Four Jersey-bred beer enthusiasts joined forces for HACKENSACK BREWING COMPANY, opening its doors January 2019. Though Bergen County remains too asininely exorbitant and monetarily manipulative to flourish in the current brewpub Renaissance, Hackensack now has two operational breweries within a quarter-mile of each other on Johnson Street.
Inside a white stucco warehouse with high ceilings, cement floors and barreled tables, HBC’s two-room interior features an overhead-doored brew room and right side pub.
At the pub’s V-shaped 12-stooled serving station, there’s several silver draught handles, a beer-ridden bulletin board, one central TV, Edison light fixtures and a crowler-filled refrigerator. Along the side wall are book-shelved seats and framed photos of several cool local musicians.
In early June ’19, stopped by to suck down nine straightforwardly original brews before grabbing dinner.
A fine opener, spunky Motion City Lager let casual lemondrop-hopped tangerine zest bring tongue-tingling spritz to buttery pale malt breading and latent herbal snips.
Summery fruit ale, Lawn Stripes, brought lacquered lemon-rotted apricot pureeing to subtle resinous hop astringency over sweet wheat base.
Lemony banana-clove insistence permeated fine dry saison, Carried By Six, leaving funky barnyard earthiness, light white-peppered herbage and pale malt spicing upon candi-sugared citrus sweetness.
Just as effective and a tad lighter, more traditional Belgian-styled saison, Tried by Twelve, caressed its sweet orange-peeled coriander spicing, buttery banana breading and mild apricot sway with dry farmhouse herbage over a delicate sugary oats bed.
Easygoing New England-styled Imperial IPA, Walk-Off Double, brought tangy grapefruit zesting to lemon-sugared orange sweetness and barley-floured sourdough malting with irresistible splendor.
Crushed uziza pepper adds light herbal pungency to effectively offbeat hybridized Imperial Pale Ale, Pepper Coast, a cologne-perfumed dry body with limey chamomile resonance contrasting powdered lemonade tartness.
Subtle Madagascar vanilla creaminess faded over zesty citric hops for Nu-Bajan Blonde. Its coffee-beaned version, Nu-Bajan Breakfast Blend, coalesced light-roast coffee tones, creamy vanilla sweetness and mild coconut toasting above pale-malted citrus spicing.
Sweet toffee blanketed bittersweet chocolate and milk-sugared coffee tones for Toad Style Extra Stout, picking up dried anise, bruised black cherry and black grape illusions at the busy back end.