MOUNT HOLLY, NEW JERSEY
Inside a tan brick warehouse in the close-knit Philadelphia suburb of Mount Holly, SPELLBOUND BREWING opened its doors in 2014. One of Jersey’s finest breweries, its owners are passionate homebrewing geeks crafting “everyday classics” and “extreme boundary pushing recipes.”
An overhead door leads to the small cement bay where several stainless steel brew tanks and some gray benches exist. Reclaimed wood decorates the eight-seat lacquer-topped bar and a few tables fill out the pub. There are a dozen-plus draughts available.
My wife and I went in late April ’23 to check out Spellbound’s expansive beer lineup.
Sweet Mango Pale Ale allowed its tangy mango juicing to embrace lemon Pez tartness and papaya-passionfruit zing fortified by lacquered pine tones.
Toning down its sweet banana-clove stylishness for lemon-rotted lemongrass herbage, dried plantain tartness and green grape esters, Dreamnesia Hefeweizen stayed dryer than expected.
Ginger-dried lemongrass herbage and lemony cologne perfuming consumed unique Arcana Ginger Lemongrass Ale, finishing like a rice-wined sake.
Dewy Vienna malted honey white breading and apple-skinned pear crisping gathered for 8th Anniversary Doppelbock, curtailing its wispy dried fruiting.
Fascinating 5th Anniversary Quad dangled dried cherry, sugar plum and date syrup alongside whiskeyed toffee sweetness and roasted tobacco crisping above chocolate pudding creaming.
Easygoing Peach Major Nelson NEIPA let tangy peach lead the way for spry lemon zesting, bittersweet mango salting and delicate passionfruit-strawberry tartness cruising above mildly creamed flaked oats.
Zesty orange-peeled pineapple and grapefruit tanginess picked up mild piney bittering and some grassy astringency for brisk Phase 7 NEIPA, leaving lightly creamed flaked oats on the bottom.
Soft-toned pale yellow cleared Enlightened IPA serenaded mild yellow grapefruit bittering, lemon peel zesting and floral-spiced mandarin orange sweetness with sugary pale malts countering grassy hop astringency.
Brown-sugared gingerbread cookie knockoff, Gingerbread Brown Ale, gained mild cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice illusions atop its sweet chocolate base.
Luscious bourbon barreled stout, Living The Dream, scurried light bourbon sweetness across dark chocolate syruping, picking up burnt wood bittering plus latent dry burgundy licks.