FAIRFIELD, NEW JERSEY
Just off Route 46 in the Pio Costa Industrial mall, Fairfield-based MAGNIFY BREWING COMPANY has become one of Jersey’s finest and most recognized microbreweries in short order.
Specializing in sessionable India Pale Ales, but not afraid to dabble in sundry other styles, Magnify came to fruition after founder Eric Ruta discovered Portland’s “amazing craft beer scene” during college. He eventually hooked up with experienced brewmaster, Erich Carrle (who’d worked at Kelso, Almanac and Speakeasy).
Open since 2015, Magnify’s fluorescent blue, white and yellow insignia dons the front window and a small bench sits outside welcoming patrons to the rustic gray-walled interior.
A large blackboard with colorful beer descriptions lists all tapped selections currently available at the hardwood 8-draught bar (with jarred Edison lights). Eight bar stools, several tables and one community bench fill out the room. Large ceilings allow several tall silver beer tanks to prosper in the rear and the walls are sparsely decorated.
On a hot September ’17 afternoon, I grab a seat and quaff three previously untried brews. Over the last few years, I had already consumed over 20 Magnify brews.
Today, Magnify has four worthy one-off IPA’s to consume on draught or buy in cans for takeout. Each one packs a lot of flavor while never getting too bitter or bold for softer palates.
A collaboration with Long Island’s Barrier Brewing, uplifting lupulin-powdered Don’t Sneeze brought sunny yellow grapefruit tanginess and sweet orange peel briskness to the fore as juniper-embittered piney hop resin contrasted its lightly creamed caramel-pale malting.
Despite its brazen 8.5% ABV, delectably fruited One-Two Punch (utilizing newly designed Michigan Copper hops with the Mosaic varietal) ultimately mellowed down as its spiced-up grapefruit, pineapple, orange, peach and mango tang received a lightly peppered pine oiling.
Crushable triple-hopped Break The Bank let its beige-yellowed murk bring yeasty sinew to the surface. Lemony grapefruit and orange rind bittering aided hemp-oiled herbal hops to contrast candied pineapple, mango and peach sweetness.
Easygoing crisp-watered DDH Mouthfeelings IPA with Oats and Lactose added mildly creamed lactic acidity to lemony orange-spiced alacrity and mild bark-dried yellow wood bittering, fortifying its backend with dried oats.
Magnify, Brix City and Bolero Snort have gained a lot of ground over the last few years, receiving access at nearly every conceivable North Jersey beerpub. Cheers!