NJ Brewery # 3 – Magnify Brewing

Magnify Brewing was started in 2015 by Eric Ruta in Fairfield, New Jersey.

Let’s order up a taster tray…

Raw Essentials – “Helles Lager aged in oak barrels for more nuance and complexity.”

Vine Shine with Lime – “Our year round IPA conditioned on lime for a more refreshing experience.”

Wild Horizons – “Oak aged Saison with Brettanomyces dry hopped with Mosaic and Azacca.”

Lap of Luxury – “Our Reserved Triple IPA with lactose… Massive Triple IPA brewed with lactose for a creamy and bigger mouthfeel and hopped extensively with Mosaic, Galaxy and El Dorado.”

NJ Brewery # 2 – Twin Elephant Brewing

Our next NJ stop is in Chatham at their first official brewery, Twin Elephant was founded by Cindy De Rama, Tim Besecker, and Scott McLusky are making some of the juiciest IPAs in the Northeast. It is one of a hopefully growing number of U.S. breweries led by a woman.

Time to get a virtual taster flight…

Forever More: Citra British Golden Ale – “hoppy leaning summer golden ale with some British bitter character. Same base as before but pairing VT yeast with 100% Citra from mash to dry hop. Easy sippin’ to session city, pony up and stay forevrmore. This one’s drinking like a trailside beverage. Perhaps an afternoon hiking companion towards the cliffs for lakeside leaps. Or simply your go-to afternoon pub pint hammer. Smells like some sweet crunch, orange kissed graham cracker dust. Tastes like sweet and dry and candy orange, marmalades, clementines, orange tea & Royal Danske (the tin joint) cookies.”

Motley Lou Hoppy Saison – “I hope you know we pack a chainsaw. Hell yeahs and east coast hoppy pours. Built some country loaf with German pilsner, domestic pale and North Carolina grown triticale. Juiced the engines with three saison strains and an all day DH of Belma, Mosaic and Simcoe. Dry on the exhale, wiggles and wobbles with a juicy stretch mid-sip, fruity pulses dancin’ up in the finish. Smells like guava, dried apricots, vanilla, oaked chardonnay. Tastes like OJ, white grapefruit, orange candy.”

Mr. Thundermaker Double White Wheat – “Strums of red, white & raw wheat caught in the crush of Tiki time! Pleasant vividness, light acidity, drier & semi-sweet,  some sourness remains in the jowls. Smells like fresh cantaloupe, lime tang, tropical honey on pineapples, ginger, then lime zest, orange and passionfruit on the inhale. Tastes like a tin can of pineapple juice, spritzy passionfruit drink with a ginger ice cube and a lime wedge.”

The Mighty Winooski DIPA – “Mighty mighty like a bomb jack. Green mountains inspired happy hoppy liquid going down a treat. Like the weightless levitation of wafer cookies cloaked in hazy aura from a toothsome bounce of floral, sweet and citrus Simcoe, Centennial Cryo, Citra and Motueka hops. A magically creamy loving cup to calm the body and mind. Smells like Champlain sunsets dipping into Adirondack peaks, orange blossom sugar cookies, orange lemon & tangerine fruity pebbles,  lemon-lime soda, grapefruit bitters. Tastes like sweet peach, mandarin bubblegum, mango, apricot,  dank red fruit, fresh sweet & orange juicy.”

NJ Brewery Tour # 1 – The Seed – A Living Beer Project

Our first stop in the Garden State is The Seed, what they have sub-titled A Living Beer Project. Both really cool brewery names.

Here are some taster flight ideas from this unique brewery….

Poetry in Motion / Full Circle – “A blend of young, aged hop forward, stainless steel saison and mature barrel fermented and aged saison.”

Danko Rye Lager – “Amber lager brewed using 100% Rabbit Hill Farms grains. Brewed to highlight a single rye varietal, Danko rye.”

As Simple As Reflections? Heirloom Corn Lager – “Brewed in collaboration with our dearest friends at Bonn Place Brewing with PA barley and Bloody Butcher corn. Hopped entirely with NJ hops.”

Stay Awhile English Dark Mild – “A beautifully light, crisp, yet full little beer brewed with English pale, brown, amber, and pale chocolate malts. Hopped exclusively with whole cone Goldings. Notes of cleanly interwoven fresh ground coffee, hearth loaves, and the first hoodie evenings of the fall.”

