CREAM RIDGE, NEW JERSEY
20 miles west of the northerly Jersey shoreline, SCREAMIN’ HILL BREWERY is nestled inside a large plantation farmhouse way out in the sticks. Entrepreneurial farm brewer, Brett Bullock, opened this rustic aluminum-topped barnyard red brewpub during 2015.
Spread out to include a large outdoor section with benches and barrel seating plus a covered front and side deck, Screamin’ Hill utilizes homegrown barley, wheat, rye and fruits for its rangy beers.
Backroom silver-barreled brew tanks hold the suds served at the American-flagged lacquer wood serving station near the back of the plank-walled interior. A few community tables and a refrigerator with growlers, cans and bottles complete the one-room pub.
On my initial August ’18 sojourn, my wife and I quaff nine homemade offerings and buy a bottle of Screamin’ Hill The Barnyard Project Batch 2 Oatmeal Stout aged in Rye Whiskey (reviewed in Beer Index).
Dewy peat mossing and honeyed tea illusions draped easygoing opener, ESB, a dainty Brit-styled sendup.
Nearly as soft-toned, Golden Gregg & The Ram Chargers, a clear-yellowed golden ale with grassy-hopped lemon rot and herbal remnants contrasting sugar-spiced pale malts.
Nifty American Amber/Irish Red Ale hybrid, Rusty Farmer, let leafy tobacco roast crisping lull into caramel-spiced apple and pear fruiting, picking up mild tea sugaring.
Subtle habanero peppering countered spritzy Calypso-hopped citrus zest for Thrill Hill Blonde Ale, leaving only mild heat on the tongue.
Rosy amber-hued softie, Black Raz Wheat, ransacked its initial candied black raspberry tartness and pallid wheat spine with zestful lemon spritz, debunking its descending berry scheme.
Lemony grapefruit paced Idaho 7-hopped Crop Rotation Single Hop Pale Ale, contrasting its heightened astringency with creamy vanilla malt sweetness.
Murkily golden amber medium body, Desperado IPA, soaked its orange rind bitterness, grapefruit tang and pineapple juicing in honeyed crystal malt sweetness.
Pine-needled yellow grapefruit and orange rind bittering frontloaded bold East Coast-styled Screamin’ Magnolia IPA, allowing zesty Cascade, Citra and Chinook hops to dominate its mild barley-roasted pale malt base.
Pepper-breaded rye spicing gave Rye Bullock IPA a welcome changeup fortified by brisk grapefruit-orange tanginess and leafy hop resin.
Too bad respectable dark ales, cocoa-nibbed Chocolate Porter, and Vanilla Stout, had just finished the day before.