LITTLE FERRY, NEW JERSEY
At a rustic cement-floored warehouse on a quiet cul de sac in Meadowlands-bound Little Ferry, BRIX CITY BREWING has gained widespread Northern Jersey exposure since opening for business, May 2015. Crafting some of the state’s most creatively inventive libations, this freestanding warehouse (with plainly decorative white walled hop cones) is home to dozens of fascinating one-offs, hybrids, offshoots and semi-perennials.
Though I’d consumed about two dozen original Brix City brews at every worthy Bergen-Passaic-Morris County beer pub imaginable, there were a few more to be had at my initial August ’17 visit.
After purchasing a home brew kit in 2010, Hasbrouck Heights schoolyard pals, Peter Reuther (an Army vet) and Joe Delcalzo (local accountant), decided to try their hand at full-time brewing. The results have been quite impressive and the dynamic duo now utilize 16-ounce cans to satisfy the growing demand for big sellers such as celebrity-inspired Jaromir Lagr, Derek Wheater and Brews Willis.
A large map of Newark (the inspirational Brick City that once housed tons of breweries before prohibition) covers a side wall and a few colorfully chalked blackboards boast of regional brewpubs and provide today’s draught menu. Several wood barrels consume the back area near the brew tanks and four community tables get serviced by the eight draught lines at the wood lacquer-countered, red brick-fronted serving station.
Heritage rock music by the Allman Brothers and Eric Clapton plays loudly in the raw space as my wife and I plow into a delectable Belgian blonde, a sturdy pilsner and two glistening IPA’s.
Enchanting candi-sugared Gloria Belgian Blonde Ale had a certain summertime serenity as its lemony banana tartness and sweet vanilla creaming gained mild floral herbage, pithy clove-coriander piquancy and a smooth vermouth sway above the prickly salty bottom.
Pungently grain-husked Undiscovered Worlds American Pilsner gathered dry wood tones, leafy hops and spiced pilsner malts.
Gently citrus-spiced Just Another IPA brought mild lemon-juiced mandarin orange and navel orange tanginess to the fore above oats-dried malts.
Bitterer, heartier and more decisive, Just Another Double IPA loaded tangier citrus spicing and resinous pine hops onto moderate crystal malt sugaring.
On my second journey to Brix City April ’21, quaffed three rangy IPA’s as well as two extravagant stouts and one dry traditional German.
Crisp pilsner-malted light body, O.G. Kolsch, guided grape-dried lemon rot plus tart orange oiling thru straw wheat earthiness, raw grain musk and light herbal wisps in a sessionable way.
Fruitful Citra-Mosaic-hopped NEIPA, Grateful Jams, let creamy vanilla-daubed crystal malting fluff up lemony pineapple-blueberry bittering, salted grapefruit-mango tropicalia and mild peach-orange-tangerine tanginess against resinous pine oiling.
Decisive shaved coconut toasting infiltrated Coconut Connection, a hybridized New England-styled Double IPA with sweet marshmallow-vanilla licks penetrating subtle Citra-Mosaic-hopped orange, tangerine and blueberry brightener.
Marshmallow creme forthrightly sweetened Get Peep’d, another Citra-Mosaic-hopped NEDIPA with ambrosial tropical-fruited vanilla yogurt milking revealing lemony pineapple-blueberry bittering, mild grape-guava-passionfruit souring and tangy tangerine-orange sweetness.
Conditioned on peanut buttered marshmallow, lactose-creamed Imperial Stout, Snorting Brix (a collaboration with Bolero Snort), brought honey roasted legume sweetness to the surface as brown chocolate, toasted coconut and confectionery marshmallow swirled above the profound wheat-sugared Graham Cracker spine.
“Luscious” bourbon barreled Silk City 2021 BBA Coffee Stout caressed its light-roast java frontage with brown-sugared bourbon vanilla sweetness and hazelnut-glazed marshmallow and coconut toasting, topping it off with cocoa powdered milk chocolate syruping.
During quick March ’22 stopover, downed lactic Citra-Mosaic-hopped Wild Beery Jams, a vanilla-creamed sour ale with pureed strawberry, raspberry and blueberry adjuncts leaving Pez-candied tartness, sugared bubblegum riffs and tertiary kiwi-pineapple liming.