All posts by John Fortunato

JUGHANDLE BREWING COMPANY

Image result for JUGHANDLE BREWING

TINTON FALLS, NEW JERSEY

Tucked away in the Tinton Falls Center, a delightful mini-mall just off the NJ Parkway on the way to Point Pleasant, JUGHANDLE BREWING COMPANY opened on Father’s Day 2016. A nifty open Industrial space perfect for small batch brewing, Jughandle’s serving tanks, aging liquor barrels, brewery equipment and malted hop ingredients deck out the left side while wooden community tables and cool metal stools are situated near the right side 14-draught serving station.

On initial hot Saturday afternoon April 2017 visit, quaffed 14 well-rounded selections handcrafted by brewmasters Chris Hanigan and Peter Artherholt.

Delectably sessionable moderate-bodied opener, Hefeweizen brought banana-clove sweetness to lemony orange tang above cereal wheat malting.

Spritzy Firepit Belgian Wit loaded carbolic pep upon lemony curacao orange tartness, mild herbal hop bittering and politely spiced pale malts.

Amiable Mosiac Pale Ale let its mildly fruitful Mosaic hop profile shine with tangy yellow grapefruit, mango and orange tropicalia.

Brisk West Coast-styled India Pale Ale allowed citric Cascade hops and woody Chinook hops to combine for a tangy grapefruit, orange and lemon thrust punctuated by mild pine tones.

Stylishly soft moderate-to-medium-bodied Double India Pale Ale gained honeyed malt sweetness alongside pineapple, peach, clementine and grapefruit juicing.

Robust Black IPA contrasted black-malted Bakers chocolate bittering and molasses-soaked pumpernickel rye sweetness with less pronounced grapefruit, black grape and pineapple illusions.

Inviting Belgian Dubbel brought dry-fruited malting to the fore above musty fungi yeast, dewy peat graining and herbal hops as candi-sugared plum, raisin and banana sweetness increased.

Just as fine, Duneklweizen coalesced crystal-malted cocoa and chocolate sugaring with tingly banana sweetness, tobacco-roasted crisping and dainty spices.

Lactobacillus-laden sour ale, Berliner Weiss, gently parched the tongue with oats-dried lemon rind bittering, light vinous grape esters and torrified wheat (?) malts. Adding raspberry syrup allowed subtle raspberry tartness to enhance the lemony grapefruit tang and lower the sour pucker. Quite nice.

Dry Calypso-hopped Pothole #2 Brett Pale Ale added light brettanomyces bacteria to affect its sour lemon pucker, herbal lemongrass-chamomile conflux and teasing tropical fruiting.

Peaty Scottish 70 Shilling Mild Ale offered dried tobacco crisping, desiccated orange tartness and mildewed basement dankness.

Earthen grains gave Partigyle Stout its earthen grounding as bittersweet black chocolate, dried cocoa and espresso tones overrode dark cherry snips.

Another dry dark ale, Irish Stout, retained a soft flow as bitter chocolate, milked espresso and day-old coffee tones proved sturdy.

Even better, Booskerdoo Breakfast Stout plied fresh roasted coffee beans to whiskey-soaked oak chips and gained a prominent brown chocolate and vanilla sweetness to soak up the whiskeyed coffee pleasantries.

www.jughandlebrewing.com

 

2 WAY BREWING COMPANY

 

Image result for two way brewing

BEACON, NEW YORK

Inside a pristine beige stucco industrial building and surrounded by quaint residential housing overlooking the Hudson River at the revitalized city of Beacon, 2 WAY BREWING COMPANY opened its doors in 2014.

A relaxing family-friendly local joint near the train station, 2 Way’s knowledgeable staff kept the bar patrons happy serving seven board-listed tapped selections or samplers to those grabbing growlers-to-go for outside consumption. The easygoing brews matched the relaxing atmosphere.

Convivial head brewer, Michael O’Herron, spent time learning his craft at popular Boulder, Colorado-based brewery, Avery, before moving back to his nearby hometown of Newburgh just in time for New York’s magical craft beer Renaissance. His balanced array of ales lean towards the lighter side on my first trip.

Six patio tables front 2 Way while the comfy single room interior features a 20-seat plywood bar with seven tap handles emanating from a 2 Way road sign plus a large screen TV as well as a few seating tables and sofas. Happily, there’s room for expansion as well.

Recently, the low-key pub started serving limited pub fare and on my April 2017 sojourn I enjoyed the fried chicken with six approachably fine brews.

Image result for two way brewing

Soft-toned Whole Hop Pale Ale layered earthen tea-like pale malts with moderate melon rind, grapefruit, passionfruit and apple tones.

Easygoing red, orange and yellow-fruited Revolution Red picked up caramel-toasted Maris Otter sweetness to contrast mildly resinous pine hops.

Sessionable Citra-hopped Forbidden Fruit IPA plied groaty grain malting and tender spicing to mellow yellow grapefruit, clementine, orange marmalade and curacao orange briskness.

Slightly unique saison-styled X-1 IPA soaked black raspberry-bushed yeast with lemony orange tones, soggy groaty oats and lemongrass hints.