In the Tap Lines for August 2022


August is a non travel outside California month so I will take the weekends to play catch-up with L.A. breweries that I haven’t been to in a bit. But if you do travel, maybe layover in NewJersey and show support to their breweries who have been burdened with some truly galling laws.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from New Jersey who have been handcuffed by anti-beer laws
~ special featured review of pilsners and lagers
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to A History of Coffee
~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

The Firkin for July 2022

New Jersey breweries are now limited to the following:

• Hosting only 25 on-site activities per year (Events such as trivia, live music, etc.)
• Host only 52 private parties per year
• Attend only 12 off premises events per year

In addition to the above, this ruling also prohibits breweries from the following:

• Selling coffee on site
• Collaborating/ coordinating with food vendors/ trucks
• Selling food or operating a restaurant
• Selling specialty cocktails using malt alcohol
• Offering a free drink to any guest
• Offer Happy Hour pricing

You can read more about it right HERE and it is not good for beer. And it just seems to be yet another instance where one industry that should be tight with beer seem to want to knock them down a peg.

Why can’t restaurants work “with” breweries? Why can’t a coffee roaster create a special beer with a brewery and sell their coffee at the taproom? How does limiting 12 off premises events help anyone? Especially charities that get funds from beer festivals.

Other beer writing voices have chimed in on this with exasperation and I expect that New Jersey will water down these rules or selectively enforce them. What may also happen is that breweries go into the restaurant business to work around some of these rules.

As a show of solidarity, I will be highlighting New Jersey breweries all next month.

Garden State Brewery #3 – Chimney Rustic Ales

You might have noticed a not so subtle theme running through the choices this month, whimsical names. The last is no exception.

Chimney Rustic Ales from Hammonton. Here is what I might put into a sweep of a taster tray…

Griz Lemongrass Grissette – Traditional farmhouse ale from France and Belgium.  We allowed our house mixed-culture to free-rise during fermentation and conditioned it on lemongrassto compliment the expressive yeast.

Persistent Gratitude Sichuan Peppercorn Table Beer – Fermented with our house mixed culture, a bright citrusy flavor is complemented by a floral nose. This is NOT a spicy beer.

DubZ Belgian Dubbel – Our take on the Abbey Dubbel features dark fruit flavors that are traditional to the stylen that give way to the dry finish of our house-selected farmhouse mixed culture.

Realm #1 Cryo IPA – The original iteration of our Extra Special Interdimensional IPA series. Brewed with Citra and Mosaic Cryo hops, this beer pops with mango, grapfruit pith, and citrus gummies.

Garden State Brewery # 2 – Alementary

We are off to Hackensack for our second New Jersey virtual brewery stop and Alementary.

Here is what I would add to a taster tray….

Seoul Brothers Fruited Rice Ale – “This collaboration with Kimchi Smoke is reminiscent of Makgeolli, a traditional fermented rice beverage. Brewed with sushi rice and Korean Pears, Seoul Brothers marries American craft beer with Korean flavors.”

Work Boots Pale Ale -“re-envisioning of the classic American Pale Ale, Work Boots is an homage to hard-working stiffs who deserve a beer at the end of a long day in the trenches. Dry hopped with Cascade and Falconer’s Flight for bursts of bright citrus and fresh, dank resin.”

Spotted Dog Cream Ale – “A delightfully crisp classic Cream Ale, made with American 6-Row barley and flaked corn. Note: there’s no cream in a cream ale!”

A-Game IPA – “Our flagship East Coast IPA is double dry hopped with Citra and Centennial for a fresh burst of citrus goodness.”

Garden State brewery # 1 – Fort Nonsense Brewing

First NJ flight is in Denville at the excellently named Fort Nonsense Brewing Company. The name derives from part of the Morristown HQ for George Washington that included “Continental Store”, Fort Nonsense and Camp Jockey Hollow.

Let’s dive into what I might choose for a taster tray…

Benedict Amber Traitor Ale – “Malt forward and moderate hop profile.”

In Full Effect IPA – “Brewed and DDH with Simcoe, Amarillo, and Citra hops.”

Arnold’s Tavern Porter – “A roasty brew with chocolate notes.”

Project Lola Pilsner – “This crisp, 5.4% lager has a strong malt character with a citrus finish.”

US of A Brewery # 2 – Axe & Arrow

Next stop is New Jersey to e-visit Axe & Arrow.

Let’s dive into a possible taster tray…

Meat Sweats Chile Beer – “collab brew conjured up with a little help from our friends at Three 3’s, Cross Keys, and Core 3. Chili spices and peppers were added to pack just a little heat ”

Frostbite White IPA – “This hybrid beer style combines a Belgian wit beer with a floral , tropical IPA. The Mosaic and Amarillo hops combined with the yeast really produce a unique and highly crushable beer.”

The Axe DIPA – “Lighter body and maltiness with pronounce citrus notes in aroma and flavor. Moderately high bitterness from beginning to end with a clean finish.”

The Arrow IPA – “Medium body with a slightly higher maltiness subdued by a strong but not overpowering bitterness with lots of earthy and piney notes. Strong initial bitterness that gently fades.”