WALDWICK, NEW JERSEY
One of the first northern Bergen County brewpubs, GEARBLOCK BREWING COMPANY opened its doors in springtime, 2022. Established by homebrewer, Tony Romano, this green aluminum awninged red brick pub, situated at the quaint Hamilton Square Shopping Center, served a respectable standard array of popular beer styles during my initial April ’22 visit.
A closed-in beergarden with wood and metal tables leads thirsty patrons to the entrance of Gearblock. Its modern Industrial interior includes a black tile ceiling with pendant Edison-bulbed lights, concrete-topped aluminum-sided bar and prohibition era automobile theme. There are twelve taps at the grey and white brick-walled bar serviced by the rear brew tanks. A few stools and four-seat tables fill out the cozy hotspot.
Clear beige Mexican style lager, Mastretta, utilized cologned agave to penetrate lemony white wine esters, lightly vinous Pinot Grigios phenols and buttery Chardonnay daubs above delicate pilsner malts.
Sea-salted lime zest stayed dry for lightly hopped gose, Busted Barnacle, leaving mild lemony grapefruit bittering and snippy coriander seeded peppercorn in its wake.
Sour lemondrop spritz and dry pale malt lagering settled at the grassy hop stead of Race Day Cream Ale.
Lime-salted Huell Melon-hopped gooseberry/ guava tartness, ancillary Tettnang-hopped herbage, recessive grassy astringency and neutral celery watering reached the white bread spine of The Kolschfather, a crisply clean light-bodied kolsch.
‘Classic’ Noble-hopped Fahren Marzen plied mild toffee spicing and wispy herbage to dry amber-grained pale malting.
Dry-hopped Imperial Red Ale, West Coast Red, placed spicy apple and pear fruiting alongside piney hop resin and mild tobacco roast overriding dainty caramel malts.
Sessionable NEIPA, U-Turn, combined honeyed orange, salted grapefruit and sour guava over buttery pale malts.
Coffee-roasted vanilla richness and raw molasses sinew reinforced the ‘slightly sweet’ chocolate base of Standard Coupe Vanilla Porter, a tarry full body.
Rich dark-roasted chocolate and coffee tones guided Leaded Imperial Stout, picking up a slight hop-charred wood sear to contrast its auxiliary burnt caramel spell.
Revisited Gearblock, October ’22, to consume eight rounded brews with wife and friend, Rich.
Corn-syrupy Vienna malt stickiness attached orange-oiled tartness for Tushek, an otherwise biscuity Vienna Lager.
An offbeat rauchbier-influenced cream ale, beechwood-smoked (?) cured meat endorsed coffee-bound Roach Coach, picking up dried maize, astringent grassiness and tannic vanilla.
Bold for its combined summer ale/ pale wheat styles, off-dry AMC escorted its spritzy IPA-like lemony orange bittering and grassy hop astringency thru a caramelized white wheat bed, relegating light herbal licks at the citric-spiced finish.
Spreading briny lemon tartness, white-graped Chardonnay tannins and adjunctive lemongrass soaping thru fungi-mildewed herbage, capacious soured saison, Citron, left mild barnyard leathering on its winy citric stead.
Sedate lemony grapefruit, orange and pineapple tanginess placated salty pine bittering atop honey-spiced pale malts for Numb Hands, a tidily conservative NEIPA.
Dryer than most schwarzbiers, Lammed issued lightly smoked peat to anise-spiced fennel, earthen truffle and light espresso illusions. Interestingly top notch.
Confectionery sweet chocolate serenaded post-fermentation coconut toasting for Standard Coupe Coconut Porter.
By upping the lactic maltodextrin of its original Loaded Imperial Stout, superfine Loaded X2 takes milk-sugared coffee creaming and roasted chocolate sweetness on a merry mocha mission, picking up black cherry and red grape wisps.
During November ’22 Saturday escapade, downed another four worthy suds.
Salty guava souring and ancillary cranberry-gooseberry tartness soaked blush pink Berliner Weiss, Shakedown Street Guavaberry, picking up wispily embittered orange pucker and sweet pink grapefruit snag.
Bitterly dry salted kimchi influence provided brusque edge to chai tea peppering inundating juniper-snipped yellow grapefruit and mandarin orange zesting of Cho IPA, letting the brisk citric-laden Galaxy hop grassiness pick up limey Motueka-Nelson-hopped gooseberry and guava souring.
Dry dark-roast coffee and chalky black chocolate enjoin lesser caramel nuttiness for lightly hop-charred brown ale, Last Car On The Lot, leaving bitter Brazil nut and walnut illusions on the backend.
Oreo cookie-like milk stout, Crunchy Whip, proffered a vanilla beaned white chocolate creaming for bittersweet dark cocoa seeped in oily hop resin.
Twas the night before Christmas Eve ’22 when my wife and I revisited Gearblock to quaff four new brews.
Sharp citrus spritz blitzed herbal tea musk and grassy Saaz hop astringency for Fahrvergnugen, a traditional German pilsner.
Rye-spiced brown breading consumed Rye Or Die IPA, scouring its laidback grapefruit-orange-tangerine misting and mild herbage.
Orange-oiled herbal perfuming contrasted creamy vanilla-daubed banana sweetness for Tri-Power Tripel, a slightly muskier, dryer Belgian-styled strong ale.
Richly creamed Holiday Coffee Stout burrowed milk-sugared coffee tones into bittersweet vanilla bean, cocoa nibs, cinnamon and hazelnut adjuncts, leaving delightful Oreo cookie, chocolate fudge, cafe latte and espresso illusions on the backend.
Revisited trusty local pub again January ’23, guzzling three more newcomers.
Stylishly richer, broader and dryer for a hefeweizen, Beamer placed spritzy orange-candied tartness just ahead of its toned-down banana-clove sweetness and slight herbal whim.
Salty grapefruit, pineapple and mango tang met orange peel zesting and clay hop earthiness for Imperial IPA, Numb Hands, leaving a clean vodka sheen on its upfront tropical fruiting, mild herbal stint and gluey pale malt bottom.
Lemony yellow grapefruit-peeled mandarin orange piquancy led NEIPA, Brew Jersey, picking up waxy pineapple-papaya-mango conflux over its mildly creamed oated wheat base.