MANVILLE, NEW JERSEY
Open since 2018, BROOKS BREWERY occupies yellow bricked neighborhood joint, North Side Lounge. In the heart of Raritan County on the outskirts of New York’s metropolitan area, this convenient Manville-based corner bar blends sportsbar conventionality with boutique nanobrewing bohemianism.
Veteran homebrewer Arthur Hannemann spent six months at nearby Flounder Brewing before setting up shop in Mansville. Crafting soft-toned suds reflecting a full spectrum of styles, Hannemann offered eleven rangy brews on my March ’21 afternoon stopover.
My wife and I grab a table across the niftily blue collar bar. There are TV’s at all corners of the cozy pub. Exposed pipes and Edison lights hang from the black ceiling tiles and a few locals play billiards at the left side. Top shelf liquor and local craft beer dot the menu alongside Brooks’ delicate fare.
A small courtyard provides outside seating in the springtime.
Lightly golden hazed Cloudy Day Pilsner stayed dry as biscuity pilsner malts anchored subtle mossy earthiness, herbal whims and apricot snips.
Silken Hanlon Irish Ale let peaty moss earthiness settle alongside mild hop musk while Hannemann Helles Bock added gentle floral-spiced fruiting to its soily peat base.
Another dewy moderation, Rob The Exterminator Doppelbock, allowed mellow dried fruiting and wavered vanilla creaming to top cellar-mildewed caramel malting.
Subdued Mary Ellen Belgian White yielded orange-peeled coriander sweetness and ancillary pineapple-candied banana tartness.
Candi-sugared Aegirs Fersken Belgian Peach let its peachy nectar sweetness fade on the tongue as ambrosial pineapple, clementine and tangerine illusions waver.
Dry pale and red wheat fortified Jahrenowski Weiss, relegating its traditional lemony banana-clove combo for soap-stoned lemongrass-herbed liming.
Perfumed citrus spicing bedecked 6 Hop IPA, a dry cologne-wafted medium body with mulchy graining sidestepping lemony grapefruit-orange tanginess.
Lightly creamed mocha malting gained dry earthen tones for Tavern Brown Ale, picking up distant spiced orange nuances.
Soft-tongued tobacco-roasted black chocolate nuttiness consumed Gallagher Irish Stout, gaining sour creamed walnut pasting at its mild hop charred midst.
For dessert, Belgian candi-sugared Putski’s Hammer Strong Ale plied caramelized chocolate malting to honeyed peach and red cherry fruiting as astringent 11% ABV ethers add whiskey pitch.