BELFORD, NEW JERSEY
Just west of Atlantic Highland’s Carton Brewing in the Monmouth County harbor-bound hamlet of Belford, cozy storefront pub, BELFORD BREWING COMPANY, opened its doors August 1, 2014. Adorned by nifty nautical decor, antique table lamps, heirloom tables and dock plank wood siding, entrepreneurial brothers Michael and Kevin Enny (brewmaster), run this rustic nano ‘brewtique like a casual family-friendly joint.
Using diverse yeast strains, each Belford brew has its own unique character, texture and body while retaining straightforward stylistic structure in a highly approachable manner. Its original core beers include Honey Hudson, Wares Pale Ale, Lobster Pot Ale and Crowweed Stout (reviewed below). There’ve been 40-plus different beers crafted in Belford’s small mash tun brew kettles since the beginning.
Antique furnishings crowd the original wood-floored boutique space that includes a bunch of small brewing kettles and a tiny bar area.
The beige-floored right side barroom features a black and white tile-topped serving station housing twelve wood-boarded draughts. Vintage wood furnishings, high top seats and two TV’s fill out the small area.
A fenced-in umbrella-lined Beer Pen was added in 2020 and offers further seating.
My wife, dog and I arrive October ’21 during Belftoberfest for a rejoicing two-hour tasting experience.
Maize-dried cream ale, Meadowview, let lightly whiskey-soured pilsner malts soak into grassy hop astringency to its mellowly lemon-limed ‘Kolsch-like finish.’
Dewy dark lager, Dunkel, mingled fig-dried dates with tobacco roast crisping, carapils-malted toffee sweetness and reedy hop resin.
Not far removed from the dunkel, toffee-spiced fig and roasted chestnut placated Lobster Pot Brown Ale, relegating its dewy fungi cellaring.
A fruitier marzen, Beltoberfest, let mildly desiccated fig, prune and raisin spicing hover alongside sweet Vienna malts.
Mildly vanilla creamed Honey Hudson draped orange blossom honey upon subtle mandarin orange tartness and wispy rum-soured lemon twist topping mossy mineral graining.
Delicate apple-jacked orange spicing spackled Wares Creek Pale Ale, a simply approachable mineral grained moderation.
Soft eclair-fluffed Hefeweizen brought vanilla-daubed banana, clove and coriander sweetness to dry lemon-dropped herbage above sour dough wheat.
Spiced-up confection, Flannel (Nitro), let candied dried fruiting pick up sugary cinnamon-nutmeg-allspice alacrity over dewy pale malts.
Beet-sugared Belgian strong pale ale, Sextant, let buttery vanilla melt into tart lemon meringue, rummy banana, spiced fig and sugared raisin illusions.
Piney orange rind bittering led Northwest-styled IPA, Waackaack, picking up peach, pear and apple sedation in a slightly sharp medium-bodied setting.
Tangy orange-peeled clementine and tangerine tanginess propelled Juicy Shore IPA, leaving briny pine resin to contrast sugary pale malt subsidy.
Nitrogenated Crowweed Stout let dark chocolate, light-roast coffee and espresso stay reserved atop dewy earthiness.
Hand-drawn cask ale, Crowweed Stout, allowed sour dried fruiting and weedy peat mossing to overtake its dark chocolatey coffee tone.
There were also three flavored ‘Skiff’ Seltzers available – Watermelon Mango, Key Lime and Black Cherry.