enjoyed their pale ale but not their amber lager as much. Would like to see them try a pilsner (unless I missed it) and bottlentheir octoberfest
  5. mikebeerz80

    mikebeerz80 Initiate (152) Jun 24, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Flying Fish - I had their double ipa over the summer and it was close to a drain pour. Nothing really going on. Went to a beer fest last year and they were pouring from bottles. Just no effort in a fest where all breweries had fresh kegs.

    River Horse - Their main IPA is super malty and West Coast which I am not digging these days. Can’t speak to their other offerings.

    Ramstein - Had one of their beers at a beer fest and thought it was pretty good. Can’t recall which one.

    Demented - same deal as above, had one of their IPAs at a beer fest and enjoyed it. Actually one of the standouts amongst the NJ breweries.

    As for other NJ breweries I’ve been to your standard Kane, Carton, Magnify but have a good stuff from Alementary and NJ Beer Co. Also, Jughandle in Tinton Falls is making some pretty good stuff these days. Had their Belgian Quad recently and it was great. Their NEIPAs need some work but their regular IPAs and other offerings are way above average.
    garfscores likes this.
  6. RobHB

    RobHB Initiate (135) Aug 20, 2017 New Jersey

    I'd like to see a year round pilsner from them, too. Their Redfish is essentially Exit 9 repackaged, so hopefully some of the Exit beers cone back that way.
  7. RobHB

    RobHB Initiate (135) Aug 20, 2017 New Jersey

    Couldn't edit the above, but Ramstein dies brew a very good Imperial Pilsner. I just wish they distributed more widely
  8. cid71

    cid71 Initiate (137) Mar 2, 2009 New Jersey

    You are right and I have had it. Was thinking of a traditional regular strength pilsner which I have a taste for lately but will need to revisit the imperial
  9. Mineo

    Mineo Disciple (334) Jul 7, 2010 New York

    All their hoppy beers seem extremely malty -- barely tastes like an IPA to me. Beach Haus has the same issue.
    Lorianneb and mikebeerz80 like this.
  10. MacMalt

    MacMalt Poo-Bah (2,597) Jan 28, 2015 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Slack Tide Brewing in Cape May County makes uniformly excellent beer!
    VABA and zekeman17 like this.
  11. mcb4538

    mcb4538 Initiate (103) Jul 12, 2007 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Is there where us Glasstown Brewing fans go?

    I do enjoy the Flying Fish tequila barreled beers, along with majority of their large format beers. However I never had must of a taste for their 6-pk beers.

    Hope to make it to Ramstein someday ... but it's soooo far north!
    srw likes this.
  12. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (407) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Brothernton Brewing:

    Their Green Earth Pale ale with Simcoe and Citra is great.

    New Jersey Beer Co:

    LBIPA is such an amazing IPA when fresh. Falcons Flight for daze!
    mikebeerz80 likes this.
  13. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (813) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    It maybe because no one ever started one. I started the Twin Elephant thread that they would be opening soon. 6 months later they did open. People have posted on it ever since.
    RobHB likes this.
  14. ThinBlueLine

    ThinBlueLine Initiate (86) Aug 23, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I had two Jughandle beers for the first time Monday on tap at the local taproom. Both solid beers. No threads on them and limited reviews.
    mumbles44, mikebeerz80 and jake92691 like this.
  15. TomFoley

    TomFoley Aspirant (205) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Last year I and a couple of other SEPA guys hit up Jug Handle, Kane, Carton, and Vault one day in that order. The one that most impressed me was Jug Handle.
    jake92691 and ThinBlueLine like this.
  16. Dreamer57

    Dreamer57 Aspirant (206) Apr 13, 2015 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I vote Belford
  17. RobHB

    RobHB Initiate (135) Aug 20, 2017 New Jersey

    I had Brotherton's IPA and loved it.
    dagimp likes this.
  18. jake92691

    jake92691 Initiate (123) Nov 25, 2014 New Jersey

    I’ve been to third state brewing in Burlington twice now and I have to put it out there that those guys make some really great stuff. They’re small so it doesn’t get around but I highly recommend stopping by.
    rkcrozier, srw and bkbergen like this.
  19. Xerlic

    Xerlic Initiate (162) Aug 26, 2016 New York
    Beer Trader

    Anyone know more about Cypress Brewing out of Edison? I picked up their all citra NEIPA Insane in the Grain a few nights ago and I'd say it stands up to the stuff coming out of NYC.
  20. mumbles44

    mumbles44 Aspirant (208) Jan 22, 2016 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Beer has gotten better recently. They have a coconut brown which i thought was very good.

    jughandle- i think puts out some great beers and flys under the radar. IPA's are good, the coffee stout is pretty tasty and the wine barrel belgian was very good.

    czeig meister - i usually grab their cans to try when i see them in stores. I like the amber, lager and most of the IPAs. The bomber's that are BAed have been hit or miss. The DB quad was my favorite so far and i really liked the barleywine as well.

