On tap at Plank Pizza, delectable double dry-hopped India Pale Ale brings sharp citrus spicing to the fore above crystal pale malting and lightly pined herbal whims. Lemony grapefruit, orange, mango and pineapple tanginess reinforced by white-wined Hallertau Blanc hops, tropical El Dorado hops, tangerine-licked Saphir hops and citric Moteuka hops.
On tap at Taphouse 15, nitrogenated Englsih dark mild ale merges musky black tea bittering with dewy earthen must, toasted nuttiness, compost soiling and unripe fig above cocoa-powdered mocha malting.
On tap at 381 Main, dry Imperial IPA provides peachy tangerine tang with juniper-licked herbal licks, resinous pine oiling and murky vegetal whims.
On tap at Midland Brew House, dry corn-husked oats graining guides mildly spiced citric-herbal Saaz hop pep of adequate Helles Lager. Crisp, clean and just a tad bolder than similarly styled Bavarian fare.
On tap at Plank Pizza, up-front toasted coconut adjunct gains dense mocha malting over mild walnut-charred hop bittering. Unsweetened coconut shavings inundate sweet cinnamon-toasted oatmeal and chocolate chip cookie illusions after a few sips.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Hoboken, straightforward East Coast IPA brings mild orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple, peach and mango tang to sugar-spiced crystal malting and sly piney hop astringency. Polite citric-spiced finish lingers softly.
HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY
In a raw tongue-n-grooved warehouse with aluminum fixings just off Route 4 in Hackensack, ALEMENTARY BREWING COMPANY let those cranky conservative Bergen County folks understand what fresh quality ales have to offer the washed and unwashed masses.
Featuring two community tables, ten-seat hardwood bar, side garage doors and windowed stainless steel brew tanks as of May 2016 (expansion is imminent and bottling seems forthcoming), the ‘rustic-chic’ Alementary is owned and operated by former chemical engineer, Blake Crawford, and molecular bioligist, Dr. Mike Roosevelt.
On draught today are four crisply clean light-hued ales, three interrelated dark-hued ones and a contrastive Cascadian Dark. Interesting gose-styled initiation, Let’s Begin, brought salty lemon-dropped lime parch to dry ginger tones before warming up and allowing its Graham Cracker sweetness to cut thru the gentle Seltzer fizz and proved to be a nice aperitif.
A sturdy followup, The Kolsch tossed lemon-limed tartness at lemongrass herbage and dried fig-apricot nuances. Easygoing IPA, 1st Session, provided soft-toned piney grapefruit bittering as well as lemon-pitted pineapple and orange tones above moderate hop resin.
Refreshing flagship beer, A-Game, a sharply rounded IPA, retained its piney orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple and peach tang atop lightly sprinkled sugar-spiced crystal malts.
On the dark side, Vindication succinctly blended black patent malt bittering with tart yellow grapefruit and black grape tones over dark-roasted ashen hop pungency and charred pine remnants.
Mild Dark English Ale, Mr. Stevens, engaged light-roast coffee nuttiness with wispy black chocolate tones.
Two similarly mocha-forward dark ales, The Porter, and its even smoother nitro version, placed nutty coffee, black chocolate and dried cocoa illusions atop laid-back dark-roasted hops, but the nitro porter never amassed a sinewy maple molasses sweetness.
At Shepherd & Knucklehead – Hoboken, quaffed Alementary 1st Session, a sessionable IPA with zesty grapefruit, orange, lemon and pineapple tang receiving wispy ‘strawberry, mango and melon’ illusions as well as grassy-hopped herbal snips.