EWING, NEW JERSEY
Just a few miles from Referend Bier Blendery, Ewing’s RIVER HORSE BREWING COMPANY expanded into this space from nearby Lambertville in 2013 (see old factory site pictured below). One of Jersey’s first microbreweries, starting out during 1996, River Horse changed ownership in 2007 and became the state’s second largest brewery behind Flying Fish.
Residing in a pristine beige-stoned professional Industrial warehouse with pressed aluminum top, head brewer Chris Rakow operates the eleven 40-barrel fermenters, four 100-barrel fermenters, a cold-filter water tank and bottling-canning system at the roomy high-ceilinged backspace.
Celebrating ancient Egyptian brewing heritage with its hippo-laden beer designs and logos, River Horse’s popular, diversified lineup is led by Belgian-styled flagship, River Horse Tripel Horse (reviewed in Beer Index). Now distributing bottles and cans into New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, their new 25,000 square-feet facility has capacity for even more expansion.
During my sunny February ’20 afternoon jaunt with wife and dog, discovered a few new River Horse elixirs while seated at one of the seven barreled tables fronting the small serving station.
Briskly rustic German-styled The Peoples Lager brought grassy oats-dried minerality and mild barnyard leathering to lemon-rotted herbal astringency.
Brewed specifically for onsite quaffing, Imperial Oatmeal Milk Stout upped the rich brown and dark chocolate syruping and burnt caramel fudging for its maple oats-sugared hazelnut sweetness, picking up slight black cherry tartness in 14% ABV setting of luxurious full body.
Creamy brown chocolate fudging contrasted bitter hop-charred dark cocoa syruping for bold mocha treat, Chocopotamus Stout, a delightful nightcap.