OCEAN, NEW JERSEY
KANE BREWING COMPANY quickly became one of Jersey’s finest iconic microbreweries during August 2011. Led by married financial marketeers Michael and Erika Kane, their huge freestanding warehouse operation has expanded by leaps and bounds since the beginning.
Inside a rustic high-ceilinged building with cement floors, overhead doors, barrel stands and large silver brew tanks (in the barroom and right side fermenting space), Kane utilizes repurposed wood for its bar frontage and 20-plus draught station backdrop.
A fabulous maltster, Michael Kane homebrewed for fifteen years and traveled to Europe to learn more about beer culture. A Fairfield University grad with a Masters degree from Notre Dame, the lanky red-haired zymurgist soon became interested in spirited barrel aging and spontaneously fermented mixed culture sour ales.
I get a chance to hang at Kane for a few hours on a snowy Super Bowl Sunday in 2022 to down two enlightening barrel-aged stouts, one glorified pastry stout and one barrel-aged porter. I’d been to Kane in the past, but only to buy bottles to go. As of this date, I’ve had 67 different proprietary brews (all reviewed in Beer Index except the following four quaffed on-site).
For starters, I chose the breakfast-styled pastry stout, A Night To End All Dawns Banana Pancake. Maple syrup-draped caramelized banana sweetness indulged dark chocolate fudging as dark-roast hop char lightly embittered the backend to contrast ancillary bourbon vanilla sugaring, butterscotch walnut cookie flouring and toasted cinnamon splendor.
Viscous bourbon-spiced porter, Morning Bean, aged in Willett and Wild Turkey barrels, plied cream-sugared coffee beaning to Madagascar vanilla tannins, dark cherry pureed tartness and black peppered whims anchored by bittersweet dark chocolate luster.
Fudgy brown chocolate affluence guided Bourbon-aged Lunchbox Hero, a luxurious Imperial Stout conditioned on peanut buttered cacao, vanilla beans and hazelnut paste. Its richly creamed maple syruping soaked up bourbon vanilla-sweetened marshmallow chewiness and chocolate cherry cordial banter for an enticing pastry-like dessert.
As a luscious sweet-toothed Imperial Stout nightcap, Saturday Night Lights, let its sublime Vermont maple syruping serenade sweet brown chocolate goodness as milk-sugared coffee, vanilla pastry cream, toasted marshmallow, honeyed Graham Cracker and cookie dough illusions enriched the bourbon-licked chocolate cake decadence.