The Craft Brewery/Alcohol Scene [NJ]

For those who sometimes prefer a liquid meal, the local Monmouth/Ocean area is exploding with options (with some decidedly better than others). It’s not just Kane and Carton anymore, but includes the following places that I’m aware of. There doubtless must be others in or around the area. Where have you been, which beers do you like, which places are good to relax with a pint or a tasting?

Red Tank - Red Bank - just opened yesterday.

Belford Brewing Co. - Belford

Little Dog Brewing - Neptune

Dark City Brewing - Asbury Park

Jughandle Brewing - Tinton Falls

Screamin Hill Brewing - Cream Ridge (my personal favorite, especially during warmer months)

Beach Haus Brewery - Belmar

Asbury Park Brewery - AP

Asbury Park Distillery

Last Wave Brewing - Pt. Pleasant Beach

Frye Brewing - Pt. Pleasant

Bradley Brew Project - Bradley Beach

Rinn Duin Brewery - Toms River

Heavy Reel - Seaside Heights

I was at carton the day they opened. I’ve been drinking it ever since. It is so popular they don’t even sell kegs to people any longer. I always had a half barrel of boat in my house.

Love 077xx, bdg, lobster pot and anything kane. I miss malus. I used to buy bottles but I don’t think they do much, if any, bottle distribution now.

Good list, do you know when Triumph in RB is opening? I used to go to their New Hope location a lot when I lived in Frenchtown. I remember most of the beer being pretty good with the food being OK at best but would give them another shot once they open here.

just saw something that said Nov I think. I’ll believe it when I see it.

I bet triumph beers are going to be pricey. I could see 8-10 for a regular pint, no specialty limited release beers.

The thing about craft beers is that most of them actually suck.

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I would respectfully disagree with this. There are indeed lots of “off the shelf” craft beers that aren’t good and are overpriced. However, there are lots amazing beers coming from states not known for putting out great beer. NJ is one of them. Maine is killing it! FL finally learned how to condition their limestone water and they are brewing some damn good beer now. Michigan and DE are two others.

Are you a fan of any local brews?

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Maybe its because I despise IPA’s and most craft beers tend to lean more towards IPA and bitter beers. I like Carton (working in Atlantic Highlands, EVERYONE loves Carton) and I don’t know if you would consider non-NJ Allagash to be craft beer, but I enjoy that. There is also JJ Bitting in Woodbridge, but they don’t bottle their beer for sale as far as I know. Just for their restaurant and filling growlers. Their Victoria Golden Ale and Raspberry Wheat are favorites of mine.

I’m not a huge beer guy, but honestly, I find most craft beers and local breweries to have cute names and awesome labels but deliver a barely passable product.

As a whiskey guy, I can say the “craft” movement holds true to them to. I am always weary of the word “small batch”. I’ll take an $18 a bottle Jim Beam over a $40 bottle of 1792 any day.

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You should try Belford brewery. They steer away from hoppy beers. Their “lobster pot” is really good. I think you would enjoy it.

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Have to agree here invite spades. Hate IPA and it seems that’s all any of the local craft places put out.
Only Carton I can really tolerate is “this town”.
Trying to find a Kane or JugHandle that I might enjoy. Wondering if any of the new red bank places will be good or if craft beer is the new cupcake/froyo/poke/açaí berry/such and such chipotle equivalent of the moment

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Wow…I’m not a beer guy but I had no idea there were this many craft breweries in the area. I have what might be a silly question but I notice the old Basil T’ / Birravino is excluded from your list. They were just about the only brewer I knew of in the area, did they abandon their brewing with the change? Just curious.

I’m open to learning of any vodka distilleries in the area!!

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They still brew but Gretchen left years ago to start littLe dog brewing in Neptune.

I’m interested to see how this red tank place is. John is a really passionate guy so I know he will put the work in to make this place thrive.

Not in Monmouth County, but this is the only distillery I’ve been to in NJ. The restaurant on the property is Brick Farm Tavern which I recommend. We did a late lunch there last year and it was delicious. It is about an hour from us so it isn’t somewhere we naturally think about.

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Wow, this looks like a cool place. Thanks for the tip.

Bob can we hire your son to be our driver? :slight_smile:


If you haven’t tried Asbury Park Distillery’s vodka yet, you MUST. Really. @MsBean and Mr. Bean brought a bottle of it when we went for lunch in Freehold, and I was shocked by how smooth it was. Whenever I see it at a local spot, I order it.


@CurlzNJ Thanks for the shout out regarding Asbury Park Distillery. Reyla has a couple of AP vodka and gin cocktails on their new menu I want to try. Though probably not all at once.

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Triumph in Red Bank opened yesterday.

I have been a fan of IPA since the 60s when we drank Ballantine XXX IPA. So I am pleased to have many of the craft brewers focus on IPAs. But there are many craft brewers that offer non-IPA beers. Red Tank in RB for one.

For the IPA fans, Icarus in Lakewood has the very best IPAs in the Monmouth/Ocean area, or maybe the state, although I have not been to every one in NJ.


@gracieggg, fortunately, Brick Farm Tavern is only about 25 minutes from my place! I frequent Brick Farm Market quite a bit but haven’t been to the Tavern lately.

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Am I going to have to take another one for the team? Lol

This is interesting. I only see a buffet menu for red bank. Does anyone see another menu?

I smuggled a bottle of Malus back to Dublin with me after my last trip back from the US… it’s currently sitting behind me, coyly winking every now and again, whispering “drink meeee”

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