TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY
Inhabiting a red brick-based Main Street storefront in Toms River, BATTLE RIVER BREWING opened its doors August ’20. Utilizing a crisply clean water source second to none, head brewer Ian Barlet specializes in an interesting assortment of eclectic stylized brews, salty oceanic elixirs, hard seltzers, shandys and a beer-cider hybrid.
The red brick-walled interior features an art deco black ceiling, hanging Edison lights, exposed pipes and a narrow hallway leading to the back-sided beer tanks. At its gray granite top bar are 30-plus tap handles, a blackboard beer menu and centralized TV. There are windowed community tables for extra seating.
My wife and I sat down for some sassy suds August ’21.
Unconventional German pilsner, Mariner, allocated sweet rice-wined corn sugaring for herbal-hopped green peppering.
Traditional New Zealand-styled pilsner, Haka, a dry-hopped lightweight, let salted lime zest provide tart zing to its soft white wheat base.
Aluminum golden-hued dry lager, Battle Light, segued lemondrop candied piquancy into mineral grained maize astringency.
Dry Mexican-styled Vienna lager, Rio Bueno, placated its sweet corn frontage with white wine esters, herbal agave nectars and mild maize astringency.
Spritzy hybridized hefeweizen, River Lady Ruby Red Grapefruit, took its lightly spiced grapefruit adjunct to salty lemon-limed souring contrasting stylish banana-clove sweetness.
Subtle orange-peeled lavender and tart strawberry plied hybridized witbier, Wartime, a lightly sugar-spiced moderation.
Salted blueberry subtlety and lemony white peach tartness secured the clean-watered Kveik yeast-based Bluecoat Blueberry, a saison-inspired blonde ale with dry wheat-chaffed straw leathering.
Salt-watered raspberry and blueberry pureed fruit ale, Main St. Mosaics, allowed sour New Zealand hops to add abrupt limey gooseberry-guava tartness.
“Crushable” red-cleared kettle sour, Courthouse, brought tart blackberry adjunct to vinous green grape esters and cucumber-watered earthiness for mouth-puckered succulence.
Flagship IPA, Patriot, gave its straight-up lemony orange peeled grapefruit bittering a dank piney hop astringency and herbal-spiced floral flutter.
Easygoing East Coast IPA, Irons Street, daubed its vodka-licked citrus tang with wood lacquered residue and jasmine snips over syrupy pale malt sweetness.
Uniquely offbeat Belgian dubbel, River Root Bier, a crossbred cane-sugared soda alternative, dangled raisin, prune and plum sweetness alongside Jamaican sarsaparilla, sassafras birch, wild cherry bark and dandelion root.
Brown-sugared cinnamon anchored Snow Melter, a spiced-up Belgian strong ale, coalesced nutmeg, cardamom and ginger above dainty pilsner malting.
Combining chocolate, coffee and Madagascar vanilla, Headquarter Porter picked up toffee-spiced sweetness and tertiary cola nut, coconut and hazelnut illusions.
Richly rewarding chocolate raspberry porter, Robbins Street, forwarded bittersweet molasses-daubed cocoa nibs creaming to tart raspberry-pureed blueberry, blackberry and boysenberry licks.
Wildflower-honeyed dark chocolate enriched nitro stout, Bayonet, a smooth espresso-like nightcap with ancillary coffee, toffee and sarsaparilla tones.
During Super Bowl weekend, February ’22, revisited Battle River to suck down seven more diversified suds.
Crisply clean blonde ale, Full Day Sesh, brought spritzy lemony grapefruit zesting to mild clementine and mandarin orange snips above delicate pale malting.
Dewy toffee-spiced English Mild Ale, M24 Toffee, let caramelized fig, candied apple and sour prune pick up mild cellared fungi musk and crisp tobacco roast.
Brisk lemon spritz splashed banana-clove-induced hefeweizen, Huddy’s Revenge, to its honeyed wheat base.
Mellow beige-yellowed white IPA, Privateer, coalesced salty lemon spicing with tidy mandarin orange sweetness and white grape tannins as light pine lacquering coated the delicate wheated oats spine.
Wet-hopped red IPA, Super Maroon, plied rye-dried amber grains and roasted tobacco crisping to caramelized red fruiting (with a hint of beechwood smoke in the distance, perhaps).
Delightfully complex Belgian Quadrupel, Cannonball, maintained cherry chocolate sweetness enhanced by candi-sugared dried fruiting, dewy peat mossing, cinnamon-smoked nutmeg spicing and mild barleywine snips in a subtle bourbon barrel-aged setting.
Wintry spiced stout, Jockey Hollow, seeped cinnamon-nutmeg spicing into chocolate-y vanilla maple walnut sweetness and burgundy-draped prune, date and fig illusions.