POINT PLEASANT, NEW JERSEY
In a small mall on the way to the beach off NJ Parkway, Point Pleasant’s FRYE BREWING COMPANY opened June ’17. The familial entrepreneurial product of Colleen and Mike Frye, this inconspicuously small microbrewery serves its community well.
At the glass entrance, the Frye logo and a Point Pleasant emblem welcome customers to the cement-floored one-room space. Street lights adorn the right side serving station (spotlighting a poured concrete bar top and rusty corrugated steel siding) and brew tanks stake the rear. Frye’s three white picnic tables, six high boy stools and low-ceilinged exposed pipes provide spare detail.
Before heading out after my one-hour April ’19 visit, I sampled a half-dozen Frye faves, including four dark ales, one IPA and an Irish Red.
Enigmatic Irish Red Ale, Irish Blood Sweat & Tears, let sea-salted blood orange tartness drift off into dewy Scotch-licked beechwood smoke, picking up roasted tobacco crisping and light éclair creaming in a weirdly compelling way.
Named for Elon Musk’s rocket launch, vibrant India Pale Ale, Falcon Heavy, loaded creamy pale malt sugaring upon juicy grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess and earthen rhubarb-celery snips.
Black-malted Irish Stout, The Dark, reinforced its dark chocolate and dried cocoa bittering with musty hop-charred nuttiness, sweetening at the dark mocha molasses finish.
A few nifty Dark offshoots also took hold. Coffee bean-engaged full body, Coffee In The Dark, placed its dark-roast mocha muck above oilier hop charred nuttiness than the original version.
Perhaps the best Dark ale, coconut toasting sweetened milk-sugared dessert treat, Coconut In The Dark, leaving brown chocolate and toffee sugaring on the back of the tongue.
Complexities abounded for creamily fudged barrel-aged surefire, Bonfire Imperial Brown Ale. Aged on rum-soaked cherrywood, its dried-fruited black cherry, burgundy and bourbon tones surged towards the oats-sugared fudged mocha surface, picking up latent anise spicing.