    Last Wave - in point pleasant has a nice lineup and well made beers as well

    Dark City - pass pass pass

    Little Dog - one of the smallest I think in NJ. Gretchen the owner really owns the style she makes and the vibe i love. i am partial to being from that area but they make very good and drinkable beers

    frye brewing - wasnt overly impressed at all

    Forgotten Boardwalk - i think at times they try too much. the taproom experience i enjoy and some beers are pretty good

    spellbound- damn that peach IPA is awesome! also love the palo porter!
    Keyes88, kthoag and zekeman17 like this.
  21. gardenstatepkwy

    gardenstatepkwy Initiate (175) Jun 1, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The only Flying Fish beers that interested me were the Exit series. Not sure why they are stopping with those. Lack of ideas? Their other beers are all mediocre. Perfect example of an older brewery that once was pretty good not keeping up with current trends. Redfish is probably my favorite FF non exit beer. Jersey Juice is a mess.
  22. kthoag

    kthoag Disciple (326) May 21, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Seconding Little Dog in Neptune, best german styles around.
    mikeburd1128, Keyes88 and mumbles44 like this.
  23. TomFoley

    TomFoley Aspirant (205) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Is that the one where Gretchen Schmidhausler (sp?) is brewing? can't get more German than that.
    kthoag likes this.
  24. RobHB

    RobHB Initiate (135) Aug 20, 2017 New Jersey

    No more NJ Turnpike exits.
  25. TomFoley

    TomFoley Aspirant (205) Mar 19, 2005 Pennsylvania

    they can start on the GSP.
  26. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,821) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member

    Flying Fish's core beers are hit or miss for me. From the Exit Series, I've had the Blueberry Braggot, American Tripel, and Baltic Porter all on-tap and thought they were all excellent. But putting the Exit 12 Maibock in 750 ml bottles made no sense to me. I still see bottles of it on the shelves at numerous stores and it's almost a year later. It's a German-style lager, put that beer in 6-packs for $10-12 and I'm a regular buyer.

    I'm a German beer lover, so I've always had a soft spot for Ramstein. Most of their beers are solid, nothing that's going to knock your socks off, but I appreciate that they stick to German styles for the most part and do a good job representing them.
  27. mumbles44

    mumbles44 Aspirant (208) Jan 22, 2016 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    yo uare correct
  28. jake92691

    jake92691 Initiate (123) Nov 25, 2014 New Jersey

    So just had it tonight at dinner and thought it was delicious. Very smooth and very tasty. It's got 2 problems that I can see, it has juice in the name so I would guess people might expect something hazy, and it's not bitter enough for true ipa style. It kind of rides the line between pale ale and ipa. Mosaic really presents itself nicely.
  29. J5ryall

    J5ryall Initiate (127) Aug 5, 2015 New Jersey

    Of the breweries mentioned in the original post--if they were deserving of a regular thread they would get one. But they aren't. Demented has one or two OK beers imo but overall not impressed. They've certainly never produced anything that people have raved about. Ramstein isn't doing anything people really want (people aren't starting threads for hefe or the like), but are good for what they are. Riverhorse is just plain mediocre. And flying fish is hit or miss. I really like their double not sure why someone said it was a drain pour, but otherwise I've found FF unremarkable.

    The breweries mentioned in subsequent posts kind of have small distribution and are trying to stand out, and I hope they do. Cypress is on the right track people have been talking about the ddh insane which is the type of beer i guess you need to do to get on the map nowadays (it was good for the style but those lactose/super sweet IPAs are only good for me for the first 4 ozs). I actually like a lot of the other things cypress is doing and hope to see them keep rising.
    mikeburd1128, Xerlic and RobHB like this.
  30. kthoag

    kthoag Disciple (326) May 21, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Bradley Brew Project is opening soonish and they plan to have some tose for you tosebois
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,377) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Have you tried the Pilsner from Double Nickel? That beer is a high quality Pilsner IMO.


  32. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Double Nickel's Vienna Lager is pretty good too.
  33. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (4,725) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Not every brewery needs to be an IPA machine. Both Flying Fish and Riverhorse's strong points are not hoppy beers, but that doesn't mean they are bad breweries.

    Try Riverhorse's Oatmeal Stout, or Flying Fish's Exit 1 Oyster Stout.
  34. Jacobier10

    Jacobier10 Poo-Bah (1,821) Feb 23, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member

    I haven't had Double Nickel's Pilsner yet but I will definitely give it a try. Just had their Vienna Lager for the first time recently and thought it was very good but a notch below Neshaminy Creek's, which is one of my favorites.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,377) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Have you ever tried Devils Backbone Vienna Lager? If so, how would you compare this beer to those other beers?

  36. mumbles44

    mumbles44 Aspirant (208) Jan 22, 2016 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    what's everyones thoughts on some of the south jersery breweries?
  37. Harrisdoodle

    Harrisdoodle Initiate (137) Jan 13, 2015 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Enjoying Fuego from Tonewood, Tuckahoe was fun while it lasted, Glasstown is underrated.
    gardenstatepkwy likes this.
  38. mumbles44

    mumbles44 Aspirant (208) Jan 22, 2016 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I liked Tuchakoe last i visited, has it gone down in quality?
  39. bryantc3

    bryantc3 Initiate (188) Apr 12, 2017 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I always thought that pocket trick was a low key great shelf DIPA. Funnel Cake isn't a bad easy drinking summer time beer either.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  40. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Crusader (727) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Haven't had Devils Backbone, but given the style at hand, I’d highly suggest seeking out Suarez Fundamental. Also, BG does an excellent job on Double Secret Probation, which comes across as softer and creamier when stacked up against Suarez: toffee, walnuts, caramel…

    Nonetheless, Great Lakes is a more readily available option, but now I've strayed too far from the discussion. So, will have to seek out Double Nickel's take on the style