Best Brewery in New Jersey: A Definitive Guide

New Jersey, a state celebrated for its stunning coastline and charming seaside resort towns, is making a name for itself in the brewing industry. With a bevy of outstanding breweries on the rise, the Garden State is quickly becoming a hotspot for beer enthusiasts in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions.

In recent years, nearly 100 breweries have emerged, each offering a unique selection of craft beers that showcase New Jersey’s diverse flavors and commitment to quality.

To appreciate the thriving beer scene, one must delve into the various establishments that have carved a niche for themselves in the state’s competitive market. From innovative microbreweries to long-standing staples, these exceptional breweries showcase New Jersey’s passion for brewing and a dedication to offering finely crafted beers that cater to varied tastes.

As you explore the best breweries in New Jersey, be prepared to discover a vibrant community that takes pride in its craft and cherishes the traditions that make the Garden State truly unique.

Best Breweries in NJ

Best Breweries in New Jersey

Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or a novice looking to indulge in the state’s finest hops, the following selection of renowned breweries will offer a memorable experience. Each establishment encompasses the distinct charm of New Jersey, promising a gratifying journey into a world of exceptional craft beers. So, raise a glass and toast to the flourishing brewing scene that continues to captivate both residents and visitors alike.

Kane Brewing Company

Kane Brewing is one of the most popular breweries in New Jersey, known for its quality and wide range of beer styles. Their Head High IPA is particularly renowned for its hoppy freshness and drinkability. The brewery offers a comfortable tasting room to enjoy their beers, making it a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts.

Cape May Brewing Co

Cape May Brewing Co has established itself as a premier brewery in New Jersey, with a focus on using locally sourced ingredients. Their Coastal Evacuation Double IPA and Cape May Lager are especially popular among visitors. The brewery features a spacious tasting room and outdoor seating, perfect for enjoying their diverse lineup of beers.

Carton Brewing Company

Carton Brewing Company has made a name for itself with their well-known Boat Beer, a 3.5% ABV hazy, hoppy session ale. Their brewery, located in Atlantic Highlands, offers a wide variety of beers to taste and enjoy. With an emphasis on creativity and craftsmanship, this brewery is a must-visit for those looking for unique and drinkable beers.

Magnify Brewing Company

Since being voted the best new brewery in 2016, Magnify Brewing Company has only continued to grow. With a wide distribution footprint in New Jersey and a variety of innovative beers, it’s no wonder Magnify Brewing has gained such a positive reputation. Be sure to try their Main Event Imperial IPA or Low Visibility Pale Ale on your visit.

Brix City Brewing

Brix City Brewing is a small, independently owned brewery based in New Jersey. With a focus on producing flavorful and balanced beers, their lineup includes staples like the Just Another IPA and Porter Authority. The taproom features a warm and welcoming atmosphere, complete with a variety of barrel-aged and experimental beers on tap.

Conclave Brewing

Located in Raritan Township, Conclave Brewing is known for its signature brews like the coffee-infused Espresso Milk Stout. Their dedication to quality and innovative brewing techniques makes them a top choice among New Jersey breweries. Be sure to try their Gravitational Waves IPA or the refreshing Saison on your visit.

Departed Soles Brewing Co

As a brewery specializing in gluten-free and traditional craft beers, Departed Soles offers a unique experience for visitors. Located in Jersey City, they boast a wide selection of beers such as the GoodbIPA and the flagship Red Headed Step Brewer. Their commitment to inclusivity sets them apart from other breweries in the region.

Eight & Sand

In Woodbury, Eight & Sand is a brewery that combines modern techniques with traditional styles. With a strong focus on sustainability and quality, they offer a variety of beers that are both delicious and environmentally friendly. Be sure to try their top-rated Caboose Juice Double IPA or their Boxcar Blonde Ale.

Czig Meister Brewing

Czig Meister Brewing based in Hackettstown, offers a wide variety of beers, including their well-loved Blacksmith Oatmeal Stout and The Shipwright IPA. In addition to their regular lineup, they also feature experimental brews, creating a unique experience for visitors. Their tasting room and expansive beer garden make Czig Meister Brewing a great destination for beer lovers.

