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Directly off Route 94 in the rural Western Jersey town of Lafayette, ANGRY ERIK BREWING is a small, successful, independent business ready for imminent expansion. Since opening in 2014, the entrepreneurial husband-wife tandem of Erik & Heide Hassing have taken their steady offering of one-off beers and seasonal repeats statewide and beyond.

Relishing the cool “Don’t Get Mad, Get Angry” slogan and utilizing a thrasher-wielding dragon Viking insignia, Angry Erik boasts a “constant variety of beers to quench every craft beer lover. Inside a red-tanned light Industrial complex, its eight-seat bar features several tap handles and a blackboard listing draught selections while three wood tables line the left side. In the back brew room are two plastic picnic tables for further seating.

Just ten miles away from Sparta’s beer-centric Krogh’s Brewpub and Mohawk House Restaurant, Angry Erik’s ever-changing beer menu moves faster than a speeding bullet.

On my celebratory 4-20 visit during 2018, the entire menu changed from a mere two weeks hence. I got to quaff five previously untried suds before heading East at sundown.

First up, Angry Erik’s easygoing Belgian What? Belgian Blonde let spritzy orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple and lime zest gain moderate Amarillo piney hop bittering above oats-dried wheat malts.

Next, ‘seductive’ elderflower-enhanced The Dainty Viking Blonde Ale brought tart citrus-spiced Chardonnay buttering to subdued pale malting, though its rustic dried flowering seemed overwhelmed.

Tidy IPA, To Taste (Hoppy Heide #4), spread moderate yellow grapefruit bittering across spritzy pineapple, peach, orange and tangerine tanginess above crystal malt sugaring.

Politely hop-headed IPA, Hop The Fence, brought sweet ‘n sour grapefruit tones to ashen pine resin and plasticine-grouted clay hops, gaining tertiary peach, pineapple and orange juiciness at the moderately bitter citrus finish.

For silken Valentines Day-inspired dessert, Cordially, Cupid Porter regaled prominent Black Forest cake sweetness thanks to tartly sweet ‘n sour black cherries and sugary chocolate-cocoa fudging.

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