Understated Beacon Brown brought cocoa, toffee and caramel sweetness to peat-dried mocha malts as well as frisky praline, walnut and hazelnut whims.

Mocha-dried Nitro Irish Stout saddled dark chocolate, black coffee and cocoa tones with dewy earthiness.

Two weeks later, came back with wife for her fave, Town Of The Lion Hefeweizen, a bittersweet moderation with polite lemon souring contrasted by stylish banana-clove-bubblegum illusions over Graham Cracker-honeyed wheat malts.

Better still, Confusion Farmhouse utilized X-1 IPA’s black raspberry bush yeast for its tangy lemon-dropped pineapple, grapefruit and orange juicing to soak into hay-like mineral grain rusticity and wispy lemongrass herbage.

2waybrewingcompany.com

RACE STREET BREW WORKS

Image result for RACE STREET BREW WORKSImage result for RACE STREET BREW WORKS

CLEARFIELD, PENNSYLVANIA

A great find in the hilly Western Pennsylvania countryside just off Route 80, homey Industrial mall-bound RACE STREET BREW WORKS opened on Black Friday, November 2014, with four tapped beers for sale. Since that time, the ecelctic mom and pop operation has become a popular local dive.

Going thru an inconspicuous hallway of the tan-bricked edifice towards a mid-space cement-floored warehouse, Race Street’s refurbished wood community tables, cheesy decorative paraphernalia, hanging paper pom-poms, antique beer-capped aluminum shack and dank upstairs lounge encase the 10-seat bar and caged brew tanks serviced by innovative brewmaster Bohb Striker. In the summertime, a patio with fire pit gets utilized.

Refrigerated tap handles serve the fourteen well-rounded elixirs I thoroughly enjoy this breezy Friday evening in April ’17.

For openers, musky German-grained Czech yeast affected the herbal floral-perfumed Polish hop brusqueness of stylishly robust Polish Pilsner.

Next, uniquely satisfying Saint Kamille Belgian Wit brought honeyed chamomile tea to lemony grapefruit, orange and banana expectancy as vanilla wafer-sugared grilled mango and tangy peach snips contrasted tart candy powdering.

Incense-like Saison La Roux mildly aged tart cherries and raspberries for a splendid sweet ‘n sour mix back-ended by oats-dried Belgian pale malts.

‘Dank’ medium body, Hop Hash Brownie let resinous hop pining saturate mild nut-roasted toffee malts and brown tea-like bittering.

‘Vainglorious’ oak-aged derivative, Loud Mouth Oaked IPA brought cotton-candied honey malting, pecan buttering and floral perfume wafts to citric Cascade hop bitterness, leaving lemony mango-orange-pineapple tropicalia along the oaken vanilla midst before ethyl alcohol phenols coarsen the finish.

Tea-like Red Walloon, a dewy Belgian red ale, contrasted sour citric tartness against mild caramel-spiced alacrity.

Fine off-dry autumn seasonal, Jack Hammer Pumpkin Ale, brought pumpkin roasted butternut squash earthiness to ginger-spiced nutmeg and clove sweetness.

Well designed Rauch Street German Smoked Beer plied Band-aid-like peat smoked beechwood astringency to brown chocolate sweetness.

Interesting malt-roasted Thai Tea Porter let spicy Thai tea sweetness gain Black Forest cake, chocolate cake, toasted coconut, cocoa and black cherry illusions.

Well executed Chanceux Tarte Tripel  draped white-wined lemony cider tartness over soured rye bourbon for an offbeat stylistic turnabout.

Better still, candi-sugared GNOMebriation, a standard tripel, let sweet plum, raisin and date illusions get soaked in dry bourbon and honeyed vanilla.

Soft-toned Comrade Conrad Russian Imperial Stout, aged in rye bourbon barrels, retained brown chocolate-y coconut sweetness, pleasant cocoa nibs bittering, dried fruited fig spicing, mild cola nuttiness and warm bourbon licks.

A few experimental oak-aged elixirs at closing time proved satisfying as well.

Napa Valley Cabernet barrels held Weird One, a lactobacillus-soured red winey moderation with oaken vanilla tartness and light spicing.

Lastly, Flanders Red-styled Weird Two, aged eight months in Woodford Reserve Rye Bourbon barrels then refermented with sour lactobacillus and brettanomyces bacteria, brought lightly vinous grape esters and honeyed mead subtleties to the same oaken vanilla tartness influencing the previously quaffed Weird One.

www.racestreetbrew.com

VOODOO BIG BLACK VOODOO DADDY IMPERIAL STOUT

On tap at Andy’s Corner Bar, rich, creamy, increasingly popular ‘black ale’ heightens chewy black chocolate syruping with light oak-staved bourbon sugaring to contrast mildly hop-charred dark cocoa, vanilla bean and espresso bittering. Dark-roasted mocha malting gains sinewy molasses sweetness and distant wood-burnt singe as wispy raisin, prune and date illusions flutter beneath. Despite hefty 12% ABV, velvety smooth ‘Big Black’ full body goes down easy.

Image result for VOODOO DADDY BEER