Beer Styles and Offerings

New Jersey is home to several outstanding breweries that offer a variety of beer styles for enthusiasts to enjoy. From popular IPAs to limited-release concoctions, the Garden State’s breweries have something for everyone.

Popular IPAs

India Pale Ales (IPAs) are a staple of the craft beer scene, and New Jersey breweries are no exception. Some of the state’s tastiest IPAs can be found at establishments like The Referend Bier Blendery and Zed’s Beer. If you’re an IPA fan visiting New Jersey, be sure to stop by their taprooms and taste their diverse offerings, such as the Power Juicer IPA, renowned for its citrusy and hoppy flavor profile.

Year-Round Favorites

Breweries across New Jersey also offer year-round favorites that have become staples within the local beer community. At Flying Fish Brewing Company, visitors can enjoy their signature Caramel Espresso Porter, which perfectly balances the flavors of coffee and caramel. Meanwhile, Zed’s Beer showcases their versatility with brews like Zed’s in Old London-British Brown Ale and Zed’s in Ireland-Dry Stout. These year-round offerings are consistently available on tap at their respective tasting rooms.

Seasonal Brews

Embracing the changing seasons, New Jersey breweries also serve up a range of delightful seasonal brews. These limited-time offerings cater to various palates and food pairings, with options like fruity summer ales and spiced winter warmers. Be sure to check out each brewery’s tap list during your visit to discover their current seasonal offerings.

Limited-Release Beers

For those who seek exclusivity and rare finds, many New Jersey breweries produce limited-release beers. These small-batch brews allow for experimentation, highlights of local ingredients, or commemorations of special events. One such beer is Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. limited-release beer, Ravendark, a bold export stout that showcases the brewery’s mastery in dark beer styles. Always keep an eye out for these unique and ephemeral creations during your brewery visits.

Tasting Rooms and Taprooms in NJ

Asbury Park

Asbury Park is home to several outstanding breweries with inviting taprooms for beer aficionados. Kane Brewing Company offers a balanced mix of year-round and seasonal beers, known for its tasteful interpretations of traditional American and Belgian styles. Their taproom atmosphere is modern and welcoming, allowing guests to experience a variety of delicious beer offerings in a comfortable setting.

Jersey City

In Jersey City, Departed Soles Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for craft beer enthusiasts. This brewery and tasting room prides itself on offering a diverse lineup of gluten-free beers alongside traditional brews. With a laid-back environment and a focus on inclusivity, Departed Soles is a great place for both novices and seasoned beer lovers to enjoy.


Lakewood’s Icarus Brewing stands out among the best breweries in New Jersey. Known for their bold IPAs and unique barrel-aged beers, Icarus has a spacious tasting room where customers can indulge in their innovative brews. Additionally, the brewery offers a wide range of rotating taps, ensuring there is always something new to taste and appreciate.

Mount Holly

Located in Mount Holly, Spellbound Brewing is another exceptional destination for beer enthusiasts. With a passion for experimentation and creativity, Spellbound offers a diverse selection of beers, including a variety of flagship, seasonal, and limited-release creations. The cozy and rustic atmosphere of their tasting room adds to the overall experience, making it an ideal place to enjoy a memorable beer-tasting journey.

Across these locations in New Jersey, tasting rooms and taprooms offer exceptional experiences for all palates. The diverse beer styles and welcoming environments ensure that everyone can find a brewery to suit their tastes.

New Jersey Craft Beer Scene

New Jersey, often referred to as the Garden State, has witnessed a significant growth in its craft beer industry in recent years. With a diverse range of breweries offering world-class beers, the state’s beer enthusiasts have plenty to celebrate. In this section, we will explore the rapid growth of the New Jersey craft beer scene and how it is adapting to changing markets.

Rapid Growth

The Garden State’s beer landscape has expanded tremendously within a relatively short period. In the early stages, only a handful of craft breweries operated in the state, but now New Jersey boasts over 100 independent craft brewing companies. This rapid growth can be attributed to changing consumer preferences, as beer lovers increasingly seek unique and locally-produced beverages that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Moreover, New Jersey breweries have successfully established themselves as key players, not just within the state, but also on the national stage. For instance, Spellbound Brewing in Mount Holly earned a gold medal at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. They are just one example of the numerous award-winning breweries based in the state.

