On tap at Beef Trust, dazzlingly fruitful wee heavy gains caramelized candied sweetness over dewy peat malting. Rum-spiced whiskeyed cherry whir grazes cocktail-licked red grape, bruised orange, brown apple, honeyed pear and marmalade illusions in a delectably tempting manner. Recommended.
On tap at Beef Trust, sweet orange-zested cardamom spicing adds piquant Christmastime dimension to treacly black chocolate and roasted coffee overtones. Caramelized cola nuttiness counters minor phenolic astringency deep below creamy cardamom-seasoned mocha fudging.
On tap at Poor Henry’s, mild habanero heat drifts thru juicy mango sweetness of fairly expressive hybridized pale ale. Clean-watered crisping suits tropical mango influence and lemony orange-peeled grapefruit respite.
LAFAYETTE, NEW JERSEY
Directly off Route 94 in the rural Western Jersey town of Lafayette, ANGRY ERIK BREWING is a small, successful, independent business ready for imminent expansion. Since opening in 2014, the entrepreneurial husband-wife tandem of Erik & Heide Hassing have taken their steady offering of one-off beers and seasonal repeats statewide and beyond.
Relishing the cool “Don’t Get Mad, Get Angry” slogan and utilizing a thrasher-wielding dragon Viking insignia, Angry Erik boasts a “constant variety of beers to quench every craft beer lover. Inside a red-tanned light Industrial complex, its eight-seat bar features several tap handles and a blackboard listing draught selections while three wood tables line the left side. In the back brew room are two plastic picnic tables for further seating.
Just ten miles away from Sparta’s beer-centric Krogh’s Brewpub and Mohawk House Restaurant, Angry Erik’s ever-changing beer menu moves faster than a speeding bullet.
On my celebratory 4-20 visit during 2018, the entire menu changed from a mere two weeks hence. I got to quaff five previously untried suds before heading East at sundown.
First up, Angry Erik’s easygoing Belgian What? Belgian Blonde let spritzy orange-peeled grapefruit, pineapple and lime zest gain moderate Amarillo piney hop bittering above oats-dried wheat malts.
Next, ‘seductive’ elderflower-enhanced The Dainty Viking Blonde Ale brought tart citrus-spiced Chardonnay buttering to subdued pale malting, though its rustic dried flowering seemed overwhelmed.
Tidy IPA, To Taste (Hoppy Heide #4), spread moderate yellow grapefruit bittering across spritzy pineapple, peach, orange and tangerine tanginess above crystal malt sugaring.
Politely hop-headed IPA, Hop The Fence, brought sweet ‘n sour grapefruit tones to ashen pine resin and plasticine-grouted clay hops, gaining tertiary peach, pineapple and orange juiciness at the moderately bitter citrus finish.
For silken Valentines Day-inspired dessert, Cordially, Cupid Porter regaled prominent Black Forest cake sweetness thanks to tartly sweet ‘n sour black cherries and sugary chocolate-cocoa fudging.
On tap at Mohawk House, light cherrywood-smoked brown ale lets sweet ginger-spiced peach tea adjunct take control. Light resinous hops and dewy earth tones contrast abundant peach tea theme as well as ginger-snapped apricot and tangerine dalliance.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Haledon, lemony orange-peeled grapefruit souring deepens piney tropical fruiting over moderated pale malt sugaring of medium-full-bodied India Pale Ale.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Haledon, discrete ‘fusion’ between contemporary gose and saison weds the mildly citric-salted acidity of the former with the dry herbal barnyard acridity of the latter. Lemon-dropped yellow grapefruit souring, tart orange juicing, white grape tannins and floral daubs align above biscuit-y pilsner malting for crisply clean farmhouse ale.
On tap at Taphouse Grille, pleasantly divergent Belgian blonde-styled moderation utilizes pineapple-juiced lime zest to redirect honey-spiced citrus template. Ancillary lemony grapefruit tang, mild leafy Amarillo hop astringency, light white peppering and earthen oats-dried wheat spine backup limey pineapple adjuncts well.
On tap at Taphouse 15, relaxing creamed coffee milking gains pronounced black chocolate roast, moderate espresso perk and mild vanilla sweetness. Light wood-burnt singe resides below the bittersweet mocha theme. Perfect for brunch. On tap at Hoover’s, sharp cola, hazelnut and walnut illusions found space below creamed coffee, milked espresso and dark chocolate sway.
On tap at Dog & Cask, mild springtime ale utilizes white-peppered lemongrass herbage to affect mildly pungent lemon rot souring and tart lemon-candied tang. A bit underwhelming. Serve to citric-laden lightweights and saison lovers.