HADDON HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY
Originally hailing from nearby Magnolia circa 2015, Haddon Heights’ LUNACY BREWING COMPANY now occupies a yellow stucco Industrial mall (with pale green aluminum roof) in the rear of the complex.
Interestingly, there is a long winding fence curving towards the entrance that’s reminiscent of a Texas slaughterhouse. An overhead side door leads to a large three-tabled deck next to a ground level wood-benched area.
A luminous Lunacy moon signpost centers the aluminum-sided wood top bar (not shown in above picture) with two tap stations gathering 18 draught handles and an electric beer board. The gray cement floor and blue-grayed walls magnify the black tiled ceiling where pendant lights and large fans hang. A projection screen opposes the left side bar.
I enjoyed eight of the twelve available selections during my January ’21 mid-afternoon jaunt. But there have been bountiful one-offs, seasonals and specialty brews crafted since its inception. Most beers this day were thickly clouded, stylistically richer and delightfully off-center, running the gamut from mango milkshake pale ale to Christmas spiced porter and cookie-inspired stout.
For a simple light-bodied opener, Golden Slippers Pale Ale sufficed. Delicate lemon-dried tartness and grassy hop astringency topped dry pale malts in a mannered way.
Bittersweet orange pulping and ambrosial grapefruit-peach-grape juicing received vanilla beaned powdered sugaring for Creamsickle Milkshake Pale Ale, leaving jasmine-like orange blossom florality upon the citric vanilla confection.
Another milkshake-inspired pale ale, Mango Moonshake, maintained grapefruit-imbibed mango pulping, tart orange-juiced concentration and ripe nectarine sweetness above astringent hop pining.
Sharp citrus spicing contrasted the yogurt-soured grapefruit rind bittering and green grape esters blitzing spritzy NEIPA, Orion, a dry pale-malted medium body with solid resolve.
Bountiful holiday-spiced porter, Fig E Pudding, brought fig-sugared cinnamon, nutmeg and pine nut illusions to the surface alongside fern-like spruce tip resin and smoky dark chocolate malts.
But Crooked Steps, an English-styled strong ale, allowed corn-liquored grain alcohol ethers to get in the way of its perfumed gin-soaked vodka sway and piney Chinook hop lacquering.
Smoothly creamed nitro-injected Chocolate Coconut Coffee Stout resonated with rich brown-sugared molasses sap draping cocoa-powdered coffee resolve, dark chocolate-malted vanilla beaning and banana coconut caking contrastingly consuming mildly ashen nutty respite and pipe tobacco crisping over honeyed Graham Cracker wheat base for oatmeal raisin cookie deliverance.
Best bet: Resembling a chocolate chip cookie, Space Cookie Imperial Stout unleashed molasses-sugared vanilla bourbon, creme brulee and yellow cake sweetness upon its chewy utopian mocha dessert splendor.