Changing Markets

One major factor behind the thriving craft beer scene in New Jersey is its ability to adapt to the ever-evolving market demands. Breweries in the state recognize the importance of catering to a diverse range of palates, offering a wide variety of beer styles such as hazy IPAs, pilsners, and barrel-aged options.

Some breweries go above and beyond by offering pet-friendly spaces, outdoor seating, gluten-free options, and even tasting rooms that honor military veterans, like those mentioned in this list of 11 amazing taprooms in New Jersey. This versatility allows breweries to cater to a broader audience and directly contributes to their growing success.

New Jersey’s craft beer scene has also benefited from an influx of new, innovative start-ups. These breweries push the boundaries of traditional beer-making techniques, resulting in distinctive and exciting flavor profiles. A prime example is Troon Brewing, which, despite being a small-scale operation, produces some of the best beers in the state.

In conclusion, the New Jersey craft beer scene has experienced remarkable growth due to its ability to cater to diverse tastes, responding to changing market demands, and embracing new brewing methods. With such a vibrant and ever-growing presence, New Jersey’s breweries have firmly established themselves as an essential part of the state’s culture and identity

Guided Tours at Breweries in NJ

Flying Fish Brewing Co

Flying Fish Brewing Co offers guided tours of their brewing facilities. Visitors can explore the production area and learn about the brewing process. The tour also includes a tasting of their craft beers, allowing guests to sample a variety of their offerings.

Spellbound Brewing

At Spellbound Brewing, visitors can take a guided tour of the brewery and learn about the intricacies of the craft beer-making process. The tour also includes a tasting session of their award-winning brews, giving guests a chance to experience their flavors and aromas.

Glasstown Brewing Company

Glasstown Brewing Company offers guided tours of their brewery, where guests can learn about the beer-making process and the history behind the company. The tour includes a tasting of their craft beers, allowing visitors to experience their unique flavors.

Twin Elephant Brewing Company

Visitors at Twin Elephant Brewing Company can enjoy a guided tour of the brewery, where they can gain insights into the brewing process, ingredients, and equipment used. The tour also includes a tasting session, introducing guests to their selection of craft beers.

Lone Eagle Brewing

Lone Eagle Brewing offers guided tours of their facilities, where visitors can learn about the brewing process and the history of the company. The tour includes a tasting of their beers, allowing guests to sample a variety of their offerings and learn about their unique flavor profiles.

Small-Batch and Experimental Brews

New Jersey is home to a variety of craft breweries that pride themselves on small-batch, experimental brews. In this section, we will discuss three noteworthy local breweries: Dark City Brewing Company, Double Nickel Brewing Company, and Icarus Brewing Company.

Dark City Brewing Company

Dark City Brewing Company is a small craft brewery located in Asbury Park. They focus on producing unique and innovative brews that push the boundaries of traditional beer styles. With a rotating selection of limited-release beers, Dark City is a haven for those looking to discover new flavors in the world of craft beer. Some of their offerings include unique twists on classic styles, such as stouts infused with coconut and vanilla, as well as experimental IPAs featuring fruit and spice notes. Their taproom provides an intimate setting for visitors to sample their latest creations and engage with their passionate staff.

Double Nickel Brewing Company

Located in Pennsauken, the Double Nickel Brewing Company is known for its diverse selection of craft beers and a strong commitment to quality. Founded by former professional hockey player and New Jersey native Michael Kane, Double Nickel offers a range of beers, from traditional styles to more experimental offerings. Visitors can expect a welcoming atmosphere in their spacious tasting room, where they can sample limited-release beers and seasonal offerings alongside the brewery’s flagship brews. Double Nickel takes pride in their dedication to sustainable practices, ensuring that their brewing process remains environmentally friendly.

Icarus Brewing Company

Icarus Brewing Company is a Lakewood-based brewery that embraces creativity and innovation in their craft. Specializing in small-batch, experimental brews, Icarus offers a wide variety of options for beer enthusiasts looking to explore new flavors. Their lineup often includes limited-release beers, such as barrel-aged stouts and unique IPAs, which showcase their commitment to experimentation and pushing boundaries within the beer industry. The taproom at Icarus Brewing provides a comfortable space for visitors to enjoy their offerings, and their knowledgeable staff will guide guests through the extensive selection of beers.

Each of these breweries demonstrates New Jersey’s passion for creating small-batch, experimental brews, ensuring that the state remains a vibrant hub for craft beer enthusiasts.

Supporting Local Breweries

Local patronage has proven essential for the survival of New Jersey’s craft beer scene amid the pandemic. Many breweries have experienced disruptions in their operations and distribution channels, making consumer support more critical than ever. The beer enthusiasts in the state have come together to show their appreciation for NJ craft breweries, understanding the importance of their contribution to not only the local economy but also the community’s culture.

It is imperative that beer lovers continue their backing of these local establishments to breathe life back into the industry after the pandemic-induced downturn. Exploring new brewery offerings, frequenting taprooms, and sharing their experiences can go a long way in helping New Jersey’s craft beer world recover and flourish in a post-pandemic landscape.

Family-Friendly and Pet-Friendly Breweries

New Jersey boasts a thriving craft beer scene, offering a multitude of family-friendly and pet-friendly breweries. Visitors can enjoy the perfect atmosphere for spending quality time with their loved ones, including their furry friends. In this section, we will discuss two popular breweries that cater to families and pets: Backward Flag Brewing Co and Toms River Brewing Company.

Backward Flag Brewing Co

Located in Monmouth County, Backward Flag Brewing Co welcomes the entire family, including the four-legged members. With a casual and friendly atmosphere, the brewery is committed to crafting high-quality beers that cater to all tastes.

Featuring a spacious taproom and outdoor seating area, Backward Flag offers a comfortable environment for families to unwind with their pets while enjoying their craft beers. Children have plenty of space to roam and play, making it an ideal destination for those with kids.

This brewery emphasizes supporting veterans and the local community. They organize various events and fundraisers, making it a hub for socializing and giving back to the community.

Toms River Brewing Company

Toms River Brewing Company, situated in Toms River, is another excellent option for families and pet owners seeking a welcoming atmosphere. Nestled in picturesque surroundings, the brewery features indoor and outdoor seating, accommodating families with children and pets alike.

With a diverse range of craft beers on tap, the brewery caters to all palates, ensuring everyone has a great time. Their attentive staff ensures both the adults and kids have an enjoyable experience. The brewery often hosts events and activities, creating a lively and engaging environment.

In conclusion, Backward Flag Brewing Co and Toms River Brewing Company are two standout options in New Jersey when searching for family-friendly and pet-friendly breweries. They offer fun and relaxed environments suitable for all family members, without compromising on quality or variety.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some top-rated breweries in New Jersey?

New Jersey is home to numerous top-rated breweries. A few notable examples include The Referend Bier Blendery in Pennington and Cricket Hill Brewing Co in Fairfield. Both establishments have received high ratings and accolades from beer enthusiasts.

Which New Jersey breweries offer food options?

Many New Jersey breweries offer food options, either in-house or through partnerships with local food trucks and restaurants. One example is Cape May Brewing Company, which often invites food trucks to serve their guests. It’s always a good idea to check a brewery’s website or social media channels to find out their current food offerings.

How do New Jersey’s brewery laws affect the beer industry?

New Jersey has seen significant growth in its craft beer industry, in part due to recent changes in brewery laws. The state now allows microbreweries to sell their beer in tasting rooms, which has led to the opening of many new breweries across the state. However, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the state’s specific brewing laws when visiting a brewery to ensure you comply with regulations.

What are the best breweries in South Jersey?

South Jersey has a thriving beer scene with some standout breweries worth visiting. One of the best breweries in the region is Cape May Brewing Company, known for its diverse lineup of beers and unique location at Cape May Airport. This brewery is a must-visit for craft beer lovers exploring South Jersey.

Which breweries in NJ have outdoor seating?

Many New Jersey breweries offer outdoor seating, allowing visitors to enjoy their beer in a relaxed atmosphere. When planning your visit to a brewery, check their website or contact them to confirm if they have outdoor seating available, as arrangements may vary depending on the season and current weather conditions.

How many New Jersey breweries are there?

The number of breweries in New Jersey has been steadily growing, with almost 100 breweries currently operating in the state. This growth reflects the growing popularity of craft beer and the state’s support for local breweries. As the craft beer scene continues to evolve, expect to see even more breweries opening in New Jersey in the coming years.

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